Although Donald Trump won the Electoral College (tentatively), Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by over 2 million votes. This demonstrates that based on the truest form of democracy, Clinton was the more favored candidate. The “truest form of democracy,” in this case, means a system in which one person equals one vote. In this form of democracy, people truly believe that their vote matters and that they can effectively cause change on the local, state and federal level. This ideology is extremely crucial to Americans keeping faith in the American political process and to encourage millennials to stay politically active. As long as people feel represented by voting, they will actively want to participate in the political process. The main solution to creating more fortitude and conviction in democracy is abolishing the Electoral College and adopting popular vote as soon as possible.
With the results of the 2016 election still being debated, there is a lot of discussion about getting rid of such an obsolete and regressive system in order to have more legitimate voting results. One of the most notable attempts at that is California’s Senator Barbara Boxer’s proposal of a bill to the U.S. Senate aimed toward starting the process of abolishing the Electoral College. Boxer went on to support her action by saying, “In my lifetime, I have seen two elections where the winner of the general election did not win the popular vote. In 2012, Donald Trump tweeted, ‘The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.’ I couldn’t agree more. One person, one vote!”
There also exists a growing momentum to abolish the Electoral College from American voters who voted in 2016 according to a recent poll done by Civis Analytics, where 62 percent of voters would prefer the candidate to be the one who gets the most votes.
From a historical context, abolishing the Electoral College is not a new idea and has been in the minds of politicians since the 1930s. As far back as 1934, then-Senator Alben Barkley, a Democrat from Kentucky, pushed forward a vote to abolish the Electoral College but it failed by two votes.Two votes in Congress is something that can be persuaded and can ultimately allow for the American people to have the most legitimate form of democracy (in terms of voting) that America has ever seen. Additionally, as more millennials and the younger generation become more involved with political processes they are going to demand to be represented in voting and to not be overlooked. Being a millennial myself, I would attribute this desire to have our voices heard in voting to the idea that Americans should be acknowledged in the political process of the country they reside in. One person, one vote is a raw and passionate statement to challenge the traditions of the political establishment and to create a more inclusive and welcoming political process to all Americans with the right to vote.
As we saw with the divisiveness of the 2016 election, many Americans have a very feeble belief in the validity of our political process. Thus, politics and political affairs seem like topics for highly educated people and can be exclusive in nature. Additionally, there is not enough political education in primary and secondary schools and thus millions of Americans are apathetic when election years roll around. In regards to the Electoral College, it bears the question of why party-selected electorates should decide the election of the American president and not the American people. If America truly believed in democracy and the “power of the people,” then they would overturn this 18th century creation and modernize the voting process. After all, what in America is still the same today, in 2016, as it was in 1787? America is still called America, white people still hold the majority of power and Native Americans are still fighting the U.S. government for their land, but the majority of America has changed pretty drastically. The political process should be amended with the changing times in America so the American people will stand behind and support their political process.
America is no longer a homogenous nation and non-white Americans, like myself, have more rights than ever before and with those rights we are combating against a dated system of voting that creates voter suppression and a powerful distaste to politics. Also, as our nation continues to change and develop, we need more Americans, especially non-white Americans, to become more educated about the political processes of this country and to truly trust that their votes actually matter. Once individuals believe that their votes matter, they will be encouraged to participate in politics in order to change the system and ameliorate it for an ever-changing America.