The Whitewashed Reality Behind the Electoral College: An Institution Set Up to Protect Slavery / December 9, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |

The Whitewashed Reality Behind the Electoral College: An Institution Set Up to Protect Slavery – In an article aptly titled “The Proslavery Origins of the Electoral College,” legal historian Paul Finkelman writes, “the records of the [founding Constitutional] Convention show that in fact the connection between slavery and the [Electoral] college was deliberate, and very much on the minds of many delegates, including James Madison.”1 The real impetus behind the Electoral College was to multiply the influence of slaveholders on U.S. politics. The people who wrote the U.S. Constitution aimed to create a unified, powerful state that could stand up to domination or interference by European powers, carry out genocide and theft of land from the Native peoples, and enforce exploitation in the form of capitalist wage-slavery as well as outright enslavement of Black people. And in order to forge that “more perfect union,” concessions were made to give representatives of the slave owners disproportionate influence in government. The Electoral College was a key part of that. In the midst of debate among the “Founding Fathers” over how to elect the President, James Madison argued that “the people at large” were “the fittest” to choose the president. His proposal was consistent with a foundational cohering myth in the history and present-day reality of the United States—that this is a country founded in the interests of “We the people…” In Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, Bob Avakian digs deeply into how the rulers of this country have aligned significant sections of white people in the U.S. to identify with the exploitive, oppressive ruling class. And how dehumanizing and excluding Black people and Native Americans from any rights at all fits into that picture. And he shines a light on the profound implications of that for today. (Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy is available from the publisher, RCP Publications; from Revolution Books in NYC and Berkeley; and from and other online book vendors.)

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