What Went Wrong with Our Electoral System
The Good of the Electoral System
Hamilton explained in Federalist 68 (appended below) the reasons for the electoral system in the Constitution for the United States of America (CUSA) - to prevent cabal, intrigue, incompetence, and attitudes disconnected from the sense of the people from effecting the election of the US President. Such an intrigue included that from concentrated masses of people in urban areas. The electoral system prevented urban populations from overwhelming the will of widespread provincial and rural populations.
The amended CUSA's electoral system requires that each state have a number of electors equal to the number of its representatives in Congress, and that responsible voters should choose them, and the state shall determine the manner of their casting votes for the President and Vice President. The CUSA provides means for resolving ties in the electoral votes. The system is not perfect, but sensible, informed people generally recognize that it does a pretty good job.
What Happens with an Alien as President
UNFORTUNATELY, our imperfect system allowed an abject imposter, Barack Hussein Obama, to ascend to the Presidency and to do many evils during his 8 years in office.
Fairness dictates that we admit certain benign features of Obama's Presidency. The nations health insurance system needed overhaul, the armies in Afghanistan and Iraq needed to come home from their no-win wars. Obama put those into motion. And he has a nice smile and pleasant way of speaking.
But Obama also fomented and financed a war against the government of Syria as punishment for Assad's refusal to allow a Qatar gas pipeline to run through Syria, spearheaded the growth of ISIL, caused millions of Muslims with jihadist intentions or inclinations to invade the USA, UK, Europe, and Scandinavia (while blaming it on climate change), dramatically increased health care insurance premiums for productive Americans in order to give a virtual free ride to the non-productive, failed to protect the US borders from invasion through IberoAmerica and Canada and the coastlines, failed to eject illegal aliens, gave Iran the money it needed to by Boeing airplanes, and has continued the process of squandering billions of dollars through foreign aid, and encouraged Negro malcontents to riot and rampage across American cities by giving Negro crime a virtual green light through his support of thugs like Trayvon Martin.
And his family travel and vacations have cost taxpayers $85 million in the course of his Presidency.
The Natural Born Citizen Issue Solved
Obama is not a natural born citizen because he has an alien (British African) father, he was born in Kenya, and his US citizen mother had remained too long outside the USA to confer citizenship upon him at birth under US law at the time.
Clearly, the CUSA failed to impose upon any particular agency the obligation to verify the credentials of aspirants to the offices of President and Vice President PRIOR to their running or campaigning for office. Both Mario Rubio and Ted Cruz campaigned to become the Republican candidate for President even though neither qualifies as a natural born citizen.
The value of the requirement of natural born citizen status consists of freedom from foreign influence on one's conscience and loyalty to the CUSA. Natural born citizen status ensures that the citizen bears no conflicting pressure on his loyalty to the obligation to protect, preserve, and defend the CUSA against all enemies foreign and domestic.
Conflicts arise by these factors:
- Extended absence from the USA to live in a foreign land (other than as a consulate employee);
- Birth to a non-US Citizen parent;
- Birth in a foreign land.
For that reason, a "natural born citizen" is born on US soil of two US citizen parents, according to my thinking.
Others like scholar Jon Roland harbor a differing opinion, saying we owe it to English law to accept "jus soli" (law of soil) as the determining factor of a natural born citizen. But I disagree for the reasons above.
And, bottom line, if Congress has anything at all to say about one's citizenship status, one is not a natural born citizen because Congress only deals with naturalization. As Ann Coulter wrote on 13 January 2013, "A child born to American parents outside of U.S. territory may be a citizen the moment he is born -- but only by "naturalization," i.e., by laws passed by Congress. If Congress has to write a law to make you a citizen, you're not "natural born."
The Problem with Obama's Split Loyalties
Obama's alien loyalties to Islamic culture and religion and to alien governments, cultures, and people, including family members, of Kenya and Indonesia definitely conflict with his loyalty to the CUSA.
In spite of the awareness of Obama's political handlers about his split loyalties when he became an Illinois and US lawmaker, no one lifted a finger to verify his citizenship and birth status prior to his running for the Presidency. This had nothing in particular to do with the electoral system, but it shows how irresponsible the electors and party apparatchiks were were in casting their votes for Obama.
Core Deficiency in Electoral System - No Investigative Power
However, Obama's lack of qualification for the Presidency reveals a core deficiency in the electoral system. The electors operate as a loose array of individuals, possibly overseen by operatives of political parties. They do not have an investigatory body to command nor a budget, other than for travel to the state capitol to cast their ballots. And yet the burden falls upon them as the opportunity of last resort to verify the credentials and qualifications of the candidates for President and Vice President.
The CUSA's 25th Amendment (appended below) provides for the Congress to determine whether the President suffers from incapacity to perform duties, and to put the Vice President forth as President. This was intended to accommodate an illness or mental dysfunction that made the President unable to perform.
A sentient Congress could use this as a final stop-gap means to strip power from an incipient President on the basis that his incapacity devolves from never having qualified to hold the office to begin with, owing to non-natural-born-citizen status which nobody bothered checking or protesting earlier.
All should demand of our legislators that they create a new amendment to the CUSA requiring an examination of credentials and full airing of related disputes, obliging the courts to weigh in with non-binding opinions. The electors should have all that data available before casting their votes, and the CUSA should prohibit interference with electors voting as they see fit.
As I see it, today's electors are just political hacks. Nothing really guarantees that they are intelligent, properly educated and informed about the issues and candidates and candidate qualifications, and free of party interference prior to casting their votes.
THAT, in my opinion, needs to be fixed.
Exceptions?One correspondent wrote this suggestion that an exception exists for Obama:
"Obama's legitimacy rests on the theory of implicit amendment by subsequent events which includes changes in law relative to the clause in question, but not implicitly repealing that clause. The natural born clause seems to be inconsistent with the equal protection clause and the one kind of citizenship clause, but not necessarily. There could be an exception to both general rules in the case of the President. "Surely someone before me has opined that the ambiguous provisions of the Constitution should not serve to undo, pervert, or subvert the features the founders obviously intended and enabled through the ambiguity. They intended the ambiguity to give flexibility, not to justify or facilitate subversion. They devised the electoral system not as an end unto itself but to keep enemies, traitors, aliens, alien agents, cabalists, etc., out of the Presidency with minimal disruption by side effects. To the extent it fails to do that, some individual or group has subverted its function to serve people other than the responsible citizenry of the land.
That is why I explained my take on the principle underlying the natural born citizen restriction on aspirants to the Presidency. By implication, first of all, a non-natural-born citizen should never be allowed to run for President or become a nominated candidate for President because he can never become President constitutionally. So Congress must devise a means of verifying credentials and qualifications at the time a person signs up as nominee or candidate and again immediately prior to elevation to office. Furthermore, a President must not have split or alloyed loyalty with respect to the US Constitution in contrast to alien constitutions, governments, cultures, geography, and people.
We must see the natural born citizen requirement in that light or its function becomes perverted or subverted. And that is the problem with Jon Roland's insistence on bowing to English authorities on the qualifications of the US President. Such bowing results in a subversion of the principle against split loyalties in the Presidency.
That is why a natural born citizen is and must be a US citizen who was born on US soil of TWO US citizen parents, not merely one US citizen parent and one alien parent, and he must not only have credible proof documents, but there must be no credible dissent (such as family members claiming they saw him being born in the Coast Hospital of Mumbasi Kenya).
And, that is also why the Constitution requires the President to have resided in the USA for 14 contiguous years prior to election - to reduce the likelihood of influence by alien loyalties.
There can be no exception to those rules. Ann Coulter wrote rightly that anyone who becomes a citizen by virtue of a law simply does not constitute a natural born citizen.
Beating a Dead Horse?
Another correspondent penned "Come on, get serious, Obama is legitimate and you cannot go back eight years."
No, Obama is not and never was a legitimate US President, because he was born in alien land to an alien father. We have had an alien President with alien allegiances for 8 years because nobody bothered scrutinizing his birth records and other credentials prior to allowing him to run for or ascend to the Presidency, and nobody bothered blocking him because he is an alien. Obama's mother lacked the legal capacity to confer US citizenship upon him because of her extended absence from the country. Obama is not even a US citizen, much less a natural born citizen.
This is not a dead issue and I am not beating a dead horse, so to speak. Congress must enact a law to enforce scrutiny of credentials and denial of the right to run or serve for every elected and appointed officer of US government.
⚓ Bob Hurt
The Mode of Electing the President
To the People of the State of New York:
THE mode of appointment of the Chief Magistrate of the United States is almost the only part of the system, of any consequence, which has escaped without severe censure, or which has received the slightest mark of approbation from its opponents. The most plausible of these, who has appeared in print, has even deigned to admit that the election of the President is pretty well guarded.1 I venture somewhat further, and hesitate not to affirm, that if the manner of it be not perfect, it is at least excellent. It unites in an eminent degree all the advantages, the union of which was to be wished for.
It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided. This end will be answered by committing the right of making it, not to any preestablished body, but to men chosen by the people for the special purpose, and at the particular conjuncture.
It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.
It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. But the precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief. The choice of SEVERAL, to form an intermediate body of electors, will be much less apt to convulse the community with any extraordinary or violent movements, than the choice of ONE who was himself to be the final object of the public wishes. And as the electors, chosen in each State, are to assemble and vote in the State in which they are chosen, this detached and divided situation will expose them much less to heats and ferments, which might be communicated from them to the people, than if they were all to be convened at one time, in one place.
Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union? But the convention have guarded against all danger of this sort, with the most provident and judicious attention. They have not made the appointment of the President to depend on any preexisting bodies of men, who might be tampered with beforehand to prostitute their votes; but they have referred it in the first instance to an immediate act of the people of America, to be exerted in the choice of persons for the temporary and sole purpose of making the appointment. And they have excluded from eligibility to this trust, all those who from situation might be suspected of too great devotion to the President in office. No senator, representative, or other person holding a place of trust or profit under the United States, can be of the numbers of the electors. Thus without corrupting the body of the people, the immediate agents in the election will at least enter upon the task free from any sinister bias. Their transient existence, and their detached situation, already taken notice of, afford a satisfactory prospect of their continuing so, to the conclusion of it. The business of corruption, when it is to embrace so considerable a number of men, requires time as well as means. Nor would it be found easy suddenly to embark them, dispersed as they would be over thirteen States, in any combinations founded upon motives, which though they could not properly be denominated corrupt, might yet be of a nature to mislead them from their duty.
Another and no less important desideratum was, that the Executive should be independent for his continuance in office on all but the people themselves. He might otherwise be tempted to sacrifice his duty to his complaisance for those whose favor was necessary to the duration of his official consequence. This advantage will also be secured, by making his re-election to depend on a special body of representatives, deputed by the society for the single purpose of making the important choice.
All these advantages will happily combine in the plan devised by the convention; which is, that the people of each State shall choose a number of persons as electors, equal to the number of senators and representatives of such State in the national government, who shall assemble within the State, and vote for some fit person as President. Their votes, thus given, are to be transmitted to the seat of the national government, and the person who may happen to have a majority of the whole number of votes will be the President. But as a majority of the votes might not always happen to centre in one man, and as it might be unsafe to permit less than a majority to be conclusive, it is provided that, in such a contingency, the House of Representatives shall select out of the candidates who shall have the five highest number of votes, the man who in their opinion may be best qualified for the office.
The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States. It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue. And this will be thought no inconsiderable recommendation of the Constitution, by those who are able to estimate the share which the executive in every government must necessarily have in its good or ill administration. Though we cannot acquiesce in the political heresy of the poet who says: "For forms of government let fools contest That which is best administered is best,'' yet we may safely pronounce, that the true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration.
The Vice-President is to be chosen in the same manner with the President; with this difference, that the Senate is to do, in respect to the former, what is to be done by the House of Representatives, in respect to the latter.
The appointment of an extraordinary person, as Vice-President, has been objected to as superfluous, if not mischievous. It has been alleged, that it would have been preferable to have authorized the Senate to elect out of their own body an officer answering that description. But two considerations seem to justify the ideas of the convention in this respect. One is, that to secure at all times the possibility of a definite resolution of the body, it is necessary that the President should have only a casting vote. And to take the senator of any State from his seat as senator, to place him in that of President of the Senate, would be to exchange, in regard to the State from which he came, a constant for a contingent vote. The other consideration is, that as the Vice-President may occasionally become a substitute for the President, in the supreme executive magistracy, all the reasons which recommend the mode of election prescribed for the one, apply with great if not with equal force to the manner of appointing the other. It is remarkable that in this, as in most other instances, the objection which is made would lie against the constitution of this State. We have a Lieutenant-Governor, chosen by the people at large, who presides in the Senate, and is the constitutional substitute for the Governor, in casualties similar to those which would authorize the Vice-President to exercise the authorities and discharge the duties of the President.
1 Vide FEDERAL FARMER.
PRESIDENTIAL VACANCY AND DISABILITY
TWENTY-FIFTH AMENDMENT SECTIONS 1–4.
1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principle officers of the 2285 executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.