As were in the middle of the two major Party National Conventions, this seems to be a valid topic of conversation. Over the past several months, while watching the 2020 Presidential Pageant evolve in the “World of COVID-19”, I’ve been involved in multiple discussions concerning the number of US Citizens who supported “none of the above” and the number of “did not vote” people in the 2016 Presidential Election. To me, this raises the question, “should we even have Presidential Elections?” Now, before you start to get all “sideways” about this, you must understand that there is no Constitutional requirement that there needs to be a “popular vote” election for the Office of President. How many of you even know this little Constitutional “nugget”.
This is a very teachable moment. Let’s look at what the United States Constitution says about this. – “[Article XII] (Amendment 12 – Election of President- this Amendment modified/clarified Article II, Section 3)-
The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;—The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;—The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.” (End of Amendment)
Do you see anything about “The people shall elect…”? Nope. Well, why not? Because in their strong belief in the fallacy of a Democracy, our Founders were dedicated to the establishment of this Nation as a Constitutional Republic. In the original form of the Constitution, there is only ONE Office in the Country that requires popular election, the US House of Representatives. In our infinite stupidity we allowed that to be changed by the 17th Amendment that made it that the US Senators would be elected by the people. (We also believe that US Senators should return to being appointed by their respective State Legislatures.)
But there is nothing about “voting” for President. Did you realize that in 1824, 6 of the 24 States at the time still had no election for President. Actually, it was 1924 before a large majority of States held popular elections for President to choose the Electors who supported particular candidates for the Office of President, and was the first time the “national popular vote” was even tallied. Why do you think that started? I can only guess it was because the plan, post Woodrow Wilson and the 17th Amendment, was to move the Country more toward a Democracy than for it to continue to operate as a Constitutional Republic as designed. The reason we now have a “popular vote” to determine who the Electors support from each State is because of State Legislation, not because of any Federal action.
So, what’s the down-side of not having a Presidential Election? I can’t say I really see one. We would have to live without the theater that the Presidential Pageant currently provides. The upside? It would make our idea of a Constitutional Republic much more actionable. It would return the importance to our State Legislature elections that they should have held all along. It would virtually eliminate wasting millions, and soon to be billions, of dollars from being wasted on the now nearly two-year long, distractive and destructive campaigns. It would cause there to be a focus on the applicants’ ACTUAL skills, not their rhetoric, OR their Political Party. I see a real possible “win-win” situation.
I think it may be something that’s time has come again. What say you?
God Bless America! And America, please Bless God again!!