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#1 Greg Burnham

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 02:20 PM



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"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

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#2 Charles Drago

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 10:33 AM

I cannot discern the relevance of state boundaries to national elections.  

 

I hold that it is of no consequence to note that Candidate A won XXX number of states, while Candidate B won only X number in order to justify the election of Candidate A who lost the so-called popular vote to Candidate B.  

 

If such is your rationale, then why stop at counting states?  Count every county in every state.  Or how about every city?  Or every ward in every city in every state?

 

The only borders that should matter in a national election are the nation's borders.

 

Although I'm hardly in a position to criticize ... 


"[Y]ou can't blame the innocent, they are always guiltless. All you can do is control them or eliminate them. Innocence is a kind of insanity." -- Graham Greene, The Quiet American

"If an individual, through either his own volition or events over which he had no control, found himself taking up residence in a country undefined by flags or physical borders, he could be assured of one immediate and abiding consequence. He was on his own, and solitude and loneliness would probably be his companions unto the grave." -- James Lee Burke, Rain Gods

a wind has blown the rain away and blown
the sky away and all the leaves away,
and the trees stand. i think i too have known
autumn too long
-- e. e. cummings

#3 Greg Burnham

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 10:46 AM

Did you watch the video before posting? If so, I have not disagreed with you about a subject more vigorously than I do this one. Again, refreshing. The Electoral College's importance was so appreciated by the founding fathers that it would take a "super majority," which is 2/3 of the Congress, PLUS ratification by 75% of the states (38 out of 50) in order to abolish it.

 

In another thread Mark Jamieson offered the following:

 

 

For those who struggle with the concept of the Electoral College, perhaps the great American pastime will add clarity.

 

In the 2002 World Series, the Anaheim Angels defeated the San Francisco Giants in seven games, 4-3, despite being outscored in total runs (41-44).  Nobody claimed that the Giants were the World Series champions because they scored more runs.  The object of the WS is not to acquire the highest aggregate score; it is to win 4 games.

 

The Giants fans cannot claim that the system is "unfair" or "antiquated" as is being claimed with regards to the Electoral College.  They knew the rules going in: win 4 games.  

 

The object of the presidential election is not to acquire the majority of votes; it is to win 270 electoral votes.

 

 

 

Charles, without the Electoral College, the combined total populations of states like New York & California with large cities like New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other densely populated urban centers in other states would completely negate the need for politicians to even address the concerns of those living in the rural or suburban areas of the country. Therefore the campaigns would be run completely differently, emphasizing only the urban centers and neglecting to focus on the other areas. 

 

So the outcome we saw is based on "win the Electoral College" strategy. If it was a popular vote only election, both campaigns would have conducted themselves quite differently--focusing only on the dense voter populations of the biggest cities. Eventually, over several election cycles, the remainder of the country, the farmlands, industrial centers, and other suburban areas would become completely disenfranchised since there would be nobody paying any attention to them. This is precisely what the founding fathers chose to avoid as it could promote tyranny by the majority. Indeed, Clinton appears to have lost because she engaged in exactly the wrong strategy by disproportionately focusing her attention on the largest population centers on the coasts at the expense of the remainder of the electorate. The founding fathers methodology deliberately sought to deprive such a candidate from attaining the presidency and it worked out just as they predicted it would. 


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"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

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#4 Greg Burnham

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 11:14 AM

For the record, I have no objection to breaking down the actual vote tally by Congressional District, instead of the winner takes all method. -- Indeed, that would be even more accurate and more attentive to the diverse needs of the various areas of the country, states, and localities. However, a further break down--all the way to "wards"--in some states would be a grueling task to tally. More important than that, the number of electoral college votes per state is determined by the number of Congressional Seats allocated to each state--and Congressional Seats are determined by population, which is determined by the US Census every 10 years. When the US Census indicates that populations have grown or shrunk in a state, then Congressional Seats--and thus Electoral College votes--are both adjusted accordingly. So there is a lot of good sense to this system the way it is, balancing many diverse concerns.

 

The founding fathers felt that a State by State break down was sufficient enough. But they did not dictate even that to the states. They respected States' Rights so much that they left it up to each State to decide if a further break down is necessary for their STATE. Maine and Nebraska do not have winner takes all, but split their electoral college votes along Congressional District lines. I would be in favor of this method across the board, but, according to the Constitution, it is up to each state to decide for themselves. So far, all but two states have agreed with the winner takes all method. But it is not written in stone.

 

BTW: If we did not have a "winner takes all" system in 48 of the states (as we now do), Trump still would have won, but by an even wider margin. For instance, in California he got 33% of the popular vote to her 61% -- but under the current system he received ZERO percent of the electoral votes. In New York he received 38% to her 59% and again received ZERO percent of the electoral vote. Keep in mind that these two states have the largest number of electoral college votes (84 combined) in the country. So he stood the most to GAIN by splitting the electoral college votes down to Congressional District, not her. And, while it is true that she, too, would have received her portion in the other states, he won a majority of the POPULAR VOTE--and electoral college votes--in 59% of those states, as well.


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"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

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#5 Charles Drago

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 03:27 PM

"Refreshing" indeed, and on many levels.

 

I find your sports analogy to be unconvincing.  An example: Should runs scored by a team in an "away" game be multiplied due to the difficulty factor being greater?  

 

Each game should be thought of as a mini-election.

 

And you force the inference that merely paying lip service to the issues of states with relatively small populations is somehow a good thing regardless of how those issues are addressed post-election.

 

Less populous states in the aggregate can create formidable voting blocks.  If they are ignored, they will know it and inflict a heavy toll on those doing the ignoring.  If a candidate decides not to waste time on the five sparsely populated New England states on focuses on Massachusetts with its 11 electoral votes, he/she will risk losing the 22 votes represented by Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Connecticut.

 

States with single digit electoral votes bring 156 votes to the proceedings.  Do you argue that any candidate worth his or her salt would concede those states by ignoring them?  Would not the opponent(s) of such a candidate campaign on such an issue?


"[Y]ou can't blame the innocent, they are always guiltless. All you can do is control them or eliminate them. Innocence is a kind of insanity." -- Graham Greene, The Quiet American

"If an individual, through either his own volition or events over which he had no control, found himself taking up residence in a country undefined by flags or physical borders, he could be assured of one immediate and abiding consequence. He was on his own, and solitude and loneliness would probably be his companions unto the grave." -- James Lee Burke, Rain Gods

a wind has blown the rain away and blown
the sky away and all the leaves away,
and the trees stand. i think i too have known
autumn too long
-- e. e. cummings

#6 Greg Burnham

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 03:28 PM

"Refreshing" indeed, and on many levels.

 

I find your sports analogy to be unconvincing.  An example: Should runs scored by a team in an "away" game be multiplied due to the difficulty factor being greater?  

 

Each game should be thought of as a mini-election.

 

And you force the inference that merely paying lip service to the issues of states with relatively small populations is somehow a good thing regardless of how those issues are addressed post-election.

 

Less populous states in the aggregate can create formidable voting blocks.  If they are ignored, they will know it and inflict a heavy toll on those doing the ignoring.  If a candidate decides not to waste time on the five sparsely populated New England states on focuses on Massachusetts with its 11 electoral votes, he/she will risk losing the 22 votes represented by Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Connecticut.

 

States with single digit electoral votes bring 156 votes to the proceedings.  Do you argue that any candidate worth his or her salt would concede those states by ignoring them?  Would not the opponent(s) of such a candidate campaign on such an issue?

 

The sports analogy must be applied only to the relevant portion of the argument else you are committing a fallacy. The point is that the legitimacy of the election is NOT in question on the grounds of the electoral college being invalid. It is valid as it is the RULE going in. That is where the analogy exists. It does not extend farther and I did not claim it did. You said each game should be thought of as a mini-election. Agreed, if each "game / mini-election" is thought of as a STATE election. THAT my friend, is the electoral college in a nutshell. Win enough games (States) in a series, and you win the series, irrespective of the number of aggregate runs (votes) scored!

 

We shall disagree as you are putting words in my mouth. I will comment on this:

 

 Do you argue that any candidate worth his or her salt would concede those states by ignoring them?  Would not the opponent(s) of such a candidate campaign on such an issue?

 

 

I believe that is exactly the strategic error that Clinton's campaign made in its arrogance. And, yes, Trump exploited that very error to his advantage in addition to flipping what were thought to be "safe" blue states, such as, Pennsylvania. 


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"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

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#7 Charles Drago

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 03:36 PM

Sounds like a plan.


"[Y]ou can't blame the innocent, they are always guiltless. All you can do is control them or eliminate them. Innocence is a kind of insanity." -- Graham Greene, The Quiet American

"If an individual, through either his own volition or events over which he had no control, found himself taking up residence in a country undefined by flags or physical borders, he could be assured of one immediate and abiding consequence. He was on his own, and solitude and loneliness would probably be his companions unto the grave." -- James Lee Burke, Rain Gods

a wind has blown the rain away and blown
the sky away and all the leaves away,
and the trees stand. i think i too have known
autumn too long
-- e. e. cummings

#8 Greg Burnham

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 03:56 PM

One more item:

 

And you force the inference that merely paying lip service to the issues of states with relatively small populations is somehow a good thing regardless of how those issues are addressed post-election.

 

 

 
I did no such thing. As a matter of logic, the value of what the winner does post election stands or falls on its own merits. It does not necessarily have an effect on the legitimacy of the process preceding it. Hypothetically, even after an election is determined by popular vote only, the newly elected president could be neglectfully irresponsive to the voters.  However, without the process the probability of such perfidy is almost guaranteed. With the system... at least there is a chance.

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"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

Website:

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#9 Greg Burnham

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 04:32 PM

As an aside: The winner of this election was the "I didn't vote" block of citizens.

 

Technically, their "non-existent" candidate won the POPULAR VOTE by a landslide.

 

Thankfully, the POPULAR VOTE is irrelevant in a US Presidential election, else we would face a Constitutional Crisis as there would only be two branches of government remaining without the Executive Branch.

 

In Australia (where my daughter lives), under federal electoral law, it is compulsory for all eligible citizens to enroll and vote in federal elections, by-elections and referendums.

 

The "not voting" option is illegal in Australia.


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Greg Burnham
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"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

Website:

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#10 Phil Dragoo

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 05:46 PM

Hamilton in Federalist No. 68

 

1500 words

 

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.1 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.

 

It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided. This end will be answered by committing the right of making it, not to any preestablished body, but to men chosen by the people for the special purpose, and at the particular conjuncture.

 

It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.

 

It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. But the precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief. The choice of SEVERAL, to form an intermediate body of electors, will be much less apt to convulse the community with any extraordinary or violent movements, than the choice of ONE who was himself to be the final object of the public wishes. 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, 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. They have not made the appointment of the President to depend on any preexisting bodies of men, who might be tampered with beforehand to prostitute their votes; but they have referred it in the first instance to an immediate act of the people of America, to be exerted in the choice of persons for the temporary and sole purpose of making the appointment. And they have excluded from eligibility to this trust, all those who from situation might be suspected of too great devotion to the President in office. No senator, representative, or other person holding a place of trust or profit under the United States, can be of the numbers of the electors. Thus without corrupting the body of the people, the immediate agents in the election will at least enter upon the task free from any sinister bias. Their transient existence, and their detached situation, already taken notice of, afford a satisfactory prospect of their continuing so, to the conclusion of it. The business of corruption, when it is to embrace so considerable a number of men, requires time as well as means. Nor would it be found easy suddenly to embark them, dispersed as they would be over thirteen States, in any combinations founded upon motives, which though they could not properly be denominated corrupt, might yet be of a nature to mislead them from their duty.

 

Another and no less important desideratum was, that the Executive should be independent for his continuance in office on all but the people themselves. He might otherwise be tempted to sacrifice his duty to his complaisance for those whose favor was necessary to the duration of his official consequence. This advantage will also be secured, by making his re-election to depend on a special body of representatives, deputed by the society for the single purpose of making the important choice.

 

All these advantages will happily combine in the plan devised by the convention; which is, that the people of each State shall choose a number of persons as electors, equal to the number of senators and representatives of such State in the national government, who shall assemble within the State, and vote for some fit person as President. Their votes, thus given, are to be transmitted to the seat of the national government, and the person who may happen to have a majority of the whole number of votes will be the President. But as a majority of the votes might not always happen to centre in one man, and as it might be unsafe to permit less than a majority to be conclusive, it is provided that, in such a contingency, the House of Representatives shall select out of the candidates who shall have the five highest number of votes, the man who in their opinion may be best qualified for the office.

 

The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States. It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue. And this will be thought no inconsiderable recommendation of the Constitution, by those who are able to estimate the share which the executive in every government must necessarily have in its good or ill administration. Though we cannot acquiesce in the political heresy of the poet who says: "For forms of government let fools contest That which is best administered is best,'' yet we may safely pronounce, that the true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration.

 

The Vice-President is to be chosen in the same manner with the President; with this difference, that the Senate is to do, in respect to the former, what is to be done by the House of Representatives, in respect to the latter.

 

The appointment of an extraordinary person, as Vice-President, has been objected to as superfluous, if not mischievous. It has been alleged, that it would have been preferable to have authorized the Senate to elect out of their own body an officer answering that description. But two considerations seem to justify the ideas of the convention in this respect. One is, that to secure at all times the possibility of a definite resolution of the body, it is necessary that the President should have only a casting vote. And to take the senator of any State from his seat as senator, to place him in that of President of the Senate, would be to exchange, in regard to the State from which he came, a constant for a contingent vote. The other consideration is, that as the Vice-President may occasionally become a substitute for the President, in the supreme executive magistracy, all the reasons which recommend the mode of election prescribed for the one, apply with great if not with equal force to the manner of appointing the other. It is remarkable that in this, as in most other instances, the objection which is made would lie against the constitution of this State. We have a Lieutenant-Governor, chosen by the people at large, who presides in the Senate, and is the constitutional substitute for the Governor, in casualties similar to those which would authorize the Vice-President to exercise the authorities and discharge the duties of the President.

 

PUBLIUS.

 

I stipulate all of the above to be genius in the prevention of a monstrosity.

 

As the Democrats have opposed voter ID and the sitting president told illegals to vote, a governor bestowed the privilege on felons and the courts and law be damned, that graveyards have gone for Hillary, that software has been seen to change Trump votes to Hillary votes, et cetera, the broad stabilization is vital to the Republic.

 

A mere democracy would have the matter decided by the illegal populations of California and elsewhere.

 

Why two senators per state?

 

Why the bicameral system?

 

Why America?

 

Obama said the Constitution prevented him from redistributing.

 

That is the point.

 

He's of the crew who hide behind from each according to his ability to each according to his need

 

which to Obama means "what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine"

 

"It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder."

 

The majority of the rioters did not vote and are mercenaries for Soros and the new wave of global totalitarianism.

 

A woman defecating on the sidewalk or a crowd impeding ambulances is fascism masked as anarchy.

 

The continuing infantile/brownshirt rhumba will insure the Left continues to wither and shrivel.

 

The veil is lifted and there is nothing at the end of Forward!

 

The Eighteenth-Century bloody slough-off of George III put a Congress as Article I with a bicameral, bipedal basing.

 

Article II sets out an executive modest by today's reality.

 

Lincoln was cursed as crushing states' rights yet freed the slaves.  Those were times so stormy as to be contended still.

 

FDR instituted what were advertised as extreme measures for desperate times.  Did the measures or the war provide the solution?

 

And did the executive devise the timing of the entry?

 

Today the demagog had eight years and will riot after an election as he encouraged "cousin" Raila Odinga

 

Odinga the candidate representing the opponents of "The Cross" whose fiery wave of violence put 100,000 out of their homes

 

Donald Trump, never called a racist before running against the BLM candidate,

 

offered blacks a new deal, asked what benefit derived from decades of welfare

 

(LBJ famously boasted, "I'll have those n------s voting Democrat for 200 years.")

 

The party of the Klan now puts the torch to the scenery as its shattered plate glass serves as homage to brownshirts past

 

Not every day is Christmas, and we continue

 

35laohz.jpg


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#11 Greg Burnham

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 05:55 PM

Inspiring beyond response. Kudos, my friend.


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Greg Burnham
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"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

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#12 Charles Drago

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 09:19 AM

Does not the "official" Electoral College fit the broader definition of "cabal" within our context?

 

A "mere" democracy?

 

Its people not trusted with its fate?

 

Its people dumbed down so as to demonstrate absence of the "requisite qualifications" for self-governance and justify the elevation and empowerment of "men most capable"?

 

Have you taken a good look at these "qualified" and "capable" electors?

 

Or as I like to call them, political hacks?

 

In spite of the sacred Electoral College, have not presidents in our lifetimes and before criminally foresaken their duty in favor of "complaisance for those whose favor was necessary to the duration of his official consequence"?

 

Is not the "official" Electoral College a refraction of the deep state -- a public institution's undergraduate class deflecting attention from the skulls and bones of the true electors?

 

From which college did Johnson, Nixon, the Bushes, the Clintons, Obama, and Trump receive their degrees?  Do not these scholars of villainy -- I assume that we agree on the description -- owe their elevation to that same Electoral College ostensibly founded to "afford as little opportunity as possible to [the] tumult and disorder" that comprise their shared, bloody legacy?

 

"It's 3:30 in the morning.  I'm at a cock fight.  What am I clinging to?"


"[Y]ou can't blame the innocent, they are always guiltless. All you can do is control them or eliminate them. Innocence is a kind of insanity." -- Graham Greene, The Quiet American

"If an individual, through either his own volition or events over which he had no control, found himself taking up residence in a country undefined by flags or physical borders, he could be assured of one immediate and abiding consequence. He was on his own, and solitude and loneliness would probably be his companions unto the grave." -- James Lee Burke, Rain Gods

a wind has blown the rain away and blown
the sky away and all the leaves away,
and the trees stand. i think i too have known
autumn too long
-- e. e. cummings

#13 Greg Burnham

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 10:46 AM

Since you see no value in casting a vote, no matter your stated reason, perhaps a country in which nobody is allowed to vote at all would better suit your model of a preferred system of government?

 

As far as I can tell, the alternatives to democracy are limited to anarchy and totalitarianism.

 

Is there a country where a "no vote at all" system exists and in which its citizens thrive?

 

I am all ears.

 

This thread topic is about the sense of the Electoral College, not the subsequent integrity of the politicians.

 

In my view, the founding fathers were under no illusion--and neither should we be.

 

They knew that corruption seeps into power universally and can never be fully eliminated.

 

It can, however, be managed, if not mitigated.

 

The system they ingeniously conceived of is designed to do that as best as they could design it.

 

They were imperfect men with imperfect solutions.

 

But the system they instituted makes sense and was designed to protect We the People.

 

Again, nothing is perfect.

 

It is up to us to strive to make it work. 


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"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

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#14 Charles Drago

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 01:13 PM

Since you see no value in casting a vote, no matter your stated reason, perhaps a country in which nobody is allowed to vote at all would better suit your model of a preferred system of government?

 

Now you would put words in my mouth.

 

My reason for refusing to dignify the electoral charade with my participation matters -- at least to me -- and is wholly irrelevant to this discussion.


"[Y]ou can't blame the innocent, they are always guiltless. All you can do is control them or eliminate them. Innocence is a kind of insanity." -- Graham Greene, The Quiet American

"If an individual, through either his own volition or events over which he had no control, found himself taking up residence in a country undefined by flags or physical borders, he could be assured of one immediate and abiding consequence. He was on his own, and solitude and loneliness would probably be his companions unto the grave." -- James Lee Burke, Rain Gods

a wind has blown the rain away and blown
the sky away and all the leaves away,
and the trees stand. i think i too have known
autumn too long
-- e. e. cummings

#15 Greg Burnham

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 02:03 PM

If everyone chose not to vote then the method of how votes are tallied, popular vote or electoral college, would be irrelevant.

 

This thread topic is about the Electoral College. So voting matters in this thread.

 

If you do not prefer a system that is absent the right to vote, then explaining the method of how the vote is tallied is important.

 

Resisting the reasoning of the founding fathers with regards to the electoral college, without providing a better alternative, is not productive.

 

Claiming the popular vote should be tallied nationally, without addressing the many opportunities for tyranny such a system would invite, is hollow.


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Greg Burnham
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"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

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#16 Charles Drago

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 02:31 PM

Would you argue that the Electoral College has kept tyrrany at bay within America's borders?


"[Y]ou can't blame the innocent, they are always guiltless. All you can do is control them or eliminate them. Innocence is a kind of insanity." -- Graham Greene, The Quiet American

"If an individual, through either his own volition or events over which he had no control, found himself taking up residence in a country undefined by flags or physical borders, he could be assured of one immediate and abiding consequence. He was on his own, and solitude and loneliness would probably be his companions unto the grave." -- James Lee Burke, Rain Gods

a wind has blown the rain away and blown
the sky away and all the leaves away,
and the trees stand. i think i too have known
autumn too long
-- e. e. cummings

#17 Greg Burnham

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 02:38 PM

Yes and no. A specific form of tyranny has been kept at bay, but no, not all tyranny. It was not designed to keep all tyranny at bay, just the tyranny of the majority inherent in any pure democracy.

 

BTW: Trump didn't win yet because the actual presidential election does not take place until December 19th. 

 

=========== A very important read follows===========>

 

From The Federalist:

 

The Founding Fathers were not exclusively—or even primarily—concerned about sectionalism when they created the Electoral College. What they were really afraid of was democracy. The Founders trusted that people individually were good, honorable, and wise. They bet their lives on the idea that such people could govern a country for themselves. But the Founding Fathers did not think so highly of “the people” collectively. They viewed the people as a mob, “frequently misled,” as George Washington said, “often feeling before they can act.”

 

Democracy, John Adams warned, is bloodier than monarchy—but only for a short time, because democracy “soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself… Individuals have conquered themselves. Nations and large bodies of men, never.” Hamilton worried that, in a direct democracy, “Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man” to high office. (Sound familiar?)

 

That is why there are so few opportunities for direct democracy in the original Constitution: Senators were originally appointed directly by state legislatures (until progressives overturned this safeguard in the early twentieth century), judgeships and other posts were appointed by the president and Senate, and the moderating influence of direct democracy was contained to a single house of Congress, the House of Representatives, with no popular election larger than a single congressional district. (Even those were quite small: at the time, there were only 34,000 citizens per representative. Today, there are more than 700,000 people in each district.)

 

The Idea Is to Prevent Democracy

 

The most powerful office in the land, the presidency, was even more insulated against the popular will. As Alexander Hamilton explained in “The Federalist” No. 68, the Electoral College was created for the express purpose of preventing voters from directly selecting the president:

 

It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.

 

Hamilton goes on to describe how damaging it would be for the nation to have popular, direct votes for the presidency—damage any American who has lived through the past five elections should recognize:

 

The choice of SEVERAL, to form an intermediate body of electors, will be much less apt to convulse the community with any extraordinary or violent movements, than the choice of ONE who was himself to be the final object of the public wishes. 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… 

 

We see, then, that the plainest reading of the Twelfth Amendment is strongly supported by the clear intent of the Framers: the presidential electors have an absolute right to deliberate among themselves, setting aside external pressures, and to direct their electoral votes toward, as John Jay put it, “those men only who have become the most distinguished by their abilities and virtue, and in whom the people perceive just grounds for confidence” (“The Federalist,” No. 64). Indeed, this is more than a right: it is a grave and difficult duty.

 

Each and every elector, then, must search deep within his or her conscience and determine who ought to be the next president of the United States: the commander-in-chief of the world’s greatest military, chief executor of the world’s greatest body of laws, and chief defender of the world’s greatest Constitution. In this decision, the electors are bound by nothing—not the instructions of their state legislatures, not the will of the democratic mob. To make the electors subservient to someone else’s will, mere automata executing a decision already made, would betray the Founding Fathers, undermining the scheme of the Constitution and the presidency itself.

 

It is true that a number of states purport to bind electors in various ways. Many states demand that electors pledge to cast their electoral votes for a particular candidate and threaten fines for electors who “break” that putative pledge. However, these laws do not alter how votes cast by electors are counted (the Twelfth Amendment makes this clear), nor can these laws be used after-the-fact to punish electors, because—as originalist legal scholars have shown—they are uniformly unconstitutional. No sanction against a conscientious elector has ever survived court review, and such sanctions remain on the books only because they are completely unenforced.

 

Nor is there any risk that a conscientious elector will accidentally cause Hillary Clinton to be elected because of a “spoiler effect.” Unlike direct democratic votes in our system, the Electoral College requires an absolute majority of 270 electoral votes to win. It doesn’t just give the presidency to whoever has the most votes. If no candidate receives 270, then the House of Representatives—controlled overwhelmingly by Republicans—chooses the president from among the top three vote-getters. Regardless of how each elector acts, the next president will be a Republican.

 

The Responsibility Is Theirs Alone

 

So the decision falls to the electors. They are free to choose the next president. They cannot escape this awesome responsibility by appealing to the will of the people, nor by hiding behind a legally meaningless pledge to some state or party. Just as Clinton did not earn the White House by winning the popular vote, Trump did not earn the White House just because 306 Republican electors were chosen on November 8. Those electors now face a difficult choice. I do not envy them.

 

If each of the 306 Republican electors truly believes, in his or her heart of hearts, that Trump is the best man for the job, that he is the American with the greatest “abilities and virtue, in whom the people perceive just grounds for confidence,” who has all “the qualities adapted to the station” of the presidency… in that case, by all means, they should cast their votes accordingly, and Trump will become, on December 19, president-elect of the United States.

 

But if there is doubt; if, after deliberation with fellow electors, it seems clear that there are Americans better suited to serve as commander-in-chief, then each elector who feels that way has both the right and the duty, as officers of the Constitution of the United States, to vote for somebody else.

 

That is the system our Constitution demands. It is not a theft. It is not an error. It is by design.


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Greg Burnham
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"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown

 

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#18 Mark Jamieson

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 06:27 PM

I believe it is important to recognize that the abuse of a thing does not negate its proper use.  For example, an impaired driver of an automobile who crashes into someone/something causing property damage or human suffering does not negate the proper use of automobile.  The obvious fact that our political system, specifically the Electoral College, is subject to abuse or misuse does not negate its brilliance of design and purpose.  The founders could never have imagined the number of states and a population of over 300 million, but they certainly understood the dangers of true democracy.

 

​A couple of exerts from Jeff Jacoby's op-ed in the Boston Globe yesterday:

 

"The Constitution is indifferent to national popular voting trends. This is a nation made up of states, not the undifferentiated population as a whole. Those states have different political, economic, and cultural interests — Massachusetts and Arkansas are not interchangeable — and the Founders designed a federal system that respects each state’s identity and autonomy. The Electoral College, as part of that system, ensures that voters in a handful of densely populated urban regions cannot hand the presidency to a candidate that a significant majority of the states oppose."

 

"Remember, it was the states that created the national government. That’s why it takes a consensus of the states, not merely a popular majority, to elect a president or amend the Constitution. That’s why we have a Senate, in which states, not voters, are equal — and why that undemocratic Senate is empowered to ratify treaties, confirm judges, and try cases of impeachment."

 

https://www.bostongl...0NhP/story.html


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#19 Charles Drago

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 07:16 AM

The sounds of fiddling and the cremation of an empire.


"[Y]ou can't blame the innocent, they are always guiltless. All you can do is control them or eliminate them. Innocence is a kind of insanity." -- Graham Greene, The Quiet American

"If an individual, through either his own volition or events over which he had no control, found himself taking up residence in a country undefined by flags or physical borders, he could be assured of one immediate and abiding consequence. He was on his own, and solitude and loneliness would probably be his companions unto the grave." -- James Lee Burke, Rain Gods

a wind has blown the rain away and blown
the sky away and all the leaves away,
and the trees stand. i think i too have known
autumn too long
-- e. e. cummings

#20 Mark Jamieson

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 10:06 AM

The sounds of fiddling and the cremation of an empire.

 

Such might prove to be an effective metaphor had we been the ones who set the empire ablaze.  But alas, we are but those who have been wrapped in bee's wax soaked cloth and lit to provide illumination for the sponsor's banquet.

 

It is superfluous to mention that this forum exists to ultimately unravel the mystery of the events of November 22, 1963 - the moment in time when we know the country passed from "We the People."  We lost so much more than a great man of, by, and for "We the People."  The removal of the shackles by our founders brought about a nation which barely exists apart from history… only vestiges remain.  If we hope through our efforts here to restore that which was lost by exposing to the world those responsible, it remains incumbent upon us to have a proper understanding of what we desire restored.


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