Jesse Wegman: Let the People Pick the President (with Michelle Goldberg)
Wednesday March 18: 7:00PM – 8:00PM
A radical spirit of change has overtaken American politics, making once-unthinkable reforms—like abolishing the Electoral College—seem possible.
Two of the last five elections were won by candidates who lost the popular vote, calling the integrity of the entire electoral system into question. Political passions are already high, and they will reach a boiling point as we enter the 2020 race. The message from the American people is clear: we need major reform, and we need it now.
In Let the People Pick the President, New York Times editorial board member Jesse Wegman makes a powerful case for abolishing the antiquated and antidemocratic Electoral College, and choosing presidents based on a national popular vote. He uncovers the Electoral College's controversial origins, profiles the many attempts to reform it over the years, and explains why it is now essential for us to remove this obsolete system and finally make every citizen's vote matter.
Wegman addresses objections from both sides of the aisle and presents an airtight argument that moving toward a national popular vote would reduce voter apathy and political polarization, increase voter turnout, and restore belief in our democratic system. Abolishing the Electoral College is the keystone reform that must be accomplished to improve our politics; Wegman shows that this once-lofty goal can be achieved, and charts a path to accomplishing it.
In the Rare Book Room, Jesse Wegman will be in discussion with New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg.
Jesse Wegman has been a member of the New York Times editorial board since 2013, writing editorials on the Supreme Court and legal affairs. He was previously a senior editor at the Daily Beast and Newsweek, a legal news editor at Reuters, and the managing editor of the New York Observer. He graduated from New York University School of Law in 2005.
Michelle Goldberg became an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times in 2017 and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for public service for reporting on workplace sexual harassment issues. She is the author of three books: Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World, and The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West. Her first book was a finalist for the Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism, and her second won the Ernesta Drinker Ballard Book Prize and the J. Anthony Lukas Work-In-Progress Award.