An Argument for the Electoral College

Liberals and Democrats have tried numerous methods to prevent people from voting Republican. They’ve tried calling Republican candidates for any office dumb, stupid, uneducated, an amiable dunce, a hick, a hayseed, ignorant, and the numerous other adjectives Roget’s Thesaurus offers for the term ‘dumb’. When liberals and Democrats proved unsuccessful in their attempts to convince a sufficient number of the subset that Republican candidates are dumb, they attempt to divide and conquer the voter by groups. They attempt to convince the voter that the Republican candidate is anti-woman, anti-minority, anti-science, anti-health care, and anti-legal immigrant. If that does not work, they declare the Electoral College antiquated.

This time it’s different,” Democrats and Democrat loyalists say in every election cycle. “This candidate is no (fill in the blank with a former Republican office holder). This candidate truly is dumb, incompetent, racist, anti-whatever.” This casual observer wonders why no one calls them out on this, for this is the very definition of talking points. I must concede that if it ever became ineffective, they would not do it anymore.

With great frustration, many liberals and Democrats are forced to admit that many of their efforts have been in vain. In frustration, one liberal theorist stated that if it weren’t for the invention of air-conditioning we wouldn’t be in this mess. This mess was a description of having a Republican in office rather than an Algore. The liberal said this, because he was miffed that people in the Midwest, and in the South, continue the stubborn, mean-spirited tradition of voting Republican. If it weren’t for air-conditioning, the liberal furthered, no one would want to live in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, or the Dakotas. It would be unbearable to live in those states were it not for air-conditioning, and if they couldn’t live there those people would have to move here (California), and they would get swallowed up by the enlightened and sophisticated voters to such a degree that their votes wouldn’t count as much as they do in air-condition-ville.

In this ever continuing saga of trying to get people to stop voting Republican, or at least take some of the weight away from those Cro-Magnons that do, the state of Massachusetts passed a law in July, 2011 that they hoped would set a precedent for the rest of the country to follow. This Massachusetts state law states that the winner of the national popular vote will receive the Massachusetts electoral votes after the fact. Now, no one cares about Massachusetts. Massachusetts has a mere eleven electoral votes, and the last time the state gave its Electoral votes to a Republican was the last time the other choice was Mondale. That’s right, they weren’t the state that voted for Mondale. That was Mondale’s home state of Minnesota, and he won that state by .18%. No, what Massachusetts was hoping to accomplish with their law was precedent. They were hoping to create a bandwagon that Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and (cross your fingers) Ohio and Florida would follow.

A president-elect losing the popular vote and attaining the office has happened a total of five times, as of 11/15/16, but liberals and Democrats don’t care about all that nonsense. They’re still smarting over their most recent loss in the presidential campaign, and they never want it to happen again. They want to further remove whatever minuscule power is currently afforded to Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska and drown it in the power of the California, New York, Pennsylvania and other “sophisticated, enlightened” voters.

“Presidential candidates now ‘ignore wide swaths of the country’ they consider strong blue or red states and focus their campaigning on contested states,” State Senator James B. Eldridge said. “If the president were picked by national popular vote, he argued, candidates would spread their attention out more evenly.

“That’s really what we’re talking about is making sure that every voter, no matter where they live, that they’re being reached out to,” he said.

Actually, the candidates may never leave California in the presidential election. Why would they? Unless it was go to New York, or maybe Pennsylvania, or maybe Texas. Long story short, the power to swing states, such as Ohio and Florida, would be forever countered by those with specified interests. The states listed above have a profound effect on an election, but my contention, based on my knowledge of how different the interests are in each state, is that the popular vote alone would not represent the geographic interests as well as a constitutionally-based, representative republic does.

In the creation of a constitutionally-based Republic, one of The Founders, James Madison, had a theory regarding the creation of a representative republican form of government, as reported by Michael J. Klarman in his book The Framers’ Coup.

“Madison’s theory of the large republic—that better government decision-making would occur over a larger geographic area, both because a greater multiplicity of interests would exist and because representatives would have greater opportunities to “refine and enlarge” their constituents’ views through a system of indirect elections, large constituencies, and lengthy terms in office—was in fact mainly inspired by his wish to design a system that would suppress paper money emissions and debtor relief laws. Madison essentially admitted as much during one very candid moment at the convention, when he noted that the fundamental challenge facing a republican form of government was figuring out how to prevent power “slid[ing] into the hands” of those who “sigh for a more equal distribution of [property].”

In an effort to make joining this idea of a Representative Republic more attractive to smaller states, The Founders decided the best solution was to give them some representation in the government. They gave them equal representation in the Congress, by making representation equal in the Senate, and they decided to give them some voice in declaring who the president would be through the Electoral College. In their formulation plans, The Founders also had to ask themselves, “Why would Rhode Island or New Jersey want to join the union if their sovereignty was swallowed up by their more densely populated neighbors, and why would a futuristic Wyoming want to remain in the union if they did not have what they considered some measure of equal representation?” Wasn’t representation the theme of The Founders’ fight? Another theoretical they must have asked regarding the president is, would a Rhode Island, or a future Wyoming, recognize the comprehensive power of a president if they felt they had no say in that president’s election? Right now, Wyoming residents have the power of three electoral votes versus California’s fifty-five, so their power is minuscule by comparison, and some might say largely symbolic, but imagine their complaints if they didn’t even have a symbolic level of say in their representation, especially when that Representative Republic was formulated by people who fought against their lack of representation in Britain. Why would a Wyoming, a Rhode Island, or a New Jersey want to give up all semblance of sovereignty to join a union in which they don’t even have a minuscule amount of representation. If it’s taken away, why would they want to stay?   

States that continue the stubborn habit of voting in an “uneducated, mean spirited” manner (see Republican) would no longer count as much in a popular vote in which every vote counted. Iowa could still have its one day (I guess), in the primary, but other than that the entire Midwest wouldn’t count anymore. (Can I get a HAZZAH!) These states have VERY LITTLE power now, but with this new Massachusetts law, the larger states could wave good riddance to them for once and for all.

The Electoral College

Whenever a Democrat wins the popular vote and loses the electoral college, liberals take to the proverbial streets to proclaim the electoral college antiquated. If the tables were reversed, and Republicans were winning the popular vote and losing the electoral, something tells me the roles in this discussion would be flipped.

As many before me have said before, America was not founded as a democracy. It is a representative republic. As such, the only pure population based representation this Constitutional Republic offers is located in the House of Representatives. The representation in the Senate is not population based, the representation in the Supreme Court is not population based, and neither is the executive branch. If we were to do away with, or diminish, the comprehensive power accorded to smaller states in the electoral college of a presidential race, would we then have to revamp the Senate, and the Supreme Court, and our entire system of governance?

vvl0jFor those decrying the unfairness of the Electoral College in a presidential race, there are just as many on the other side decrying that one un-elected “swing” judge, on the Supreme Court, who decides to vote on a case before him that decides the fate of 320 million people. If we addressed the concerns of those that deem the Electoral College antiquated, would we then have to decide the “fairness” of having nine un-elected judges on the Supreme Court? Would it be more fair to have fifty-one Supreme court jurists, each appointed, or elected, to their seats by the fifty states, including Washington D.C.? Before those espousing this “fairness” doctrine, under the equal protection clause, agree that this is only fair, go ahead and take a look at the 2016 presidential election map. By my count, that would equate to at least twenty-nine Republican jurists.

As Madison declared, the basics of a representative republic are such that geographical concerns take precedent. The concerns of the rancher in Wyoming are given some representation in this form of government. The ranchers are not given as much representation as the orchard owners in California, or the Wall Street employees in New York, but in a population-based, pure democracy, the rancher would have little-to-no voice in the government. Furthermore, in a popular vote world, no presidential candidate would visit the Midwest.

The reason a Constitutional Republic is the preferred method of government, according to Aristotle, and I paraphrase, is that people will vote their own selfish concerns, as all politics is local. To quote Benjamin Franklin, on this note, “When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.” My interpretation of these two quotes is that the electoral college of the Constitutional Republic keeps the interests of various groups throughout the country varied enough that no one group’s interests become a primary concern of the governing. Or, at the very least, the minority interests have some say.

I read of an interesting analogy. The World Series. The winner of the World Series is not determined by the total number of runs in a given series, it is determined by the team that wins the most games in a seven game series. In the same vein, the presidential election is basically fifty-one different elections (including the District of Columbia).

The liberals say that the Electoral College was developed because the Founding Fathers believed the masses were too stupid to vote in an educated manner. This is not true, but if it were then we must ask if they want to dissolve the institution of the Electoral College to take away power from the uneducated voters (or anyone not in New York or California, or anyone that doesn’t vote for Democrats en masse), or to give more power to the uneducated voter. As I said, it’s not true that the Electoral College was developed because the Founding Fathers believed the masses were too stupid to vote in an educated manner. It was developed as an effort to help thwart the idea of a direct democracy. The founding fathers saw direct democracy as a possible evil that could lead to demagoguery, susceptibility to bribery, and possible poisonous political patronage. The Founding Fathers also wanted to give power to the states. In other words, the Founding Fathers wanted to give some power to the minority to prevent the tyrannical rule of the majority.

The Founding Fathers were so against putting any prominence on the popular vote that the popular vote wasn’t even counted until the 1824 election, the first election in our nation’s history that didn’t include a Founding Father. Guess what happened? That’s right. Controversy. The eventual winner, John Quincy Adams, did not win the popular vote. In this particular election, however, no candidate won a plurality of the Electoral votes either, and the House of Representatives was forced to decide the president, a precedent that would never occur again after the 12th Amendment was passed.

Liberal Democrats have claimed to be supporting “the little guy”, for as long as I’ve been paying attention. They claim to support the minority, but these claims are limited to the voting groups that favor them. If they were truly for the minority, in the sense that the Constitution was set up to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority, they would favor the Electoral College, until it revealed itself as not favoring them.

The Democrats make the claim to be anti-corporate, even though it could be argued that “Big Corporate” America flourishes during Democrat administrations that provide the country regulations that large corporations can afford to comply with and small mom and pop companies fold under, and they claim to be anti-rich guy, even though it could be argued that the divide between rich and poor exacerbates during Democrat administrations. Yet, this idea that the Electoral College was set up to protect the minority from majority rule is deemed unfair when their candidate doesn’t benefit from it.

As I argued against the majority of people that believe the Electoral System is antiquated, I wondered what my own feelings would be if my guy won the popular vote and lost the electoral vote. Would I be just as hypocritical as I believe they are, if the roles were reversed, or would I remain steadfast in my belief that the Founding Fathers attempted to set up a system that did not sway to modern desires and wants, until those wants and desires proved so great that the difficult amendment process, or a state by state process like the one developed by Massachusetts, could be implemented to correct it? Or, would I be so emotionally distraught by the election results that I would say Constitution be damned, I want my guy in, and I think this whole idea of a constitutional government is antiquated? I would like to think that my knowledge of the Constitution, the theories behind it, and the idea that America has flourished under the comprehensive ideas inherent in the Representative Republic would sway me to accept it as is, as opposed to the way I want it to be.

A History of AIDS in Africa: the conspiracy theory

We’re all accustomed to the media stories that place former president George W. Bush behind Adolph Hitler as the second most evil scoundrel in world history, and we’re used to the conspiracy theories that suggest that Bush tried to wipe various minority groups off the planet, but have you ever heard the story that the former president might have saved Africa?

One story of AIDS in Africa is a conspiracy theory, and like most conspiracy theories being told nowadays, it involves the Nazis.

120701062737-bush-zambia-story-topThe Nazi regime, as we all know, was comprised of an evil dream team of destruction. One of the primary players of this dream team was a man named Dr. Josef Mengele, otherwise known as The Angel of Death. Mengele gained his infamous stature in history through experiments performed in Auschwitz concentration camps. If you are not informed of Mengele’s infamous exploits, you may want to read through some of the documentation that lists the horror this undiagnosed psychopath conducted on the unfortunate subjects of his science. Suffice it to say that if the term collateral damage was not invented for the thousands of lives Mengele destroyed, he and the Nazis took the term to an unprecedented level.

For the purpose of the conspiracy theory, it’s important to note that Dr. Josef Mengele began his career as an Anthropologist. In his Anthropological studies, Mengele took human blood samples and viral samples to study the differences between the races. He visited Africa many times to study the black race and figure out the differentiation between the races to eventually attempt to develop a race-specific plague that would hopefully wipe out those races that weren’t Aryan.

As we all know, the Germans lost WWII, and their dream of wiping out races, religions, and what they considered aberrant behavior ended with that defeat. The Nazis did come close to winning, however, and anyone who doubts this needs to study up on their history a little bit. The harrowing nature of how close they came is especially harrowing considering how relatively small Germany is (relative to the space covered by Russia, the U.S., England, and France). They nearly pulled off the unthinkable. How did they do it? Was it pure militaristic power, or was it a combination of militaristic know how and science?

The U.S. needed to know the specifics of how Germany almost did it, because a new threat arose from the ashes of WWII. Some would say that the problem before the war was grave, but that the Allied Forces needed to pick from the least of two evils to defeat the Nazis. In the immediate aftermath of the war, most recognized the threat Russia posed, but they felt that owed something to Stalin for his loyalty to the Allied Forces during the war. General George S. Patton was one that fervently believed that the U.S., and the allies, should move against Russia while Russia was weakened by Nazi maneuvers. Historians list the loyalty factor as one reason the Allied forces did not invade Russia after the war, but they also list the idea that Americans grew tired of war after the lengthy World War. Few in power could deny that Russia was becoming a problem however, and the U.S. decided that the scientific research conducted in Germany could assist them greatly in their eventual attempts to defeat Russia.

Their initial pursuit for post-war Germany knowledge and technology involved the rocket and missile technology the Germans perfected in some cases and nearly perfected in others (some have said the Nazis were on the brink of discovering long range missile technology that would reach the U.S., but that they didn’t quite achieve that goal by the end of the war). The U.S. was also in pursuit of their engineering designs of aircraft, medicines and electronics. In the midst of this search through the Nazi knowledge and technology, U.S. intelligence officials discovered a jewel in the rough: The Nazi scientists. The U.S. officials, left in charge of sifting through the proverbial rubble of post-war Germany, exited the country believing that it was the scientists who were almost solely responsible for how close Germany came to the unthinkable.

(Editor’s Note: Almost everything written to this point is 100% researched and believed to be true. What follows is the conspiracy theory.)  

From this post-WWII gathering of Nazi scientific information, it is theorized that the Americans discovered what Dr. Josef Mengele found, and the Nazi plans to manipulate, it’s called the CCR5 Delta-32 gene, a gene that happens to be particularly strong in those of Northern European extraction. The evolutionary strength of this gene in some Northern Europeans is said to be what allowed them to survive The Plague (AKA The Black Plague, Great Plague, Great Pestilence, or the Great Mortality) that nearly wiped out Europe. This plague is suspected to have wiped out anywhere from 30-60% of Europe’s population.

Those who survived Europe’s Great Plague are believed to have done so based upon the strength of this particular gene, CCR5 Delta-32 gene, or the resultant strengthening of it, and they passed that strength on to future generations. This same immunity, or evolutionary strength, was not present in Africans, as Africans and Europeans had very little interaction at the time, and as a result the plague largely did not make it across the continent to Africa.

Some have suggested that all of Mengele’s anthropological efforts with blood and viral samples in Africa paid off in this regard, and that he found a susceptibility in the CCR5 Delta-32 gene among Africans that wasn’t as susceptible in the Europeans due to evolution, or the natural selection that occurred as a result The Plague in Europe. There is some evidence that suggests testing of this gene occurred in German concentration camps that some could theorize resulted in various discoveries regarding immunity and susceptibility rates. Some suggest that these findings provided a pathway for the Nazi plans to properly manipulate the CCR5 Delta-32 gene. The conspiracy theory suggests that Mengele found a scientific path, through genetic engineering to fulfill the Nazi plan of the Aryan race domination, and that he might have wanted to introduce The Black Plague, or some strain of the disease, to the African continent. The gene Mengele sought to manipulate, the CCR5 Delta-32 gene, is now believed to be the receptor that allows for the onset of the human immunodeficiency virus (or HIV or AIDS) among those with weaker CCR5 Delta-32 genes. The conspiracy theory does not include the eradication of homosexuals in this specific manner, but if he didn’t plan on their destruction in this regard, I think Mengele would have considered their suffering a happy byproduct.

The Germans lost the war, of course, and Mengele was never able to see his plans to fruition. Some have suggested that the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, AIDS, what have you might have been the genetically engineered strain of The Black Plague that Mengele beset upon Africa to capitalize on the weakness of the gene in a percentage of Africans, and that it was the parting gift of a dying man to the master race. Mengele died in 1979, and the available data suggests that the AIDS epidemic started in Africa, in the mid- to late 1970s. Some suspect that either he went underground after the dissolution of the Nazi regime in fear of his own safety, but others suggest he whittled away in labs trying to come up with the perfect disease to capitalize on his findings. 

(Editor’s note: Back to the facts)

The original intent of bringing the German scientists to America was to simply debrief them in the normal manner intelligence agencies debrief enemy combatants, and send them on their way. They wanted to learn of the technologies, as stated earlier, but they weren’t sure how much, if any, information the Nazi scientists would divulge. The extent of the knowledge these scientists eventually divulged overwhelmed the intelligence officials, and they considered it imprudent to send them back to Germany. What if their knowledge was collected and used by the Russians against America, the intelligence officials worried. The problem for America was that these Nazi scientists had horrible human rights violations listed on their record, and as a result their visas were denied. The American intelligence officials feared losing these scientists, and the cold war as a result of the Russians harboring them.

Enter Operation (or Project) Paperclip. Project Paperclip was a top secret agenda signed by President Harry S Truman in 1945. The idea behind Project Paperclip was that America would use scientific information discovered in post-war Germany to defeat the Russians. The one problem was that Truman expressly forbade the use of individual scientists associated with the atrocities of the Nazi regime. Some elements of this project were initially dumped at the president’s wishes, but the records of the objectionable Nazi scientists were rectified by cleaning their records in such a manner that made them appear less threatening. The latter was done, it would appear, without Truman’s knowledge.

Up to this point, the theory seems credible. Americans ally with the Russians to defeat the Germans in the war, and the Americans then ally themselves with the Germans (their scientists at least) to defeat the Russians in the subsequent cold war. The winning side of any war often finds themselves allying with the least objectionable parties. It sounds perfectly reasonable.

To this point in the conspiracy, it appears as though the Americans wanted to have the technology so that the Russians wouldn’t have it. There is also the implicit statement that such technology could be used if it ever came down to it, but there is no evidence that the Americans ever planned to use the scientific weapon that Mengele and the Nazi scientists discovered.

Enter Henry Kissinger’s report to the National Security Council in 1974. In this report, Kissinger warned that overpopulation of third world countries was the greatest threat to America. He talked about the correlations between creations of Banana Republics and the countries’ populations spinning out of control. The only solution to Kissinger’s declarations in the report, say the conspiracy theorists, is the depopulation of Africa. How would one depopulate a continent in a manner that didn’t involve war or mass genocide on a public scale? Well, the theorists say, Kissinger delivered this report in 1974, and the first appearance of the AIDS epidemic in Africa occurred in the mid to late seventies, some even say that the first case appeared in 1975, one year after Kissinger’s report.

This conspiracy theory, and that which most reasonable people reject, is that Kissinger’s people used Mengele’s findings regarding the African weakness in the CCR5 Delta-32 genes to depopulate the African continent with what would later be called the AIDS virus. The theory also states that not all Europeans had strengthened, or immune, CCR5 Delta-32 genes, and they also contracted the disease as a result. The conspiracy theorists state that in any action of this sort, there is going to be collateral damage, but that those who acted on this science projected that the collateral damage would be minimal.

Some have said that AIDS spreading to the point of an epidemic, began in missionary hospitals in which needles were used and reused, and that the true explosion that occurred between 1976 and 1980 arose in Botswana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. It was in these areas where most of Africa’s richest natural resources (such as gold and diamonds) were, and that these former European colonies enriched their mother countries. This implies that if these countries had not been depopulated, the citizens may have used up many of the resources, and they may have kept the booty.

Where this conspiracy succeeds, as all conspiracy theories do, is in the open spaces left by history. How did AIDS start? We all know how it was spread, as stated earlier, and we’ve all heard a number of other widely believed theories regarding how it started, but we may never have concrete proof of its origins. We’ve heard tales of the Pan Troglodyte sub-group of chimpanzees of west-central Africa eating the spot-nosed chimpanzees and incurring a hybridization of immune deficiencies that culminated in HIV in those humans with the weak CCR5 Delta-32 gene that then hunted and ate these chimpanzees. If this is all true, and it should be noted that the conspiracy theory says it isn’t, then why didn’t this disease rear its ugly head until the 1970’s? If these viruses culminated in the food chain, as described above, why did it take so long to achieve a worldwide epidemic? It’s possible that the viruses evolved over time for their own survival, but it’s also possible when one looks long and hard enough at the timeline long enough to see open spaces that need filling, and coincidences, that have occurred and fashion a conspiracy theory out of it that greedy capitalists used to enrich themselves by murdering Africans and plundering their resources. The conspiracy theory not only fills open spaces in the time line, but it fills open spaces that people have in themselves.

The explosion of the AIDS epidemic did reach a point where people no longer cared how it started, we just wanted it to end. We wanted some form of treatment. After a time, we reached a point where we developed preventative measures, then we developed medicines that allowed a person to live with HIV in their system in our country, but it was still an epidemic in Africa. Politicians the world around led causes to fight AIDS in Africa, but like most politicians they extended their hearts to Africa in asking for more money, but they never truly did anything substantial to end the threat. It is typical of warlords, corrupt world leaders, and American politicians to enjoy the fruit derived from caring about an issue more than the search for a cure. This isn’t to say that anyone did anything to avoid finding a cure. Some attempts were more symbolic than others, for if an individual leads a substantial and pointed effort and they fail, the failure would receive more publicity than the attempt. It’s much more beneficial to a politician to display symbolic concern than it is to actually do anything to solve the problem. 

Enter George W. Bush. It has been said by liberal luminaries, from Bob Geldof to Bono, that Bush did more for the fight against AIDS in Africa than any other U.S. President. None other than the far left extremists at MSNBC praised Bush’s efforts (post-Obama election of course). Geldof was quoted in a Time magazine article as saying: “The Bush administration has saved millions of lives (in Africa).” An assistant professor of Public Health at Columbia, Josh Ruxin, says: “The administration and Bush himself deserve a lot more credit than they received for getting this job done.” Regardless, the personal opinions of these people, the Bush administration sent fifteen billion in 2003 to expand treatment, prevention, and support programs to twelve of the hardest hit African countries. The goal was to have three million people on AIDS drugs by 2005. They achieved that goal.

The important part of any conspiracy theory is to provide the story, give some of the facts, allow the readers to draw their own conclusions through some perpendicular lines and through some parallels, and then tie it all up in a conclusion that may seem improbable or plausible depending on the reader. If you see this piece as partisan, consider that many believe the African AIDS explosion began in the Carter administration and ended in the George W. Bush administration. In this period, there were two Republican administrations and two Democrat administrations that seemed to do nothing. In all of these administrations there was a lot of head shaking and hand wringing over the problem. In some of these administrations there were special envoys sent to try and rectify the problem and rock concerts to raise revenue for aid. In most of these administrations millions were sent in aid, public proclamations were made for civilian donations, and a greater percentage of these funds ended up in the hands of warlords and corrupt leaders. Good intentions were the course of the day for these administrations, but in the end nothing was accomplished, until George W. Bush decided to actually do something about it.

Whether the reader believes that Mengele initiated the spread of the AIDS epidemic, or that Kissinger used some science Mengele is purported to discover, we do have some ironclad facts. The estimates suggest that 36 million citizens of Africa died as a result of the virus, and the idea that it might further decimate the African population was such a real fear of the time that it dominated headlines around the world for decades.

The Bush presidency did not end the AIDS virus, but his administration did do more to end those fears than any of the world leaders, and the previous four U.S. presidents before him. The question is was Bush privy to better science and better information than the previous presidents in question, or did they selectively ignore the pressing concern of the people of the African continent. Or is this simply a conspiracy theory where all the stars line up so conveniently that it makes for interesting reading and nothing more? Whatever the case, I find it delicious that the man the media has all but called the second worst man in history appears to have cleaned up what nearly two generations of world leaders in general, and U.S. Presidents in particular, either could not or would not.

3) Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey by Chuck Palahniuk