It’s ironic that the measure put in the Constitution to prevent an unqualified person from assuming the presidency was instrumental in causing that very thing to happen.
The Founding Fathers were wary of direct election by the people, and understandably so. Most people were illiterate in those days. There was no radio or TV. All they knew about a candidate was what they saw and heard from him directly.
The Founders worried that some charismatic, but unqualified person — or worse, a Jim Jones or David Koresh — would sway the public. So they created the Electoral College, envisioned to be a group of learned men who would override the popular vote if they deemed it necessary.
That objective has been thwarted by state laws that require electors to copy the popular vote and by the winner-take-all rules that most states use. Those two elements resulted in Donald Trump being president after having gained nearly 3 million fewer votes than his opponent. He was elected by the Electoral College — the institution designed to keep him out.
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