For years President Andrew Jackson was locked in a battle over Indian lands with a Cherokee chief. NPR’s Steve Inskeep on the history of that rivalry, how it led to the "Trail of Tears" and helped set the stage for the Civil War.
The Electoral College was created by the Framers as a compromise to save the Constitution: America would elect its president indirectly, with individuals chosen by the states based on their representation in Congress. Most states now use a winner-take-all system that awards all electors to the winning candidate. Supporters of the Electoral College say it protects the rights of smaller and rural states. But critics argue the system is undemocratic and gives too much power to battleground states. And polls show a majority of Americans favor doing away with the Electoral College. Diane and guests discuss how America elects its president.
- Jeffrey Rosen professor of law at The George Washington University, and legal affairs editor for The New Republic.
- James Thurber professor and director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, and author of "Obama in Office: The First Two Years."
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