A few things concerning running mates should be taken into consideration. First, two men with different views being President and Vice-president should not be considered a detriment to the Constitution. It should be considered an attribute of it. Running mates consolidate power, just as political parties do, both go against the Framers intent for the diversification of it. There is nothing what so ever in the Constitution that would validate the existence of running mates or political parties. Why do we allow or tolerate either of them?
Second, If the election of 2000 was still under the control of Article II, what would be wrong, if Bush was elected President and Gore came in second, becoming Vice-president, getting his old job back, not as Bush’s underling but as his own independent person. This is part of the checks and balances the Framers had in mind. Who can really think that the Framers wanted, or the Constitution gives the slightest hint, that Bush and Gore were to pick their own running mates. Today, the Vice-president is not elected; he is a virtual appointee of the President elect.
Third, under Article II persons receiving electoral votes stood the chance of coming in second and being elected Vice-president. Adams hated the job of Vice-president, he is reported to have said, “The office of Vice-president is not worth a bucket of warm spit.” and on an other occasion he wrote to his wife, “My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.” He really didn’t like the job of Vice-president. He wanted no part of being a parliamentarian, which was his duty, called for in the Constitution, as president of the Senate.
After serving two terms as vice-president, Adams again in 1796 saw the possibility of coming in second, and being elected Vice-president for a third time. He threatened he would pack his bags and quit public live if that were to happen. There was no need for him to carry out his threat, he came in first and was elected President. By the election of 1800, Adams had twelve years to think about coming in second and being elected Vice-president again. Its only supposition on my part, but it seems feasible that the running mate scheme was a ploy by Adams, if not elected President he would not need to worry about coming in second and go through the embarrassment of refusing to serve in a job he had no desire to have.
The result of the election was, Jefferson and his mate Burr each got 73 votes. Adams got 65 votes, his mate Charles Pinckney got 64 and one vote was cast for Jay. The one vote cast for Jay could be taken as part of the plan, it eliminated the possibility of a tie if Adams got more votes then Jefferson. If this indeed was Adam’s plan, it worked perfectly, he came in second to Jefferson and was not elected Vice-president, and there was no need to go through the embarrassment of refusing to serve in a job he hated.
Fourth, The politicos of the day made the running mate scheme out to be Constitutional on the basis of the First Amendment’s freedom of Speech clause, which has some validity. What else is an Elector to be but one qualified, entitled and free to cast an independent vote of his choice in an election. The only restriction put on the Electors is, they can only cast one of they two choices for a person from their own state. They could vote for themselves if they were so inclined. This is all true, but it’s not the whole story.
Everyone involved turned a blind eye to the other side of the coin. Although the Electors had the freedom of choice they did not have the right to take any part in any effort that conspired to control the selection of the Vice-president. They as Electors went beyond their Constitutions bounds in the election of 1800. They clearly where involved in the strategy to control the selecting of the Vice-president. They had no right under Article II to do that, each vote was to be counted as a vote for President. But, It was clearly the intent of the Electors to vote for President and Vice-president, and the tie vote came back to bite them in the butt. Their partisan vote to combine and control the two top offices of the country, by parties, in two different branches of the Government, compromised the integrity of the Constitution and that of all those involved. By 1800 the Presidential Electors that were to be political innocents were turned into partisan political whores.
Fifth, the irony of it all is, after using the Freedom of Speech Clause of the First Amendment to justify the running mate scheme in the election of 1800, today, by state law the Presidential Electors have been dumbed down, made mute, they have no say, they serve no practical purpose. Why hasn’t the Supreme Court ever made a finite ruling on these laws? Why are these laws not challenged or changed? Suppose the people of a state started an initiative or referendum to change the manner of nominating Presidential Electors, by statue, or amendment to their state’s constitution. Wouldn’t that be precious? With the states and the District of Columbia having the constitutional authority to select their Electors in any manner there could be fifty-one ways to select Electors. If a few states did that, the Framers would get the diversification they wanted, for selecting the President. It would be fitting for us supposed senile old fools of Florida to lead the way in a effort of this sort. But, if the people of any state were ever successfully in doing this, the nine people in black would say, “you just can’t do that”. They surely wouldn’t go against the wishes of the establishment, would they? The Politicos would have their jobs, impeach them all, if they would ever dare let a Constitutional law by the People stand that would upset their apple cart. Just like the Politicos have stolen the innocents from the Electors, I feel, they have done a good job on the Justices of the Court also. What chance do we have when Justices are appointed because of their political views instead of their ability to render fair and unbiased opinions?
Sixth, consider the Miss America pageant which seeks the two most qualified contestants, one as a winner, and one as runner up to fill in for the winner, in the event of some mishap to the winner. Suppose the contest separated the participants into two categories. Those that competed to win that got to choose a mate, and those chosen as mates, who would become the runner-up if the person that chose them as a mate, won the contest. What kind of funky contest would this make of the pageant? The same kind of funky contest the politicos made of selecting our President and Vice-president. One that selects a top dog and some Bow-Wow that’s just in it for the ride.
Seventh, the running mate scheme is flat out wrong, it goes against the “Separation of Powers”, and the whole concept of the Framers for selecting the President. The two party system, the creator of the scheme, is wrong too, it goes against the “Separation of Powers”, it consolidates the power of those in power. You would need to be a senile old fool to think this system was part of the Framers plan or the Twelfth Amendment did anything but confuse the People and put the politicos in the drivers seat, where they will stay till the People get enough sense and guts to push the ejection button. This two party system was a creation of those in power, not the Constitution, nor the People. Getting away with the running mate scheme emboldened those in power, they got away with one, a big one. This put them on the road to become the tail wagging the dog. In my opinion, today, they are the tail wagging the dog. We may have gotten away from the tyranny of King George. But, have we gotten rid of tyranny?
Let me clarify that. James Madison stated in Federalist Paper #47, "The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny." - When Our Executive is selected as a member of a political group and the members of the same group control the Congress, who then get to control the appointment of the Judiciary based on their benevolent views of the group in power, instead of their integrity to honestly interrupt the Constitution, and that Court is made up of a majority of Justices appointed because or their bias to the party in power, these Justices would have a natural inclination not to render a decision detrimental to that groups political views, one group controls the Government. At the present time, I believe our Government meets Madison’s definition of Tyranny In the 108th Congress, one group controls both Houses of the Legislative Branch, the Executive Branch, and seven of the nine members of the Judicial Branch have been nominated by member of that very same group. It appears, according to Madison, that we have come full circle. We are back to where we started, Tyranny.