All right, here we go. :cracks knuckles:
I'll go out of order here, if you don't mind.
So, if you want to upend the system that has created the most stable form of governance in the history of civilization - one far that has indisputably been more effective at consistently and peacefully transitioning power from one party to the next than any parliamentary setup - it shouldn't be on the back of an emotional plea of "we were robbed" following a difficult campaign.
I argue against the Electoral College every time we vote for president, and was doing it this time around well before the ballots were tallied. It just happens that most people only tend to pay attention to (or write about) the issue when we get this outcome. And sometimes -- call it our limited attention span or our naïveté or a "if it ain't broke don't fix it" mentality -- it takes a substantial event to shock people into action on an issue. See Dylan Roof and the Confederate flag down here in South Cack. So no, I don't think "now's not the time" to talk about the EC. It's the perfect time.
Furthermore, although I would have rather seen a Clinton win over a Trump win, she wasn't my preferred candidate, so to me this is most assuredly not about justice for Hillary.
And it certainly shouldn't be under the guise of "that's racist" as implied by the Vox article. That shit never works out well.
Well, you're confusing "the EC was created to benefit slave states" with "the EC is racist." The EC is not racist; it lacks sentience and affect and other human traits. As a thing, the EC does not regard presidential options and make value judgments about them (more on that later). Like you, I'm wary of casually slinging charges of racism about, especially when it relieves me of having to more deeply understand an issue or phenomenon at play. Similarly, though, we should avoid the easy temptation to dismiss an argument on the grounds that it makes unfounded accusations of racism, when that's not what the argument actually is.
Take a look at the map below.
Yeah, pretty wild. But acreage doesn't get to vote; people do. The map exercise is academic.
If we had a country where, I don't know, 90 percent of the population lived in large cities, would an EC proponent still say "I don't think those city slickers should get to call all the shots"? So what if people live in cities? People live where they choose to live.
Allowing the president to be decided by the major metropolitan areas and no where else would be a kick in the nuts
And I find it to be a kick in the nuts that my vote is reliably changed to an R before it goes up into the EC tally. Just as I imagine a Republican or independent living in Los Angeles doesn't appreciate her vote not being counted in the EC tally.
If an argument for the EC is that dissolving it would marginalize the voters in Montana and Alaska, my response is that it already marginalizes a far greater sum of people than the populations of our smaller, rural states. So every four years Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio get to pick the president, but if you live in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Oklahoma City or any of a million other places, go fuck yourself? Great. Super fair.
Look, I'm amenable to cases for federalism, I really am. And not because I think Alabamans should get to kick around the gays, but because I believe that the more local an action or decision is, the more effective and important it often is as well, and that's worth preserving. (So, yeah, I also realize that federalism cuts both ways. Dammit, life would be so much easier if only I saw everything in black and white.)
But unlike, say, the Senate and how we amend the Constitution (collectively, "S&C" for short), I don't see the EC as being this great bulwark against tyranny of the majority as proponents seem to think it is. Whereas S&C are set up to favor supermajorities (so as to prevent small states from being trampled upon), the EC has no such preference. Indeed, not only does the EC not care whether a candidate gets a really, really big majority of the popular vote, it doesn't care if he or she gets a majority at all. So that seems to have nothing to do with -- if not be completely at odds with -- the notion that sometimes a bare majority isn't enough because we don't want it to be that easy for a losing faction to get trod over.
Consider also that in the case of S&C, you have humans deliberating on the options and a narrow minority is able to stand athwart an outcome if they deem it really bad enough. It's not as though the opposite version of the bill or amendment is automatically passed -- what you get is no action at all. Sorry, majority, sweeten your offer and try again. In the case of the EC, however, we get an outcome no matter what. So that's not an intentional method for keeping the wheels of government from moving at a reckless pace like S&C are; it's just a quirky way to give a minority of voters a win over a majority.
Also the EC (along with the Senate) provides an incentive for the federal government to consider policies that work for the entire country
I think the Vox article pointed this out, but direct popular voting would actually incentivize candidates to take their case to the entire population as opposed to just a few swing states. Again, I say the EC marginalizes far more people today than the abolishment of the EC would next time around. Besides, once presidents get elected they act like the partisans they are without respect to the electoral map that put them in office. They do not represent geographic interests once they hit the Oval.
Now, I'm sympathetic to the "one person, one vote" view that the EC treats a person's vote in Nebraska to be worth more than one in New York.
This is kind of the main thrust of the anti-EC argument, yet I see you don't even address it beyond being "sympathetic" to it.
But if California voters feel like their vote is somehow "less" than someone in South Dakota, maybe they should consider their place in our union and whether or not they want to reevaluate that relationship
Well that's a little drastic, don't you think? That's the "if you don't like it, get the fuck out of the country" response. Actually, Americans have always been well within their rights to argue about how they want their country to be assembled and run. How else would we make any progress on anything?
Finally, one of the greatest logical fallacies practiced by proponents is that the election would have worked out EXACTLY the same in a popular voting system.
See, to me this might be the laziest of the arguments in favor of (or, at least, against being against) the EC. "Well, no one knows for sure if the outcome would have been different, so let's all pipe down." I'm not even interested in claiming that Al Gore or Hillary Clinton would have definitely won a direct election. But guess what's the only way to find out? And it'd still be worth it, for all the reasons outlined.
Lastly, I'll close with this quote from Thomas Jefferson, which has always been a favorite of mine:
I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and Constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.
(edit: Accidentally wrote "majority" where I meant "minority" in one place; fixed.)