Commentary by James Shott
in the good ol’ days, school kids studied history and civics where they
learned how and why America came to be. And they came away from that
with an understanding of the wisdom the Founders applied in creating
They learned that the first governing document was
not adequate to accomplish the desired goals. The Articles of
Confederation reflected the Founders’ profound and well-grounded fear of
a too-strong national government, gave too much independence and
control to the states, and had other problems that failed to provide a
solid foundation for a cohesive nation.
Their solution to that
misstep was to develop a new governing document that gave enough power
to the federal government to hold the union together, but left the
states with a significant degree of control and autonomy.
Founders created a unique and enlightened form of government that
prevented a small minority of self-serving people from controlling the
masses, and also prevented a majority of citizens from imposing its will
on the minority.
In creating the US Constitution to replace the
Articles the Founders considered having Congress select the president,
but the president would then be beholden to the Congress, confounding
the idea of three co-equal branches of government. They also considered
state legislatures or governors selecting the chief executive, but those
ideas, too, were rejected. And they rejected electing the president
through a purely popular vote, because they wanted to balance the power
of the larger and smaller states.
this point, before being elected president then-US Sen. John F. Kennedy
noted, “Direct election would break down the federal system under which
states entered the union, which provides a system of checks and
balances to ensure that no area or group shall obtain too much power.”
deliberations on how best to select the president ultimately resulted
in the creation of the Electoral College. But now there is an effort
afoot to do away with this beneficial safeguard of the US Constitution
that the Founders meticulously developed to best serve the citizens of
Changing the Constitution requires amending the
Constitution, and that requires the consent of two-thirds of Congress
and three-fourths of the states; very difficult and unlikely to be
accomplished any time soon.
The National Popular Vote (NPV) plan
claims its purpose is “to ensure that every vote for president is
equally valued no matter where it is cast.” However, it seeks to make
this change without a Constitutional amendment. The Founders realized
there might be legitimate reasons to change the Constitution, but also
understood that such changes must have broad support among the citizenry
and it therefore should not be too easily done. The system for amending
the Constitution is demanding, as it should be.
approach this important change the proper way, by putting it before the
people and the Congress through the amendment process, NPV advocates
decided to take a short cut and simply subvert the Constitution through a
The mission statement of the NPV initiative
should therefore read: “Things aren’t working out to suit us, so we
need to change the rules.” Its campaign seeks to obtain the consent of
the majority of the 538 votes in the Electoral College to award
electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote instead of
the winner of the popular vote in each state, a system in which the
inmates run the asylum.
The president will be chosen not by the
electors voting as the voters of their state determine they should vote,
but under the terms of an agreement among themselves.
effort to buy control of presidential elections must be the work of the
evil Koch brothers, or the TEA Party, right? Nope. It is uber leftist
Hungarian-American multi-billionaire George Soros pulling the strings.
states have already signed up for this subversion: New York, Hawaii,
Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Washington, Vermont,
California and Rhode Island. The District of Columbia also has joined
Since the Electoral College protects the balance the
Founders created with deference to states with smaller populations and
by ensuring that the interests of these states be reflected in national
decision-making, circumventing it through the NPV creates serious
problems, according to former Federal Election Commission member Hans A.
** Recounts would be both more prevalent and more problematic.
** It could destabilize America’s two-party system, leading to a higher incidence of close elections and recounts.
Provisional ballots could also lead to an extensive, widespread, and
complex battle that could further delay and confuse the results of a
** The plan would encourage vote fraud.
to Mr. von Sapkovsky, “The NPV is unconstitutional because it would
give a group of states with a majority of electoral votes the power to
overturn the explicit decision of the Framers against direct election.
Since that power does not conform to the constitutional means of
changing the original decisions of the framers, NPV could not be a
The NPV is yet another liberal idea that upon analysis turns out to be a lousy idea. Is it also criminal?
Cross-posted from Observations