Alan Keyes
Electoral College scheme: Grounds for civil war?
Alan Keyes says move by states 'will put us on the path of perpetual tyranny'
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By Alan Keyes
April 16, 2019

Though all members of Congress are sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States, it's hard to believe that the Democrats among them have any intention of honoring that oath. In their bid to establish dictatorial, totalitarian, socialist rule in the United States, Democrats all over the country are pushing a plainly anti-constitutional scheme to erase the constitutional method for electing the president of the United States. Before considering their scheme, however, we need to remember why the people of the founding generation rejected the idea of electing the president by means of a national plebiscite, in which the people of the entire nation would vote, en masse, to decide the election.

People who in one form or another favor schemes for socialist dictatorship push the notion that "democracy" demands simple one-man, one-vote majority rule, in which the mass of the people divides against itself to make choices for the whole. But the leading lights of America's founding generation rejected this approach in light of the fact that schemes for democratic government based on this approach have invariably failed. Within one or two generations, they declined through the cycle by which democracy declines toward tyranny through the machination of ambitious demagogues.

Demagogic tyranny, by encouraging the machinations of conspiratorial oligarchic cliques, declines toward the tyranny of one or another of the cliques, supplanting, neglecting and usurping democratic means. Oligarchs' warlike competition impels them to rely more and more openly on violence, and thence on organized military forces. The authoritarian character of their strategic competition shifts power toward the force organized and directed by the most effective military genius. The conspiratorial rule of oligarchs is thus supplanted by the imperial military rule of the force inspired by that genius, military rule that uses it to rule over oligarchs and the people, as a whole.

This cycle of tyrannical regimes has mostly dominated the experience of humanity, punctuated by occasion intervals in which some balance of opposing powers enforces mutual respect for some semblance of right and justice informed by the voice of reason and goodwill. During the colonial period, however, the good people of the United States were encouraged by the potential for self-government discovered by their experiments in Christian polity. Their success encouraged them to believe that people inspired by faith to accept the wholesome self-discipline that Christianity demands of individuals could establish and maintain a form of government in which the occasional respite from the cycle of governments empowered by force and fear could be made permanent. They could transform the accidental balance of powerful forces into a permanent equilibrium of self-disciplined interests.

Instead of opposing forces temporarily stymied by their mutual opposition, that equilibrium would be sustained by the goodwill of individuals, self-consciously avowed to respect a common standard of God-endowed right and justice. That standard would, in turn, inform the measures (laws) they agreed upon to maintain and support their relations with one another. Moreover, as the habit and good fruits of that deliberate cooperation confirmed its worth, these people of goodwill would continually perfect the union born of their common sense of right and justice.

This vision of government of, by, and for the good people of the United States is a far cry from the forced notion of democratic dictatorship, based on the power of the masses. This individual-minded vision assumes that people are just that – human beings, not lumps of stone or clay. It assumes that they are motivated, as individuals, by a decent sense of right and wrong. It assumes that they have a conscience that impels them to see beyond the passions of the moment, in order to appreciate the good of the whole they comprise together, and from which they draw mutually supportive aid and good fruits. Above all, it assumes the activity of individuals, informed by a common sense of God-endowed right, who act in concert deliberately, not in mindless response to the pricks and goad of fear, grievance, or prideful passion.

With this in mind, consider the method of electing the president of the United States known to our history as the "Electoral College." It involves voting by the whole people of the United States. But in the first place, that whole is divided into individual states. In the individual states, it is divided into individual districts. And in the individual districts, it focuses on the selection of individuals who best represent the whole people of each district.

The resultant vote is national in scope. But in substance, it reflects the diverse judgments of an array of districts. The individuals in those districts are not called to choose for the whole nation. They are called to choose, from among individuals living in their own area and general circumstances, someone who will represent their area's overall spirit, mind, and circumstances, and will take them into account when making a judgment about the whole nation. But it must also be someone they trust to make that judgment with the care and concern they themselves have for the nation's welfare.

Because the electors are chosen state by state, each state contributes to the outcome. Because their number reflects the total representation of the state in the national legislature, each state contributes to the result according to its weight in the national councils. The balance of diverse areas, interests and concerns is reflected in the process. It is not just a matter of numbers, but of distribution. No states are neglected, and each is given its due. Even as we describe the process, the description brings to mind the equilibrium the Constitution was crafted to maintain.

Now consider what the Democrats propose to do. They want a vote by the masses in each state. They then want all the states' electoral votes to be cast for the candidate who wins a majority of votes nationwide. This would, in some cases, nullify the votes of the people of the state, imposing the national result on them regardless of their preference. Though the liars promoting it claim that this would count every vote, it actually means this: In states that have seceded from the Constitution, if the Democratic presidential candidate wins the national vote, all the states' electoral votes will go to the Democrat, regardless of how the people of each state or district voted. Voters in non-Democratic districts will send no electors forward to cast their votes according to their preference. Their votes will, therefore, count for nothing, contrary to the Constitution's intention.

Because the Democratic Party is now openly committed to the imposition of socialist, totalitarian dictatorship, they have no use for the equilibrium of interests the Constitution was framed to maintain. They want domination to result from the force of democratic power, not from a balanced account of the people's goodwill. The result will reignite the cycle of tyrannical regimes the U.S. Constitution has helped the United States to avoid. It will put us on the path of perpetual tyranny, alternating with periods of bloody conflict, characteristic of human history, and of the totalitarian dictatorships that have blasted the prospects of all the nations socialists have conquered.

Fortunately, the result they aim to achieve cannot be achieved without a constitutional amendment. The states have no lawmaking power to alter the authority of electors chosen by the people. States can regulate the manner of choosing the electors, but they cannot dictate the terms of their vote, as if the electors themselves do not exist. Such legislation is not a law; it is an act of rebellion against the duly constituted government of the United States. If they pretend to claim power as a result of this anti-constitutional scheme, their rebellion will properly be the signal for civil war.

To see more articles by Dr. Keyes, visit his blog at LoyalToLiberty.com and his commentary at WND.com and BarbWire.com.

© Alan Keyes

 

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Alan Keyes

Dr. Keyes holds the distinction of being the only person ever to run against Barack Obama in a truly contested election – featuring authentic moral conservatism vs. progressive liberalism – when they challenged each other for the open U.S. Senate seat from Illinois in 2004... (more)

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