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Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College

Recorded on November 18, 2004

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

Opponents of the Electoral College were swift to dismiss the institution as outdated and elitist in the aftermath of the contested 2000 election.  Many politicians, commentators, and academics saw it as an anachronism - an outdated 18th Century concoction no longer relevant to a modern political process.  In order to genuinely "respect the will of the people," this mechanism needed to be replaced by a direct popular vote.  Even in the wake of the less controversial 2004 Presidential race results, calls are heard for abolishing the Electoral College - a well-tested, invaluable inheritance from our Founding Fathers.

In Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College, Tara Ross shows why the critics are indeed wrong.  Tracing the history of the Electoral College from the Constitutional Convention to the present, her book defends this much-maligned institution and explains why the Framers took such pride in their special creation.  While a major newspaper editorial may argue that the 2004 election result necessitates getting rid of the Electoral College, the case could not be clearer - the Electoral College does not ignore the will of the people.  Quite the contrary, it is a valuable, important and essential part of America's republican democracy, key to protecting our republic and promoting our liberty.