So let’s look at this dispassionately and with an eye to some inconsistencies that are uncomfortably popping up. Yes, she got more votes than he did, but the compactness of the votes, as it were, is what pushed the election over to him (you can talk about not visiting Wisconsin even once another time). The Electoral College was designed to keep one faction from exerting undue influence over the nation. Ultra simplified version: let’s say we’re popular vote-only and I’m a Democrat. I know I’m going to win New York and California under the EC, but I make a campaign promise that will put an extra $100,000 in the pocket of every Republican in those states and get five million more votes in a way that would not change the EV one bit but would swing even a moderately close popular vote election. You can make up other versions of this in ways that give additional power to, say, regions of the country that would typically support your opponent’s party. Caveat: this can also work under the EC: in 1876, Hayes got the disputed Florida electoral votes in exchange for a promise to dismantle Reconstruction.
Hamilton and Madison would volubly disapprove of the 21st century Electoral College, because they argued that the Constitution mandates that the electors should have complete discretion over whom they shall cast their ballot. Progressives: are you sure you want this? You can certainly make the case that it’s constitutional, but it’s not terribly, well, progressive. After the messy 1824 election, this began to be glided over, and morphed into its current rubber-stamp form. It’s not entirely fair to say that the EC is doing the opposite of what it was meant to do now on the basis of one election, but it’s an understandable discussion to have, particularly as the modern EC is essentially little more than a formality, rather than the deliberative body it was designed to be. Our Founders did not want to put too much power in the hands of the people, so they created an Electoral College to act as a check and balance against it. This is not exactly what they had in mind, but it’s what the EC has become, and you’re stuck with it for now. Things like the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact exist to get a state to pledge all its electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote; so far, only reliably Democratic states have signed on. As it would reduce the influence of swing states, don’t expect it to happen.
In the Electoral College, no elector is required by federal law to honor a pledge (though various states have statutes of their own creating different penalties for a faithless elector–you won’t be able to get away with it in Michigan), but remember how upset many of you got when one guy in Washington said he wouldn’t cast his ballot for Sec. Clinton if she won the state. Are you sure you want enough electors to switch their votes, five days after that kerfuffle?
Also, if, as polls have consistently shown, roughly 70% of Americans want to eliminate the Electoral College, why the hell haven’t you? Well?
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