The Electoral College was used to select the presidency rather than the popular vote because 1)a lot of framers distrusted democracy and 2)a lot of framers wanted slave states to gain representation from human beings that were held as property by other human beings. It is a completely indefensible system, but it generates defenses because 1)anything that is part of the Perfect Constitution developed by the Infallible Founding Fathers will generate a defense and 2)Republicans have gotten two presidencies they didn’t win out of it in the last 20 years.
The Federalist has an entry in defending the indefensible that’s particularly derpy:
The second charge, the charge of racism, is more subtle. The claim that the college is racist can be made two ways. First, that the college was designed as racist by giving more clout to slave states than they would have had under a popular vote model. Second, that boosting the influence of low-population states today effectively boosts the whiter states in the nation.
The former claim is plausible because Southern states did effectively have more representation through the college than they might have had under a popular vote of all free persons. But the oft-maligned Three-Fifths Clause was designed to limit the influence of slave states in congressional apportionment. Since congressional apportionment determines the number of a state’s electors—one for each representative and senator in Congress—limiting Southern representation in Congress limited their representation in the Electoral College.
The Three-Fifths Clause only benefitted the Slave Power in the elections of the House of Representatives and the presidency, so really it wasn’t all that racist at all! OK. I’m beginning to wonder if this guy’s grasp of history might be limited…
Oh dear. The best part is that as of this writing this thing has been up for two days and still no editor at the Federalist has noticed the mistake. The Party of Ideas (TM), ladies and gentlemen!
At this point, I’ll just turn it over to Chait.