Electoral College Follies

american-founders

By Charlie Johnston

(Eight and a half years ago I wrote this little piece on the Electoral College. It was originally published in the Chicago Daily Observer and then, a day later, in the Illinois Review – I was a columnist for both journals at the time. It was picked up later by several national outlets, most notably the American Conservative Union. It has some dated references, such as to then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, one of four Illinois governors in my lifetime to go to prison. But I left it whole.

It is heavier on the snark than I usually am here. I was significantly snarkier when I was writing on culture and politics. It does reflect the contempt I have for the modern practice of loudly shouting opinions without taking even a moment to learn a little about what you are talking about. I illustrated this point once when I was in radio by announcing that the next day, we would have a free discussion on the electoral college. You were free to express whatever opinion you wanted – but only if you could first give me an substantially accurate thumbnail of why the founders set it up in the first place. I expected only a couple of people to get through the screening. To my disappointment, none did.

One of the great evils of modern times, an evil that has helped bring us to the pass we have reached is that everybody want to spout off, but few want to actually study. Uninformed opinions are just useless rants. Here then, in honor of our dying electoral processes, my little piece from eight years ago on the Electoral College.)

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has the chance to do something right. Last month Illinois became the third state to pass the National Popular Vote Bill, which would direct a state’s presidential electors to cast their votes for whoever wins the national popular vote. But in Illinois, unlike Maryland and New Jersey, the bill has not yet become law. In this state the governor has not yet signed the legislation – and has told reporters he is not sure if he will.

On most matters we show a certain reverence for the founders. Well we should. They created the first democratic republic in history that did not rapidly degenerate into chaos and end in dictatorship. Their achievement is profound: while the United States is one of the youngest nations on the planet we have the oldest continuous form of government. That achievement is doubly impressive if one is aware that, historically, democracy has been one of the most volatile, unstable forms of government known to man. The founders somehow managed to separate the nitro and the glycerin of freedom and create something that would last rather than blow up every time it is jarred.

When in high school I, too, thought the Electoral College a strange, antiquated institution. While in college I came to recognize some of the magnitude of the founders’ achievement. Rather than assuming they had tossed it into the Constitution as some sort of bizarre joke I thought it more useful to do some investigation on what, exactly, was on their minds. (Incidentally, when he was a senator, the late Pres. John Kennedy wrote a very lucid explanation of the Electoral College and why it has served the nation well). The group behind this push, National Popular Vote, Inc. (NPVI), helpfully explains that among the main reasons the Electoral College was originally needed was because of the lack of cell phones, computers, calculators, the internet and other modern inventions. Can they possibly be that stupid?

A presidential election, though held on a single day, is not a single election. It encompasses 50 discrete elections, one in each state. To give an example, suppose the Cubs and the White Sox were in the World Series (you Southern Illinois Cardinal fans can substitute the Cards and the Royals – or better yet, an NLCS between the Cards and the Mets). The White Sox win three games by a score of 10-0. The Cubs win four games by a score of 1-0. The White Sox, in essence, win the popular vote 30-4. But the Cubs win the series because it was not one seven-day long contest to see who could score the most runs. It was seven individual games. Perhaps you think a presidential election should not be the collective decision of the states, but a single expression of the national popular will. Consider some of the real reasons the founders adopted the Electoral College and how these reasons relate to modern circumstances.

First, the states are different sizes. In order to prevent small states from losing all influence and just being swept along by big-state interests in national affairs, the small states’ weight in the electoral college is slightly larger than the big states in comparison to their population, because of the uniform rule of two senators per state, regardless of size (the total number of electors each state gets is equal to the sum of its members of the U.S. House and Senate). Abolish the Electoral System and every presidential election hence would be contested – and decided – in five to eight major urban areas. Small, and even medium size states, might never again even see a presidential candidate. Rural influence on presidential elections would evaporate entirely. After a few elections voters in small states and rural areas would figure out their vote was utterly meaningless. Participation in elections would likely drop because of the futility of it. Tensions between rural and urban interests would become dreadful, perhaps intractable. Even the invention of cell phones hasn’t changed that.

Second, there was the fear of regionalism, that some areas of the country with common interests might band together to hijack national presidential elections by the intensity of their votes. Were it not for the Electoral College this would have actually happened in 1860. There were several southern states in which Abraham Lincoln did not get a single popular vote. Despite having a minority population, the south, by the intensity of its commitment to the slave culture, could have hijacked that election from the rest of the country. The Electoral College prevented that. The Civil War was a great battle both over slavery and national union. The crisis would not have been averted without an Electoral College, only postponed and intensified. The likely end result would have been the Balkanization of what is now America. One of those little filigrees the founders added, to give stability to this great democracy, worked to save the nation and put an end to the sort of regionalism that had, in earlier times, been catalyst for destruction of democracies. Abolishing the Electoral College would likely resurrect the spectre of regionalism. Take a look at the map. West of the Mississippi River every state except California and Texas would become powerless in national elections unless some of them banded together and, as the old south did in 1860, voted monolithically. In the southeast, which states other than Florida and, perhaps, Georgia, would have any influence? Look carefully at the map before glibly injecting this old element of instability back into the prospect of national union that the founders most painstakingly and brilliantly worked to eliminate. The invention of calculators doesn’t change this a whit.

Third, there is the matter of vote fraud. It truly puzzles me that proponents of this plan seem to honestly believe it would make fraud more, rather than less, difficult. The founders created the Electoral College, in part, to make it more difficult for unseemly combinations to conspire to hijack an election. Read that as vote fraud and special interests. It is rare that a conspiracy of fraud in only one state could hijack an election (Evidence of massive fraud in Illinois and Texas, either of which could have changed the election, exists from the 1960 election, but it is the exception, rather than the rule. Even had Nixon chosen to contest the result, he would almost certainly have confined himself to one or both of these states, rather than the even more nightmarish scenario of a national recount). Imagine that polls show an election to be a dead heat in the late going. Conspirators do not have to come up with multiple conspiracies in several states to cheat the electorate: they need only confine themselves to electoral corruption mainstays such as Chicago, Texas, Louisiana, Los Angeles and such. Massive vote fraud in any one would be sufficient to gain a tainted victory where only the national popular vote counts in a dead heat. One need only look at the experience of western democracies where a single, national vote does determine the outcome of the chief executive to see that fraud changing the outcome is easier, not harder than under our “archaic, antiquated system.” The invention of the computer makes such “unseemly combinations” much easier.

Fourth, the legislation is unenforceable. Under the Constitution once electors are chosen, they have the absolute right to vote for whomever they choose. Long-term practice has led to a gentleman’s agreement in which each elector votes for the candidate who won their state’s popular vote. Once a state has chosen its electors, it cannot bind them to vote for anyone in particular. It would require a Constitutional Amendment to change this. In 2000, the Gore campaign actively tried to persuade electors from states that voted for Bush to be ‘faithless’ and vote for Al Gore anyway. In each of the elctions of 2000, 1988, 1976 and 1972 a ‘faithless elector’ did vote against who they were pledged to. Any serious enforcement clause injected into NPV legislation might well make it unconstitutional.

Imagine, now, a scenario in which Barack Obama and Rudy Giuliani were their respective party’s nominees (I choose them for this example because of the big states they come from). The election is close as can be. Without Illinois, Giuliani is the victor. Former Chicago City Clerk Jim Laski has been doing interviews of late explaining the “Chicago Way;” how they would accomplish vote fraud not just by forgery and voting the dead, but actually cutting and pasting the chad on absentee ballots if they were cast for the ‘wrong’ candidate. You’re from New York and you have read about all of this. Do you ask your delegation to vote for Obama? And what about the rest of the country? If the legitimacy of a presidential election came down to believing in the electoral integrity of the Chicago precinct captain, what kind of chaos would ensue? Once this boundary was breached it would be far more likely to destroy the gentleman’s agreement among electors than to enhance national unity. The internet could communicate the news, but not stop the chaos.

Over the last century we have abolished many of the elements of stability the founders injected into our unique system of government. A serious student of the history of democracies would be alarmed at the number of symptoms our culture has developed that have previously been precursors to a democracy’s descent into chaos. The elimination of yet another is not a good idea. Contrary to popular (and uninformed) opinion, the Electoral College was not invented by a mad founder as a practical joke.

The head of NPVI, John Koza, is a computer scientist who teaches at Stanford University. I will defer to his judgment on computer, cell phone, and internet technology, regardless of any commentary by founders I might run across. I would ask that, in return, he show a little more respect for the founders’ achievement and expertise.

As for Gov. Blagojevich, he can do both this state and the nation a signal service by following advice from Nancy Reagan: Just say no.

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
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122 Responses to Electoral College Follies

  1. jayman92 says:

    “A serious student of the history of democracies would be alarmed at the number of symptoms our culture has developed that have previously been precursors to a democracy’s descent into chaos. ” Or perhaps someone with a tip of the hat from outside the temporal realm?

    Liked by 5 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Ha, Jayman. I didn’t get any divine assistance on this.

      Funny, most people assume I get easy answers. To the contrary, though I get more raw data, I am held to a brutally rigorous accounting for putting that data together and interpreting it in the light of first things, foundational principles. I do get an attaboy from time to time, but I get tartly rebuked when I err significantly and get sent back to do it over – and get it right. I am not allowed to fail to speak because I am not ready or am uncertain – and I am held to rigorous account whatever the circumstances. That probably is partly why I so value honest and considered dissenting voices. What scares me is that I might have missed something important in my considerations.

      Think of it like the training for special forces. Such soldiers do not get it easier than others or magic powers. They must train, they must drill, they must do it relentlessly – while constantly being held up to judgment. If I was given to slipshod, uninformed, sloppy analysis, I would not have been suited to this work at all.

      Liked by 11 people

      • jayman92 says:

        The great thing about special forces training is that it is so demanding, the soldiers confidently know they are unlikely to encounter anything more daunting than what they have already faced. Perhaps your training is likewise.

        Liked by 2 people

        • charliej373 says:

          I have faced some very daunting things. I don’t count on things not getting even more daunting, but I am resolved to stay faithful to the end, God willing.

          Liked by 7 people

        • Like those tough-as-nails Navy Seals parachuting into that college football stadium — it was like a walk through a park on calm spring morning.

          Liked by 3 people

          • jayman92 says:

            Oh, man, Patrick. You are right! I read “Lone Survivor” by Marcus Luttrell a couple of years ago. While his ordeal in enemy territory was certainly compelling, I was even more taken aback by his description of Navy Seal training in the first half of the book. I get cranky when my socks get wet when I step in a shower puddle brushing my teeth in the morning. They spend their final WEEK of training in the same clothes, in and out of the ocean, caked with sand, swimming, running, simulating combat — all on 45 minutes of sleep. May God bless them all.

            Liked by 5 people

          • The intro to “Lone Survivor”

            Liked by 1 person

  2. JudyM says:

    I swear I have read this before Charlie. Either I read it here in Illinois when you published it, or I read one from someone else that is similar. I have always been intrigued by the Electoral College and, thus, have read quite a bit about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jnursester says:

    Charlie, if you insert “New Mexico ” everywhere that you put “Chicago ” you will also have an accurate description.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

    I must be losing my touch. The article didn’t seem snarky to me at all — it seemed actually measured and very informative. Only quibble is that the Cards should always win.😉

    Liked by 4 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Come on now…I have them beating both the Royals and the Mets. How much can you expect from a poor Cub fan? (But one who does rate the Cardinals as his #2 team. St. Louis is certainly the best baseball town in the country.)

      Liked by 6 people

      • blippitydar says:

        When I was first married we moved from New Orleans to St. Louis and I was a photojournalist working as a “stringer” photographer for the A.P. Got to shoot from the field boxes next to the dugouts for all the home Cardinals games – Ozzie Smith, Pedro Guerrero, Tony Pena, Willie McGee…had a blast! Also shot St. Louis Blues hockey. Won’t talk about that…

        Liked by 3 people

    • leslyek says:

      My first reaction also was that I didn’t find it snarky at all, and so what’s wrong with me, lol.
      May we all stay true to our better selves!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Becky-TN says:

    Haven’t read the piece yet, Charlie. Looking forward.

    God Bless,
    Becky

    Like

  6. Another Karen says:

    Charlie, do you still feel as strongly as you did when you wrote this that the Electoral vote this election cannot be corrupted significantly enough to change the outcome? Between dead voters, illegal voters, electronic vote manipulation, etc., I wonder. Thanks for the political science lesson. Politics was never my strong suit, and I have learned much here from you. I could never have accepted your challenge during your radio talk show days!

    Liked by 7 people

  7. Victor says:

    I found this link on the ACLJ site instructive – since the prediction that Obama would leave before the completion of his term seems unconnected to the current uproar in the election process.
    http://aclj.org/executive-power/three-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-73-days-of-danger
    His use of Executive Power could exceed even his most recent violations of the constitution.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Meredith Thomas says:

    thank you! this is a summary and explanation that I needed. Very helpful and will be passing it on. I will also be able to share it with my adult ESL students preparing for citizenship.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. homesteading heart says:

    Love you, Charlie, snark and all. This was a great recap of what I learned in my HS government class back in the 80s. I doubt they teach it anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. It is an amazing thing to me how many people either believe that we’re in – or that we should be in – a pure Democracy. People de facto believe Democracy is a good thing. It is not. We have seen why – all you need to do is tell 51% or more of the people that they don’t need to pay taxes, and they’ll get free stuff from you, and self-interest drives voting patterns at the expense of everything else.

    On another note, some fun with Electoral politics in a year of absolute craziness: Evan McMullin in a recent poll in Utah is only 4 points behind Clinton and Trump. Suppose he actually pulls this off – he gets 6 Utah delegates. Less likely, but still an outside possibility – is that in Vermont Bernie Sanders could actually win on write-in votes (he isn’t asking for it, but that isn’t stopping people from loudly calling for it). Vermont has 3 delegates. If 6 or 9 Electoral votes diverted to candidates other than Trump or Clinton, it could leave both candidates short of 270 Electoral votes if the other states fall nearly evenly split. And since Electors aren’t bound, there could be even more defections because only the top three candidates go to the House to select the next President. Some Hillary Electors might go to Bernie to ensure he’s the third candidate, and some Trump Electors might go to McMullin to ensure he is. This could create a bidding war of sorts for the third candidate. Then, at the House level, 50% of the House delegations need to settle on one candidate. Since this is GOP dominated, it is unlikely that either Hillary or Bernie wins, but if McMullin is the third guy, and if it goes to additional ballots, there could be some horse-trading that eventually leads to a very interesting result – that the who won Utah only ends up as the next President. Since the Senate determines the Vice President only from the top two, we could end up with Kaine as the Vice President.

    This might all seem far-fetched, and I’m not predicting it will happen, but in the context of a world where I’m being told that the next stable leader will not come from the election process, I’m basically not surprised by anything anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Brocadelli says:

    Really good, Charlie. I’m sure I’m not the only reader who benefited from this primer about the Electoral College. I had the notion that it was antiquated and unfair, but your explanation cleared up my fuzzy thinking on it.

    It seems that the frenzy of the political climate mirrors the frenzy of the spiritual climate. Things are coming to a head, and I know I must not let up on prayer, fasting, and acts of charity. If this nation cared as much about our spiritual life as we do about our political and cultural proclivities, imagine how different things would be. I feel like I’ve been lackadaisical for too long, and I’m just now waking out of deep slumber. Double time, now.

    I’m going to my parish’s first adoration / holy hour tonight – I’ll be praying for the election and everything else that’s coming down the pike, that we all have the grace of perseverance. I’ll be praying for everyone’s intentions here, as well.

    (“Having all sweetness within it” – probably my favorite phrase in the world, after “God, the Father of mercies ..”.)

    Liked by 8 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Actually, even in the political realm, which commands so much attention, the debate is reduced to shrill, partisan shrieking rather than any honest effort to understand our system, why it matters, and the consequences of policy choices. So much ignorant sound and fury, signifying nothing.

      Liked by 11 people

      • justsayin392 says:

        Sigh. . .and then there is the unrelenting hypnotic drum beat from the Harris County DA’s Campaign – “Billionaire George Soros is funding Ogg (D- DA candidate). . . Vote for Devon Anderson (R-DA candidate).” I heard this on local radio this morning and had to immediately repent for my gratitude that I don’t reside in Harris County (and thus am ineligible to vote in this race). I know, the dragon’s breath rises at the door of each heart. Yet He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. . .

        Liked by 2 people

    • Mick says:

      Hey, Brocadelli, I’m glad to hear that the old place is having adoration with a holy hour! Maybe you could call my Uncle Phil (tell him you and I are buds) and invite him to the next one? I bet he hasn’t been to a holy hour in 50 years. If he got a personal invitation from a fellow parishioner (rather than an out-of-the-blue phone call from an out-of-state niece), he might just show up.🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  12. Father Aerts says:

    Charlie, tried email….hope everything is okay…blessed be the Living Lord and God!!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Mick says:

    Excellent piece, Charlie.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. SteveBC says:

    I am so glad that someone central to the Storm and the Restoration really gets the usefulness of the Electoral College. I’ve seen the moves to abolish it and have worried they will succeed.

    The 17th Amendment destroyed the power of the States to counterbalance the Federal government and removed the most important ally of the people against a rapaciously expanding central government. The proposed junking of the Electoral College would disenfranchise those who live outside the large urban areas/states. In both these cases the power of the elites is enhanced, and the power of the progressives eclipses everyone else’s.

    Liked by 9 people

  15. Thank you for the clear baseball analogy in your post about the importance of the Electoral College. Just imagine, without the EC we would’ve had a President Gore — the man who was reportedly called by his colleagues “The Dunce of the Senate” — sitting in the White House contemplating polar bears when our two towers and Pentagon were hit on 9/11/01.

    I’d also like to thank Mr. Beers, Mr. Vandenberg, Mr Sappelt, Mr. Hammond, and Mr. McCormick of the Eden Central School System. These humble and dedicated men, some of whom served in the Armed Forces, taught me and my rural classmates American History as it should be taught…as it really is.

    Liked by 8 people

  16. Padraig Harvey says:

    Years ago I was asked to give a seminar to a group of Congolese on the U.S. Constitution (in French). My French used to be pretty good, but it met its match that day. I mentioned casually, in passing, the Electoral College, and the Congolese were completely taken by it. The remainder of the class, dedicated to Article III (the Judiciary) was shot, and I was left explaining in French the intricacies of the Electoral College.

    >

    Liked by 3 people

  17. My son, Scott, and I got down to O.L of Lourdes Shrine in Cleve to go through the Holy Doors. It was wonderful …..so much peace is there…..then pushing my walker through the shrine, drinking the Holy Water that pours over the rock from Lourdes, France. And I washed my rosaries in the water. Bought Christmas gifts at the gift shop. A wonderful little pat on the head from OL and Our Lord. .

    Today is the feast of St. Luke….the evenings readings really spoke to my heart.
    Ant 1 : ‘My life is at service of the Gospel; God has given me this gift of his grace.’
    ……and the psalm 116….’I trusted even when I said I am sorely afflicted…..’ ‘And when I said,
    ‘No man can be trusted…..!!!!!
    …..psalm 126 also and the canticle from Eph 1/3
    ….and the reading from Col/1. ‘…moved as you are by the hope…’
    The more I read the more I felt Gods voice speaking solidly through tonight’s evening prayer.

    We drove through downtown Cleveland on the way back from the Shrine….we both wondered about the future…..downtown is quite lovely….new buildings and new stores, etc.

    “My heart is ready Oh Lord, My heart is ready.”
    Scott leaves for Medj next week…..the 26th….please pray for his pilgrimage.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Ok, you lost me at the baseball reference. I thought the Blue Jays were playing the Indians and the Cubs against the Dodgers, so I am trying to figure out how a Canadian team can possibly enter into the electoral vote, yet alone Southern Indiana.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oops, Southern Illinois… I would be embarrassed at my mistake were there a difference. 😀

      Liked by 3 people

    • Technically, the Blue Jays have dual Canadian-U.S. citizenship, so it’s fair game for them to participate in voting here in the U.S.

      I know you’re from out of town and all, but do be careful how you speak about the Chicago ball clubs…alliances run very deep! Best to avoid the discussion entirely.

      Now PIZZA, on the other hand!!!…….

      Like

      • johnjwblog says:

        Actually the Blue Jays do not have dual Canadian-US citizenship, they are citizens of the country they live in, in this case mostly the US. They can still vote in the US where they domicile in the US outside of ball season. They are Americans working in Canada under a special tax treaty. There is no advantage to be a Canadian citizen as the tax rates are much higher. If they wish to became Canadian they have to apply and it is a long process for legal applicants as opposed to refugees.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It was a botched attempt to work within YD’s comment, John — what I meant was the Blue Jays are a part of Major League Baseball…which is an American business, and even though the team works in Canada, they have a say in what goes on in the MLB. Lame, sorry, my bad. YD just never leaves good set-up material to follow up with, and so this one’s a forced error on my part. (I did have plenty to add to your “7 of 9” comment though, YD, but wisely held back.)

          My sister is married to a Canuck. He likes to bag on American politics with his — surprise, surprise — liberal/socialist point of view. I happily inform him his opinion ain’t worth squat because he can’t vote here. 😛 And then I rub salt in by telling him Canada isn’t a real country anyway! 😡 (I’m totally kidding, CanadaNW and all our Canadian readers. Take comfort that my brother-in-law will usually pop me in the gut when I say that – or worse yet, withhold the beer. A Canadian really knows how to hit a guy where it hurts.)

          Truth be told, I would love to live and work in Canada, despite the taxes and hybrid healthcare system, except for one reason….no guns allowed for personal protection. Firearms for moose and geese only. Now that I thoroughly stepped in ‘it:

          God bless 🇨🇦 Canada,
          May He keep our land glorious and free!

          Like

          • johnjwblog says:

            Ironically, Canada was never this left, we had the social credit movement at one time which is very conservative, it died out about 40 years ago, but is still espoused by a traditional French Canadian Catholic group called Michael Fighting who rail against the banking system. Some of the best conservative alternative media live out of Canada – Laura Southern, Crowder, Molyneaux,Watts, Levant ..Despite no personal firearms, it’s constitutionally protected to possess guns for hunting and once you’re vetted by the RCMP any time you buy a gun it takes less than a day to get it as opposed to up to 30 days in Florida.The health care system is ok if you have a broken arm or something simple but once it gets complicated – yikes!

            Liked by 2 people

  19. CrewDog says:

    I don’t know if I have posed this question here but I have been asking it over on the MILINET Site for at least five years … no replies? I just added “local police” as that segment has blossomed HUGE in the past 7.7 years ;-(
    Imagine this?:
    “A foreign power/group, with a deep visceral hatred of the USA, sets out to plan and implement a 50-year program to destroy the USA. With the assistance of “front groups”, fifth columnists in the bureaucracy/judiciary/unions and “useful idiots” in the media, they attack our moral fiber, long held religious beliefs, social traditions, Military, Currency, local police and business large and small. They then attempt to re-make US into the image of their most radical constituent elements.”
    Now tell me how my above scenario is any different from the actions of the Democrat Party these past five decades!!???

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 11 people

    • I thought you were describing the Democrat Party, Crew Dog…to a T. Of course, their description would be a smoothly worded negative image.

      Liked by 6 people

    • bthanntrm says:

      It is not an country that has this plan it is the evil one. And most of the people carrying out this plan think they are doing a good thing. That is why we must form our conscious and then pray for God’s protection. I know so many that cannot see the evil they truly believe
      that they are doing good. There but for the Grace of God.😪

      THANK YOU GOD FOR THE PLAN!!!
      Beth

      Liked by 2 people

  20. justsayin392 says:

    “The founders somehow managed to separate the nitro and the glycerin of freedom and create something that would last rather than blow up every time it is jarred.” Hehehe. . .will be alternately chuckling and pondering over this for a good long while. Really enjoyed the entire piece.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. I saw this on sign.org and thought you all might like it. It’s so nice to think that the communion of saints knows all these happenings ….or knew them. Maybe they don’t go along with all you have spoken about, Charlie, but then every Mystics ‘take’ is a little different. And that’s good.
    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/joseph-pronechen/major-saints-stress-safe-route-for-perilous-latter-times

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Littlelight says:

    Spirit Daily had a link to: “Does Passion Trump Virtue?” The author, Allison Ricciardi, explores the connection some rather unvirtuous but extremely passionate saints had prior to their conversions.

    It was a really good read and got me thinking about the possibility that just perhaps Mr. Trump could have a similar experience. I know you’ve been asked this question before and have expressed serious doubt. Have you seen this?

    http://www.theraphaelremedy.com/item/does-passion-trump-virtue

    Liked by 3 people

    • Beckita says:

      Thanks, Little. Allison Ricciardi does such great work.

      Like

    • johnjwblog says:

      Very good article. Trump has said on numerous occasions: I know how they operate because I was one of them, now I am one of you and I work for you. Ironically, 2 former nude playboy bunnies have come forward and said they used to attend functions and parties with Trump present and they said he was a “gentleman”. They said they found the allegations to be suspect because Trump had women all over him all the time and he was very polite about it, he would not have a need to accost women because they came to him. The media is definitely corrupt and they are paying money to get dirt. ABC has been phoning all beauty contestants to get dirt. As Stephan Molyneaux said, the main street media is dying and you would think someone would step up to tell the truth and but no it’s as if they are in self destruct mode and they need to elect Hillary, now’s the time for the alternative media to catch the moment and make a change.Tonight’s debate will be very revealing – funny both candidates will be beside Cardinal Dolan at a fundraiser tomorrow night.

      Liked by 2 people

  23. CrewDog says:

    Not to Worry!!!
    I’m sure ABCNNBCBS-PBS & NYT/LAT will be ALL-OVER the below Blockbuster Story!! Not to mention The FBI and Department of Just-Us “Civil Rights” Division! …… Right!?? …. Hellooooooo!!!! …..?????

    “Dem Operative Who Oversaw Trump Rally Agitators Visited White House 342 Times”

    http://dailycaller.com/2016/10/18/exposed-dem-operative-who-oversaw-trump-rally-agitators-visited-white-house-342-times/

    Ya can Kiss the Constitution & Bill of Rights Good-Bye ;-( …. except for The Fifth Amendment … Of Course ….. unless you abide in that Basket of Deplorables …. then … See Ya in the Re-Education Camp!!

    GOD SAVE THE REPUBLIC & ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 4 people

  24. jj says:

    This is the best explanation I have ever seen for our current state of affairs in the world.

    “So then, back to our original question: why was there such a universal conflict between political authorities and the first Christians? The answer is not that Jesus and the first Christians were usurping political authority; it was that the political authorities were usurping the authority of God. They were not in prison for raising their swords in revolt against the state but rather for raising their voices to speak to the conscience of every man against the trespasses of the state on the rights of God.”

    http://www.catholic.com/blog/fr-jeremiah-smith/totalitarianism-in-democracys-clothing

    Liked by 8 people

  25. Nita Nankervis says:

    Since you are Catholic and very political why would you not say Trump is the only viable choice. A vote for a third party candidate at this point is a vote against Trump. And I know people are free to choose who they want. I just wonder why you don’t endorse Trump as the candidate for life and freedom. And actually the emphasis you have put on the prophetic idea that whoever we vote for will not make a difference because they won’t make it to the office. Hasn’t that encouraged just psychologically many thousands not to vote because it won’t make any difference anyway. And I know your post says go ahead and vote. But the psychology is already there that it won’t matter.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Nita, a couple of things. First, a vote for a third-party is NOT a vote against Trump, but a vote FOR the candidate chosen. I don’t simply endorse Trump because I simply say politics is a dead man walking – and has been for about a decade. I mean it. If people are going to vote for one of the major party candidates, I do encourage them to vote for Trump, because Clinton is unacceptable on any terms. You are right that I spent most of my life immersed in politics, so I have heard all the sophistical arguments from professionals decades ago trying to persuade me to do what they want rather than what I believe. You are quite late to that party, even if you have convinced yourself of the wisdom of putting your faith in the political system.

      Also, I deleted your last two paragraphs, telling me what Holy Love Ministries has to say. This is a Catholic site that welcomes people of other faiths and listens seriously to them. But I don’t listen to supposedly Catholic groups that are in disobedience to their Bishop. Have Holy Love reconcile with Bishop Lennon and obey him on all matters relating to faith and morals and I will be glad to hear them. Until then, all references to Holy Love will be deleted. This is not a site for groups that call themselves Catholic but will not submit to Catholic obedience to spread their message.

      Liked by 11 people

    • Julee says:

      If an election is held, then I’ll be voting because that would be the next right step on that particular day. For me, it wouldn’t be right to ignore the election based solely on alleged private revelation. If Charlie is right and neither candidate ends up taking office, I still will have acknowledged God and fulfilled my moral obligation to promote the common good through exercising my voting privilege (per CCC 2240). Abortion is an intrinsic evil and non-negotiable and it makes me sad to hear some of my Catholic friends argue that some of the lesser issues (negotiables according to Catholic teaching) are more important. I understand it, though, because I didn’t have a well-formed Catholic voting conscience until the 2012 election. I thought I did, but I didn’t completely understand there were non-negotiable issues when evaluating candidates. It was hard because I had to put aside how I was raised and what I thought would be best for me personally and consider the greater good. As for this election, I’m not a Trump fan, but I feel it would be a sin to enable abortion with a vote for Hillary. Likewise, not voting or voting for a third party would still be enabling abortion because I didn’t vote for the pro-life candidate when I had an opportunity (sin of omission). I’m hoping God has a plan like Charlie says, but in the meantime my next right step is to vote according to my conscience. It may end up being meaningless in terms of our next leader, but I don’t think it will be meaningless in the eyes of God if I’m trying to acknowledge him and take the next right step. My 2 cents.

      Liked by 7 people

  26. tinabarry says:

    I have always wondered about the Electoral College. I would need to read this about 3 more times to understand it all. Why don’t we get these explanations in school? Oh yeah, their corrupt.

    Is our current form of government that our Founding Fathers slaved over, not the corrupted form, not to be resurrected in New World Rescue? After all, it has lasted the longest.

    I did have to look up one very important term, “snarky.”

    Please let the Storm come Lord, this election alone is killing us and to what end? At least with the collapse we know what the end will bring.

    Liked by 4 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Another reason you don’t get it in school is very few teachers have read and understand it in any depth. (When I was in high school, my civics teacher was a cheerful man who was quite frank on those things he didn’t know – so when a question came he was not sure about, he always turned it over to me. Probably the easiest “A” I ever got in a class.)

      Liked by 5 people

  27. Thomas Augustine says:

    At first senators (not the baseball team) were appointed by their individual state governments, rather than elected by popular vote. I believe this was in part to help separate the Senate from the passions of the electorate, or the people. Which is also why their terms are longer than the House of Representatives.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Marita says:

    Hi Charlie,
    It’s been a long, long time since I commented, but I have been contented to just sit back this past year and read all the comments from the multitude of new TNRS’ers. This comment is not exactly related to this post, but these couple of things have been on my mind. First, about the new appointments to Cardinals that the Pope has made. I know absolutely nothing about the men appointed, but I’ve read all the comments and the two recurring thoughts that came to mind was: 1) St. Thomas Becket, he was certainly not saint material when appointed Archbishop, but God poured the graces for the office upon him and look at the conversion that took place. 2) This one is more from my peculiar sense of humor but the phrase “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” came to mind as well.
    Also, just a thought, but I have a feeling the election will take place, and if Hillary is elected (but thankfully will never take office), then that will be the final nail in our country’s coffin. We will again, as in the two elections of Obama, decidedly said no to trying to turn this country around for the good, and chosen to stay on the corrupt course we are on right now. Then, with the end of the Mercy Year, finally we will be subject to the full justice of God. I, like you Charlie are hoping the collapse will happen before the Mercy ends, so as many people as possible, including my lost family, will run to God’s mercy. May God’s Kingdom come ASAP!

    You are in my daily prayers Charlie, and I haven’t forgotten about you or the group!

    God bless you all!

    Liked by 11 people

    • tinabarry says:

      Marita thank you for your comment. My thoughts on the cardinals is the same. God inspired our Pope to elect these men for what reason? It doesn’t matter for us to know. We have to trust that their appointments are in the hands of the Holy Spirit and God is going to do something with them. I believe that so much of what we see the Pope doing is all going to come together in the end with God’s hand. He is leading this Pope. The devil and evil people will all be outwitted in the end. I am at peace. We need to quit fretting. God is in charge!!!

      Liked by 7 people

    • Mick says:

      Marita! It’s great to “see” you again! How have you been?🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marita says:

        Dear, sweet Mick, it’s always great to “see” you too! I know you know my mom died almost eight months ago now. It’s hard, but I am getting better. I had to start grief counseling because it was getting too heavy for me to carry myself anymore. I’m going to force myself out of my self imposed cocoon, with a lot of help from Jesus who is starting to nudge me ever so gently and sweetly. I know He wants me ready for when the collapse comes, I need to be there to direct my family and anyone else He puts in my path.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mick says:

          Marita, I’m sending you a great big hug right now. I will pray for you and for your family; and I’ll ask my mom. who passed away in 2008, to pray for all of you, too.

          Hey, are you coming to Jackson for Charlie’s talk on November 9? It would be great if you could make it (and I’d be able to give you a hug in person).🙂

          Like

        • Barb129 says:

          Marita, praying for your peace and comfort…

          Like

  29. Momma of Flowers says:

    Charlie thanks so much for reminding this ol’ pol. sci. major of the intricacies of the electoral college. All I ever seemed to be able to dust off from the “mommy mind” was the critical role it played in balancing everything out. How are you on middle school science? I’m struggln’ mightily with helping my daughter through it. Its humbling to go back to a subject after 35 plus years! Hope you are feeling better.

    Momma of Flowers

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Vijaya says:

    I loved this article. Thank you for explaining things so well (for us poor students of history).

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Tim says:

    I would suggest that we really lost our freedom beginning with Roosevelt (in no way the ‘electoral college’ one way or the other), that would be Teddy, and his, at least, initial idea of a national income tax. McKinley picked up the banner but couldn’t get it passed and ultimately was culminated through Wilson and the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. Once that amendment became law, in the literal blanket of night and darkness, ‘freedom’ of everything ‘we the people’ owned and considered our birthright began to seriously erode. ‘….he who owns the gold, makes the rules….’ A tremendous resource is Griffin’s “The Creature from Jekyll Island” and how not only corrupt the system had begun but the megalithic, diabolical beast it has turned into.
    Tim

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thomas Augustime says:

      This is probably rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, but the Civil War can be argued as tipping the balance of power from the states toward a strong central government. After 1865 it was all just a matter of time regardless of the good of freeing slaves and preserving the Union.

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        State sovereignty, national union. It is always a balance. The Articles of Confederation, our first iteration, was far too loose a union. Had secession stood, we would not be anything other than the Balkanized States of America. In whatever system you devise, there is opportunity for abuse. It is the call of a religious and moral people to prevent that abuse. This was not inevitable, but the product on long complacency.

        Liked by 3 people

  32. Justin says:

    Thank you Charlie for this piece. I have heard bits and pieces of the explanation you put forth, but have never had them all together in one thought, until now. Question: Why were electors never constitutionally bound to vote as their state voted? Why depend on a gentleman’s agreement? I would think that an infestation of faithless electors in close races in key states would foment chaos and revolt.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      The founders did not set up a direct election for president. Just as they did not set up direct election for U.S. Senators. It was for the states to decide. Constitutionally, if a state dispensed with an election for president at all and just had its legislature choose the electors, that would be valid (though likely to foment armed rebellion). At the beginning of the Republic, there was no actual party system either. That was something people could honestly criticize founders as having should, but not, anticipated.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Nita Nankervis says:

    Because of the election fraud that even now is being revealed by Project Veritas and the Democratic party official admitting fraud for years the one way to beat any fraud is by a landslide win. A vote for a third party is in essence a vote against Trump. Isn’t this basic political thought?

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      A vote for a third party when it there are two major candidates does little to influence the result, but it is not a vote for the candidate you oppose. A Clinton supporter could equally say that a vote for a third party is a vote for Trump. It is not basic political thought, but it is a common fallacy used to persuade someone who has serious objections to accept the dualism it entails. If you believe it is vitally important that Clinton be stopped, you can make the effective case that a third-party vote makes it harder to stop her…and vice versa. But a third-party vote in a close election has little effect on the outcome except to express dissatisfaction with the major candidates.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Mick says:

        Thank you for this, Charlie. I’m getting so weary of having relatives and friends constantly telling me that if I don’t vote for Trump, that I am in effect voting for Clinton. I’ve never voted 3rd-party in my life. This looks like the year.

        My husband ordered my yard sign (“Giant Meteor 2016: Just End It Already!) this morning. I’m going to enjoy displaying it in my yard

        Liked by 4 people

      • SanSan says:

        please people, do not vote for a 3rd party…….clinton must be stopped.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you for this clear explanation of how a 3rd party vote is not a vote for Clinton. I have been berated by my precious friends for not voting for Trump. I have deep respect for their freedom to vote for who they choose but it doesn’t seem to go both ways. It’s so emotionally charged… It will be of no consequence. It will be of no consequence. It will be of no consequence. Repeat…

        By the way, I see there’s an offensive against ISIS going on. I remember you saying it would be surprising how easy it would be to knock them out when we actually used our resources and really put our energy toward taking them out. Am I right that this isn’t that yet? Praying for you, Charlie Larry! -Caroline

        Liked by 1 person

  34. Murt. says:

    Well there now Charlie.

    Quite the post as usual which I look forward to, but, I really only got half way through it is it was, mostly political ramblings of a man made system of events. The electoral college it seems to me was and has been used to confuse/deny people their rights. I say this not lightly of course as I know such a little of your country’s way of voting. I did of course take a great interest in politics of the long ago in my country. Quite the terrible beauty really as some old poet would say as I followed a cruel breed of people. But then a cruel breed is something which needs a cruel breed to oppose I would posit.

    I have long since lost interest in politicians I would say as I have a saying for that ilk. When they open their mouths they usually breathe lies from the lungs. Never thinking of course as they breathe of the very breath being a gift from spirit. Yet they breath and breed unto another new generation as the gravy train makes it’s way to the next new station. A simple giggle on this here net will tell you of how most of your political elite are wealthy beyond belief in our modern world. Just as it is here in my country, (insert any country), as they have stud farms, yachts, never ending life holiday…………..

    Maybe perhaps this god of ours is on holiday also as He peruses the shenanigans of modern day warfare. I sometimes wonder if He is fed up of it all, leaving us to our own devices. Knee will bend of course despite my protestations as so many here seem to have found this god. I have not found Him of course, His guardian angels, His Mother of course I do try to have faith in. Bring it on dear lord is all I could say really as I’m tired of working in this here tunnel of life. I’m tired and fed up of all this muck/water as I wend my way in the construct of the flow of human sewage out-flow. Bring it on as I’m tired of being underground…………..Bring it on dear lord, bring it on…….

    Sorry as I never got to finish reading of just what it is you have written. Most politicians are either stupid or well paid. Bring it on dear lord really as I’m just cold, tired of the damp and wish this day would just end………….

    God speed Charlie, safe journey………..Murt.

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Good to hear from you again, Murt. I hope all is well with you. As much contempt as I hold modern politics in, I don’t forget that, classically, politics is simply a word for how we form and govern communities amongst ourselves. We will have to continue to do that until the end, so the question is not politics or no politics, but whether we will have a Godly politics that protects human liberty or a decadent politics that enslaves people.

      Liked by 4 people

  35. Kris says:

    Charlie, when I first started reading your blog here I must say I was intrigued by the presentation of the storm. I must admit I never would have guessed at the level of childishness I am seeing going on and I am pretty much a closed door/close the curtains on the ugliness now. I feel the strong urge to just prepare like the virgins for the coming of the bridegroom (I dont mean the end of the world) but the coming Reign of the Sacred Heart in the promised era of peace/flame of love. That is all I can make sense of as passions are driving all to lunacy. So bravo for helping us through this and realizing this is the beginning of rescue. What a wonderful hopeful scenario. Blessings to all here.

    Liked by 4 people

  36. Nita Nankervis says:

    Charlie, we just don’t think the same. Jill Stein is for abortion, pro-choice. A vote for her is a vote not only for pro-choice but taken away from Trump. I don’t understand how you can say it is not. Unless you think if they don’t vote for Stein they will vote for Clinton. Which I think is highly unlikely since Stein is for peace at almost all costs and says if Clinton gets elected it almost insures WWWIII. And I realize your saying that third-party vote doesn’t change things. Every vote matters. And the truth matters.

    Trump needs a landslide and we should do everything we can to encourage the truth and give him that to confront the darkness which he is willing to do. Julian Assange is a hero. Wikileaks is exposing it all. These people are risking everything for us and our country. The least we can do is support them totally for a vote for life and freedom. And I do have a problem with the lack of total commitment that this election isn’t going to matter because no one will make the office regardless. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      And when did I ever say one might validly vote for a pro-abortion third-party candidate?

      I get it. You think it is vital that everyone vote for Trump. But enough. This is not primarily a political website, though it does not avoid it. But you writing over and over the same thing is pure election cheerleading. Your opinion has been registered.

      Liked by 2 people

      • moreen67 says:

        Is Trump pro-life? Even if he said he was do you believe him? I voted already I wrote in a pro lifer….I just feel we have 2 lying candidates. And people are to vote their conscience and it is a private matter between you and your maker. We have had a decent amount of Republican pro life presidents sine 1973 and not much has changed.

        Liked by 1 person

  37. Linda says:

    Charlie…great piece per usual.. I got off the fb grid today because there is so much crap going on b4 election..Im afraid Im going to loose my mind.. Instead today.,,I took what you said to do quite literally. ..I concentrated on the work right in front of me and quit worrying about saving the world. ..It was/is so peaceful..wow..of course I wont get off TNRS grid…but I am glad to be off of fb for now😆

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Linda says:

    P.S. CHARLIE HOW ABOUT THEM INDIANS 😆woohoo Indian fever..be a believer..Going to the World Series…Hope they get it in b4 shtf😆⚾🏃⚾

    Like

  39. Nita Nankervis says:

    PS I know I mentioned two of the more controversial things coming out of the Vatican. We could and I probably should have mentioned the more talked about like the influence on social issues vs the importance of the life issues that heaven seems to be emphasizing. And the judge or not judge homosexual issue. We judge Truth we don’t judge hearts. The Holy Father has confused everyone making them think that those two things are the same and we shouldn’t do it. We judge Truth every day we live. We don’t judge hearts because we don’t have enough information. The Holy Father has totally confused people on that and doesn’t seem to want to clarify it.

    Not to mention changing the idea of divorce and communion. And the Priesthood itself with bringing up the deacon issue again in this time of people having agendas totally contrary to the teaching of the Church. Confusion.

    And if Holy Father Francis was here I would discuss these things with him openly and ask him what is he thinking. I wouldn’t just blindly say you are right when he doesn’t seem to be teaching our faith. There is even an upside down in what you are advocating in this blog. I should obey the Church yes Charlie. But do you advocate obeying a lie?

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Nita, with no little regard, I have to call this to a close. Your points seem to be two: that I should be an enthusiast for the election of Donald Trump. (That I say he is an acceptable choice in this hideous election year is not sufficient for you). Second, despite my telling you not to do it here, almost every comment you make has some piece trying to get me to approve Holy Love Ministries despite their Bishop’s clear rejection of it. I have told you if they reconcile with their Bishop and he softens his stance, I will be glad to quote them – but not until then. Now you ask me do I advocate obeying a lie – insinuating that on faith and morals the Pope can Magisterially lie and that you and I should be his judge on the matter.

      This is not productive and is just getting repetitive. Unless you come up with something significantly new, I will not be clearing future comments from you. You have had your say – and saying it over and over does not change things. I have said my piece. I do not intend to keep saying it over and over again. You seem to have a good heart, but this has lurched into something that is not productive.

      Liked by 5 people

  40. Joe says:

    Charlie, what are your thoughts on states like Nebraska that can split the electoral vote? Does that fly in the face of the Republic to become more of a democracy?

    Like

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