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.