Alan Keyes
Boehner resignation: chance to save Americans' sovereignty
House should choose a new speaker outside of its ranks
By Alan Keyes
September 28, 2015

As my readers know, I've been working on a column that details a strategy for the 2016 election with which the American people can reclaim leadership initiative they are supposed to have in America's political life. That strategy involves, first of all, taking the Constitution as it is written as the basis for understanding our duty as citizens.

"We the people" are supposed to have the political initiative. Thanks to the elitist faction's two-party sham, we have surrendered that initiative to an elitist clique. Jimmy Carter calls it an oligarchy. I call it the elitist faction. Whatever the term, it means that we no longer have the republican form of self-government our Constitution intends to guarantee.

I'm writing today because John Boehner's announcement that he will resign as speaker of the House offers an opportunity for Americans of goodwill to recapture the initiative right now, in a key period before the 2016 election. But to understand this opportunity, we must return to the Constitution as it is written.

As the Constitution is written, three different constituencies are involved in the elections for office under the United States: one for the U.S. Senate, consisting of the people as they are divided among the states, respectively; one for the U.S. House, which is the people as they are divided among congressional districts drawn within the boundaries of the states respectively; and one for the presidency of the United States, which involves the people of the whole nation, but through the medium of electors chosen by the people of the states, respectively, in a manner decided by the state governments, but excluding from their choice any officer or trustee of the U.S. government.

These three constituencies choose the electors for the three officers who preside over the three branches of government – the president of the U.S., the president of the U.S. Senate, and the speaker of the House. The national electors choose both the president and the vice president, in that order, in two separate votes. Whoever wins the majority wins the office, but in the event of a tie, the House chooses the president and the Senate chooses the vice president. The speaker is chosen by the members of the House, who constitute localized electors, closer to the people.

But for the machinations of the present elitist faction party system, the Constitution's arrangements would result in three presiding officers with three potentially different bases of support. The president would have a national base of support that looks to the people of the whole nation, taking account of (and cultivating) individuals they might trust to represent them in the Electoral College. The president of the U.S. Senate (who also serves as vice president), would have a national base of support that looks to the states, respectively (though in the better original conception of the U.S. Senate, prior to passage of the 17th Amendment, the state governments represented the voters). And the speaker of the U.S. House would have a national constituency of the people in their congressional districts apportioned among the states according to population.

Boehner's resignation offers an opportunity to create a national rallying point for the constituency that is anxious to preserve the sovereignty of the American people, and the Constitution they have ordained and established to implement and secure it. But to seize the opportunity will take a congressional majority consciously intent on rallying this constituency, and willing to break away from the anti-constitutional patterns of thought and action that are presently hurtling the people's constitutional sovereignty toward the abyss.

The House has the initiative when it comes to challenging and reining in abuses by the other branches of the U.S. government. Those abuses are now rampant. Indeed, the fundamental constraints and premises intended to thwart such abuses have never before been so cavalierly defied and disregarded as they are today. A House majority needs to confront this crisis in a way that convinces the body politic that these abuses will end. The House majority needs to lift up a voice in no way identified with the discredited maneuvers by which the elitist faction has consistently betrayed the Constitution's moral principles, provisions, and institutions. It needs to lift up a representative of America's decent heart, capable of articulating its still Revolutionary spirit against the elitist faction's efforts to reverse it.

House members may follow the usual pattern of catering to the ambitions of their own membership. Or, given the unprecedented threat to the sovereignty of the American people, they could do what the Constitution allows. The Constitution nowhere specifies that the speaker of the House must be a member of that body. So the members of the House could open up the field of possible candidates to include whichever American they believe will best defend America's sovereignty. Instead of doing what the corrupt politics of our time allows, they can do what the vital interest of our nation requires.

People are calling it an opportunity to elect a conservative. But in fact it's an opportunity to elect a true American who will help the House to begin the restoration of our republic. It's an opportunity to break the discredited mold of Washington "business as usual," and at the same time give Americans a new sense of the ingenious wisdom contained in the actual words and logic of the Constitution they are sworn to preserve.

By choosing a speaker outside of their ranks, they would also dramatically demonstrate that they are willing to set aside their individual political agendas and ambitions, that they have no thought but to serve and preserve the common good of all our people, that they have no aim but to mobilize the nation's best and wisest voices in a determined effort to hurl back the treacherous assault on its sovereignty and Constitution.

With this demonstration of resourceful statesmanship, the House majority will declare that it's time to restore America's politics to its rightful basis in American principle, in harmony with the words and intent of the Constitution. But more than that, they will, by their example, prove that it's possible to do so. They will thus offer solid hope to all Americans of goodwill whose political ambition is simply to serve and perpetuate their country's rightful liberty. And they will give proof of what our nation's success was, from the beginning, intended to confirm: That all the peoples of the earth, whom America now truly represents, may have not only the unalienable right, but the capacity, character, and goodwill to reap the blessings of liberty God has sown into our nature.

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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