The Times errs when it attributes the existence of the Electoral College to the conviction that the American voters were too ignorant to select a president on their own. As brilliantly elucidated upon by James Madison in Federalist Paper 10, the reasons for the electoral college are twofold.
First, to oppose a corrupt majority if that situation should ever occur (such as witnessed in Nazi Germany), and second, to control factionalism, whether by a minority or majority, if it threatens our system.
The Electoral College remains the last foothold of justice in a scenario of a country gone berserk. Electors should be chosen on their dependability but in no way should they be penalized for their dissent.
If an ever-decreasing voting population continues to choose candidates for their telegenic impressions, and if the present swing towards popular conservatism continues, we may be very thankful one day for the electoral last reserve.