It’s mind-boggling how one play on Broadway could so distort history in the minds of the left.
Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah wanted to know what was up with the Electoral College, so on “The Daily Show,” he decided to talk the matter over with a tiny, fictionalized Thomas Jefferson. Nevermind that it was Alexander Hamilton, who defended the system in Federalist 68.
On the show, Jefferson explained the idea behind the Electoral College was “to ensure America would never elect a dangerous, charismatic lunatic” or a “populist demagogue,” to run the country. Mr. Noah then said the model didn’t work out too well, considering the Electoral College secured a victory for “a racist white guy” over a more qualified woman who won the popular vote.
“Sounds like it’s working perfectly,” replied the tiny Jefferson on the show.
What an embarrassment.
It was Jefferson who wrote to James Madison in 1787, “[I]t is my principle that the will of the majority should prevail.” And he argued for an all-counts “ward” system for the most direct citizen say.
But since Jefferson is a hero to the right, he must be demonized.
It was Hamilton — who has become a political cultural icon to the left by the play “Hamilton” — who actually argued for and defended the Electoral College. At the time, Jefferson was the informal leader of the Democratic-Republicans — a party that challenged Hamilton’s political views.
When the Electoral College was first adopted, Hamilton said it was the most important part of the Constitution that escaped severe censure, calling the system “be not perfect, it is at least excellent.”
In Federalist 68, Hamilton argued because the Electoral College discounts “low intrigue and the little arts of popularity,” there was a “moral certainty” or a “constant probability” that the office of the president will almost always be filled by “characters preeminent for ability and virtue.”
Sounds like Mr. Noah would’ve been better served speaking to Hamilton.
But, that would’ve meant actually sticking to history, and not trying to rewrite it based on popular culture and leftist perceived norms.