Some Donald Trump supporters have taunted Democrats by shouting, “We won! You lost! Get over it!” Actually, Hillary Clinton beat Trump by almost 2 million votes. Trump won the presidency only because of an anti-democratic anachronism called the Electoral College .
The Founding Fathers created the Electoral College to remove unpredictable citizens from the selection of the president and to turn the choice over to men (it was always men back then) appointed by state governments. They intended this process to ensure the election of a candidate acceptable to the establishment.
By 1860, all the states had reformed the selection process to provide for direct election of the Electoral College. But the over-representation of small and/or sparsely populated states continued (think Rhode Island or Wyoming). Worse, each state still ran its election as a winner-take-all contest. So Democratic voters in a reliably red state like South Carolina, or Republican voters in a reliably blue state like New York, might as well not bother to vote for president.
Trump claimed the presidency by winning more states by comparatively narrow margins, while Hillary won fewer states but often by big majorities. Thus, Hillary won more votes while Trump won more electors.
Five times in our nation’s history, the candidate with the smaller share of the popular vote has won the presidency (most recently in 2000 when George W. Bush trumped Al Gore). There is no good reason for this perversion of democracy. And Trump supporters should realize there is no popular mandate for his agenda.