Donald Trump winning the 2016 United States of America Presidential Election via the electoral college was a shock to many people. An even bigger shock to some, was that he did so despite losing the popular vote by 2.7 million. However, this should not be as big of a shock to people as it appears to be. As most people know, the winner of the US presidential race is the candidate who wins 270 votes or more in the electoral college. To accomplish this, candidates mostly disregard states they cannot win or are guaranteed to win, and end up campaigning in about 13 states deemed “swing states”. In every modern election, the winner of these states has won the election, regardless of their margins of victory in the popular vote or in the non-swing states. Really, the current US election is not an election voted upon by the citizens of all 50 states, but instead by the citizens of 13 states (ironically the number of states in the first union) that are not already predetermined. In this way, candidates are not competing for the popular vote, as it has no effect on whether or not they are victorious. Now, after the results of the 2016 election, many people have said that Donald Trump should not win the election and become president, because he did not win the popular vote. Some even go as for to say that he is #notmypresident.
Now, I am opposed to the electoral college, because in my opinion it is an antiquated system designed to limit ignorant citizen participation in government. This system is not appropriate today because our citizens are vastly more educated, and communication between states can be accomplished significantly quicker than it could at the college’s founding. However, the fact of the matter is that our current means of electing the President of the United States is the electoral college, and has been since 1789. For the survival of our democracy, as long as this system is in place its results must be respected. Before the election, when Donald Trump was claiming it could be rigged, critics were quick to say that this proclamation could kill US democracy as we know it, because the loser of the election may not honor the results. The exact same can and should be said about fighting the electoral college result of this election.
Now, it is important to note that Hillary Clinton did accept the result, because she has an understanding of the system, and knows that she lost the vote count she was actually competing for. Unfortunately, many of her supporters refuse to do the same. Many claim that Donald Trump did not win the popular vote, and therefore should not win the election, however with the current system this argument is just illogical. As previously stated, Trump and Clinton were competing in 13 states for electoral votes that could win them the election. They were not competing for every single US vote, looking to win as many as possible. If popular vote were the predetermined means for determining the winner of the election, the outcome could possibly have been very different. For example, two of the most populous states in the US, making up more than 28% of the US population, California and New York, are heavily Democratic. Because of this, Trump did almost no campaigning in them and therefore took boundless losses in them for the popular vote. However, if he had been competing for the popular vote, he would have certainly mobilized his campaign to these areas and the result of the popular vote in a case like this would be impossible to predict. I realize the same can be said about Clinton with Republican states, but the point stands that if the election was won by the popular vote, the result would certainly have differed in some way.
The electoral college can and in my opinion should be abolished for future elections, making the means of electing our president the popular vote. However, the 2016 Presidential election was a competition for the electoral college, and seeing as Donald Trump won this competition, there should be no reason to question his victory. Saying that he is not your president is really saying that this is not your country, because he sure is the president-elect of the United States, soon to be the president. Once more I will just say, Donald Trump did not win this election unfairly or find some strange loophole to steal it from Clinton. He won it fair and square based on the system which has been used to elect presidents since 1789. The same result has occurred in presidential election as recently as 2000, with George Bush winning the electoral college but not the popular vote. It is imperative that the US unite behind its future president, and if anything use their grievances to reform our country for its future, not violently dwell on defeats which are now in the past.
Salty Democrats, please think twice before angrily abusing your keyboard in haste to express your displeasure with me. I do not wish to start a war between party supporters, I only wish people would think twice about the basis of their election before question its results because it is convenient to their cause. Please ask yourself, if Hillary Clinton had won the electoral college and not the popular vote, would you still be angry? If you cannot honestly answer yes to this question, please think twice before angrily lashing out at me. Have a great day, and US citizens remember, he really is your president.
#Notmypresident? by Matthew is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.