Alan Keyes
A paradigm for elections, the constitutional way
Electoral College as 'search committee' for president
By Alan Keyes
September 21, 2015

The present so-called two-party system in the United States is a factious overlay intended to keep the U.S. Constitution's actual provisions for our national elections from functioning as intended. The wise arrangements of America's founders have literally been turned upside down. Instead of focusing the people at large, as intended, on what they do best – i.e., choosing from amongst themselves people who actually represent them – the election cycle's mock political contests dissipate the public's political energy as they focus on choosing from a field of political figureheads sifted beforehand to suit the elitist faction's money and media powers.

This allows the elitist faction's masters of demagoguery every opportunity to deceive and manipulate the people. It also exhausts the people's interest and resources on a process, irrelevant to their will and judgment, which has no purpose except to give an increasingly dim aura of legitimacy to the elitist tyranny that has gradually replaced true constitutional self-government.

During the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Alexander Hamilton proposed an election process for president and vice president that placed the decision in the hands of electors, chosen by and representing the people. These days anyone tempted to snicker at the absurdity of his proposal should consider today's multi-tiered process that includes a welter of often poorly attended factional meetings, caucuses, primaries, or conventions at various levels. So now the people at large end up with no direct say at all in the composition of the Electoral College. That is decided in the board rooms and back rooms of partisan factional empires.

This is a far cry from the accepted fiction that on Election Day the president and vice president are chosen directly by the people themselves. The whole cumbersome factional process is an extra-constitutional distraction. But the distraction has worked so well that most Americans never consider that the founders' scheme of representation implies that the electors should reflect the people's choice, not the choice of virtually invisible money masters and party bosses, abetted by their bought-and-sold talking bobbleheads in the media.

But what if the people themselves, at the grassroots, concentrated their efforts on actually determining the membership of the Electoral College? By doing so, they would take back the choice stolen away by the elitist faction's usurpation of grassroots initiative. The Constitution says that the chief executive is to be chosen by a body that assembles in the respective states just once, for the purpose of the election. Before and after the election, the electors have no constitutional existence or prerogative. Their sole purpose is to represent the sovereign people of the United States in making the most critical political decisions they have to make, apart from those which amend the Constitution itself.

No wonder conniving elitists keep this fact from the minds of the people. Or else, by defaming the arrangement, they seek to engineer its practical extinction. This is not unlike their efforts to erase the Ninth and 10th Amendments from the public's consciousness; or to finance the national government by means of a tax that routinely extinguishes the constitutionally mandated immunity from self-incrimination; or to impose on the people a false doctrine of church-state separation that defeats the Creator-driven logic of unalienable human rights in the Declaration of Independence (upon which logic the whole edifice of self-government is erected).

Representation is the scepter of sovereignty America's founders placed in the hands of the people. Elections that truly implement representation are the people's Crown. By offering to people at the grassroots an opportunity periodically to renew their control over the integrity of their political representation, the Constitution sets up the presidential electors as the jewels in that Crown. For some time now, these national treasures have been secretively disposed of by private collectors. For public display, they have been replaced by worthless counterfeits, produced by a process that beguiles people with a show of false "democracy" and "republicanism." Meanwhile, behind the scenes, factious elitists with no allegiance to God-endowed right are dismantling the Constitution intended to implement the people's truly democratic and republican self-government.

At present, it serves the purposes of elitist usurpation to focus on what doesn't happen on Election Day, instead of what does happen. But what if we reject that focus and instead concentrate on the fact that it is the electors who are chosen that day, not the president and vice president? Instead of asking, "How can we elect so-and-so president?", what if we ask, "How can we win the election?" – reading the word "election" to mean what it actually does mean on that day, i.e., the opportunity to choose who shall be president and who shall be vice president? Instead of winning an Electoral College majority for this or that candidate so-and so, people would focus their efforts on winning an Electoral College majority composed of people like themselves, who would therefore search for and elect a president and vice president who truly represented them.

This way of understanding the goal of victory on Election Day involves a paradigm shift in comparison to the current factious, partisan, elitist approach to the national election. Under this new paradigm, true to our founders' vision, the Electoral College would be viewed as the search committee for the president and vice president of the United States. Rather than pledging to vote for any specific candidate, its members would be pledged to select the person they conscientiously determined to be most likely to administer the U.S. government in accordance with the principles and policy goals shared by the voters who elected them, and which they themselves will have solemnly affirmed in a statement of their goodwill for the nation's future (such as the party platforms are supposed to be).

The winning electors would weigh the merits of all candidates suggested by the people whose votes they represent, in light of criteria of good faith and character that reflect and articulate the good faith and moral character of their constituents, as well as their priorities and goals for action. They will then settle on a choice they conscientiously believed the voters who elected them would have made if they could spend several weeks giving top priority to the task of sifting through all the best candidates, facts and information. The whole process would take place in public view, using contemporary means of verification and communication.

Instead of a superficial popularity contest driven by false, media-projected personalities, the Electoral College process envisaged by the Constitution would be preoccupied with a serious, grassroots effort to envision and articulate the common-sense premises of right and justice voters share – the priority to be given to issues in terms of those premises, and the exercise of making informed judgments about people voters have come to know based on information drawn from their own experience.

Why would people who say they uphold the Constitution refuse even to consider building an electoral process based on the Constitution's actual provisions? That makes no sense. So in my next article on this subject, I will discuss in greater detail what the implementation of such a process would require of individual voters. Because it involves the exercise of right, it doesn't have much in common with the couch potato spectator sport the elitist faction's would-be tyrants have now set up in place of the serious exercise of responsible sovereignty our elections are supposed to be.

To see more articles by Dr. Keyes, visit his blog at and his commentary at and

© 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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