Imagine if we had already been using a popular vote system and someone proposed what we have now:
Them: What if instead of going based on who has the most votes nationally, we go state by state and award points based off of how many votes you got?
You: You mean like, proportional to the percentage of the vote you get?
Them: Kind of! Except, if you get less than 15 percent of the vote in a given state you get no points, and sometimes we also give the most points to someone because they won the most games of red rover (even though they lost the popular vote)
Them: And in the end if no one has more than 50 percent of the total points, we ignore the results and let a couple hundred heavily biased people argue about it and decide who they want to win.
You: That seems like… a weird way of deciding our president?
Them: No, no, you misunderstand! that’s just to determine who the finalists are! Then the winner from each side tries to score as many points as they can in the general election.
You: Okay, I see, so they get points proportional to how many votes they got again?
Them: Hmm? Oh. No. It’s winner take all for each state, so the margins don’t actually matter.
You: I’m sorry, what?
Them: Oh, and the points aren’t actually proportional to how many people live in each state. So some votes are worth like 4 times more than others.
You: Wouldn’t it be, like, way easier and more fair to just count the popular vote for everything?
Them: You obviously just want it that way because it benefits you.