THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC
Why we have representative government - not a democracy.
(Added to this website on 11/24/16.)
The U.S. Constitution
The U.S. Constitution is a contract that was signed by the Sovereign States on September 17, 1787. Some of the Sovereign States were very reluctant to ratify it until it was agreed that a some amendments would be added which now constitute our Bill of Rights. Ten amendments of the Bill of Rights were added, and about a year after the signing, the last State ratified the contract. The States refused to give up their sovereignty to a strong central government unless there was no requirement in the Constitution to prevent them from seceding in the event that they were bullied by a majority of States.
The Other Check to Create Balance
The American Civil War was never a "civil war". It was a war between two sovereign nations that was started by the North when it began to increase its occupation of the South by reinforcing Fort Sumter. The rape of the South was being accomplished by economic means. See Remedies. According to the Constitution, every Sovereign State had the right to nullify unconstitutional federal laws or to secede from the union. The federal government exceeded its authority under the Constitution which had no provision to keep States within the union. The Supreme Court ruled otherwise at one point, but that was like having the fox decide who could visit the hen house.
The United States has two houses of Congress, one executive branch, and the judicial branch which together provided most of checks and balances necessary for a nation to remain free. The rights to nullify or to secede were stolen by the industrial north and Lincoln, and the victors adjusted history to suit themselves.
The Electoral College
Each Sovereign State signed the Constitution with the understanding that the Electoral College would have electors chosen by each individual State by methods created by that particular State. Any movement to use the popular vote for national elections must require an amendment to the Constitution, and most of the Sovereign States would object to this because it would be one more means to take away the rights of the Sovereign States by an overreaching federal government.
The Electoral College was chosen by the founding fathers rather than a popular vote because using a popular vote would create a pure democracy. A pure democracy is the worst form of dictatorship because it is literally mob rule. Even so, there are instances today like the one in New Jersey when I was there. The majority voted for the dairy farmers and the transients (military) to pay most of their taxes. That is one of several reasons that I decided to leave the military. I decided that the crooked and greedy civilians did not deserve my putting my life in danger most of the time. Obama and his minions have caused more of this to the point that our volunteer military has difficulty finding its needed volunteers.
As an example, suppose there are three voters in a small nation. Bob has a motorcycle factory, Terry has a horse ranch, and Jim has a dairy farm. Terry and Jim decide that motorcycles make too much noise, so they vote to eliminate motorcycles. The Bob and Jim decide that horse manure breeds flies, so they vote to eliminate horses. The Bob and Terry don't want to pay taxes, so they vote that dairy farmers pay all the taxes. This is pure democracy, majority rule. Everyone loses, the worst form of dictatorship.
Today, the Electoral College has 538 electors. It takes 270 electoral votes to win a national election. Each Sovereign State chooses (1) how their electors are elected, (2) the qualifications of their electors, and (3) the restrictions as who the electors may vote. Most States have a "winner-take-all" set-up, so that the most electoral votes for the State serve as the vote for all electors of the State. Some of the States have proportional electoral votes so that all electors have a say in an election. The point is that each State has its own way to contribute to the electoral college.
The Electoral College Philosophy
The bell curve for our population means that the majority of the people are not very well qualified to make many of our political decisions. They may be better qualified to choose those who can make political decisions, those who are specialists. So our Congressmen (or women), our senators, our presidents, our electors, etc. are chosen to represent us. Such representatives are supposed to be honest, wise, and knowledgable about their job.
Considering the track record of our politicians, the above may seem ludicrous, but the founding fathers may not have been expecting career politicians to take over. Even so, the electors seem to be doing their jobs well. For example, when the Ted Cruz people told them that Ben Carson was throwing in the towel and asking that the votes for Carson should go to Cruz, some of the electors gave their votes to Cruz. As it turned out, the Cruz people had lied and Cruz made out better by eliminating Carson and having a stronger showing against Trump. But the point is that the electors were honest and able to make decisions on their own without going back to the voters. They had no idea that Cruz people were liars and cheats (probably because Cruz wanted them to be such). The liars and cheats should all be given long jail terms, but the voters corrected the problem to some extent by ultimately eliminating Ted Cruz when the truth came out. The electors were honest and trustworthy enough, as they usually are.
Why Use "Democracy"
We are not a democracy. However, for many decades the Marxists/Communists/Progressives have been adjusting our language to suit themselves. The original progressives, for instance, were Teddy Roosevelt types. The original liberals were completely different types than those today. The American communists appropriated the names "progressive" and "liberal" to confuse us. The "progressive" press also appropriated the color blue and gave the Republicans the color red which was the name for communists. Part of the communist plan was to call our government a democracy. Since the democrats were more easily taken over by the communist party, it was advantageous to call our republic a democracy. Look at the words in the Pledge of Allegiance to see what we are. Of course, that is partly why they want the Pledge of Allegiance to be discontinued in our schools.