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The Man Who Saved the Electoral College




Amid a large push to eliminate the Electoral College in the 1970s, one man stood in the way as a constitutional bulwark. Christopher DeMuth writes:

Modern culture and technology want to organize politics around abstract messaging and universalist enthusiasms, but many traditional forms are still with us. Our two parties retain powerful brand names and powerful instincts for electoral success; our states retain particular histories, identities, and loyalties; and the lives of many citizens remain grounded in local communities and civic institutions. We will continue to debate the merits of the Electoral College, but as a practical matter, its future in the modern age depends on the continuing vitality of national parties, state allegiances, and home-team commitments. The College has protected them — now they must protect the College.

For now, Mike Uhlmann's inspired scholarly intervention has given us a half century of relative electoral peace and constitutional stability and seems likely to keep on giving. As he would have predicted, and for reasons he explained, the imperfections of the Electoral College system still pale in comparison with the imperfections of every direct-election system its critics have managed to come up with. Americans, through their own sound instincts, have followed Mike's admonition in the closing words of the Uhlmann Essay — we will not abandon our political system "because we are angry that the world is not perfect."

[Christopher DeMuth, “The Man Who Saved the Electoral College,” National Affairs, Winter 2020]


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  1. God Bless Mr Uhlmann. I hope more Conservatives will step up and defend the Electoral College against the haters and ignoramuses in the Democratic Party because the Left will use any means they can to destroy the EC and the Constitution.