Daily Herald, Fence Post letter –  Nancy J. Thorner

posted: 1/4/2017 1:00 AM

Electoral college overrides popular vote

Our Founding Fathers were brilliant, as they foresaw the concentration of population in some states over others as something to account for in the Constitution. The final tally indicated that Trump lost the popular vote by 2.8 million, but he beat Clinton by 3 million votes outside of California and New York, two liberal states where Hillary would have won no matter what.

Should those who live in states with much smaller populations just roll over and say: “We don’t care if the presidential candidates ignore us entirely, as the wisdom and judgment of California and New York are far superior to our own?”

As such, our Founding Fathers established the electoral college as a process, not a place, in our constitution as a compromise between election of the president by a vote in Congress and election of the president by a popular vote of qualified citizens.

Each state’s entitled allotment of electors equals the number of members in its congressional House delegation plus two more for its senators. Trump won 60 percent of those elections: a decisive majority in the only tally that counted to win the presidency. How then is it that in the wake of an election that was constitutionally decided, there were mobs in the streets, petitions on the internet and email containing death threats, all aimed at trying to dissuade members of the electoral college from doing their sworn duty?

Those who are still whining over Trump’s victory simply don’t understand the difference between a republic and a democracy. The founders understood that a republic could weather all sorts of internal conflicts, but a democracy could easily morph into a mobocracy. If we hadn’t dropped ethics, civics and American history, from the school curriculum, perhaps today we wouldn’t find ourselves hip-deep in arrogant, ignorant, celebrities.

Nancy J. Thorner

Lake Bluff

Throughout this nation, Illinois not excluded, concerned Americans who believe this nation is on a fast track to Socialism and with it a Godless society — notably among those who embrace the Christian faith — must do more than pray. It’s not enough to pray and then leave the rest to God to handle (to get things done) without doing our part.

Although prayer cannot be dismissed, it is important to realize how today’s concerns have resulted from the abuse of our Constitution over many years. Too many Americans have little or no understanding of this nation’s Constitution and what the amazing document stands for: It encompasses the building blocks which should serve as the foundation of our nation today, even as it did when ratified for a new and fledgling nation on September 17,1787.

Therefore, the dominant issue for consideration as voters go to the polls on November 7th must be, “Do you realize the dangerous consequences of unchecked power getting out of control?”, and not moral issues, as such, or party affiliation.

Our Constitution, as conceived by our Founding Fathers, was meant to 1) protect this nation and its people from our elected leaders and 2) limit the scope of government by defining what it can do.

This nation’s 2nd president, John Adams, understood the consequences of power unchecked when he is wrote:

“Power must never be trusted without a check.”

Adams’ prophetic warning to a young nation strikes a chord today as Americans go to the polls on November 6th:

“. . . A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”

The fear of what might happen down the road by the signers of the Constitution has come to fruition, despite all their concerns and fierce debates which preceded its ratification.

An inherent part of human nature is for man to devise back door ways to avoid dealing with issues, as was done over the years to circumvent our Constitution. The results have ushered in the creation of bigger and bigger government by both Democrats and Republicans, which has now culminated with a present Chief Executive who regularly usurps the Constitution and the rule of law through an expanded scope of executive authority beyond measurable means.

Our Constitution has been abused more in the last four years than at any other time in this nation’s history.

Highlights from the following article point to how President Obama views the Constitution. With his views come insight:

1. In Obama’s second book, The Audacity of Hope, then State Senator Obama asserted “the Constitution was not a static document, but rather a living one, that must be read in the context of an ever-changing world.”

2. Obama went on to say that “democracy was a conversation to be had and that the genius of the Constitution was not that it provided a blueprint for action, but rather that it forced us into a conversation.”

3. Obama called the Constitution an “imperfect document” during a radio interview in 2001 because it omitted a reference to salves being given equal rights, further claiming that this “blind spot” exists today in our culture.

4. In another 2001 radio interview State Senator Obama asserted “that the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties in that it states what the State and Federal government could not do to you.” The flaw existed because the Constitution “does not state what the State and Federal governments should be obligated to do on our behalf.”

5. In discussing the Warren Court, Obama did not think it truly radical “in that it did not break free from the constraints placed upon it by the founders.” Further noted was that the court “never ventured into the issue of redistribution of wealth, and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in our society.”

Obama did attempt to blunt what was to become his mode of operation during his first presidential term when responding on December of 2008 to a Boston Globe questionnaire. Asked about the use of signing statement during the 2008 election, due to President Bush’s use of them, Obama stated:

“While it is legitimate for a president to issue a signing statement to clarify his understanding of ambiguous provisions of statutes and to explain his view of how he intends to faithfully execute the law, it is a clear abuse of power to use such statements as a license to evade laws that the president does not like or as an end-run around provisions designed to foster accountability.” Obama further stated that as President he would not use signing statements “to nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law or to alter law.”

Not unlike President Obama’s other failed promises, from 2009 to the end of 2011 President Obama wrote 19 signing statements. Some notable ones include:

1. In 2010 the Obama administration announced that it would not be defending the Defense of Marriage Act. This represented an expansion of power in the assertion that the executive branch can now decide what laws are and are not constitutional.

2. In 2012 the Obama administration decided that certain illegal aliens would not be deported if going to college or serving in the military.

3. In the President’s incursion into Libya, although limited under the war powers act to no more than a 90-day commitment of forces and only in response to a threat to US forces or interests, Obama asserted that the Security Council resolution represented the authority he needed to go to war and that allowing drones and intelligence officials to remain in Libya did not meet the war powers limitations as US troops themselves were not in danger.

Michael Barone noted these additional examples of abuse when the President grossly overstepped his Constitutional authority in this article published on October 11, 2012, A Lawyer by Training, Obama Ignores Rules of Laws:

4. Regarding the WARN Act which requires employers to give a 60-day notice of layoffs, including defense contractors, the administration has asked companies not to send out the notices and has even promised to pay companies’ WARN Act fines.

5. Regarding welfare waivers given by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius to states that want to relax work requirements, if not declared illegal, the result would be the rewriting of one of the most successful reforms of the last two decades, the Welfare Reform Act, signed by President Clinton in 1996.

Article II of the Constitution sets out the duties and powers of the president. Section 3 states that “he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

On November 6th the American people will decide whether the most powerful president ever will be allowed to become even more powerful, or whether they want a president who will respect the rule of law and view the Constitution as the framework of our government.

The consequences will indeed be grave if the American people choose to live under the oppressive thumb of government, rather than in a God-centered, rule-of-law nation that will have a chance to thrive far into the future under a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

We are given one vote. We must use it wisely as we educate others to choose the right path, understanding that history teaches that power attracts evil like flies and likewise creates evil out of otherwise good people. The American people would do well to remember Hitler and his rise to power in Germany.

Published at Illinois Review on Tuesday, October 30, 2012.