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The Electoral College
First of all, a  Happy Pesach to all my Jewish readers! May we all have wonderful Seders and no hangovers.  :-p 

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.

This cartoon was largely inspired by reading "The Proslavery Origins of the Electoral College ," by historian Paul Finkelman .  Here's a quote from Finkelman's paper:

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!

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