Episode 78: Let The People Pick The President
Wouldn’t it be thrilling to go to the polls on Election Day, regardless of what U.S. state you live in, knowing your vote and voice will count just as much as everyone else's? In this latest episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast, host Michael Shields meticulously examines the role the Electoral College plays in elections through an interview with Supreme Court journalist and New York Times editorial board member Jesse Wegman. Wegman recently penned the insightful and important book Let The People Pick The President, a thoroughly researched and engaging call to arms that makes a powerful case for abolishing the antiquated and antidemocratic Electoral College. In Let the People Pick the President he demonstrates how as citizens we can at long last make every vote in the United States count — and restore belief in our democratic system.
To this day, millions of voters, and even members of Congress, misunderstand how the Electoral College works. Twice in the last five elections, the Electoral College has overridden the popular vote, calling the integrity of the entire system into question — and creating a false picture of a country divided into red and blue blocks. In this episode, Michael and Jesse delve into how the Electoral College functions and the way in which it was conceived by the Founding Fathers. They also examine the many myths associated with its workings, how the Popular Vote could eventually be implemented in choosing the president (hint: The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is involved), and ultimately, what the United States would look like when the final obstacle from the imperfections and built-in equalities of the nation’s founding was eradicated for good. Essentially they ask: How can we tolerate the Electoral College when every vote does not count the same, and the candidate who gets the most votes can lose?