Profiles In Cowardice: The Electoral College
2016 In Review: America Off The Rails, Part 1
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America has always been very resilient. Its success and ability to persevere in the face of adversity has been secured by a spirited belief in American ideals and by the political infrastructure laid out by the Founding Fathers and the Constitution that was meant to encourage those ideals. The eternal question in American political history is: Do we have the smarts and the courage to stick with the principles laid out for us? Some of us do, and now, apparently, some of us do not.
When building the infrastructure of our way of governing, the Founding Fathers laid out a bicameral Congress consisting of a House of Representatives, apportioned according to each state’s population, and a Senate, two Senators per state. There is also a Judicial Branch, and the Executive Branch, aka the Presidency. All of this was created to be a deliberate system of checks and balances designed to prevent extremism from either end of the political spectrum from taking hold.
Since the Executive Branch was, unlike the other branches of our governmental infrastructure, in the control of just one person, the idea of the Electoral College evolved into a fail-safe mechanism, in case, by some off chance, a person who was completely unfit, either through qualifications of experience, politics, foreign influence, or even lack of mental stability, was elected by the people. The basic idea was that, although the masses might, some day, be conned, a panel of more learned and less emotional men (now men or women) could save the day and the country, if need be. In other words, the Founding Fathers didn’t have 100-percent trust in the average voter, so they created what we would now call a firewall.
Among other things, this device of an Electoral College was a bone of appeasement thrown to the slave states. In our nation’s early years, that appeasement helped keep the Northern and Southern (slave-holding) states together as a nation. In fact, for 32 of the nation’s first 36 years after the Constitution was created, the President came from Virginia, the biggest slave-holding state of the time. That’s some serious appeasement, but it worked, and the nation started to get its footing -- until the issue of slavery could not be ignored anymore.
After the Civil War, the Electoral College continued to provide an actual legal mechanism whereby an unfit President-elect could be stopped, if necessary, by vote, from taking office and damaging, selling out, or even destroying the republic. That has always been the most grave responsibility of the "electors" who compose the Electoral College. Horrifically, the Electoral College -- through a gross abdication of its reason for existence, for whatever reason, be it political agenda, complacency, the well-publicized threats from Herr Trumpf, or just fear of the same -- has finally failed our country.
But let’s back up a minute. Is it the fault of the Electoral College, which admittedly may need some tweaking or modernization?
Or is it the fault of the men and women who are the electors themselves? To me, the answer is obvious. Had the electors done the job prescribed by this country’s architects, the system would have worked more than well enough. Instead, the Electoral College of 2016 has done the work of our enemies, and sold out our American ideals. The current Electoral College is guilty of malfeasance, heinous cowardice, and some might say even worse.
It does us no good now, but the names of the 538 electors are public knowledge. However, not all of their actual votes are available. Apparently, in some states some electors would rather have the public not know exactly how they voted. When it comes to our private votes, we cherish the logic of the secret ballot. Perhaps, however, the votes of the Electoral College should properly be public, just like a Senator’s vote.
As it is, we can at least know the names of many of the electors who could have changed the outcome of our future but failed to do the right thing. Those electors will go down in history as the cowards and traitors to the principles of the Founding Fathers and our country that they are. Their names will join the long list of weak, spineless, and outright evil names in history. Will their names be thought of along the lines of Roman senators who aided the demise of an empire, or the names of those in the court of Louis XVI, or the names of Nuremberg? Time will tell. The disgust and contempt that these names will be held in by history is now up to the insanity of Herr Trumpf and his party cohorts who dream of totalitarian solutions.
There’s a ton of irony in the fact that republicans love to talk about the Founding Fathers with great reverence when it suits their purposes. However, the chosen leader of today’s Republican Party once stated that the Electoral College is disgraceful.
Herr Trumpf was right that time. Who says we can’t give him who wears an orange rat on his head some credit, once in a great while? Of course, he has now changed his tune. You might say he was against it before he was for it.
If the electors of the Electoral College are not going to do their job, perhaps the Electoral College’s time really has passed and maybe more than mere tweaks are in order. There is currently a movement to just go with the results of the national popular vote. The National Popular Vote concept has already been adopted by 10 states and the District of Columbia. Under the plan, the Electoral College would still exist but it would simply rubber-stamp the results of the national vote total.
Had this concept been in place in 2000, Al Gore would have been President of the United States. The Bush Crime Family and their partisan “Supreme Court” accomplices would not have gotten away with stealing the election. The August memo would have been read and acted upon. Iraq would have a different history, ISIS would be far less consequential, if not non-existent, and one of Earth’s oldest cities, Aleppo, would not look like Dresden did in 1945.
Oh, and Hillary Clinton, who won the 2016 national popular vote by almost 3 million votes would be sworn in as the 45th president on January 20th. Instead, we are left to anxiously await horrors to come, this time at the hands of a mental case.
The final remedy given to us by the Founding Fathers is impeachment. Chances are Herr Trumpf will provide plenty of reason for that. Certainly, the Founding Father knew what to do with traitors. But will both corporate America and the Washington clown class back that? Most likely not, if only because the clowns are bought and sold.
I’m old enough to remember when Richard Nixon was forced to resign because he knew he would be not only be impeached by the House but also removed from office by Senate vote. After Nixon resigned, he was allowed to leave the White House via Marine One, absurdly flashing his two-armed victory sign, as if to say, Charlie Sheen-like: Winning!
Nixon was then wrongly pardoned by President Gerald Ford, very possibly as part of the deal to make Ford VP after Spiro Agnew had been forced out due to his own illegal activities. Nearly all of the Washington political class, including the irritatingly meek and "reasonable" liberal set and the national media hacks, claimed that "no one wants to see President Nixon in jail." All I know is that everyone I associated with at that time did want to see Nixon in jail, at the very least. That would have been true justice.
I don’t see Herr Trumpf ever resigning or going quietly. What I do see, if by some righteous miracle he was impeached, is a circus of a reality show where either the proper authorities will have to overcome his private security force and haul him away or he will find his way to the Russian embassy and ask Putin for asylum. At that point, it would be interesting to see if Putin admits to ever knowing him. Trumpf will then boast that he had the biggest ratings ever. Forget O. J. Simpson in his white Bronco. Trumpf’s last day in office would be quite a show -- riveting must see TV! You might say: I have a dream.
2016 IN REVIEW: AMERICA OFF THE RAILS
Here it is, Noah's completed Year in Review for 2016:
Part 1, "Profiles in Cowardice: The Electoral College" (12/23/2016)
Part 2, "Republican Of The Year Nominee #1: Newt Gingrich" (12/27/2016)
Part 3, "The Trumpf Inauguration Committee Finds The Perfect Inauguration Entertainment At Last!" (12/29/2016)
Part 4, "Republican Of The Year Nominee #2: R-R-Reince Priebus" (1/2/2017)
Part 5, "Comrade Trump: The World’s Worst Cabinet Maker, Believe Me -- Meet The New Russian Oligarchs! (1)" (1/4/2017)
Part 6, "Comrade Trump: The World’s Worst Cabinet Maker, Believe Me -- Meet The New Russian Oligarchs! (2)" (1/5/2017)
Part 7, "Republican Of The Year Nominee #3: Governors' Edition" (1/9/2017)
Part 8, "Trump -- The Art And Acts Of The Emboldened: The Rise In Hate Crimes Under The Influence Of Comrade T" (1/10/2017)
Part 9, "Republican Of The Year Nominee #4: It's A Sad Thing When Cousins Marry Edition" (1/11/2017)
Part 10, "Republican Person Of The Year Nominee #5 -- And Winner!" (1/12/2017)
Part 11, "Comrade Trump: Inauguration Entertainment Update!" (1/15/2017)
Part 12, "A DWT Exclusive: We Have The First Draft Of Comrade Trump's Inauguration Speech!" (1/16/2017)