The original point of the Electoral College was to establish the role of the president. Congress is the voice of the people and so is directly elected by people. The President is the leader of a federation of independent states, and should be elected by those states. That's the philosophical grounding of the notion. Without the electoral college system, a President could be elected with a plurality rather than an outright majority. Americans live in a geographically immense, wildly diverse nation where people who live in highly depopulated regions grow most of the food. Without the electoral college forcing candidates to focus on these areas, the American president would fail to represent a group of united states, but would instead represent whichever city-based candidate could generate a mere plurality.