“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” –James Madison, Federalist No. 51
“It is bad policy to fear the resentment of an enemy.”
~ Ethan Allen,
A system of checks and balances. This is our Republic. A government for the people, by the people.
While the musical strands of Schoolhouse Rock dance through our memories, its easy to forget that all the participants within the Republic are subject to these checks and balances, including the people by and for which the government derives it’s power. Yes, even the citizen cannot have Liberty without responsibility.
The citizenry without checks upon it’s will, or more specifically, it’s whim, face the tendency to regress toward anarchy. Not willing to inhibit the individual liberty of any free citizen but keenly aware to guard against mob rule, the Founders rejected Pure or Direct Democracy in favor of a Republic. Benjamin Franklin warned in our national infancy that we were, “ A Republic, if we can keep it.”
The “keep it” is the diligence to the responsibilities and burdens of Liberty. The maintaining of checks and balances. For it’s dual purpose, a balance and check is clearly reflected in the Electoral College.
Without the Electoral College, elections would be decided by heavily populated urban areas and rural America would be ignored. By design, this electoral system insures that all geographical areas of the Republic would be represented equally. The Founding Fathers also knew, by their careful study of history, that the cities were more susceptible to the frequent popular swings of the political pendulum.
Those who can conjure the grievance, inflame the crowds, and ride the populace swell of emotion hold the power in a Direct Democracy. This is why those in political power wish to abolish the Electoral College. Like with the gerrymandered voting system of Ranked Choice Voting, it is a thinly veiled attempt to silence the vote and voice of rural America.
“In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.” -John Adams