At Least We Are Not Supposed To Be!
We have all watched with astonished amazement the heavy-handed and quick response of the Canadian federal government as it squashed the "Freedom Convoy" protest in Ottawa and across Canada this month.
I offer this perspective to alert Americans about how WE should make OUR arguments against our government as they issue their edicts against freedom and our Constitutional rights.
We Are NOT Canada
Most Americans believe that America's protected individual rights are common around the world - "well, most certainly in other Western countries, Right?!" And of course, our closest neighbor, ally and trading partner is Canada, a nation of similar cultures that peacefully shares the longest international border on Earth. American and Canadian citizens also share in the same basic, God-given rights - Right??!
Not necessarily. For one thing, the Canadian Constitution does not lay as its foundational premise that "all men (and women) are created by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, ...", as the U.S. Declaration of Independence does. The term "unalienable" simply means that no one - not even the government - may separate an individual from these basic God-given rights - at least not without legal Due Process.
Although Canadians do have a "Charter of Rights" that the government first created in 1960, and replaced in 1982, it is most likely true there that What the Government giveth, the Government may taketh away. In Canada, the base concept is that all rights are grants from the Government, not from God Almighty.
That is basically the case in every other nation on Earth, other than in the United States. Americans need to be aware of that.
One thing that seems to be missing, among a number of others, in Canada's Charter of Rights is an acknowledgement that individuals are inherently entitled to be safe and secure in their possessions and papers - a concept that is carved out as an assignment that the U.S. government is charged with protecting in our Fourth (4th) Amendment.
The U.S. has the 4th Amendment
So, in Canada, it is not an unconstitutional stretch for the Prime Minister to unilaterally declare an emergency and then order the bank accounts of many thousands of Canadian citizens to be frozen. The Prime Minister there is also allowed to interfere in private Insurance policies and CANCEL insurance policies on the vehicles that were seen at the Freedom Convoy protest in their nation's capitol this month!
Those are actions that an American government may not legitimately take. Not without due process.
The 4th Amendment is part of the American 'Bill of Rights', the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution, adopted at almost the same moment as the Constitution itself was. It reads:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon a probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
- U.S. Constitution, Fourth Amendment
"That's Not a Good Idea" vs. "That's Not ALLOWED!"
Watching the debates in Parliament in Ottawa via TV this past week, the Conservative Party Members of the House of Commons have been making very eloquent and correct arguments against Prime Minister Trudeau's draconian actions. But I noticed that they are required to argue that, "What the Prime Minister is doing is not justified and is a bad idea!" They are not arguing that he is barred from taking these actions.
Their American counterparts in the U.S. Congress, had that been happening here in the States, would and SHOULD be shouting, "What the President is doing IS NOT ALLOWED!!" The United States Constitution exists to establish a federal government with enough authority to do its job in the limited list of areas that it is charged with governing, but the bulk of the Constitution actually forms a cage around that same federal government to prevent it from taking a number of other actions.
What the U.S. government is charged with doing as its most fundamental task is protecting individual liberties.
We are not Canada.
Our Founders Were Geniuses
What the American Founders did, in the design of these United States, is far more profound in my view - they built in substantial Checks and Balances throughout the Federal Government with listed areas that it may govern in. And they created a Constitution that the States must also adhere to, but otherwise allowing the States to govern as the people of the State deem correct.
"In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the Governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself."
- James Madison, March 1788
Canada's Founders were Loyalists
WHY DO I WRITE THIS? Because millions of Americans and probably half of the people elected to our U.S. Federal government today believe that we ARE just like Canada, that we should WANT to be just like Canada and that the U.S. Constitution is a bunch of 18th Century suggestions. As citizens, WE MUST BE AWARE and must be prepared to challenge our own government whenever orders like these come out of DC.
The Founders in the U.S. were quite successful in creating that type of government that protects individual liberties. And it has taken 200 to 240 years to finally begin to erode a bunch of the built-in self-control. Canada was not so designed - it is a nation that was founded by North American Loyalists who preferred living under the control of the Crown of England. Many Loyalists in the U.S. moved north to Canada after the Revolutionary War to find a stronger 'cradle-to-grave' type of government.
By studying history, we can predict fairly well how current events will unfold in our own day. Without that, the People who care will be constantly shocked, surprised and disappointed at what their government does. We need to also realize that the United States of America really is a rather unique place to live.
There is such a big effort going on in our nation today, to reduce, if not eliminate, the purpose and the role of each of our States here in these United STATES of America. Proponents of doing this often say, “Well, we have the communications and the data technology to pull this off effectively in our 21st Century that we did not have before – so WHY NOT?”
I would offer an initial challenge to that thinking with this - “Just because you CAN do a bad thing doesn’t mean that you SHOULD.” John F Kennedy once wisely said, “You should never tear down a fence before you find out WHY the fence was put up to begin with.”
Why Do We Even Have States?
It is because of our system of self-governance that has been intentionally designed into our unique, American form of government. In fact, this design is the intrinsic structure, the very DNA of the United States – it’s not just an add-on feature!
You see, it is our STATES that created the United STATES of America, not the other way around! As KrisAnne Hall, JD so accurately points out, the U.S. has been formed by CONTRACT - called a "compact" or "pact" when governments do them. That compact is known as the United States CONSTITUTION. The STATES are the Parties to the contract! The federal government is NOT a Party to the contract - it cannot be, because the federal government is the PRODUCT of that contract!
CANADA, by contrast, was formed as a federal government first and then went out and created each of its Provinces. Our Canadian friends all live in Provinces that ARE each creations of the Federal government. The federal government in Ottawa sets all the rules, laws and the limits upon each of the Provinces that they must follow.
Powers and authorities not listed, in Canada, are reserved to the FEDERAL government there. The exact OPPOSITE is true here in the United States. Our Federal government may govern ONLY in the areas that are listed, or "enumerated" in the Constitution and it is banned from governing in areas not so enumerated! Our STATES, and the People in those States, have governing powers limited only by the areas that are specifically transferred to the Federal government. States may not, for example, coin their own money, raise their own standing armies, not negotiate their own peace treaties with other nations. But our States are free to govern in any other areas. They are SOVEREIGN entities, otherwise.
It Provides Better Self-Governance!
Our 9th and 10th Amendments specifically say that what the U.S. Federal government may be involved with are ONLY those governing areas assigned to it by the Constitution, and by contrast, they also say that our STATE governments may govern in ANY area that they so choose to, as long as they do not violate the principles of the Constitution. Nor may the States get involved in areas that the Constitution says they may NOT be involved in - the areas reserved exclusively to the federal government..
That difference is HUGE. Do you see that difference between the U.S. and other federated nations? In Canada, that relationship is reversed.
Our Founders, collectively, created arguably the absolute best foundational legal documents ever created for a nation. Individually, they argued amongst themselves like Cats and Dogs, and we have a lot of evidence of their disagreements and debates. But, what they collectively agreed to is nothing short of sheer brilliance in terms of people governing people.
Remember, that our States came first. The original Colonies of Britain became sovereign and independent States in 1776. They developed laws and regulations within their own States that were appropriate and useful to their own People, their own beliefs and their own customs. When confronted with the obvious need to form a union among these very different and autonomous States, there was a great deal of angst and debate over the wisdom to do so. As Mather Byles of Massachusetts said in 1780s, “Which is better – to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away, or by three thousand tyrants one mile away?”
Built by Philosophy
Margaret Thatcher was the British Prime Minister from 1979 – 1990. On a visit to the US, Thatcher addressed the Congress, and there she reminded our assembled lawmakers something very important and profound: “Europe”, said Thatcher, “was created by History. America was created by Philosophy.” The United States was certainly the first nation so conceived, and certainly has been the longest lasting of any form of government in the world today.
Lady Thatcher’s point – “Europe happened. America was designed.”
Europe Was Formed Simply by the Strongest Surviving and Ruling
Europe’s government(s), basically, happened. Over 2,000 years, the nations of Europe were formed by the events, the wars and by the conquests of simply the strongest surviving.
America, on the other hand, even as we have had our own historical events and share of wars, literally DESIGNED our government(s) based on the philosophies and the principles, which are found in our Declaration of Independence and in our Constitution. “We hold these TRUTHS to be Self-Evident – that ALL (people) are created EQUAL, and that they are (each) ENDOWED by their CREATOR with certain UNALIENABLE Rights. And that among (those rights) are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
America Was Formed on a Different Basis
America is largely DESIGNED to protect the Individual and our many minorities from the rule of tyrannical dictators – and from the rule of a tyrannical majority!
Our Declaration of Independence continues to explain this philosophy. “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, … ”. Governments do not CREATE rights, Governments are set up to help secure and protect God-gifted rights that every person and group of persons has. That has been unique to the United States of America.
But, why form a government to govern thirteen (13) – and, today, fifty (50) – very different States? Because each of the States knew and understood that individually, every State standing alone was weak and frail and could easily be picked off by any of the three Super Powers – Spain, France or Great Britain – who all still had significant presence in North America. A union of these States was necessary for the common defense and to help facilitate trade and similar issues among the States.
Individually, each of our States were rather small, but they were each providing their People a high level of individual liberties – the ancient practice of slavery notwithstanding. The challenge ever present was – How long could it last?
Remember, from our earlier episodes – the Founders were creating a FEDERATION of States. The States already existed and they already had functioning governments. They needed to form a union of States into a functioning Federation that would provide for the Common Defense, a national Judiciary, a smoother-running economy, a national currency and a workable foreign policy where foreign powers could not play one State against another in trade deals and other treaties.
Before he became President, George Washington lamented in 1786 that the Articles of Confederation, which had been drafted in 1777 and adopted in 1781, were not working. “What a triumph for the advocates of despotism to find that we are incapable of governing ourselves."
The Solution: Federalism
What a dilemma! On the one hand, the need for a stronger national government was apparent to most everyone, with the ability to raise revenues to do what it is charged with doing, and yet retaining the need of the People in the States to govern themselves with a Government where they can most effectively grant, or withhold, the Consent of the Governed – their State Government. In 1787, the STATES convened the Constitutional Convention, recognizing the need for a stronger national government, but not willing to give away all their sovereign powers. The Founders were very careful to achieve both objectives – Federalism was crafted as the answer.
The Massive Challenge
In 1788, James Madison brilliantly summed up the massive challenge that they faced in creating a government to govern the People who were living in thirteen very different States, but who all shared the same very basic principles and beliefs. In 1788, Madison wrote in Federalist 51,
“If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
“If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.
“In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.”
Government closer to the people is better government as the Consent of the Governed may be much more efficiently and effectively granted or withheld.
We will continue in our next post on these simple concepts . . .
IT's IMPORTANT THAT YOU BE AWARE that there has never been any Federal provision for ANY national popular vote!
It was considered at least 4 times in various forms at the Constitutional Convention and resoundingly rejected!
A strong supporter of our Electoral College and opponent of the dangerous National Popular Vote Interstate Compact scheme, Senator Mike Lee, R-Wyoming, recently said that, "our Founders would not have been surprised that Presidents would be elected who did not get the most popular votes."
Senator Lee is one of the Good Guys in this battle, but his comment is a bit misleading and here is why - What the Founders would have been shocked over is that anyone was seriously measuring a Presidential election success by using a "national popular vote"!
In the 1820 re-election of James Monroe, for example, out of the 24 States, NINE (9) held no popular election of State Electors at all! And no one of note has ever complained of the legitimacy of Monroe!.
The Founders did not BAN the States from using a popular vote in-State to choose their own Electors, but it wasn't until 1880 that every State had even taken that step! And yet again, NO ONE has ever complained about the legitimacy of ANY of the Presidents elected from 1788 through 1876.
The Founders simply assigned the responsibility of electing the President of the Federation to the Members of the Federation - our STATES. And, then, by a MAJORITY of those State Votes cast, not a Plurality ("the MOST votes").
States have asked THEIR voters to decide to choose the STATE's Electors, but never the President.
That has never been changed! And for great reason - it would end the Federation!
BECAUSE all popular voting is done In-State and for the STATE's Electors and not the President, ALL popular votes cast ARE, in fact, treated and counted EQUALLY! They have been for many decades - certainly for all but perhaps the oldest 5% of the voting public today who vote!
No President elected before 1880 has ever had their Presidency's legitimacy challenged on the grounds that the entire population did not participate.
A national popular vote has never been a legitimate metric in the Federal election of the President. Not one presidential candidate has EVER received a single popular vote from ANY citizen.
We certainly should not legitimize the idea today
- Opinion by John.
A Republic, Not a Democracy
We all are beginning to realize that the United States is a republic, not a democracy.
But even more importantly than that, in my view, we must know that the United States is a FEDERATION.
Because our Domestic governance is supposed to happen at the STATE level, not in DC!
We may ban recreational marijuana in one State and celebrate it in another. We may love high taxes and lots of government services in one State and really hate that in another.
We may ban Capital Punishment in one State and ban it in another. We may wish for 95 mph speed limits on our freeways in Nebraska and keep everyone below 65 mph in Connecticut.
We want State sponsored and provided health care in Massachusetts, but prefer health care provided by the free market in South Dakota.
We may believe that strong Teacher Unions in New Jersey provide the best education for our kids, but in Oklahoma decide that more open Teacher contracting does that job better.
The people in Illinois may believe that more laws controlling gun ownership make their big cities safer, but people in Wyoming may not.
We may wish to ALLOCATE our Electoral Votes in Maine, but not do that in Florida, continuing to cast our Electoral Votes to be heard as a STATE, rather than as Congressional Districts.
In Michigan we may prioritize taxing ourselves for outstanding snow plowing of our highways, but in Louisiana, not so much.
This list is endless. But, so is the massive effort by the Left in this country to make every person in this Federation "equal" in every aspect of life that there is.
It Is Vital to Know the U.S. is a FEDERATION
States are free to govern themselves - with the consent of the State people being governed - as long as the States do not violate the base principles found in the Constitution of these United States. Our States to be referred to as "Fifty Laboratories of Liberty", as each State was encouraged to compete for not only the best economic reasons, but also for the best ideas in self-governance! Population changes within each State STILL rise and fall based largely on the government performance within each State.
When the Feds take over from DC, those competitive benefits will slow down to next to nothing.
As residents in our own States, we have a much better chance of influencing these many decisions in our STATES than we would EVER hope to have influencing a disconnected CONGRESS sitting on a Hill behind a walled fortress in DC!!
The Consent of the Governed
"Governments get their just Authority to govern from the Consent of the governed" - Declaration of Independence, 1776. Our Consent is most effectively granted or withheld when the government is closer to us, the Governed.
The NPVIC is a massive stepping stone to NATIONALIZING just about everything in these United States, and to neutering our State governments!
We MUST defend our Electoral College! We must defend our Constitution, which is under full scale attack.
I HOPE THIS IS MAKING SENSE TO YOU! This is the message that we must convince our countrymen and women of!
State Law Would Withhold Popular Vote Tally, IF ...
On 2/26/2021, the North Dakota Senate overwhelmingly passed SB-2271. The bill, at this writing, now heads to the House where it's expected to receive a warm welcome.
But, WHAT IS IT? SB-2271 basically says that, IF the dangerous National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) scheme is ever made active and goes into effect, THEN it will become illegal by North Dakota State law for any ND official to ever release the tally of the popular vote for Presidential Electors BEFORE the Electoral College meets to cast each State's Votes for President. Officials MAY release the percentage of popular votes cast for each slate of nominated Electors, but not the actual individual vote totals.
It Will Be a Contingency Law - "IF this, THEN that."
It is a bill, that when it becomes law, will ONLY be in effect in North Dakota IF and WHEN the dangerous National Popular Vote interstate Compact (NPVIC) scheme is in effect in other States!
The legislation is brilliant, in my humble opinion! The Left is literally doing an end run around the Constitution with this horrible NPVIC scheme. It's called a Compact or Pact when Governments do them - which will control Presidential elections with their 270 Electoral Votes under contract.
As you probably know already, the NPVIC requires all of its member States to conduct a Statewide popular vote to be cast for the State's nominated Electors. HOWEVER, this astonishing NPVIC Collusion Agreement then requires those Member States to completely IGNORE the State's own voters and disregard their choice - and seat the nominated Electors who are totally and personally committed to Voting for the Presidential Candidate that received the most popular votes Nationwide from ALL 50 States, plus DC.
The NPVIC Makes the ND Legislature Irrelevant in Presidential Elections
If the NPVIC is ever activated, it will never really matter if the State of North Dakota ever participates in a future Presidential Election! The State Legislature - which is given "plenary" (unchallengeable) responsibility to choose the Manner in which Electors are chosen by the Constitution in Article Two - has that responsibility rendered moot and meaningless when these other Left-leaning States join this terrible contract!
That's because the 270-Vote NPVIC States will have colluded to cast their now-majority 270 Votes just one way! They will always have the 270 Votes needed to elect the President by some "national" popular vote tally - a method of electing the President that the Founders considered and resoundingly REJECTED at least 4 different times during the Constitutional Convention in 1787!
North Dakota Can Put This Leftist Scheme 'in Check'
The Leftists behind the NPVIC are already 73% of the way there with their plot, with 196 Votes of the 270 they say they need to activate it, under contract!
This brilliant legislation in North Dakota, SB-2177, is like a "poison pill" bill that denies the Leftist NPVIC schemers the *national" popular vote tally that they claim to need to legitimately name the new President! IF the NPVIC scheme is in effect, THEN this great ND law kicks in and simply says, "Well, we are not going to publish our popular vote totals, then, until after the Electoral College casts their votes." So, a "national" popular vote tally - they pipe dream and only basis for their scheme - cannot be had!
This is a Great Defensive Bill to Protect North Dakota Sovereignty
Remember, that if the NPVIC never gets activated, OR if it does but then it STOPS being in effect (States drop out of the Compact, eliminating it's 270-Vote control of the election), North Dakota performs as it always has and reports its popular vote totals as usual.
Withholding the reporting of popular vote totals ONLY happens if these other Leftist States want to play Collusion Game and control the Presidential elections.
Urge the North Dakota House of Representatives to ALSO Pass SB-2177!
In this grand scheme of States vs States political warfare started by the Left, this is a super move by North Dakota's legislature to protect it's stature as a sovereign State and it's relevance as a State in executing it's responsibility to help elect our President. It's like a huge chess game, and North Dakota is THIS CLOSE to putting these Leftist "geniuses" in check!
If you could help let North Dakotans and others know how this bill really works, I'm sure they would really appreciate it.
By John Crawford
Alexander Hamilton Explained It Clearly
The "National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC)" is very literally a Contract of COLLUSION among a few States. In this scheme, the States that join this Contract (it's called a "Compact" or a "Pact" when governments do them), agree in advance that when certain conditions are met - in this case, where the 20 to 24 Compact States have absolute control over the election of the President to the exclusion of all the other States, by having 270 or more Electoral Votes in their Collusion Agreement - these State legislatures have pre-agreed to name ONLY Electors to cast their State Votes who are strongly and personally biased in favor of a candidate who reportedly received more "popular" votes across the entire nation.
The NPVIC does not work by controlling the VOTES of the State - it works by controlling WHO is chosen as the State's Electors to CAST those State Votes. And THAT is a provision in Article Two of our Constitution that the NPVIC backers hang their entire argument on.
This Collusion scheme very literally takes the CONTROL of each Member STATE's Electoral Votes AWAY FROM anyone who happens to live IN THAT STATE! Think about that! These are ALWAYS the STATE's Votes - the NPVIC does not change that - it simply CHANGES who CONTROLS those Votes! Wow!
The idea that ANY State would even consider that is SO absurd and unthinkable, that the thought of BANNING the practice never even occurred to the Founders! ... Nor, to anyone else until the 21st Century after Al Gore lost to George Bush in 2000!
It's Been Part of the Sales Pitch
The National Popular Vote's highly-paid Sales Team spent at least a dozen years, since about 2006, selling their NPVIC scheme by claiming, among other things, that "The Founders were UNABLE TO AGREE on how to best elect the President, so the Founders had to settle for ... ". That has just never been true. It seems to position themselves as being some type of enlightened 21st Century geniuses that have finally been ordained by history and by technology to solve a problem that simply confounded and eluded the 18th Century Founders.
It's simply not true. The Founders of these United STATES decided that it is the responsibility of the STATES to elect the President, using Electors chosen in the Manner decided upon from time to time by the State's Legislature.
Alexander Hamilton, a Delegate from New York to the Constitutional Convention (May - Sept 1787) told his New York constituents in March 1788 (before NY ratified the Constitution) in Federalist 68, that the Electoral College (EC) is about the only thing in the Constitution that was UNANIMOUSLY agreed to!
Federalist Paper, No. 68 - Published on March 12, 1788 by Alexander Hamilton
"To the People of the State of New York:
THE mode of appointment of the Chief Magistrate of the United States is almost the only part of the system, of any consequence, which has escaped without severe censure, or which has received the slightest mark of approbation from its opponents.
"The most plausible of these, who has appeared in print, has even deigned to admit that the election of the President is pretty well guarded.
"I venture somewhat further, and hesitate not to affirm, that if the manner of it be not perfect, it is at least excellent. It unites in an eminent degree all the advantages, the union of which was to be wished for."
Hamilton convinced his fellow New Yorkers to encourage the Legislature to RATIFY the new Constitution, using the brilliant EC as a great reason to do so!
In selling NPVIC to present-day State lawmakers, however, the NPV supporters have often said that the choice was simply between a "national popular vote" and this Electoral College, AND that they went with the EC because of the lack of good communications technology, among other reasons. They are allowing all of their listeners to believe that it has always been the desire of the Founders to have our population elect the President, but they just couldn't pull that off. Again, that is just not true.
TODAY, some of them are now saying that it's because of elite supremacy, or because of "Slavery" that the Founders sought to deny the population the right to vote. That is just totally False, too! Proof of that is that the Founders DID, in fact, provide for the popular election of the House of Representatives in Congress - so, No, they were not opposed to the population's right to vote. They also did not ban popular voting in the States.
Proposed, Considered, Debated and Rejected. Multiple Times.
The Founders considered nearly a DOZEN different ways to elect the President -
All were rejected. At least FOUR different formal versions of the population choosing the President were proposed, debated, and resoundingly defeated! Multiple Founders documented their reasons for this rejection on many different occasions, too. Among those reasons were included (paraphrased), "You propose that the selection of one of the most important office holders in the nation be left to those people who know the absolute LEAST about the office and the qualifications of the candidates?!", and " History has proven to us that democracies always implode in rather short order."
What they finally and unanimously agreed to, to elect the United STATES Federation's President, is to have the STATES elect their President, using Electors who held no public office, specially chosen to serve ONLY that short-lived purpose, with the Manner in which those State Electors were chosen to be left up each State Legislature.
The Founders Designed Against Electoral COLLUSION, TOO!
They ALSO provided that the Electors meet together WITHIN their respective State to discuss and cast their Votes. HOWEVER, the Founders required that ALL Electors meet ON THE SAME DAY across the country, in their respective States SO THAT THE ELECTORS from different States COULD NOT meet, collude, collaborate nor otherwise by influenced!
Hamilton, Again -
Compare this to what is likely going on today - and what is totally expected if this dangerous National Popular Vote Interstate Compact scheme is ever activated! By any definition, the NPVIC Agreement IS Collusion - YOU get to decide if it is good Collusion or bad Collusion, and if it is even allowed in these United States.
Alexander Hamilton, continues -
"And as the electors, chosen in each State, are to assemble and vote in the State in which they are chosen, this detached and divided situation will expose them much less to heats and ferments, which might be communicated from them to the people, than if they were all to be convened at one time, in one place.
"Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption.
"These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter (sic), but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union?
"But the convention have guarded against all danger of this sort, with the most provident and judicious attention."
Absolutely brilliant. Scalable for a large, growing and diverse Federation such as the United STATES. The Electoral College has served us incredibly well since Day One. The Electoral College, for our republic, our Federation of sovereign States, remains timeless.
Why the National Popular Vote Scheme is a Bad Deal
In the last 20 years, much has been said about the method that the United States uses to elect the President, called the Electoral College. That’s largely because of a well-financed assault against it by a few people who revere direct democracy.
That assault is known as the "National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC)" scheme.
The published desire of NPVIC backers is to effectively elect the President by direct democracy and end the constitutional role that our states have. "The one with the MOST votes wins!" is their slogan and it sounds so virtuous, doesn't it? There is a lot more to it than that!
Most Americans correctly believe a constitutional amendment is required to pass this scheme. However, supporters of the NPVIC have cooked up what they claim is a perfect “workaround” to the Constitution—a contract among a minority of states, called a “compact.”
Proponents of the NPVIC sell this plan to state legislators using fundamentally misguided arguments. Instead of trying to change the Constitution, supporters of the NPVIC use faulty logic to try and pass their unworkable idea.
The Electoral College is Timeless - There is Nothing for 21st Century 'Brainiacs' to Correct!
The foundation of the NPVIC argument is that the population of the United States is supposed to elect the President. They claim that the limitations of 18th Century technology prevented that. This claim is false, just like most of the rest of their sales pitch.
Supporters of the NPVIC don’t understand that the President is the chief executive officer of the States Federation, and his or her duties, assigned by Article II of the Constitution, include leading the nation collectively and representing the states. The President isn’t supposed to control the day to day operations of government our Domestic governance —that is the job of state governments.
The Electoral College Is a Major Check Against Federal Tyranny
States serve as the counterweight to the federal government as a vital part of the overall system of checks and balances the Founders devised. It is a basic, foundational and structural structure that keeps the States in position to collectively serve as the best force to keep the Federal government confined to the Cage that is the Constitution.
It is the states’ duty to decide who the President is. The Founders understood that the American people could more easily hold their state officials accountable than they could hold distant federal officials accountable. Removing presidential selection from the states removes their ability to influence who governs them.
Confusion has sprung from the fact that, since 1880, every state has asked its citizens to choose state electors. Populations have never been asked to directly elect a President for very deliberate reasons. The President’s popular election was brought up at least four times during the 1787 Constitutional Convention, debated and firmly rejected every time.
The left-leaning NPVIC financiers are attempting to massively change this nation and dramatically weaken our states converting America into a monolithic democratic socialist country.
No Presidential Candidate Has EVER Received a Single Popular Vote!
The foundation of the NPVIC sales pitch begins by making sure that everyone in the room believes that the American President is supposed to be elected by the general population in a direct democratic election, where a plurality – “the one with the most votes wins” – chooses the President. They then add in the believable layer that in the 1780s, high-speed communications and travel could not even be imagined. Therefore, with their limited view of technology, the Founders had to create a handicapping system allowing for their 18th-century limitations.
History shows us, though, that the Founders did consider several times during the 1787 Constitutional Convention electing the President by a popular vote – and repeatedly, the Framers debated the idea and resoundingly rejected it. They knew, almost unanimously, from studying history that democracies tend to implode in short order. They realized that the population was the least informed segment in the country and the most easily manipulated.
There are numerous other deceptions and flaws in most of the NPVIC sales pitch as it actually solves none of the so-called “problems” that it advertises it will solve.
KEEP IN MIND that the U.S. population has NEVER elected the U.S. President. On purpose. By design.
No candidate for President has EVER received any popular vote for the Office. Nor has ANY citizen ever cast a vote for a Presidential candidate. That is because it is our STATES, using specially-chosen Electors to serve this one, very narrow function, that elect the President.
The American Federation Has Never Been a Democracy
The Founders were virtually unanimous in their intention to NOT create the American Federation as a democracy. Almost all of them wrote clearly and profoundly against a democracy for the United States because they correctly knew from history that democracies are very short-lived.
Remember, too, that they were designing the FEDERATION, with principles that the States would be bound to. But they were not dictating anything beyond those basic, Constitutional principles to any State. Each State was left free to practice various levels of democracy within their own society.
But, today, a few people who like these heavier democracies are working very seriously to impose heavy democracy upon the Federation. It's a very bad move for such a large and diviersified republic as ours.
The National Popular Vote scheme is extremely radical.
The Founders did not BAN outright democracies WITHIN any State, nor did they REQUIRE it. Today, Leftists seem hell-bent on creating an entirely new nation, with a non-Constitution-restricted type of government. They are doing this in part by destroying the foundational roles our States play in checking the federal government. One such effort is called the "National Popular Vote interstate Compact" scheme.
With this NPVIC gambit, they are creating a type of monolithic democracy that has been rejected here ever since 1787. Today, the democracies in a FEW States are working feverishly to impose a democracy on the entire federation. That is flat-out wrong and unconstitutional. It cuts across the grain of all of American federation history.
It's a Matter of Assignment
The U.S. population simply was never assigned the task nor responsibility of electing the President of the United STATES, and for good reason. It is our STATES that elect the President of the United STATES. A popular vote is not even the BACK-UP plan for electing a President! No individual person in American history has ever cast a vote for a Presidential candidate.
Our States collectively - which CREATED these United States, and not the other way around - are truly the only force large enough and with enough power, authority and responsibility to keep the Federal Government in check - to keep the Federal Government operating within the confines of its cage that is the Constitution.
Many people in government do not like that cage!
State legislatures remain free, per Article Two of our Constitution, to determine the Manner in which the State chooses its own Electors. States ALSO remain free to STOP holding any popular vote to decide who those Electors are. The Supreme Court, as recently as the Bush v Gore case in 2000, specifically reaffirmed that to be the case.
We Can't Wait for a Court to Settle This. This is Properly a Political Battle, for Now.
The NPVIC (IF this dangerous Contract of Collusion ever get activated) should certainly be struck down by the Supreme Court. This Compact works to the disadvantage of the States that choose to NOT join this scheme, so much so that the NPVIC scheme makes the participation of any NON-Compact State in presidential elections totally IRRELEVANT. And THAT violates the Constitutional GUARANTEE that every STATE in this Union has to a republican form of government.
If the NPVIC is in force, then it matters not one single bit what any other Legislature chooses to do in deciding the Manner in which it will choose its State's Electors! And THAT violates the non-NPVIC Compact States their right to a meaningful republican form of government.
But, once activated, the damage, chaos and confusion this Collusion Agreement will cause will be swift and happen faster than a Supreme Court decision can likely be rendered. The lack of confidence in and lack of support for a Presidency will be massive and likely irreparable.
That is why this radical, nation-changing scheme must be defeated politically in every State Capitol where it is brought up.
There Has Never Been a "national popular vote". We shouldn't Start Now!
Elections are always State affairs. It's pretty simple - There has never been a national popular vote because there has never been a national election. The President is elcted in a FEDERAL election, by the States.
Because of the concept of self-governance and State rule, each State has developed unique and separate election rules, procedures and laws for themselves, although they all must conform to basic Constitutional principles. WITHIN each State, all voters must be treated fairly and uniformly. HOWEVER, voters in one State do not have to be treated identically to the way voters in any other State are treated. So many folks get this point wrong.
USURPING the States' Role and Responsibility - Not Good!
To change to a "national" popular vote - which has NEVER existed because there has NEVER been a national election in the United States for ANY office - is not just some minor tweak to our election system. It is a MASSIVE usurpation of our STATES' basic responsibility to elect the President of the U.S. Federation of STATES.
The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact scheme is devious, it solves NONE of the "problems" that its supporters claim are "problems", and indeed creates dozens of other new problems that will result in the end of most of our self-governance in the U.S. They are not simply mistaken in their intentions. They are up to nefarious objectives.
The National Popular Vote scheme must be rejected everywhere that it is brought up.
Opinion by John.
John Crawford has been a lifelong Constitutional Conservative. He graduated from Michigan State University in Business Administration and worked on his MBA at Western Michigan University. He has been very active in grassroots politics and in volunteer community service organizations his entire career.