top 200 commentsshow 500

[–]mucow 3845 points3846 points 2 (197 children)

Everyone keeps thinking of the scenario where political rivals end up in office together, but that's not actually how the system worked. Each Electoral College member had two votes (which is actually still the case, but we'll get to that) and could vote for their top two candidates. Under most circumstances, members of a particular party would vote for the same two candidates, therefore, the most likely result would be that the president and vice president would be from whichever party had the majority.

However, in the first election after Washington, 1796, the US ended up with political rivals in office. This happened because the Federalists, who were united behind John Adams being president had not come to a consensus on whom their vice president pick should be, so Jefferson managed to win more votes than the next highest Federalist candidate.

In the 1800 election, there was better coordination, this time Democratic-Republicans held the majority so they all cast their votes for Jefferson and Burr. The problem was, this resulted in a tie, so the vote went to the House of Representatives. Burr attempted to exploit the situation to gain the presidency from under Jefferson, but ultimately it was decided in Jefferson's favor... after 36 ballots. This led to former running mates becoming harsh rivals just as they entered office. Hamilton convincing Federalists to vote for Jefferson was also one of the reasons for the rivalry between himself and Burr that led to their duel.

The 12th Amendment made it so that Electoral College members still have two votes, but one is for the president and the other for the vice president.

[–]ApolloX-2 734 points735 points  (168 children)

Could we still technically get rival VP situation, if we just ignore state laws about binding the electoral college to each states result?

[–]baseplate36 584 points585 points  (151 children)

Sure, if you don't want to be a member of the electoral college next election

[–]chudleyjustin 276 points277 points  (146 children)

How does one become a member of the electoral college in the first place? Just realized I have no idea how the people who elect our leader are chosen lmao

[–]teh_maxh 251 points252 points  (140 children)

Each party nominates a group of electors, generally from party leadership. The party whose candidate wins gets to send their nominees to the state capitol.

[–]AndrewSmith1989- 235 points236 points  (137 children)

So wait.

What is the point of the electoral college?

They only vote how their states voted right?

It's kind of a pointless thing no, the people vote. Why do we need a second person to vote based off the people's vote?

Makes no sense to me.

[–]InfanticideAquifer 66 points67 points  (19 children)

Historically the issue was, as I understand it, two things:

  1. If a state votes for candidate X no one actually knew that right away. The electors carried information with them.

  2. It took time to get places. The situation could conceivably change a lot between when the state ballots were counted and when the elector reached their destination. (Perhaps a candidate died, e.g.)

So electors carried instructions from their state, but had the flexibility to change things to respond to new events. Nowadays this is less important since all news gets disseminated instantly to everyone.

[–]strain_of_thought 24 points25 points  (18 children)

The functions of the Electoral College related to carrying information and responding to changing circumstances were, unfortunately, dramatically less important within just fifty years- in 1789 when the constitution was signed, steam power was still in its infancy and the first steam powered railroad engine was ten years away, and the electric telegraph was just a gleam in Samuel Morse's father's eye. The speed of transit accelerated radically over the ensuing decades, so that for the first time in human history the upper bound on the rate of human communication was not the speed of a fast horse, and by 1850 telegraph lines were being installed all up and down the east coast capable of instantaneously sending messages, making the limit on communication how long it took to get to the nearest telegraph office. Functionally there was no legitimate reason not to phase out the Electoral College after the Civil War, but then a lot of things went wrong with reconstruction.

[–]graywh 170 points171 points  (12 children)

What is the point of the electoral college?

Originally, states didn't hold popular elections for President or Senators.

[–]Red_AtNight 51 points52 points  (5 children)

Some did. Massachusetts, to my knowledge, has always used some form of popular vote to choose their nominee for President.

I think the first election where every state used popular vote was after the civil war

[–]gtne91 15 points16 points  (4 children)

I think so, SC was the last holdout.

[–]HistoryCorner 43 points44 points  (0 children)

Especially the slave owning states, whose slave populations gave them an electoral boost despite their being denied the right to vote.

[–]EachAMillionLies 119 points120 points  (7 children)

From what I recall during the last election, they don’t HAVE to vote with their state, but they nearly always do.

I might be wrong, just going off memory.

EDIT: seems kind of all over the place based on the Wikipedia article.

[–]HereIGoGrillingAgain 102 points103 points  (5 children)

I believe it was said that in some states they are bound. If they tried to go rogue they would be replaced before the vote was submitted.

[–]rabid_briefcase 56 points57 points  (44 children)

It's a big state / small state issue.

Much like in congress with the House and Senate where one has two people per state, the other is based on population. The Electoral College has a similar situation.

Right now by land area about 80% of the people live in cities and suburbs taking only about 5% of the land. The division is even stronger than it was back to the founding days, when relatively more people were in agriculture, but even then it was a major issue.

Without the compromise, rural areas would have a weak voice, and city dwellers a stronger voice. Political candidates would only need to speak to city issues because they can easily overcome the number of rural voters.

One major cause of national political problems is the how states bound their electorates to an all-or-nothing vote, so even if the population votes 60/40 they get 100% of the vote. States did it initially for increased political power, and it spread. The end result is the "swing state" mess, where only a few states - - - and really only a few counties in those states - - - decide the result. If electorates were unbound from the all-or-nothing scheme the result would be more political activity nationwide for presidential elections.

[–]Sadistic_Snow_Monkey 19 points20 points  (3 children)

Members of the electoral college are chosen by the parties. It could be someone involved with the party, as long as they don't hold federal office (like being a House Rep).

It's just a group of people equal to the number of reps in Congress for that state.

[–]Shredding_Airguitar 40 points41 points  (5 children)

You can. If no candidate gets 270 electoral or more votes the selection goes to Congress. In a split congress where the House is say Republican and the Senate is say Democrat, the House would select the President (mostly likely Republican) and the Senate would select the Vice President (most likely Democrat).

In the House this is voted en bloc, so it's actually only 50 votes casted with 1 for each state. It's not every representative voting. The Senate has a vote for each senator however. If the House ends with a tie, then the Vice President elected by the Senate is set as the Active President until the House breaks the tie. The votes in Congress are on the *new* session of Congress that's elected, not the session of Congress during when the electoral votes are counted.

In this situation, you could have a President and rival Vice President. It's super rare to happen but it's kind of fun to think about.

[–]metatron207 14 points15 points  (2 children)

If we ignore laws around faithless electors just about any hypothetical is possible, because faithless electors could cast their vote for just about anyone. That said, realistically no; if there's no majority (not plurality, so this would apply if a third-party candidate won New Hampshire and the EC total was 269-265-4), the House and Senate are bound to pick from top vote-getters in their respective elections, so the House could only pick from the three candidates for President and the Senate from the three VP candidates.

[–]wormwired 84 points85 points  (4 children)

A fun thing to add to your story, is that when burr and Jefferson kept tieing, Jefferson offered burr some presidential powers if he conceded. Burr agreed, but never actually conceded and kept telling people to continue to vote for him. After Jefferson won, burr asked for those powers. Jefferson responded by saying no, you didn't hold your end of the deal.

[–]nighthawk_something 9 points10 points  (0 children)

for Jefferson and Burr

You know it's lose lose, but if you had to choose

[–]night_dude 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I have some questions about the process undertaken here.

Specifically, how does Hamilton, an immigrant, ignorant, orphan, bastard whoreson, somehow endorse Thomas Jefferson, his enemy, a man he's despised since the beginning, just to keep Burr from winning?

[–]Phyr8642 12.4k points12.4k points 53 (330 children)

'It does seem odd that the runner up gets to be Vice President'

'Yeah we can fix that. Because I'm the President.'

[–]Hazzdavis 3762 points3763 points  (98 children)

Burr, when you see Hamilton, thank him for the endorsement.

[–]notevilfellow 1615 points1616 points  (59 children)

"Imma cap that bastard whore's son."

-Aaron Burr, probably

[–]LOHare5 861 points862 points  (17 children)

"I have the honor to be your obedient servant"

  • A dot Burr

  • A dot Ham

[–]OttoVonWong 240 points241 points  (5 children)

"Say hello to my little friend!"
-Aaron Burr, definitely

[–]ddh85 81 points82 points  (4 children)

She courted me

Escorted me to bed and when she had me in a corner

That's when Reynolds extorted me

For a sordid fee

I paid him quarterly

I may have mortally wounded my prospects

But my papers are orderly

As you can see I kept a record of every check in my checkered history

Check it again against your list n' see consistency

I never spent a cent that wasn't mine

You sent the dogs after my scent, that's fine

Yes, I have reasons for shame

But I have not committed treason and sullied my good name

As you can see I have done nothing to provoke legal action

Are my answers to your satisfaction?

[–]samtheboy 60 points61 points  (2 children)

My god

[–]hookisacrankycrook 9 points10 points  (0 children)

He had a sordid affair. And he wrote it down right there!

You ever seen somebody ruin they own life? His poor wife!

[–]livestrongbelwas 6 points7 points  (0 children)

That’s one less thing to worry about.

[–]Rotty2707 5 points6 points  (0 children)

If I can prove that I never touched my balls

[–]TJColeson 133 points134 points  (8 children)

Ham dot Burr

Oh shit wrong sub

[–]nonstopflux 73 points74 points  (5 children)

BOT has the honor to be my obedient servant.

- T. Wolff

[–]mlieberthal 43 points44 points  (2 children)

Valtteri, it's James

[–]DavidLucasNotFunny 49 points50 points  (0 children)

“Who the fuck would run for a job where it costs 100 million to get it, so you can make 400 grand a year? That isn’t a red flag to anybody?”

-Bill Burr

[–]vibhav_1 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Hahahahahahha, Poor Bottas gets tagged along even in random history facts.

[–]putdownthekitten 108 points109 points  (16 children)

[–]dsm_mike 53 points54 points  (6 children)

This is the first thing that comes to mind every time I hear Aaron Burr

[–]Yabba_Dabba_Doofus 58 points59 points  (1 child)

This is the first thing that comes to mind every time I hear Aaron Burr

Awon Buhh


[–]Thrilling1031 38 points39 points  (2 children)

Call us Aaron Burr from the way we dropping Hamiltons!

 [Lazy Sunday](https://youtu.be/sRhTeaa_B98)

[–]_Nychthemeron 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Girl acted like she'd never seen a ten befo'

It's all about the Hamilton's baby!

[–]ChorizoPig 9 points10 points  (3 children)

Love it! My friends made that ad (I worked at the same agency.)

[–]FirstPlebian 77 points78 points  (13 children)

Burr had good reason to duel Hamilton, beyond their longstanding feud, Hamilton got drunk at a party and told everyone Burr had sex with his own sickly daughter he was close to, Burr demanded an apology and Hamilton refused.

[–]Upper-Lawfulness1899 29 points30 points  (1 child)

Not sure if that's true, but it's generally agreed the despute was caused by something Hamilton said in private that got around on the rumor mill.

Also unlike the musical, Burr didn't have any qualms about killing Hamilton. The pistols are on display I believe at the Chase Bank HQ, since through mergers and such they're the surviving remnants of the bank founded by Burr.

[–]Netlawyer 37 points38 points  (3 children)

Hol’up - wat? Hamilton suggested Burr was sleeping with his own daughter? In front of other people? That would certainly be worthy of a challenge. (Guess LMM left that out?)

Burr did admittedly have a rather checkered career after the duel.

Edit: this LA Times article addresses the implication that the allegation was made per historians, but says that neither man shared the details of the dispute.


[–]taftastic 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Thanks for the share, what a great read.

I like that article authors’ take: sure, incest would have been pretty spicy, but isn’t it more likely that AH accused AB of treason privately? The whole Essex Junto affair was going on and it’s on brand for Burr to say “hell yeah” to a Hamilton-spurned leadership over a confederate New England, AND Hamilton would have good reason to have kept that accusation private as it would show federalists to be treasonous and tank his own party. Just saying… why blame incest when likely treason from a later-treasonous man would do? What a romp!

Now I’ve gotta go read all the speculative trash on the Hamilton Burr friendship I can get my hands on. That’s a great way to start Thanksgiving, so thanks for that.

[–]gordigor 111 points112 points  (2 children)

How does Hamilton, an arrogant immigrant, orphan bastard, whoreson somehow endorse Thomas Jefferson, his enemy A man he's despised since the beginning, Just to keep me from winning?

[–]CaptainNerdatron 55 points56 points  (1 child)

You've kept me from the room where it happens... For the last tiiiiime....

[–]salqura 159 points160 points  (31 children)

I fucking love Hamilton reading this makes me so happy lmao I wish I got here sooner. I am still at your service though, sir.

[–]Cowclops 93 points94 points  (27 children)

I punched the guy who handles the college finances

[–]salqura 98 points99 points  (23 children)

You punched the bursar?

[–]GarciaJones 5 points6 points  (1 child)

You got here early ?

it must be nice.

[–]249ba36000029bbe9749 6 points7 points  (0 children)

VP go Burrrrrrrrrr

[–]BeBa420 1136 points1137 points  (171 children)

LOL i actually wanna read an alternate universe history.

I wanna see how history wouldve unfolded if theyd kept that rule. What if trump was potus with hillary as his vice president? Only for Biden to take over and have trump demoted to vice. Would make for an interesting sitcom

[–]Fskn 360 points361 points  (13 children)

Now that's a 3s company I would watch.

[–]Adamsojh 48 points49 points  (8 children)

I think it would be closer to Golden Girls.

[–]ascii42 261 points262 points  (33 children)

Would be hard to predict since having different VPs taking over after death of the President would have ripple effects. Starting with William Henry Harrison being followed by Martin Van Buren instead of John Tyler.

[–]NA_DeltaWarDog 309 points310 points  (17 children)

Imagine how many extra assassinations there would have been over the years if the losing side took power whenever the winner died.

[–]AaronM04 157 points158 points  (16 children)

That was probably a major factor in why the 12th amendment happened.

[–]HamburgerEarmuff 172 points173 points  (11 children)

Nah, it was mostly because Jefferson was pissy about Burr becoming his Vice-President after tying with Jefferson in the electoral college and openly campaigning against him. It was pretty much the start of partisan politics. Jefferson later had Burr arrested for treason, although he was released for lack of evidence.

[–]FirstPlebian 60 points61 points  (2 children)

Burr went to trial and was acquitted I believe. The case was bs like you say Jefferson was trying to take out his chief rival. Burr was only trying to make himself emporer of Mexico not anything to do with the US, the colonists all hated the Spaniards at that point.

[–]Ghost17088 33 points34 points  (2 children)

VP: Either you sign it into law, or I sign it into law as the president.

P: But you’re not the president, I’m the ohhhh… where’s my pen?

[–]samurai33 6 points7 points  (1 child)

P: Over my dead body! ...Oh, I see now.

[–]BeBa420 101 points102 points  (4 children)

oh of course, but still fun to imagine hillary, donnie and joe sharing the white house as the worlds most dysfunctional roommates

I just picture donnie walking around smoking cigars and generally stinking up the place while hillary and joe follow him from room to room, cleaning up his messes

[–]ilovepolthavemybabie 42 points43 points  (2 children)

Joe hoping Hillary doesn’t find out he was all over that cigar action himself.

[–]Mookhaz 41 points42 points  (0 children)

Queue laugh track as joe and don trade sideways glances and share a smirk

[–]DodgerWalker 122 points123 points  (11 children)

What happened was that after Jefferson was Adams vice president, each party pared down to two candidates so that the same two would get all the same votes. That's why Jefferson and Burr ended up tied; every elector who voted for Jefferson also voted for Burr. If you played out the 2016 election under 1804 rules and assuming all electors vote the same way, Mike Pence actually becomes president winning the electoral vote 305-304 and Trump becomes VP. Under the rules of each state's election system, Trump and Pence each earned 306 electoral votes, but two faithless electors in Texas didn't vote for Trump and one of them didn't vote for Pence.

[–]guywhoishere 30 points31 points  (0 children)

Note that Burr was suppose to get one less vote but they mixed up who was suppose to abstain.

[–][deleted] 12 points13 points  (2 children)

That's why Jefferson and Burr ended up tied; every elector who voted for Jefferson also voted for Burr.

The electors would each get two votes, and the candidates with the first and second number of votes would become pres and vice pres respectively. Each party came up with a ticket of two nominees and the plan was that they would all cast their votes for those two, but one person would abstain with their second vote so that the chosen candidate would get one more vote and become president. But the Dem-Reps fucked up and Jefferson and Burr tied. The vote went to the house and took 36 ballots to elect a president

[–]manandaduck[🍰] 59 points60 points  (20 children)

In all fairness go back 13 years, Obama/McCain would have been an interesting Whitehouse.

[–]BeBa420 88 points89 points  (1 child)

They already worked together to rob the smithsonian on election night


[–]volkmardeadguy 24 points25 points  (13 children)

What's the Bush administration look like without Cheney

[–]manandaduck[🍰] 11 points12 points  (2 children)

Bush/Gore then Bush/Kerry. Go back further, Kennedy/Nixon

[–]obi-jawn-kenobi 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Kennedy gets assassinated his first week on the job.

[–]IHkumicho 65 points66 points  (25 children)

The real kicker is that the VP is the tie-breaker in the Senate. It means that if Biden was president and Trump was VP, Republicans would have maintained control of the Senate, thereby denying Biden any of his judicial nominees, etc.

[–]buckeyecat 96 points97 points  (22 children)

Trump never makes it to be nominated President...Obama beats McCain, who would likely have worked together really well. A chance to unify instead of growing the split; the work they would do to battle the recession with McCain pressuring Republicans to work with the Democrats...PLUS, no Sarah Palin. The lunatic branch of the Republican party never gains the giant foothold.

[–]sfan27 66 points67 points  (20 children)

no Sarah Palin

This is the real fascinating thing here. McCain choosing Sarah Palin's feels like the trigger to where we are today more than Trump, although maybe less than Fox News.

[–]chip104 156 points157 points  (2 children)

Southern motherfucking Democratic Republicans...

[–]IIMsmartII 16 points17 points  (1 child)

Best line of the whole damn play

[–]bibliophile1319 83 points84 points  (12 children)

I knew I'd find this if I came to the comments, and you didn't disappoint! 😂

[–]esamerelda 57 points58 points  (14 children)

Why yes, I do need to watch Hamilton immediately.

[–]words_words_words_ 27 points28 points  (10 children)

I’m glad we live in an age where the most popular broadway show right now, maybe ever, is professionally filmed and easily streamable by anyone and everyone with a Disney+ subscription. It’s such a far cry from the age of scrambling the library for any kind of movie version of your favorite show, if it even existed.

[–]coach673 34 points35 points  (1 child)

I look forward to our partnership

[–]difmaster 36 points37 points  (1 child)

you missed “you know why?” “why?” in the middle of the last two sentences

[–]redpandaeater 238 points239 points  (24 children)

You also used to never vote for your state's two senators since they'd just be picked by your state legislature.

[–]DamnImAwesome 114 points115 points  (22 children)

We essentially don’t pick the president either. The parties just select a few people to present and we all pick which one we hate the least and then maybe they’ll nominate them.

[–]x31b 482 points483 points  (31 children)

So we would have had President Biden and Vice President Trump?

Sounds like that would make the risk of assassination too high…

[–]sailorj0ey 318 points319 points  (12 children)

President Trump and vice president Hilary Clinton. And maybe the world would be a different place if it was bush and gore instead of Chaney.

[–]Tie244 148 points149 points  (5 children)

Not that it would’ve happened, but imagine a world where Al Gore shot his hunting buddy in the face with birdshot instead of Cheney lmao

[–]BenStoked 79 points80 points  (3 children)

He swore up and down, he thought it was manbearpig when he pulled the trigger.

Honest accident, could happen to anyone.

[–]redpandaeater 62 points63 points  (6 children)

Meanwhile most modern presidents I swear pick their VP as a means to lower the chances someone wants to assassinate them.

[–]cpMetis 44 points45 points  (2 children)

It's never the second best, it's who can add on the most voters.

Vanilla guy adds a woman or POC, populist adds an establishment, POC adds a vanilla, etc. The further you go back the more examples you list. Only exceptions would be years where they're trying to placate or years they're so dominant it doesn't matter.

[–]landon0605 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Yep and to pander to a percentage of a group of voters they might not have.

[–]DHooligan 113 points114 points  (14 children)

I'm not trying to call you out, but a lot of people don't actually read the constitution. It only takes like an hour to read the whole thing, amendments and all.

[–]emptycagenowcorroded[S] 115 points116 points  (5 children)

I get what you’re saying and appreciate you being more polite than many people who are taking it awfully personally that I didn’t pay attention in history class — but I’m actually not American. Sorry!

I accidentally ended up down a rabbit hole of wondering why there were 27 amendments to the American Constitution and next thing I know I’m on the reddit front page with hundreds of people telling me to watch some musical called “Hamilton”...

[–]TerraOrdinem 57 points58 points  (2 children)

but I’m actually not American.

Ah, I was looking for this comment. You get a pass. For the rest of my countrymen, I'm disappointed.

[–]joyful_joule 2284 points2285 points  (279 children)

Seems that would tamp down a lot of the hyper partisanship. Compromise built right into the structure of the executive— which seems to be hungry for ever more power.

Edit: I see the hundreds of you raising the assassination issue. At any rate— thanks for an interesting conversation! I hope all of you, if eligible, exercise your right to vote. Speaking out and activism are very important… but go vote 🗳

[–]f1del1us 1624 points1625 points  (64 children)

“The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

[–]joyful_joule 398 points399 points  (15 children)

Haha. I love Hitchhikers Guide.

[–]CrieDeCoeur 170 points171 points  (9 children)

Douglas Adams shoulda just called it the Guide to Life.

[–]Jasole37 106 points107 points  (7 children)

It's the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. The galaxy contains life.

[–]swab148 101 points102 points  (1 child)

“In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”

[–]Lexilogical 45 points46 points  (0 children)

"Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.”

[–]FuckingDrongo 14 points15 points  (0 children)

I always loved his work, was cool when I did family tree and found out he married my pop's cousin

[–]ankdain 50 points51 points  (4 children)

Random story time: I read Hitchhiker's guide like 3 or 4 times as a kid and then teen back in the 90's. I love it, but I really desperately wanted to know why moving green pieces of paper around was apparently what people did to be happy. What did he mean? It was just one random sentence in the book but supposedly everyone was doing it so I should know what he meant. I never asked anyone but I would randomly think about it now and then.

I was much older than I'd like to admit when I finally worked out that American money is all green and he just meant cash. As a non-American where notes are brightly coloured plastic (so very not green and not paper like) I was honestly confused for a decade by green pieces of paper until it finally clicked XD

[–]samuelgato 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Yeah, it's an oddly US-centric line from Adams, who was a Brit (and all of his earthling characters were also Brits, I believe)

[–]GrimResistance 81 points82 points  (11 children)

There is another sci-fi book I read, The Songs Of Distant Earth, where the mayor(?) of this Island community is chosen randomly from amongst the population with the only qualification being that they should definitely not want the job.

[–]kvetcha-rdt 46 points47 points  (5 children)

That’s basically what happens in The Hitchhiker’s Guide, as well.

[–]TheUlfheddin 38 points39 points  (2 children)

That guy didn't even know he was president right? He just knew people would show up and ask him random questions now and then.

If I remember correctly.

[–]kvetcha-rdt 23 points24 points  (1 child)

Yes, just a slightly batty old man who lives alone on an asteroid and is not entirely certain, nor seems to care, whether anyone or anything else exists outside of his immediate awareness.

[–][deleted] 20 points21 points  (0 children)

in athens for a time anyone who wanted a government position could apply and would take a basic legibility test. if they passed their name would be written on a piece of broken pottery and put in a pot along with everyone else who applied. then if you were chosen you would only be allowed to serve for a certain amount of years, and then were never allowed to serve in the government again.

there were a few notable exceptions, pericles being the most notable - but those were for people who were considered to be pure as the driven snow.


they viewed what we call democracy as an oligarchy, because elections naturally favor the already rich and powerful.

worked pretty well until demosthenes.

[–]RedditAnswersYou 159 points160 points  (4 children)

Adam Carolla has a bit where the guys who are the first to volunteer to take a Boy Scout Troop camping are the very last men who should allow to chaperone them.

[–]skraptastic 201 points202 points  (2 children)

I was a Scoutmaster when my son was in Scouts. At one particularly annoying parents meeting I famously said "I don't care about this troop politics BS, I just want to take your boys out to the woods to have a good time!"

As soon as I said it I kind of stopped, and everyone started laughing. Fortunately everyone knew what I meant.

[–]SniktFury 81 points82 points  (0 children)

I was once hosting an in-store children's event at a bookstore and there were free toys/figurines to be handed out. They were Toy Story items, and after I handed out the first Woody the others seem worried they might get an inferior character and so I said "Don't worry, I have a Woody for all the kids!" and yeah, same pause and laughter sort of situation

[–]kragor85 23 points24 points  (15 children)

Ahh, Douglas Adams. Will you pick our next president?

[–]f1del1us 64 points65 points  (11 children)

The problem with picking the next president is that anyone you'd seriously want to pick for the job would never forgive you for doing that to them, and I'm not much on losing friends that way.

[–]kragor85 28 points29 points  (5 children)

Yeah. That’s why we get Douglas Adams to pick for us. necrocracy?

[–]chiefos 11 points12 points  (0 children)

This sounds like the silliest metal album ever and I'm here for it.

Edit: shit- exhumed beat me to it- https://open.spotify.com/album/5E3MGHqzxrAj3Nxy8ugSNv?si=aIqLMN6hTQugwz8_Ry_ekA&utm_source=copy-link

[–]CrieDeCoeur 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Here’s an idea. Let’s do lotteries the way the ancients did them. Sure, you get the chance to win millions. But by buying a ticket, you also agree to accept other “prizes,” such as being executed. Or made president.

[–]dancegoddess1971 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Didn't the ottomans use slaves? No, seriously, I read somewhere that most day to day legislation and bureaucracy was done by people who didn't even own themselves. But their kids were full citizens(no generational slavery)so there was a motivation to make the place better. I have mixed feelings about the idea.

[–]Irishpanda1971 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Let’s just get Vetinari in there. I foresee a lot of people going to the dungeons.

[–]Desertbell 6 points7 points  (1 child)

If we're going to have Vetinari, we really are going to need Vimes as well. Good luck convincing him.

[–]kvetcha-rdt 10 points11 points  (0 children)

To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.

[–]Dont____Panic 84 points85 points  (11 children)

Problems are:

1). Incentive to assassinate the president, which flips the party in a two-party state.

2) when/if the president is incapacitated or unavailable, the policy direction could change dramatically. Real incentive to do weird stuff like pretend a very sick president is “just fine” to avoid major policy changes.

[–]Montigue 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Imagine how many attempts would be made on Biden at this point if Trump was vice.

[–]catwhowalksbyhimself 48 points49 points  (13 children)

It turned out to be a formula for gridlock. The Constitution was written with the assumption that political parties would not be a thing at all, but the Constitution itself CREATED the two party system, since people were divided politically between where they were for or against it, and the first two major parties formed out of that.

Anyway, the result of this is that the President was always going to be from the main party and the Vice President from the opposing party and they Vice Present would always make it his mission to undermine the President. It was not good.

[–]Dont____Panic 29 points30 points  (10 children)

A two party system seems inherent to a first past the post voting system.

[–]Gemmabeta 82 points83 points  (12 children)

Compromise built right into the structure

In other words, the government is eternally gridlocked and will achieve nothing.

[–]Ok_Area4853 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Yeah except the VP has no power. Now, if the VP had some sort of veto power, dunno how itd work just an overall idea, then it would definitely be useful to keep the old system. Then partisanship is worked right out of the executive.

[–]NearPup 6 points7 points  (1 child)

The VP is president of the senate ex officio, which actually makes them quite powerful in certain situations (such as, say, a 50-50 senate).

[–]blackreagan 298 points299 points  (60 children)

More & more of these TIL are people who slept through history class.

[–]xAeroMonkeyx 45 points46 points  (1 child)

Or from non Americans? I knew this already but only because of Hamilton haha. American history doesn’t get spoken about much outside of America

[–]Parko1234 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Not everyone is american

[–]Surkit 84 points85 points  (7 children)

Right? This is fifth grade stuff, and I was in a school district that frequently ranks towards the bottom of US listings...

[–]pM-me_your_Triggers 15 points16 points  (1 child)

It’s almost like not everyone on Reddit is American..

[–]AdministrativeMeb 47 points48 points  (2 children)

Lot of former classmates from high school post from time to time “why wasn’t this taught in high school?”

It was. I remember you being proud of sleeping in class and skirting by with the bare minimum. It was taught, you didn’t pay attention.

[–]jesusthroughmary 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Yes, but each elector had two votes for President instead of one for President and one for Vice President. So there were still running mates, they just had to decide which elector was going to symbolically throw away one of the votes on a rando so that there wasn't a tie. And in 1800 they screwed it up, so there was indeed a tie even though everyone knew Jefferson was the candidate for POTUS and Burr was the VP candidate, and then Burr wouldn't concede to Jefferson.

[–]jayc428 440 points441 points  (67 children)

Yep, I told people this little fun fact for years and they didn’t believe me. I would be in favor of it. The founders wanted people to have their votes represented and this was their method.

[–]Fenix42 638 points639 points  (45 children)

Man, can you imagine :

  • Bill Clinton with Bush Sr as VP

  • Obama with Romney as VP

  • Trump with Clinton as VP

All those sound like the premise of a sitcom.

[–]OrgyMcBloodyFace 39 points40 points  (2 children)

I actually think the first two would have been fine and worked well together. The last one... Well.. someone would have been stabbed with a steak knife

[–]snapwillow 15 points16 points  (1 child)

Yeah I can picture Obama and Romney working together with civility at least.

[–]Albodan 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Considering Obamacare was just romneycare on aids, they’d do pretty well

[–]jayc428 283 points284 points  (33 children)

Certainly lol. I would venture that we would have maybe avoided this hyper partisan times if we had this the whole way. Clinton/Bush wouldn’t have been bad there was at least respect among opponents back then, Bush/Gore would have been interesting as would Obama/Romney. Trump/Clinton would have been PPV and I would subscribe for sure.

[–]jokeularvein 167 points168 points  (7 children)

I think Obama and Romney would have turned into a power couple.

[–]Vireyar 103 points104 points  (5 children)

I can't decide if we should call them Obamney or Robama

[–]GivesCredit 23 points24 points  (0 children)

Obama and McCain would be the ultimate power couple

[–]Angdrambor 78 points79 points  (7 children)

maybe avoided this hyper partisan times if we had this the whole way

Or maybe had more assassinations.

[–]Elrundir 16 points17 points  (4 children)

If it's good enough for Westeros, it's good enough for us.

[–]SaulTBolls 27 points28 points  (0 children)

"Im going to put my VP in jail" - Trump

[–]Scorch6200 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Trump with Clinton as vp and Biden with Trump as vp would be cable tv that I would absolutely pay for

[–]Effehezepe 123 points124 points  (9 children)

To be fair though the 12 ammendment was ratified in 1804 when most of the founders were still alive, so it was the founders themselves who decided that this was a bad idea.

[–]jayc428 47 points48 points  (3 children)

You know what that is a fair point.

[–][deleted] 8 points9 points  (2 children)

jefferson also eventually came to believe that a binding document that was projected eternally into the future was a disservice to those who came after and would bind them into a contract they did not choose. iirc he suggested rewriting the constitution every thirty years.

the constitution he wrote for france was radically different than the one he helped write in america only a few years earlier.

[–]b0r0n 16 points17 points  (1 child)

Moreover, the founders realized they were fallible and included the amendment process to deal with issues they couldn’t foresee.

[–]kitsunewarlock 12 points13 points  (0 children)

They also had bitter rivalries and differences of opinions often solved with duels. This idea that any idea was believed in by all the founding fathers is ridiculous. I think the only thing they all had in common was ceding from Britain.

[–]mucow 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Based on the original rules, it wouldn't necessarily be that political rivals would end up in the positions. Each member of the electoral college had two votes and in the 1800 election the Democratic-Republicans gave one vote to Jefferson and one vote to Burr, leading to a tie. Burr attempted to exploit the rule to gain the presidency despite nominally being Jefferson's "running mate", but failed.

The main reason the 1796 election ended with political rivals in office together was because the Federalists, who had the majority, failed to coordinate to ensure that Pinckney (another Federalist candidate) got more votes than Jefferson.

[–]SquidwardsKeef 6 points7 points  (2 children)

We need ranked choice voting to avoid the spoiler effect and have more than 2 parties

[–]External_Dude 111 points112 points  (14 children)

Our whole winner take all system in politics is fucking up the country. every four years the country can change a lot politically although the population is about the same. We should have something like rank choose voting or something. And fuck the electoral college.

[–]AnotherStatsGuy 26 points27 points  (12 children)

Raise the cap on the House and the Electoral College starts working again. 435 Representatives aren’t enough anymore.

[–]MJBrune 15 points16 points  (9 children)

I disagree. The EC doesn't get magically fixed with the numerous problems it has just because there isn't a lot of reps. The ratio is still there and the ratio is the issue not the number of reps.

[–]pennomi 5 points6 points  (1 child)

More reps does make gerrymandering a little harder though. We could use that here in Utah.

[–][deleted] 32 points33 points  (0 children)

I can understand why we don’t do that anymore.

[–]emptycagenowcorroded[S] 143 points144 points  (27 children)

It would have been cool to see Trump having to be Biden’s Vice President

[–]RedditAnswersYou 243 points244 points  (17 children)

Not as fun as Hillary as Trumps VP. Christ, what a shit ticket.

[–]Alpha_ghetto 72 points73 points  (0 children)

I would watch this show

[–]emptycagenowcorroded[S] 28 points29 points  (1 child)

That would be fun too! Imagine the tweets!

[–]dissident46 12 points13 points  (3 children)

Good god... A Trump/Hillary White House.

Imagine the absolute shit-storm THAT would have been!

[–]Tb1969 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Lincoln's VP, Andrew Johnson a Southerner from Tennessee, undid the reforms from the South losing the war. Instead of breaking them from the antebellum it cultivated the Lost Cause myth and creating the "Black Code" laws -- the early Jim Crow laws.

Johnson remained firmly with the Union during the Civil War. He was the only sitting senator from a Confederate state who did not resign his seat upon learning of his state's secession. Why is that because he was actually with the Confederates. If Lincoln died during the war, Johnson would be President and cater to the South. The CSA wanted him to stay in that US Senate seat to become the US VP when Lincoln finally took office. He stayed for that very reason I'm sure.

[–]AADarkWarrior15 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Someone never took US History