Reader has different take on origins of Electoral College

Dear Editor,

Regarding the electoral college, you write “the actual reason for that system is to give equality to rural citizens and not just allow the tyranny of majority urban voters to dominate the country.”

But this is, quite simply, totally false. The electoral college neither protects rural voters from urban ones, nor was it intended to. You will not find a single mention of urban and rural voters in the minutes of the Constitutional Conventions, in the Federalist Papers, or in Madison’s extensive notes and letters about the proceedings. And it amazes me that you, a managing editor of a newspaper, would make such a statement, because I am completely certain there is no basis for it, which means you just repeated something you’d heard or read without any fact checking whatsoever. 

The Founders were protecting southern slave states from the popular majority that existed in the north. It had nothing to do with cities and farms; almost everyone in the US lived in rural areas and cities simply were not a factor. Madison was explicit: The northern voters could not be allowed to destroy slavery; were that possible, the south would not ratify the Constitution.

Furthermore, the electoral college in NO WAY protects rural voters. The very small states that benefit the most from the electoral college are mainly URBAN. Rhode Island, Delaware, Alabama, Hawaii: All are mostly urban states and all benefit from the electoral college.

On the other hand, tens of millions of RURAL voters in states like Texas, California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Michigan lose voting power in the electoral college.

I hope you will be more careful and thorough in the future, and you owe your readers a correction. 


Daniel Brezenoff

Long Beach,


(Editor’s Note: An article in The Atlantic magazine makes the same argument, that the issue over the Electoral College was slavery. However, slavery was only one of the factors. Indeed, there were urban areas even in Colonial times such as NYC, Boston and Philadelphia. Today, the polarization between cities and rural areas is greater than ever. My column focused on the desire to eliminate the Electoral College in present day America, thus marginalizing the rural vote in favor of the more liberal cities. I stand by my assertions.)


Conservative voice salute


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