My Thoughts on How We Choose A President

Authors Note: All conclusions herein are my own, but the facts supporting them are historically accurate. Therefore, you may disagree with my conclusions, but you cannot disagree with the facts supporting them.

Some of you may have thought I’d given up writing these rants since I haven’t written or posted anything in awhile. While I had given the idea some thought, the truth is I’ve been busy doing a few home repairs and doing a lot of much needed yard work. So, as Randy Quaid says in Independence Day, (right as he’s about to fly a fighter jet right up the ass of an alien spaceship), “I’m baaaack!”

If things were normal, and we all know they aren’t with the rabid fear over the Covid-19 plandemic, most Americans would be tuning into the news at night to see who is ahead in the polls to unseat Donald Trump from his throne in the Oval Office. After all, the 2020 Presidential Election is a mere 7 months away, and before you know it, it will be time to go to the polls and cast your vote for the next U.S. President – that is if Trump doesn’t call a National State of Emergency, cancel the election, and declare himself King.

That might sound ridiculous to you, but 6 months ago it probably would have sounded just as ridiculous to you if someone had said a virus was going to shut down our economy, force us to stay in our homes, and breed such a degree of fear that people would be turning other people in just for leaving their homes or getting too close to one another. So who knows what the future holds?

Anyways, this isn’t about the Covid-19 Psyop, (and that’s exactly what it is, a big Psychological Operation designed to see how much of our freedom they can take away without us resisting), it is about the manner in which we choose who will become President of the United States. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not doing an about face and suggesting that voting for who will become the next president is going to change things in the slightest; I’m only attempting to get people to think about the process itself; not the consequences of who you vote for. However, to understand that you must also understand how we went from a country that had no president to one where the people voted every 4 years to choose who would hold that lofty position.
From talking to people I get the distinct impression that a lot of them believe that some sunny summer day in 1776 the Second Continental Congress just up and wrote a Declaration of Independence after they’d had enough of Britain’s bullshit. Sorry, but it didn’t quite happen like that.

The Second Continental Congress convened on May 10, 1775 with delegates from 12 of the 13 Colonies in attendance; with Georgia sending only Lyman Hall to represent them. Now before I go any further I feel I must spend a moment or two discussing what a delegate actually is.

A delegate is someone who has been chosen, or selected, to represent someone else. A delegate has no authority of their own; only that which has been DELEGATED to them. This authority may be broad and general, or it may be restricted to limited items. The point is, a delegate is acting on behalf of someone else and cannot do anything which their agent has not specifically given them the authority to do.

So, when the Second Continental Congress convened it is entirely possible that some of the delegates had already been told to push for independence from Great Britain, while others sought more conciliatory means of restoring peaceful relations between the two parties, and a restoration of their rights as freemen. Whatever the case may have been, no one in attendance there could act on their own, they were acting solely upon whatever instructions had been given them by their respective States.

For nearly a year these delegates sat in convention basically spinning their wheels getting nowhere, when on May 15th the Virginia Legislature passed a resolution authorizing its delegates to propose a resolution recommending a complete and irrevocable separation from Great Britain. Up until this time most of the talk of independence had come from the smaller Northeastern States, such as Massachusetts. However, now that Virginia had thrown her weight behind the independence movement, it became more than just talk.

On June 7, Richard Henry Lee, acting on behalf of the Colony of Virginia, introduced what has come to be known as the Lee Resolutions – the precursor to the Declaration of Independence.

The Lee Resolutions are short, as far as founding documents go; so I’ll post them in their entirety for you to read:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances.

That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation.

Now, as I said, these were delegates discussing whether or not the States should dissolve the political bonds which had tied them to Great Britain, a subject that, to use a modern phrase, was way beyond their pay grade. So, before they could vote either yea or nay on Lee’s Resolutions they had to first consult their respective States; so a formal vote on Lee’s Resolutions were put hold until the delegates could ask their States what they should do in response to them. At the same time though it was decided that a Committee of Five be appointed to draft a more formal declaration should the vote go in favor of independence; which resulted in our Declaration of Independence being written.

It’s a shame that every year we celebrate this particular event from our country’s past, yet so few know what actually transpired during those months leading up to the drafting and voting in favor of the Declaration of Independence. It’s even worse that people celebrate the day, but don’t live up to the principles enshrined in the document that gave birth to America as an independent country.

Although that pretty much gives a brief synopsis of how we became independent, it does not discuss the third part of Lee’s resolution, the recommendation “That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation.”

I hate to sound condescending, but this is where a bit of thinking is required. If the Declaration of Independence was written to establish the 13 Colonies as free and independent States, and if this plan of confederation was to be submitted to the Colonies/Stats for their approbation, then doesn’t it seem logical that whatever form of government they came up with would serve the States, not the people?

That is why they sought to establish a confederation; not a republic, not a democracy, a confederation; for in a confederation the component parts retain their sovereignty and independence from each other; with a few powers being granted to the central authority for the common defense and mutual concerns of all parties involved. In this instance the States were the parties to this government; it was being established to serve them. I say that not because that is what I think they meant, I say it because that is what they said in the document establishing this confederation:

Article II
Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.

Article III
The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretense whatever.

This confederation was to consist of a Congress and a Congress only. There was to be no President, and no Judiciary; Supreme Court. This Congress was to be chosen by the State governments, as stated in Article V of the Articles of Confederation, “For the most convenient management of the general interests of the United States, delegates shall be annually appointed in such manner as the legislatures of each State shall direct, to meet in Congress on the first Monday in November, in every year, with a power reserved to each State to recall its delegates, or any of them, at any time within the year, and to send others in their stead for the remainder of the year.”

Nowhere in the Articles of Confederation does it say that the system of government being established was to serve the needs of the people; why would it, the people already had systems in place in their respective State Legislatures. As this system of government was to represent the States in their political capacities each State was to have but one vote in Congress; no matter how populous the State may be, “In determining questions in the United States in Congress assembled, each State shall have one vote.” (Article V)

Furthermore, any modifications or alterations to the powers delegated to this Congress had to be agreed upon, first by the Congress itself, then by a unanimous vote of all 13 State Legislatures, “…nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State.” (Article XIII)

This system, although it may not have been perfect in what powers Congress was authorized to exercise, gave those who created it a great deal of power over it by requiring that any recommendations it took be approved by each State and by giving the States the ability to recall their delegates at any time should they overstep their delegated authority. It also stood right smack dab in the way of those who wanted a system of government that could be used to promote economic growth and benefit certain classes of people – and those classes did not include the common working man trying to provide an existence for himself and his family.

Among the arguments tossed about promoting the idea that this system was insufficient for the needs of the country were the facts that it could not levy and collect taxes, that it could not regulate trade, and that it was incapable of putting down insurrections in the States; such as the one that is commonly known as Shay’s Rebellion.

During the Revolution many of those who fought for America’s independence were not paid, they were given what amounted to IOU’s stating that they would be paid later on after the war ended. However, many of those returning home after the war needed cash immediately to pay off their debts, pay their taxes, or just get back on their feet again. For a multitude of reasons neither Congress or the States could pay off those IOU’s and if the people could not pay their debts they might see their land taken from them, or be sent off to debtors prison; a kind of indentured servitude where people worked off their debt.

What often happened is that speculators came in and bought those IOU’s for what we might call today, pennies on the dollar. Those in need of immediate cash often sold their IOU’s for far less than their face value just to avoid losing their property and landing up in debtor’s prison. These speculators, most of them wealthy investors, carried much more influence than those who they purchased the IOU’s from and they sought immediate payment for them at full face value.

The only way that governments could accommodate them was to levy taxes upon the people to raise the money needed to pay those IOU’s off. So basically, poor folk were selling their IOU’s to get quick cash, and then they were being hit with taxes to pay off those IOU’s to those who had purchased them from them. That pissed a lot of people off; particularly one Daniel Shays.

Shays, and a bunch of other people in Massachusetts who found themselves in the same situation began protesting these taxes; organizing protests outside tax collection courts; hindering their ability to collect the taxes being imposed. Then they upped their game, so to speak, and sought to take the armory at Springfield so they could gain access to the arms and overthrow the government they felt had both betrayed and screwed them. Their attempt failed, with 4 of them being killed and another 20 injured; effectively ending Shay’s Rebellion.

This wasn’t the first time such an incident occurred, and it wouldn’t be the last. In 1783 hundreds of Revolutionary War veterans surrounded the Pennsylvania State House, where Congress was in session; causing them to flee to Princeton, New Jersey, until the Army could expel the protestors.

Then, in 1932 something similar took place when upwards of 43,000 protestors flooded the nation’s capital demanding early redemption of bonus certificates. Known as the Bonus Marchers the demands of these protestors went unheeded by Congress, and then in July President Herbert Hoover ordered the military to clear them out. Led by Douglas Mac Arthur, along with George Patton and Dwight Eisenhower, while armed with rifles and with fixed bayonets and tear gas, chased the protestors off. They never did get paid their bonuses, but under FDR many were offered jobs under the newly established Civilian Conservation Corps.

The first two instances, Shay’s Rebellion and the protest outside the State House in Pennsylvania led many in this country to believe the Confederation Congress could not effectively defend itself; let alone the entire country. I added the story of the Bonus Marchers to show that no matter what form of government we live under, some things never change.

In any case, taken in consideration with the fact that government could not levy taxes and regulate trade, some in this country felt that a much stronger, more centralized form of government was needed; one without the ability of the States to hinder it’s actions.

Today we often hear the term the One Percent; meaning the extremely wealthy and well to do. Well in 1787 it was their version of the One Percent who got together and decided that their needs could not be met by any modification to the existing system of government; an entirely new one would need to be established to better serve their interests. Just look at the profession of those attending both the Constitutional Convention and the State Ratifying conventions and you’ll find that they weren’t common working men or yeoman farmers; they were the rich; the upper crust of society; the One Percent if you will.

To many of them we the people were idiots; useful fools who were easily manipulated and misled; a tax base to generate revenue upon to fund the operations of a system of government designed to benefit the rich and wealthy businessmen, bankers and industrialists. Now tell me, with how business and industry has more access to our lawmakers than we do; how their money and lobbyists do not have more say in what laws are passed than we do; tell me how that does not accurately describe our current system of government. Do it with a straight face; I dare you!

I won’t go into all the loopholes and contrivances found in the Constitution that allowed this to happen, but I do want to speak for the remainder of my time on the subject of representation.

We are constantly told that government represents us, the people; that it is there to serve us. That alone is a drastic change from the system that existed prior to the ratification of the Constitution; one which was established to serve the States, not the people directly. Yet had the States been told that they were being completely shut out of the central government being proposed there is not a snowball’s chance in hell that the Constitution would ever have been ratified; so those who wrote and supported it lied. The Federalist Papers are a perfect example of this, being nothing more than a well crafted ad campaign designed to appease the fears of those who felt that this new system would subjugate the States under the authority of this new system of government.

Tell me, once again, with a straight face how what Madison describes in Federalist 45 even remotely resembles the separation of powers between the States and the federal authority, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”

Whether or not those who wrote and supported the Constitution flat out lied, or if the Constitution was written so poorly as to allow government to usurp all the power it currently holds is irrelevant. What is relevant is that Lysander Spooner’s words ring true, “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist.”

Now these people, and let’s be honest and call them what they are, these criminals don’t just walk in off the streets and say, “Hey, I’m your new Congressman, or, I’m your new President” we vote for them. It is my belief, after extensive study of the proceedings that produced the Constitution and the ensuing debates over its ratification, that the Constitution was written to eventually exclude the States from having any say in limiting the powers held by the federal government. Hell, an honest look at the Civil War ought to convince any open minded person of that.

However, since the Executive, or President as they are more commonly called, is a position that was created by the Constitution, let’s look at how that person is elevated to that office. Some people think that when they go to the polls in November that their vote actually decides who is elected to become the next president. Not so, the Electoral College decides who becomes president.

The number of Electors each State is allotted is determined by how many members it has in Congress; one per each member of the House and one per each member in the Senate. Now there are no fixed rules as how the Electoral College is bound to vote; each State sets their own rules regarding that. In some instances the Electors are bound to vote according to the popular vote, in some instances they are not. Also, in some States the winner of the popular vote within that State is given ALL the Electoral Votes for that State; regardless of the popular vote of the individual Congressional Districts.

There has been much discussion about the flaws of the Electoral College; especially when a candidate for president receives a majority of the popular vote but still loses because they don’t get a majority of Electoral Votes.

We are told that the Electoral College was established to prevent the major population centers, (the big cities) from determining the outcome of a presidential election. In a manner of speaking that may be true. Let’s say all the big cities, Chicago; Detroit; New York City; Los Angeles; San Diego; San Francisco; Miami; Philadelphia; and others, all voted for the same candidate, or the same party time after time after time. That WOULD allow for the major cities to determine the outcome of every presidential election; leaving everyone else to suffer under their choices without any say in who is elected. So on the surface the Electoral College seems like a good deal.

But wait, it only takes a simple majority of the 538 Electoral Votes to determine who becomes president; meaning the first to reach 270 Electoral Votes wins. But does not the same thing the Electoral College is supposed to prevent happen, only on a much larger scale? Is it not conceivable that the largest, most populated States would still decide who becomes president regardless of how the less populated States voted?

I think I figured it out once, and it would only take the 14 most heavily populated States to choose the President; that’s assuming they all voted for the same candidate. What about the remaining 36 States; are they shit out of luck; do their votes not matter?

If you were to read through the debates of the Constitutional Convention you would see that there was a heated debate among the delegates over the idea that the larger more populous States be given more representation in government; yet isn’t that exactly what the Electoral College does when it gives more Electors to the more heavily populated States?

I know that nothing I suggest is going to change anything, but I would suggest we go back to the model established by the Articles of Confederation; each State gets one vote in determining who becomes president, with the popular vote of each State determining who gets that State’s vote. I would still accept a simple majority; meaning that a candidate receive 26 of the 50 votes to become president; although I’d much rather see a higher percentage; say 37 votes.

At least if that were the process the smaller States might feel like their voice mattered; rather than feeling that it didn’t due to their relative size compared to California or New York. Hell, in many elections even California’s Electoral Votes do not matter because a candidate has reached 270 Electoral Votes before California’s ballots have been counted; I can only imagine how the people in Hawaii and Alaska must feel.

Like I said, nothing I suggest is going to change anything, I only want to get you to think, and provide a bit of history as to how radically our system changed when the Articles of Confederation were abandoned and replaced by the system outlined in the Constitution. Maybe if I can get you to think about that you’ll stop focusing on who you elect and begin focusing your attention upon the inherent flaws in our existing system. If I can do that, my time will have been well spent…but I’m not holding my breath either; not with how willingly people submitted to these Draconian restrictions upon their liberty over this Coronavirus. I think people are too ignorant, or too indoctrinated to take a serious look at how bad this system really is, and all they care about is their own personal comfort and security.

And that, my friends, is the unfortunate truth…like it or not. Liberty, rights, limited government? Bah humbug; give me benefits, give me subsidies, keep me safe and I’ll submit to anything. That is the creed of most people living in this country, and it is a far cry from Patrick Henry’s admonition, “Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings-give us that precious jewel, and you may take every thing else.”

About Br'er Rabbit

I'm just one person out of millions of others. The only thing different about me is that I don't walk around with my head up my ass.
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One Response to My Thoughts on How We Choose A President

  1. Genella Coop says:

    I found this dissertation to be very fascinating. It has given me a lot to think about and research. I have always thought the electoral college was the most fair way to protect the “flyover country”. But obviously there are some glaring flaws. One is the lac of uniformity between states as to how the electors should vote. And two, it does not seem as though the less populated states are protected at all. I need to do some comparisons. Thans for makinh me think.

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