Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Trump is the Exception

 According to Robert Reich the reasons the framers of our Constitution established the Electoral College and reject the popular vote was first and formost to stop a demagogue from becoming president.

At the Constitutional Convention, Elbridge Gerry argued against a popular election for president because the people would be misled by a few designing men.  In Federalist No. 68, Alexander Hamilton wrote that the electors would prevent those with talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity from becoming president.  They would also stop anyone who would convulse the community with any extraordinary or violent movements.

Secondly, our founding fathers wanted to stop foreign interference in an election.  The CIA has provided incontrovertible evidence that Russia interfered in the presidential election in order to help Donald Trump.   Furthermore, Trump has business entanglements in Russia and other foreign countries, the extent to which are unknown because Trump has not released his tax returns. 

Thirdly, those who signed the constitution wanted to prevent poor administration of government.  In Federalist No. 68, Hamilton wrote that the true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration, and for that reason the electors should be able to estimate the share which the executive in every government must necessarily have in its good or ill administration. 

President Trump has no government experience and his temperament revealed both from his personal history and his campaign are arguably inconsistent with good government.  The chief ethics officers of the George W. Bush administration insisted that Republican electors shouldn’t choose Trump because he won't put his assets into a blind trust. 

Modern-day conservatives favor so-called “originalist” understandings of the Constitution and look to the original texts of our founding documents for guidance.  However, this time they’ve made an exception.


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