I'm not American. However, I find the results of this year's election very difficult to reconcile with the concept of democracy.
It occurs to me that as long as there are indirect elections as you have in the US, even considering an ideal case where there is one elector per congressional district and each district has exactly the same number of voters, it is mathematically possible to win a simple 2-party election with just over 25% of the popular vote: you win if you get just over 50% of the vote in just over 50% of the congressional districts. There are 435 congressional districts -- so 25.06% of the popular vote distributed just right wins it.
If there are more than 2 candidates (and I think that must always be allowed), even a direct election can result in someone getting elected with ridiculously small fraction of people voting for him: in theory, just over 33% can do it if there are 3 candidates, and 25% if there are 4 -- even if everyone who didn't vote for the guy hates his guts.
The 'fairest' system seems to be Instant Runoff, which should be quite feasible in a technologically advanced nation -- just think 'drag-and-drop' on touchscreen voting machines, with a voter-verified paper audit trail, maybe just a printout of his vote visible the voter behind a transparent cover, to keep things honest.
Honestly, I do not quite understand why in the United States of today there has to be so much variation in the electoral process from state to state. I understand the concerns about 'state's rights' in the age of your founding fathers, but surely these two-and-a-half centuries have churned the population into reasonable uniformity? I understand how the federal nature of the government works when it comes to local issues, but for something like elections?