“The system is geared to be as much about defeating the opposition as it is about electing our own candidates”
That is the key to what the Founders were thinking. They saw this as the protector of Liberty.
“A two party system like ours means it will be only once or maybe twice in a life time that any of us ever gets to vote for someone we are truly excited about in a national general election.”
Kind of reminds me of the late 19th century. A time of great economic growth. A time when Washington DC was not all that important to people’s lives. Another time like this might be needed right now.
In order to appreciate the reasons for the Electoral College, it is essential to understand its historical context and the problem that the Founding Fathers were trying to solve. They faced the difficult question of how to elect a president in a nation that:
*was composed of thirteen large and small States jealous of their own rights and powers and suspicious of any central national government
*contained only 4,000,000 people spread up and down a thousand miles of Atlantic seaboard barely connected by transportation or communication (so that national campaigns were impractical even if they had been thought desirable)
*believed, under the influence of such British political thinkers as Henry St John Bolingbroke, that political parties were mischievous if not downright evil, and
*felt that gentlemen should not campaign for public office (The saying was "The office should seek the man, the man should not seek the office.").
How, then, to choose a president without political parties, without national campaigns, and without upsetting the carefully designed balance between the presidency and the Congress on one hand and between the States and the federal government on the other?