Originally posted at the Puppy Linux forum.
The landmass and population of the United States rivals the landmass of Western Europe. In this, you can find major differences in each of the various states (including a wide variety of second languages). You can find differences in worldview with huge stark contrasts held by large groups of people. (Think I’m kidding? Try to buy alcohol in Utah. Try to buy a gun in New York City. Try to buy sex outside of Nevada– not counting Las Vegas, of course. Buy a pizza in Chicago and buy one in Brooklyn. And don’t get me started on marijuana. Don’t get me started on reservations, either.)
Every state has its own unique viewpoints, and some are even regional crossing states and areas. Some don’t.
The purpose of the electoral college is to allow each of these states to have a voice. Some states are more populous than others (such as New York and California) but each of these states has its own set of unique ideas, contributions, and laws dating back even before the consolidation of the United States, hundreds of years.
The purpose of “popular voting” in a landmass the size of the United States is simple: disenfranchise some regions for the most populous. Hillary eked out a “popular” win by a few hundred thousand votes. But 8 million of those votes were in just two states, meaning effectively a minority of states would have ratified the presidency.
Direct democracy in the US would be disastrous, not simply on a practical level, but because it’s unfair to all those states who deserve representation.