As a kid, I was taught that the purpose of the Electoral College was to protect the small states. But that's nonsense: the biggest beneficiary of the Electoral College, in the Framers' time, was Virginia, which was also the largest state. The aim of the Electoral College was to protect the Southern States, and to protect slavery.
The most influential delegate, Madison argued that “the people at large” were “the fittest” to choose the president. But “one difficulty . . . of a serious nature” made election by the people impossible. Madison noted that the “right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of the Negroes.” In order to guarantee that the nonvoting slaves could nevertheless influence the presidential election, Madison favored the creation of the electoral college.
Hugh Williamson of North Carolina was more open about the reasons for southern opposition to a popular election of the president. He noted that under a direct election of the president, Virginia would not be able to elect her leaders president because “[h]er slaves will have no suffrage.” The same of course would be true for the rest of the South.
None of the records we have indicate that the framers even discussed protecting the interests of small states when electing the President. That wasn't a consideration.
Drawingwise, the fun part of this cartoon was drawing Madison's outfit, which is pretty much one of the outfits worn in the musical Hamilton. At least to my eyes, Madison really did have a sharp pointy nose, although of course I've exaggerated it by a thousand. I could have drawn several delegates to be Madison's straight man here, but I chose Rutledge because I wanted to draw his huge puff of a hairdo.
Thanks, as always, to my patrons; this is a slightly bizarre subject for a political cartoonist to take (a lot of my collegues spent today drawing something about United Airlines). The support I get from you folks is what allows me to take my own path, and I really appreciate it.
And extra-special thanks to supporter Mike Schluckebier, who - as a $10 supporter - is occasionally thanked in the sidebar, as he is in this strip. Thanks, Mike! Let me know if you'd like a high-res file for printing out.
I'm not going to post this in public until Thursday, so you folks can see it early. But, as usual, if you're supporting at the $5 or above level, feel free to copy the image and start sharing it now!