… there’s a very good reason why America doesn’t choose its chief executive by popular vote. That’s because democracy, at least in its pure form, doesn’t work.
Sure, it might be a helpful tool for a group of friends deciding where to eat lunch, or a dozen board members choosing a new executive, but it’s no way to run a country.
The Founders knew this well, having read their classical history.
The world’s first democracy was ancient Athens, which allowed around 30,000 free adult male citizens to choose their leaders. They made up less than 15 percent of the population, but it was the most egalitarian political innovation to date.
It didn’t take long for the system to implode amid rampant corruption, an economic downturn, immigration headaches and unpopular foreign wars. (Sound familiar?) The plan of “one man, one vote” devolved into a kind of mob rule, the populace veering with wild swings of opinion. Voters overthrew leaders, exiled the unpopular, and executed generals and politicians – even Socrates himself.