On February 6, 2018, The King’s College released a free, self-paced micro-course on the Electoral College and its role in American government. The course is taught by Josiah Peterson, debate coach and adjunct instructor at the College. Mr. Peterson is the author of The Electoral College: Critical to Our Republic, which is the first book from The King’s College Press, and which gives the micro-course its name.
The five-lesson course addresses contemporary objections to the Electoral College, which reached a fever pitch following the 2016 presidential election. Peterson says, “The Electoral College is obviously a timely topic, as we as a society are, almost daily, being asked to question the entire American political project.” The course introduces students to the history of the institution, giving an inside look at the debates among the Founding Fathers about how to best balance state and federal influence in presidential elections. The course follows the book’s structure closely, and invites students to engage with primary source documents taken from essays, letters, and speeches from the likes of Madison, Hamilton, and Jackson. In addition, students can participate in discussion forums to dig deeper in the content.
Peterson sees the course as an opportunity for people to learn more about an institution that is hotly debated but often little understood. The Electoral College, he believes, represents a uniquely American perspective on political theory and political science, one that is based in balancing power instead of concentrating it, which often deliberately leads to complicated elections.
“I’m excited about this opportunity for people who have read the book, or simply people who are interested in the subject, to discuss the implications of this institution with each other through the discussion forums,” Peterson says. “I’m not expecting everyone to agree that the Electoral College is a good idea, but I want them to know why it came about and what function it has served in American history. I hope the course, even more than the book, will challenge them to evaluate and articulate their beliefs about American government.”
Peterson has published articles in First Things, Mere Orthodoxy, The Federalist, and Public Discourse. He has been a guest on the radio with Kevin McCullough, Eric Metaxas, and Steve Deace. The book The Electoral College: Critical to Our Republic, received endorsements from American political and cultural leaders including Senator Ted Cruz, Scott Rasmussen, and Seth Lipsky.
“We are delighted to offer this, our second free online micro-course, on such a timely topic, in full accord with our focus on Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at King’s,” says Provost Dr. Mark Hijleh. “Mr. Peterson has captured the history, the issues, and the arguments very well, and articulates them with great effect, bringing much-needed clarity to the discussion. With our interactive platform, participants can benefit individually and as a group in reflection and discussion. This sort of informed forum around a topic of great interest and import to our society is what King’s is all about.”
To sign up for the course, please follow this link: Electoral College: Critical to Our Republic.