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Constitutional Corner - The Great Confusement or, The Fiction of a National Popular Vote

January 2, 2017


There seems to be great disagreement as to whether “confusement” is a recognized word or not; my spell-checker seems to think not; but it just sounds like it should be, so I’ve used it. 

There is great, no, make that enormous confusement in this country over the Electoral College.  I keep having to answer the same questions over and over again on Quora.com, so I thought I’d sit down and lay this out for everyone, hopefully for the last time.

There is no such thing, constitutionally speaking, as a national popular vote. There is no mention of it in the Constitution; there is no requirement that one be tallied; it was not anticipated by those who designed what we’ve come to call the Electoral College.  A national popular vote was not even officially tallied until 1824 and even then it was incomplete since not all states were allowing their citizens to participate.  Yet somehow we managed to elect five Presidents without the tallying this fictitious vote.

The other fiction is that, in the United States, the people elect the President and Vice-President.  At best, it can be said that you help your state elect the two officials; and you should feel fortunate that your state even allows you to help; there is no constitutional requirement that they do so.

Neither is there such a thing as a single “national” election for the President; instead there are 51 separate state/District of Columbia elections for President which just so happen, by act of Congress, to take place on the same day.

In the very first presidential election, in 1788-89, four of the ten states that participated appointed their electors directly; their citizens got to stay home that day.  It wasn’t until after the Civil War that every state in the union allowed its citizens to participate in the selection of electors.  Yet all those many Presidents elected without the participation of all the American people, still managed to do their job.  Amazing!

I hope you are beginning to see that a “national popular vote” tally is meaningless information, only of interest to people fixated on yet another fiction - that America is a democracy.  Same with the number of “counties and county equivalents” that Trump won compared to Clinton; interesting, but an otherwise useless bit of information.

This election has been a real eye-opener for me.  I never thought those on the Left could be so downright hateful, spiteful and vengeful - all at once. It has been an amazing thing to watch; and it will continue, I predict, until at least January 20th, maybe even for the next four years.

For those who’ve been away in Swaziland, there is an ongoing, “no-holds-barred” effort by the babies on the Left to convince enough presidential electors to abandon their pledges so that Trump will not receive the 306 electoral votes he has earned. Yes, that’s right, earned.  Electors are being threatened with bodily harm, harassed, cajoled, pleaded with; people have promised to pay any fines and/or legal costs they incur if their state decides to prosecute them for not carrying through with their pledged vote.  The behavior will only get worse the closer we get to December 19th.

If, on December 19th, Trump retains 270 or more electoral votes, I predict the Left will then turn to the Congress and demand they somehow de-certify the votes when they are counted on January 6th.  Watch.

This is despicable, un-American, childish behavior, pure and simple; and it speaks volumes about progressivism and the values of the Left.  I expect it will leave a lasting impression on “the other half” of America for years to come.  I know it will on me.

But please don’t remain among the confused; rise up and reject confusement!  The states elect the President and I’m thankful my state allows me to play a role, any role, in that process. 

Now, is there anything else we can talk about?

Copyright ©2017

Gary Porter is Executive Director of the Constitution Leadership Initiative, Inc., a project to inform Americans about the Founder’s view of their Constitution.  In addition to being a regular contributor to CT, he writes regularly for the Fairfax Free Citizen of Fairfax Virginia. Mr. Porter also teaches at various locations around Virginia.
Visit Gary Porter's website at http://constitutionleadership.org/

 


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