Monday, June 19, 2006

Losing Our Vote

This is a true story:
In a Democratic country, where each citizen gets one vote, and the majority rules, a teacher is put on trial for speaking of concepts which are detrimental to the well-being of the country. The entire citizenry is entitled to vote on the teachers guilt or innocence, and to set the penalty. The majority rules that the man is guilty, and the penalty is death. Thus Socrates, one of the greatest teachers in history, is forced to drink poison to carry out the penalty by majority rule.

The Framers of our Constitution in the United States of America did not believe that the majority should be given totalitarian rule over the minority. To protect the weak from the strong, they wrote several provisions into the Constitution. Some of these include the sovereignity of the individual states, the representation in the Federal Government of districts within these states, the representation in Federal Government of each state, the separation of powers between the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative branches of government, and, in national elections, the establishment of the Electoral College These provisions essentially even the odds between highly populated states and states with have smaller populations, and ensures that every citizen has a voice in government. This is what distinguishes a Republic from a Democracy.
Today, there are some in both factions of the Demopublican Party who wish to silence the voice of the weak. Each faction feels that they had an election "stolen" from them; one, in 1992, when William Jefferson Clinton won the Electoral vote, giving him victory over George H.W. Bush, who had garnered the larger popular vote, the other in 2000, when the Electoral College gave the Presidency to George W. Bush over the popularly elected Al Gore.
Six states, including my own state of Colorado, have legislation pending that would award the states' electoral votes to the presidential candidate who has the most popular votes nation wide. If enough states adopted such measures, the voice of the individual states would be silenced in national elections. If the majority of Colorado voters were to vote for Candidate A, for example, and the national totals favored Candidate B, then the votes of the Coloradans would be stripped from them and given to Candidate B. The Colorado voters would have no voice in the selection of the President. Not that it would matter, for the candidates would ignore Colorado and other states in their campaigns, catering only to the states with the larger populations. The city of Houston, TX, alone, has a population more than twice that of the entire state of Colorado, and four times that of the entire state of New Mexico. There would be little reason for any candidate to campaign in more than the twelve states with the largest population centers. The rest of us don't even need bother to vote, for our votes wouldn't matter anyway.
The sovereignity of the individual states would be greatly compromised, the voice of the citizens, as a state, silenced, and the entire Nation would, for the purposes of the Presidency, become a Majority ruled Democracy.
Not that any of that would matter. Every state, district, and precinct would become the venue of endless ballot recounts, delaying the results of the popular vote, until the Senate is Constitutionally obligated to choose the President and Vice-President, rendering the presidental election moot.
The Framers of the Constitution knew what they were doing. Even if it was 225 years ago that the Constitution was ratified, it was meant to endure through countless changes in demography, both anticipated and unforseen. To prevent tyranny of the many over the few, the strong over weak, the electoral process must be preserved.

6 comments:

Dawn Benko said...

Ours is the longest surviving constitution in the world for a reason. But today's politicians all know better. We need a good strong third party to save our constitution.

RevJim said...

I'll never give up on the LP. I feel like maybe we should spend more time speaking in defense of the constitution. I'm happy that Ron Paul quit the Libertarian Party. It just wasn't his thing.

Ozark Jim said...

Rev'n; your comments are right on. Those idiots who say the popular vote should rule are stupid, thoughtless, and nearly all are democrats. Why Democrats? Because if the popular vote elects then the Dems would win every time. The huge cities are full of liberals and uneducated people on welfare. They don't even know what the election is about or who stands for what, they are kneejerk voters. They vote Dem. If we go to the popular vote Our officials will be elected by morons. Look at Ted Kennedy. There have to be a lot of liberal left idiots in Mass. That guy is bent on tearing up the country. Blacks and Jews vote Dem because it's a tradition. They should put a little research into the Republican party. If they did a lot of them would be VERY surprised and would probably change, because the Republicans have supported their cause MUCH more than the Dems. Finally; if the popular vote prevails it won't be long until this republic will cease to exist. A democracy can only exist until the people vote away the money, the armed forces, and every thing a government needs in order to survive. That always happens, and that's why there are no true Democracies.

Ozark J said...

One more thought: With respect to the LP, when you vote for your person you are robbing the Republican. You are in effect voting Democrat. Think about it. Make your vote count by voting Republican. Everything is a compromise. You need to set priorities.
The Dem guys are low on my priorities. The Libertarian vote would otherwise go to the Republicans in the predominate instance. Why vote for a person who is not going to make it, no matter how much you want him?

Drunkenrantz said...

Heh, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian...electoral college or direct vote, it doesn't really matter as long as the process is run and manipulated by shadowy, well-monied interests behind the scenes. I do agree our constitution is a beautiful document that should be amended sparingly. I also believe that as far as individual (and minority) rights are concerned, the current administration and Congress are wiping their collective behinds with it.

A pox on all their houses.

RevJim said...

To Ozark J: Hi Pops! Thank you for your comments. In national elections I usually vote for the lesser of two evils, as I see it. in all other elections,
I vote for the Libertarian candidate, and I am not ashamed to admit it. Libertarianism has to work from the ground up and not from the top down. However,my personal convictions tell me that the democrats and republicans both stand for a Socialist state in that they beleive in excessive and illegal taxation and government intervention in what should be personal responsibility. The only difference between the two is that one extreme is Stalinist, and the other Marxist.
To Drunkenrantz: I wouldn't expect less from you. Thanks for stopping by, buddy!