Re: Power unchecked
In regards to the winner of the overall popular vote not necessarily winning the election, it was designed that way for a reason. You have to remember that the US is not just "a country". It is an alliance of states who agreed to join themselves together, and originally was envisioned that the federal government would play a limited role such as the common defense of the country, with all other rights not specifically granted to it being left to the states, or the people. That's why although the House of Representatives' seats are based on population, in the Senate each state gets two senators, even though a state like California has a population of ~40 million, and a state like Wyoming has a population of ~600,000. The electoral college, which is what *actually* elects the president and vice president, combines the two--each state gets a number of electors equal to the number of House and Senate members that state has. That still means a more populous state like California gets more say in the election (they get 55 electors, Wyoming gets 3), but it also means that lower-population states get a larger say in the election than they would on a purely population basis (in this case, California counts for 18x more than Wyoming, rather than the 67x it otherwise would have).
Each state has an even larger ability to control legislation in the senate, since each state by definition has 2% of the vote there.
What people seem to forget these days, is that this was all very much intentionally done by the founders, because the states wanted to ensure their own rights, and because realistically it was necessary to get the states to agree to form the federal government.
It may not seem "fair" to some that a state with a tiny number of people has as much say in the Senate as California, and an oversized say in the presidential elections, but it's fair to the states and their ability to protect their own rights, even if that fight has largely been lost to the monster the federal government has now become.