Will the flawed electoral college bestow the American presidency to a convicted felon? The world is watching



Today, former President Donald J. Trump was convicted on 34 felony charges related to hush money and the 2016 presidential election. Not that many years ago, being a convicted felon running for almost any office, especially the American presidency, was a political death sentence. 

But since that day in 2015 when Trump descended on his gold escalator, American society has been roiled and turned inside out. We find ourselves with an unenviable possibility that a convicted felon could be the next American president. 

But here we are.

Thanks to the peculiarities of the Electoral College, Trump could well win his contest against President Joe Biden. We can thank the founding fathers for this glaring flaw in our democracy. 

Since 1992, only one Republican presidential candidate, George W. Bush in 2004, has won the popular vote and the Electoral College. Yet, Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 to Al Gore, but thanks to the Florida count, with help from the U.S. Supreme Court, he won the Electoral College and became president.

Likewise, Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by a wide margin in 2016. However, because of the Electoral College, he became president.

While Trump lost the popular vote and electoral college to Biden in 2020, it was by narrow margins. It boiled down to a handful of states that Biden prevailed over Trump,

Put another way, Biden could win 90 percent of the popular vote in blue states like California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York and overwhelm Trump by in the popular vote. But if Biden loses by even just one popular vote in any combination of the so-called 2020 swing states like Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, he could have the popular vote but, like Gore and Clinton, lose the presidency because of the Electoral College. 

Trump has so changed American politics that being a convicted felon has gone from a political death sentence to being a badge of honor. With obedient supporters in just a handful of states aided by the Electoral College, a convicted felon could ascend to the American presidency.

Much has been written about Trump's narcissism, his attacks on the institutions that give our country strength, and his dictatorial desires and what they mean for our democracy. Ultimately, a Trump victory will again highlight the flawed Electoral College and, more significantly, the low-value of our democracy held by just enough Americans. 

The future of American democracy is on the ballot this November. The world is watching.  

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