The problem with the Electoral College is not the concept but the current implementation.
Founding Father Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 68, “Election should be made by (those) most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation; …a small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens … will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.” It was never meant to be a party-driven, partisan, bean-counting scheme.
Neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution of the United States was decided by popular vote. Rather, delegates to the Second Continental Congress of 1776 and the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 were chosen by the people.
Like it or not, our nation is a republic, reflected in its name, the United States. The states, then, not individuals, select the head of the executive branch. Considering the high percentage of easily swayed, ill-informed, and apathetic voters who cast ballots, indirect election seems a wise choice.
Democracies throughout history and around the world (United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, India, Israel, Spain, Hungary) employ some version of indirect election.
The best way to choose the president is to have voters choose their electors directly from a pool of pre-approved, highly respected individuals representing the preference of the voters but expected to vote with nonpartisan deliberation. Out of more than 200 million eligible voters nationwide, one would think we could identify 538 wise, honest, knowledgeable individuals to choose the president in a public forum during the two months allotted between Election Day and inauguration.
Remember that the difference between an opinion and an expert opinion is: “Think I’ll take an aspirin” vs. “We need to remove this life-threatening brain tumor.”