BY MEGHAN RYAN '17
Every U.S. presidential election, there is rhetoric regarding the Electoral College and the extent to which a vote actually counts. In layman’s terms, the Electoral College is the body that directly votes for the president. ‘Normal’ citizens, on the other hand, can simply cast their vote in support of the number of electors awarded to a certain party. If there is a majority of Republican support, the Republican electors are awarded the opportunity to cast their vote for, presumably, the Republican candidate. The number of electors for each state is determined after adding the number of federal representatives and senators to which the specific state is entitled.
With this, the popular vote is left in the background as a small reminder of the potentials of democracy. Clinton won big states that were always going to go Democrat, like California and New York. However, their electoral votes were fixed from the beginning. Clinton won both states with 20 to 30 percent margins in the popular vote. And although Trump took the majority of states, Clinton earned enough votes to come within 1 percentage point of winning four different key swing states. These factors put her in the lead of the popular vote with 202,340 more votes than our new president-elect.
As truly awful as this is, the irony of the situation should not be lost in our dismay. His platform ran on the promise of breaking down the political establishment, and threatened to contest the results had he not won. It has been said that he is the people’s choice, regardless of how disastrous it could be for marginalized individuals. However, that is simply not true. Clinton was the people’s choice, the popular vote. The establishment itself is what awarded the Oval Office to the most fascist major party candidate in American history. Yes the system worked the way it is supposed to, but the system was never supposed to give ‘normal’ citizens a voice. Trump is not who America voted for, and he will never be my president.