History Podcasts

#139: The Electoral College Isn't an Outdated 18th-Century Relic; It Keeps America From Falling Apart-Tara Ross

#139: The Electoral College Isn't an Outdated 18th-Century Relic; It Keeps America From Falling Apart-Tara Ross

The Electoral College is one of the most confusing-and, after the 2016 election, contentious-parts of American democracy. After losing two of the past five presidential races in the Electoral College (EC), Democrats are determined to never let it happen again. And many Americans-on both the left and the right-find it to be a confusing and antiquated system we would do well to get rid of.

But others think it's an indispensable part of American democracy. One of them is today's guest, Tara Ross, a legal scholar and author of The Indispensable Electoral College: How the Founders' Plan Saves Our Country from Mob Rule. Tara argues the EC is neither outdated nor unfair-and the stability of the United States depends on it.

She argues the Founding Fathers knew what they were doing. They ingeniously balanced the will of the majority and the interests of minorities, avoiding the instability that has bedeviled every other democracy.

In this interview we discuss:

  • Why the Electoral College safeguards national unity

  • How the Electoral College prevents political crises in tight elections

  • How the Founders came up with the Electoral College-and why they thought it was so important

  • Why the Electoral Colege was meant to be more important than the popular vote

  • Why the Electoral College doesn't favor one party over the other

  • Why the Electoral College is inappropriately-and incorrectly-labeled a “relic of slavery”

ABOUT TARA ROSS

Tara Ross has spent much of her legal career studying and defending the Electoral College. She is the author of two previous books, Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College and We Elect a President: The Story of Our Electoral College and her tutorial “Do You Understand the Electoral College?” is one of Prager University's most popular videos ever, with more than fifty million views. She has written for the National Law Journal, USA Today, the Washington Times, National Review, and the Weekly Standard.

RESOURCES FOR THIS EPISODE

The Indispensable Electoral College: How the Founders' Plan Saves Our Country from Mob Rule

Tara Ross's website

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