Posts Tagged ‘legitimacy’

The Dark Spots in Our Republic

December 11, 2019

I am defining Dark Spots this way.

Dark spots: locations in which election vote numbers are suspect, due to fraud, corruption, tampering, discrimination or miscounting.

Dark spots in our democratic republic are everywhere. No doubt they can be uncovered in numerous locales throughout our entire system of governments. Such dysfunction is a symptom of our human predicament and the institutions we devise to help us all solve our problems together.

I think the number of suspect dark spots is revealed in higher and higher numbers as our counting moves downward to the local level.

There is no statistical explanation for this except that the complexity of voter rolls gets progressively higher and higher as the numbers get bigger and bigger.

In our massive system of vote-counting, the likelihood of corruptive shenanigans is everywhere throughout the nation. The extent of corrupt data/numbers is directly proportional to the number of polling stations in the nation. There will always be a few bad apples in any batch. Knowing which ones are suspect probably requires more time and integrity than our civil authorities can effectively monitor.

It is partly because of this fully expected complexity that the founders of our democratic republic instituted an Electoral College. Admittedly, there are other factors that determined the outcome of this foundational decision, such as: all the writers of  our Constitution were middle-aged white guys who had plenty of land and money. But that was 18th-century politics in the New World and there is nothing that can change that.

To amend the Constitution is a very long, difficult process involving all of our state legislators and Congress. If there are any parties among us who have a mind to do so, you are welcome to go for it. Good luck with that. The Constitutionally-prescribed procedure would require a lot of time and coordinated effort on the part of a large number of citizens.

Now, as to the matter of the dark spots, I continue.

Regardless of the inevitable hundreds or  thousands of illegal or deceased voters and subsequent illegal votes cast throughout our United States– the final number that actually determines who will be President —that number is systematically honed to  a very manageable, low number that is easy to count. So that we can make a definitive appointment that will be held as legitimate for the next four years.

538 electors is the number of Constitutionally determined delegates who declare who will become our President in each four-year period.

270 is the majority number that establishes the outcome of that Electoral College.

In 2016, those numbers were: 306 for Trump and 232 for Clinton. All ye Democrats, read ’em and weep. That’s life in the big country. There’s always next election, so get busy.

The integrity of our selection procedures, from the lowest precinct level all the way up to Congress and the Presidency, is a matter of interest for all of us in both parties.

Let’s keep it as clean and legitimate as we can, from the top to the bottom.

Now, what about those dark spots of electoral meddling that I mentioned earlier. . .

My theory is that in a democratic republic, especially one as huge as ours, there will always be some dark spots somewhere; to sniff them all out and correct them would be an impossible, never-ending project.

We will never get rid of all the irregularities of selective process that our Constitution has prescribed and our  nation has retained for 238 years.

We can try to clean up corruption, tampering, illegal voting and dead people voting etcetera etcetera.That’s all well and good, But we’ll never undo all the evil that men do.

Especially men; blame the men, haha, especially the ole white guys like me, although I am not one of the rich privileged ones.

Nevertheless, as a citizen of the United States of America, I am entitled to a vote, which figures at a certain level in the selection process. Then those who are selected by the compilation of my vote and yours will go on to vote on the larger decisions, including who will actually be President.

Along with the vote I am entitled to my opinion,  and I am endowed by the Constitution to express it in any ways that do not infringe on the rights of my fellow-citizens.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

And the Constitution, including the Electoral College—that’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

That’s our history and we’re sticking to it.

ElectCollg

Like it or not, according to the above procedure, 270 is determined as the necessary majority number if you wanna be President.

Now let’s get started on the next election cycle. The American people will select our next President according to the systematic process that our founders instituted and we have retained for, lo, these many years.

And if you Democrats out there have a better person for the job, well let’s see what you come up with. Then we will  collectively render our decision in December of 2020.

May the best citizen for the job win.

Glass half-Full

Deep in the annals of Semitic history is a lesson…

February 22, 2010

Effective leadership arises in a three-phase process that encompasses, though not in any particular order:
~willingness to take corrective action
~benevolence
~anointing.
Let’s take a look at an example from ancient history.
Abraham, the patriarch of Semitic cultures, had a nephew who had gotten himself  into a bad situation. There was a war going on between tribal kings in the valley of Siddim, an area in Israel that is now covered by the Dead Sea. A powerful warlord named Chedorlaome had gathered some lesser kings; together they went on a conquering spree. After mounting an assault on the town of Sodom, Chedorlaome’s forces pillaged their settlement and took some prisoners, one of whom was Lot, Abraham’s nephew.. A fugitive from Lot’s camp managed to escape, and reported to Abraham that his nephew had been taken away. The patriarch then assembled a band of his trained men, pursued the marauding armies, defeated them, and rescued Lot.

Thus did Abraham’s willingness to take corrective action fulfill the first condition of his subsequent role as patriarch of the Semitic peoples.
After this assertive mission of deliverance, Abraham found himself surrounded by a group of thankful people (including his nephew Lot) and a collection of recovered goods.
One beneficiary of Abraham’s military prowess, the king of Sodom, offered all the booty to Abe as a reward. But the benevolent leader was satisfied with the mere rescue of his nephew and, presumably, the restoration of peace and justice. So he declined the grateful king’s offer. Abraham’s selfless distributions of windfall resources that might have been used toward his own enrichment were instead given to the recovering refugees.

Among those gathered at the occasion of Abraham’s victorious return from battle was Melchizedek, the king of Salem (now called Jerusalem), who was also a priest, or person having spiritual enablement. Melchizedek pronounced a blessing on Abraham, and Abraham, discerning the spiritual authority imparted in that blessing, bequeathed a tenth of the captured goods to Melchizedek for his priestly use. Abraham  then went on to become, you know, a pretty important guy in the history of world events.

Thus was leadership legitimatized in an ancient civilization in a two-pole balance of power between  the king and the priest.

Parallel to this in secularized 21st-century democracy is the sharing of governance that is initiated when our Chief Justice administers the oath of office to the President, whose agenda is determined by a third authoritative source, the people’s Congress.

Legitimacy requires, then: willingness to take corrective action, benevolence, and anointing. In our modern scheme of bestowing authority, the anointing ( legitimacy to govern), is now understood to originate among the people collectively, instead of some priest or pope. In the American manifestation of that principle, the President’s anointing to lead is derived, according to the Constitution, from the consent of the governed instead of, say, coronation by a religious leader.

In the confusion of  18-century emerging democratique republicanism , it’s a lesson not fully comprehended by Napolean, who impulsively grabbed the crown of French emperorship from pope Pius VII. Bonaparte’s eagerness to embody the new zeitgeist propelled him into a presumptuous grabbing of power that ultimately led to his demise and the decline of French hegemony.
120 years later, Hitler made a similarly disastrous presumption, although his delusion about the source of legitimacy went much deeper than Napolean’s. But that’s a different historical lesson.