Register with no party affiliation
and resolve to vote only for nonpartisan candidates
By Clarence Bench
A Florida Under-voter's Views
By Clarence (Pete) Bench
Many believe that our Government has run amuck, and are frustrated, feeling there is no solution to Our Country’s ills. I was at that point when I read the Constitution, reading it, I came to a paragraph, the third of Article II, dealing with the electing of the president that differed from anything I had ever heard or believed. Reading further, I came to find Amendment XII changed this paragraph. Raising the question, why the change?
I feel I have found the answer, simply put, “It’s The Parties Stupid.” The “two party system” came like the proverbial thief in the night and robbed the People of their power. I firmly believe if we don’t destroy them, they will destroy us. They cause a continually degradation of the Constitution and Nation in pursuit of their own personal gain and preservation of power. People are frustrated feeling there is no way they can correct our political dilemma. I feel there is a simple solution, hear me out.
I am not aware of anyone at the time of this writing that completely shares my views. I thought in the aftermath of the 2000 election someone of prominence would step up and say the system is all screwed-up, no such luck. I often wonder, am I the only one crazy or the only one sane? That’s a scary thought either way. Following are some thoughts and facts and conclusions based on what I believe common sense. Hell, maybe I am crazy you make the call.
Being a Floridian not voting for a presidential candidate in the 2000 general election my ballot was picked out and given the once over by members of the press. I don’t know what they hoped to find? Myself, and those like me where made out to be senile old fool that did not have enough sense to cast a proper ballot. The truth is the Constitution doesn’t give me, or anyone not appointed a Presidential Elector the authority to directly vote for President, so I didn’t. But, there are those that will point out that when you cast a vote for a Presidential Candidate you really aren’t. They will say you are actually voting for a group of people you don’t even know to be Presidential Electors, which are elected by the people giving their party’s candidate the most popular vote in a state. Once elected, they are the ones that have the constitutional authority to vote for President. But, these Electors have no freedom of choice, according to state law they are relegated to vote the will of the People, they serve only a ritual role. The People for all practical purposes elect the President. Who with a lick of sense could ever think the Electors were meant to be nothing more then pawns in a con game created by the politicos. If the Framers really, really wanted the People to elect the President, I believe this is what they would have put to paper. This is not what they wanted, so this is not what they did.
They had their reasons for not doing so; they believed the people to uninformed and easily swayed by Slick Willie hustlers to be entrusted with this responsibility. It was the intent of the Framers to have independently qualified people selected independently in each state, and all of them in their respective states, on one given day put two names of their own independent choice on a ballot. This was done to prevent the occurrence of any cabal and intrigue in the process. The Framers wanted the Electors to have no political conflict of interest. Today, the only way one can be an Elector is to be intolerant and have a narrow-minded view of another group, totally contrary to the wishes of the Framers.
The real fools, in my opinion, are the ones that participate in this two party system that circumvents and has no standing in the Constitution. They are the ones that feed its appetite for power by their votes. They are the ones that give it the nourishment and legitimacy that it would die without. They are the ones that keep the corruption alive and well.
Here is some of what the Framers set down expressing their plan for selecting the President.
Article II, Sec. 1, CL. 1
“The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice-president chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:”
At the end of the first sentence there is a period, which indicates a complete thought, and there is nothing said about a Vice-president being part of the Executive Branch. But, it was also part of the plan that they be selected together for the same term. Article II, Sec. 1, Cl. 2 and Cl.3 sat down the manner this was to be done. After four elections the third paragraph was altered by the ratification of Amendment XII.
The only job description for the Vice-president is found in Article I, Sec 3, Cl. 4, it states: “The Vice-president shall be President of the Senate,” that makes him a part of the Legislative Branch. It would be hard to believe that the Framers intended for the office of the vice-president, the Chairperson, the leader of the Senate, be combined with, be a tool of, or subjugated to the Executive Branch in any way shape or form, as it has become, because of the concept of the “Separation of Powers”, a major factor in the design of our Government. The prevailing manner we select the Vice-president is a flagrant contradiction to the intent of the Framers. Who would ever think that the leader of the House the “Speaker,” duly elected according to the constitution by its members was not a member of the Legislative Branch? Who could ever think that the Vice-president elected according to the Constitution, as President of the Senate was not a member of the Legislative Branch? How can anyone think that those two constitutionally elected leaders of the two Houses of Congress are not in the same Branch? It would make me seriously doubt the integrity or sanity of anyone, who after giving this issue any serious thought, to think these two officials are not, or were not meant to be, in the same Branch of Government.
Article II, Sec. 1 Cl. 2, states:
“Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.”
What was the original intent for the Electors? When the Constitution was written political parties, as we know them didn’t exist. The Constitution was designed to hamper their coming into existence. The big political question and division of the time was between those in favored of the Constitution, Federalist, and those opposed to it, the Anti-federalist. The Federalist, started as a one-issue special interest group that during the tenure of Washington as President became the name of a divisive partisan political party.
Partisan politics were not involved in electing Washington President, he got one of each Electors two votes, he was elected unanimously, twice. All those elected or appointed to the First Congress took an oath, to protect and defend the Constitution, as they still do today. This in theory put them all on the same page; they were all either Federalist, in favor of the Constitution, or perjurers, a violator of an oath. It could be said at that time we were One Nation, undivided. But that condition had a short life.
So, what else could a Presidential Elector been expected to be, but independent, free to let their conscience be their guide in any choice they might make. Who in their right mind could give any thought that they were meant be the useless entities they have evolved into, that serve only a ceremonial function, they could be replaced by a $1.98 rubber stamp, all they do is mimic the vote of the People in a state.
The way I understand the purpose of the Electors, as original intended, is to think of them as you would a juror, both being picked in a way and manner that meets the qualifications and standards determined by law in each state. Their duty being very similar, make a rational, unbiased, independent decision,\ based on what they believed to be honest and fair, cast a ballot, then go about their business. Just like the jurors represent the people in a court of law, the Electors were to represent the people in nominating or electing the President. These Electors were to have as little conflict of interest as humanly possible, just like a juror. What else?
The method Electors are selected today, is the same as if we picked two panels of jurors for every trial, one that would take an oath to vote guilty and another that takes an oath to vote innocent. Then after a trial is held let the public vote on which jury is allowed to decide the case. The jurors would serve no useful purpose just as the Electors serve no useful purpose. Why do we participate in this charade?