Democratize the greatest democracy - Greg Gelpi

Now that the dust has settled, campaign "promises" are long forgotten and the tide of pending litigation has at least momentarily subsided, it's time for politicians to regroup, return to work and fix the election process.

It amazes me looking back on college days gone by how a few college kids could run an election, but a nation of 228 year can't. As a senator on my university's student government, I served on the elections committee and helped oversee one of the school's busiest elections.

The student government placed a controversial referendum on the ballot. The referendum charged a sizable fee to students to construct a new recreation complex, one which many of those students would probably never see despite paying for the project.

To make a long story short, we had a massive turnout. Despite this, there were no hanging chads, no disenfranchised voters and no electorates.

Droves upon droves voted in near record numbers for this presidential election, yet there was the same number of votes cast for president.

I'll pause, so you can read back over that statement again...

In fact, here's another statement to ponder. You, me and the millions of other voters didn't vote for president Tuesday.

You may think that you did, you may tell others that you did, but you didn't.

Sorry to break the news to you, but the government doesn't allow peons such as us to vote for president. Instead, we are merely blessed with the opportunity to vote for electorates, who in turn vote for president.

Now that politicians are locked into their jobs for the coming term, they have no special interest groups or "special" groups of constituents to please and appease.

With a little less than four years to go until our next presidential election, I challenge someone, anyone to spearhead efforts to restore democracy to the world's leading democratic nation.

The Electoral College should be and must be abolished and wiped from history books like an embarrassing blight on this nation.

I similarly challenge anyone anywhere to present even a halfway cogent argument in favor of having a pseudo-democratic process disguising itself as democracy.

Why aren't we, the common folk, worthy enough, intelligent enough, to vote directly for our president?

The way I see it is that this country is fluid, continually evolving. The next evolution should shed the skin of the Electoral College and develop into a true democracy.

Democracy 101 says that the political system is one ruled by the people. If you whip out the ole magnifying glass you'll see an itty bitty asterisk that notes in America "the people" are "the electorate," not a vast nation of millions, but a select few.

And this isn't some petty academic ethereal argument. Just recall the 2000 presidential election.

For the record, I'm not an Al Gore fan, before I'm so accused of being. It's a fact, though, that more people voted for Gore than for George W. Bush. More electorates, though, voted for Bush.

If we're a democracy, we should be a democracy. If not, we shouldn't pretend to be.

Greg Gelpi covers education for the News Daily. He can be reached at ggelpi@news-daily.com or (770) 478-5753 .