US Democracy hacked? One person one vote, the Electoral College and the 3/5th clause

electoral-college

The Electoral College victory of Donald Trump over the popular vote winner Hilary Clinton not only exposed the general unfairness and undemocratic nature of the US election process but also revealed the depth of the vestiges of US slavery.

One man/woman one vote has been the mantra of democracy the world over. When the US has overseen elections in the Third World they have enacted this principle. So why not the US? It’s anyone guess but there is likely some truth in the idea that the Electoral College serves to safeguard the Ruling Class from the eventuality that the people will rise up and rebel against the one party system posing as two (Democrats and Republicans) and vote for a candidate and platform consistent with their needs and wants.

Advocates for the Electoral College who support it for the sake of democracy and fairness somehow conclude that it’s fair to allow people in different parts of the country have their votes weigh more than others. But this is why the Electoral College has to be gotten rid of, it discriminates against the more populated and urban areas of the country. What a coincidence.

However, the point of voting is for everyone to have equal say, to get some kind of representation in return, to have a real voice in the political, economic, social affairs of the federal or state or local  government.

Strangely the Democrats seem to passively accept their fate. It seems much more hell should have been raised by the Clinton campaign after winning the election by nearly 3 million votes. The Democratic Party campaign of Al Gore in 2000 was equally as quiet after winning the popular vote, even after it was revealed that vote tampering had occurred and people were purposely kept from the polls.

Amateur historians of late have been insisting that the Electoral College sprang from a desire to maintain States rights, or the desire to allow smaller states to have more influence, but they are guilty of historical revisionism.

The Electoral College is deeply rooted in the desire of the Southern slave states to maintain their slavocracy.  When examining the debate among those attending the Constitutional Convention it is clear that a compromise was necessary, so that the major Slave holding states would feel comfortable belonging to the union and have a real stake in it, as well as significant political power.

Ironically the Southern slave states thought it unfair that they had the largest population, but would not have the influence or the political weight that their population should bring. At least half of the population of the major slave States were enslaved.

Now consider the mental and psychological gymnastics that this required, never mind the nerve.  What the Virginian, North  and South Carolinian, Maryland and Georgian slave owners wanted was to continue labeling their slaves as property  (thus depriving them of  their rights including the unalienable rights supposedly afforded all human beings) while at the same time counting them as human beings to buttress their power.

This paradox was brought on because in 1787 and until slavery ended in the US, those in bonds were considered property: chattel: Thus the term “chattel” slavery.

Unfortunately, there could be no real union if compromises were not made. The slave states were afraid that one person one vote would mean that they would be outvoted by the larger voter eligible populated Northern states, which could have meant the end of the slave trade and eventually the institution of slavery. Women, Blacks and White men without property were not allowed to vote.

“No Slave Trade, No Union” was the rallying cry of South Carolina and Georgia.

Consequently, the Electoral College was a compromise allowing the slave States to count five slaves as equal to three free people (the 3/5th clause) in order to increase the South’s representation in Congress. So even in choosing the president the political power gained from the ownership of slaves would be factored into the electoral votes of each state.

Many like to refer to 3/5th clause as evidence of how poorly Black slaves were viewed even by the early leaders. Truth is 3/5th was a step up. Black slaves were considered not as humans but as property!

James Madison commenting on the compromise at the time said, “The people at large” [are] “the fittest” [to choose the president, because] “the people generally could only know and vote for some Citizen whose merits had rendered him an object of general attention and esteem.” .

When Donald Trump is sworn in as the “unelected” next president it will be more proof of the hypocrisy and contradictions of US democracy which in truth is nothing more than a republic run by the wealthy; thus a plutocracy.

justice then peace

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