In the first installment, Miller challenged the popular trope that ‘checks and balances’ in American politics serves to limit power, protect liberty, or promote the balance between the interests of political minorities and majorities. The stark example of Donald J. Trump’s election, despite his loss of the majority vote and limited support within his own party, highlight just how out of touch this trope is.
Immediately after the 2016 election, defenders of the Electoral College repeated the standard laudatory claims about its value everywhere. In these arguments, the Electoral College is one of the many features of our Constitution that effectively neutralizes power by balancing the rights of the minority against those of the majority. But this conventional view is simply wrong.