By John Crawford
Alexander Hamilton Explained It Clearly
The "National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC)" is very literally a Contract of COLLUSION among a few States. In this scheme, the States that join this Contract (it's called a "Compact" or a "Pact" when governments do them), agree in advance that when certain conditions are met - in this case, where the 20 to 24 Compact States have absolute control over the election of the President to the exclusion of all the other States, by having 270 or more Electoral Votes in their Collusion Agreement - these State legislatures have pre-agreed to name ONLY Electors to cast their State Votes who are strongly and personally biased in favor of a candidate who reportedly received more "popular" votes across the entire nation.
The NPVIC does not work by controlling the VOTES of the State - it works by controlling WHO is chosen as the State's Electors to CAST those State Votes. And THAT is a provision in Article Two of our Constitution that the NPVIC backers hang their entire argument on.
This Collusion scheme very literally takes the CONTROL of each Member STATE's Electoral Votes AWAY FROM anyone who happens to live IN THAT STATE! Think about that! These are ALWAYS the STATE's Votes - the NPVIC does not change that - it simply CHANGES who CONTROLS those Votes! Wow!
The idea that ANY State would even consider that is SO absurd and unthinkable, that the thought of BANNING the practice never even occurred to the Founders! ... Nor, to anyone else until the 21st Century after Al Gore lost to George Bush in 2000!
It's Been Part of the Sales Pitch
The National Popular Vote's highly-paid Sales Team spent at least a dozen years, since about 2006, selling their NPVIC scheme by claiming, among other things, that "The Founders were UNABLE TO AGREE on how to best elect the President, so the Founders had to settle for ... ". That has just never been true. It seems to position themselves as being some type of enlightened 21st Century geniuses that have finally been ordained by history and by technology to solve a problem that simply confounded and eluded the 18th Century Founders.
It's simply not true. The Founders of these United STATES decided that it is the responsibility of the STATES to elect the President, using Electors chosen in the Manner decided upon from time to time by the State's Legislature.
Alexander Hamilton, a Delegate from New York to the Constitutional Convention (May - Sept 1787) told his New York constituents in March 1788 (before NY ratified the Constitution) in Federalist 68, that the Electoral College (EC) is about the only thing in the Constitution that was UNANIMOUSLY agreed to!
Federalist Paper, No. 68 - Published on March 12, 1788 by Alexander Hamilton
"To the People of the State of New York:
THE mode of appointment of the Chief Magistrate of the United States is almost the only part of the system, of any consequence, which has escaped without severe censure, or which has received the slightest mark of approbation from its opponents.
"The most plausible of these, who has appeared in print, has even deigned to admit that the election of the President is pretty well guarded.
"I venture somewhat further, and hesitate not to affirm, that if the manner of it be not perfect, it is at least excellent. It unites in an eminent degree all the advantages, the union of which was to be wished for."
Hamilton convinced his fellow New Yorkers to encourage the Legislature to RATIFY the new Constitution, using the brilliant EC as a great reason to do so!
In selling NPVIC to present-day State lawmakers, however, the NPV supporters have often said that the choice was simply between a "national popular vote" and this Electoral College, AND that they went with the EC because of the lack of good communications technology, among other reasons. They are allowing all of their listeners to believe that it has always been the desire of the Founders to have our population elect the President, but they just couldn't pull that off. Again, that is just not true.
TODAY, some of them are now saying that it's because of elite supremacy, or because of "Slavery" that the Founders sought to deny the population the right to vote. That is just totally False, too! Proof of that is that the Founders DID, in fact, provide for the popular election of the House of Representatives in Congress - so, No, they were not opposed to the population's right to vote. They also did not ban popular voting in the States.
Proposed, Considered, Debated and Rejected. Multiple Times.
The Founders considered nearly a DOZEN different ways to elect the President -
All were rejected. At least FOUR different formal versions of the population choosing the President were proposed, debated, and resoundingly defeated! Multiple Founders documented their reasons for this rejection on many different occasions, too. Among those reasons were included (paraphrased), "You propose that the selection of one of the most important office holders in the nation be left to those people who know the absolute LEAST about the office and the qualifications of the candidates?!", and " History has proven to us that democracies always implode in rather short order."
What they finally and unanimously agreed to, to elect the United STATES Federation's President, is to have the STATES elect their President, using Electors who held no public office, specially chosen to serve ONLY that short-lived purpose, with the Manner in which those State Electors were chosen to be left up each State Legislature.
The Founders Designed Against Electoral COLLUSION, TOO!
They ALSO provided that the Electors meet together WITHIN their respective State to discuss and cast their Votes. HOWEVER, the Founders required that ALL Electors meet ON THE SAME DAY across the country, in their respective States SO THAT THE ELECTORS from different States COULD NOT meet, collude, collaborate nor otherwise by influenced!
Hamilton, Again -
Compare this to what is likely going on today - and what is totally expected if this dangerous National Popular Vote Interstate Compact scheme is ever activated! By any definition, the NPVIC Agreement IS Collusion - YOU get to decide if it is good Collusion or bad Collusion, and if it is even allowed in these United States.
Alexander Hamilton, continues -
"And as the electors, chosen in each State, are to assemble and vote in the State in which they are chosen, this detached and divided situation will expose them much less to heats and ferments, which might be communicated from them to the people, than if they were all to be convened at one time, in one place.
"Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption.
"These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter (sic), but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union?
"But the convention have guarded against all danger of this sort, with the most provident and judicious attention."
Absolutely brilliant. Scalable for a large, growing and diverse Federation such as the United STATES. The Electoral College has served us incredibly well since Day One. The Electoral College, for our republic, our Federation of sovereign States, remains timeless.
John Crawford has been a lifelong Constitutional Conservative. He graduated from Michigan State University in Business Administration and worked on his MBA at Western Michigan University. He has been very active in grassroots politics and in volunteer community service organizations his entire career.