It's not a mistake, and conventional current is not wrong or backwards.
The labeling of one polarity of charge as "positive" and the other as "negative" is totally arbitrary. It could be done either way and everything would still work out the same. Franklin didn't choose wrong; he just chose. Labeling protons as negative and electrons as positive wouldn't change anything.
Electric current is often defined as a flow of electrons, but this is wrong. Electric current is a flow of electric charge. Charge can be positive (protons) or negative (electrons), and both types of charged particles can and do flow in electric circuits:
- In metal wires, carbon resistors, and vacuum tubes, electric current consists of a flow of electrons.
- In batteries, electrolytic capacitors, and neon lamps, current consists of a flow of ions, either positive or negative or both (flowing in opposite directions)
- In hydrogen fuel cells and water ice, current consists of a flow of protons.
- In semiconductors, the current can consist of holes, which are not quite the same as an absence of electrons.
When a Lithium-ion battery discharges into a load, for instance, there is no electron flow in the battery, but there is still a current flow:
(Source: Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology)
If you considered only the electron flow as current, your calculations would be wrong. You need to consider the net flow of charge, no matter what the charge carriers. Conventional current abstracts away the different charge carriers and represents all of these different flows as a net flow of positive charge, simplifying circuit analysis.
Conventional current is not the opposite of electron current, so if they were defined to flow in the same direction, it would be even easier to confuse them and go through life misunderstanding what current is. Electron current is a subset of conventional current. Conventional current combines the effects of electron, ion, proton, and hole flows all into one number.
In other media, any stream of charged objects may constitute an electric current. To provide a definition of current that is independent of the type of charge carriers flowing, conventional current is defined to flow in the same direction as positive charges.