Politics

Here's a little civics lesson.

I'm hearing a lot of suggestions that The United States drop the Electoral College and move to a direct democracy.  So I started reading up.

(I'll put the "moral of the story" right up front:  CHILL OUT.  This is a design feature, not a glitch.)

The Founding Fathers feared the tyranny of the majority and set up a Three-Branch Republic. They designed a delicate system of Checks and Balances to insure that the government they set up would not allow this.

We know about "checks and balances" (if we paid attention in Civics Class)- we have three branches of government (Administrative, Legislative, and Judicial.) The three branches are supposed to put a check on each other*.  If one branch goes off the rails, the other branches are supposed to step in and stop them.  The three branches are also supposed to provide balance - roughly equal amounts of power to govern should not allow either party (in a two-party system) to control the country

I didn't realize (or it just didn't click) that all three branches of government are selected through different processes.

  • the Legislative Branch is selected by direct ballot (although originally, the State Legislatures voted on Senators)
  • the Executive Branch is chosen by the Electoral College
  • The Judicial Branch is chosen by the President and confirmed by the Senate

The Legislative Branch is selected through direct ballot

- each person in a state has one vote (in an ideal world, not accounting for fraud) to elect Representatives and Senators to represent their state.  Even within this branch, the two houses are different.

The Senate has two Senators from each state, allowing the *states* to have equal standing - the most populous states would have no more power than the least populous states.  Vermont knew that New York would have New Yorkers' interest in mind when voting.  In the Senate, those from the less populous states are protected from the tyranny of the more populated states.

In the House of Representatives, the number of Representatives from each state is based on the population of that state.  New York had way more Representatives than Vermont, so those from the more populated states are protected from the tyranny of the less populated states.

This is also "checks and balances" - it is also brilliant.  Each state is represented in two chamber - in one, the less populous states are "over-represented" and in the other, the more populous states are "over-represented."

The Judicial Branch is chosen by the President...

And confirmed by the Senate.  Supreme Court appointments (as well as some others) are for life (although justices can and do retire.)  A president cannot just appoint any old person - the appointment must get past the Senate.  Unfortunately, this process has been hijacked a couple of times, and as things get more fractured, will continue to be.

In my lifetime, there has been only one time that one party has held the White House for more than two terms.  This means that each party will be able to appoint justices during their hold on the White House, so that an *overwhelming* left/right split is less likely.

Granted, in the *impartial* standard was *impartial* adherence to the Constitution, none of this would be an issue - but it isn't the standard, and it is an issue.

The fact that both other Branches are involved in the appointment of Justices is another example of "checks and balances."

The Administrative Branch is chosen by Electoral College

The voters don't elect the president (like they elect Senators and Representatives.)  Each state has Electors, based on the population of the state and the voters elect Electors.  Many states have laws that insist that all Electors throw their ballots to the Presidential Candidate who won the majority of the ballots in the state, and two (Maine and Nebraska) split their Electors - 2 Electoral Votes go to the majority winner, and the remainder are split according to Congressional districts.  So Electoral Ballots can be split between Candidates.

Without this system of Checks and Balances, the most populous states would *CONSISTENTLY* be able to control the least populous states.

With a smaller country, a direct election might work.  But the United States is so vast and diverse, the Electoral College serves as checks and balances between the States.

It's brilliant.

*check - definition #2 - stop or slow down the progress of (something undesirable.).

 

 

And on a dumber note, a leftist tries to post a few "gotcha questions" for conservatives.

1. As opponents of “big government,” why do you fervently support an unending stream of government-sponsored wars, vast government military spending, the power of local police to shoot and kill unarmed citizens, government interference with abortion rights and family planning, government restrictions on marriage, and the linkage of church and state?

Answers (in order)

A) unending stream of government-sponsored wars,

We don't.  We support the unending obligation of the federal government to protect our people, land, liberty.  Those who support "unjust wars" should be questioned as to why they consider themselves "conservative."

B) vast government military spending

We don't.  Members of Congress excepted, most conservatives I know want to see government waste of all types curbed, including military spending.  If money was used wisely, less would be spent.

C) the power of local police to shoot and kill unarmed citizens

Hat tip to Ferguson and the rest of the "unarmed" thugs.

This question makes it sound as if local police are wandering around shooting random citizens (lie.)

I believe that (like every other human being) local police officers than the right to defend themselves if they believe their lives or the lives of others are in danger.  Outside of that, police who are involved in shootings should be investigated and taken to court, should a grand jury (or other official group) think it appropriate.  Oh wait.  That happened and the leftists still are not happy.

D)government interference with abortion rights and family planning

By "abortion rights" you mean the right to kill an innocent unborn.

Do you see the hypocrisy?

a police officer defending themselves against a thug trying to wrestle their weapon away = bad.  Murdering an unborn child before they have a chance to take their first breath = good.

The second lie becomes visible in recent politics.

Conservatives do NOT wish to interfere with adults practicing family planning.

Conservatives DO wish to interfere with the government forcing businesses to act against their deeply held religious beliefs.

E) government restrictions on marriage

Since the government began requiring citizens to get the state's permission to marry, there have been restrictions, whether that be incestual relationships, polygamous relationships, etc.

It's interesting to note that in many  of the states where the courts (government entities) have overthrown the only definition of marriage that we've ever had, it has been the citizens who have voted for constitutional amendments defining "marriage"

So, in reality, we have the majority of citizens voting for the traditional definition of marriage, and the state, petitioned by the minority, telling us "we can't do that."

F) the linkage of church and state?\

the Constitution says:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; "

Let's see.  Has Congress tried to establish a state religion?  No?

And actually, the "free exercise thereof" is being violated - BY THE LEFTISTS!

To even ask that section is another example of the rank hypocrisy of the left.

That's only the first question and my head hurts from the "Alinskyism"

 

 

 

Russel Kirk's "Ten Conservative Principles"

 First, the conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order. That order is made for man, and man is made for it: human nature is a constant, and moral truths are permanent.

check.  Call that order "God" and the moral truths the Decalogue.

Second, the conservative adheres to custom, convention, and continuity. It is old custom that enables people to live together peaceably; the destroyers of custom demolish more than they know or desire.

Check.

I feel the loss of "tradition" costs us dearly, in terms of connecting with those who have gone before.  In church, I miss the hymns, the transcendence.

In reading "The Righteous Mind," by Jonathan Haidt, we learn that conservatives and liberals all have five moral foundations, we just vary how much emphasis we put on different pillars.

this second point is right in line.

Third, conservatives believe in what may be called the principle of prescription. Conservatives sense that modern people are dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, able to see farther than their ancestors only because of the great stature of those who have preceded us in time.

Check (see above)

Fourth, conservatives are guided by their principle of prudence. Burke agrees with Plato that in the statesman, prudence is chief among virtues. Any public measure ought to be judged by its probable long-run consequences, not merely by temporary advantage or popularity.

Check.

Fifth, conservatives pay attention to the principle of variety. They feel affection for the proliferating intricacy of long-established social institutions and modes of life, as distinguished from the narrowing uniformity and deadening egalitarianism of radical systems. For the preservation of a healthy diversity in any civilization, there must survive orders and classes, differences in material condition, and many sorts of inequality.

Check.  BUT - I don't see these differences as a "caste system" where you cannot escape your order or class.  The possibility of success is a great motivator.  If there is no difference in anybody, why work to move up?

Sixth, conservatives are chastened by their principle of imperfectability.

This reminds me of "Matrix" - remember the first one that didn't go so well?  Perhaps more on this later.

Seventh, conservatives are persuaded that freedom and property are closely linked. Separate property from private possession, and Leviathan becomes master of all

Check

Eighth, conservatives uphold voluntary community, quite as they oppose involuntary collectivism. Although Americans have been attached strongly to privacy and private rights, they also have been a people conspicuous for a successful spirit of community. In a genuine community, the decisions most directly affecting the lives of citizens are made locally and voluntarily

Forced volunteerism isn't volunteerism at all - it's slavery.

Ninth, the conservative perceives the need for prudent restraints upon power and upon human passions. Politically speaking, power is the ability to do as one likes, regardless of the wills of one’s fellows. A state in which an individual or a small group are able to dominate the wills of their fellows without check is a despotism, whether it is called monarchical or aristocratic or democratic.

This totally puts the lie to the leftist accusation of conservatives wanting to roll back ALL regulations on companies.

Tenth, the thinking conservative understands that permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society.

The challenge that presents itself lies in how to reconcile.

 

Last Friday, Michigan became a "gay marriage" state, by the decision of a federal judge, overturning a vote of the people.  Even though the governor has requested a stay until it can be sorted out in SCOTUS, at least one country clerk has "gender neutral" marriage licenses ready to go today.

I want to be clear.

I am going to be a BRIDE.

I am NOT "applicant A"

I am NOT "party B"

I am NOT "thing one" or "thing two"

1 - A license, by definition, says that the state is giving me permission to do that which is otherwise illegal.  If I must have a license in order to marry, then marriage is illegal, unless the state gives me permission to enter into a marriage.

2 - the state, by way of being the one who gives permission to marry (as opposed to God giving permission) now has the authority to define marriage (as opposed to God defining marriage.)

3 - what the state is giving "us" (citizens) permission to do is no longer "marriage" (according to Scripture.)

When is it time for Christians to opt out of a corrupt system?

Do Christians need the state's permission to enter into a covenant before God, their family,  and their church community?

I don't want a "gender neutral" marriage certificate.

 

First question:

As we look to the next election cycle, the "war on women" narrative is still in high gear.  So is the war on marriage.  How do we choose who "our" candidate will be?

Who does the MSM (main stream media) want the GOP to run?

Response:

DO NOT RUN HIM.

Consider Chris Christie.  For a moment, he rubbed shoulders with all the right people, the right people liked him...the media seemed to like it.

But (my opinion) is that they turned on him too soon.

Oh, it would have happened eventually, but it would have been more effective for the liberal party if the media had waited until the GOP had set their path.

There's a case in Michigan that just had closing arguments on Friday; the judge will rule within a couple of weeks on whether or not Michigan will become the next state to fall to this madness.

Part one:

In an article from February 24, this caught my eye

"Nothing says family like a marriage license," DeBoer told reporters before entering the courthouse hand-in-hand with Rowse, her partner of eight years.

I've worked in public schools for a number of years and I've seen many (politically correct) books say that this is NOT true.  We've been pushing the idea that "families come in all forms" - if a child is being raised by a single mom, that's a family.  If a child is being raised by a single dad, that's a family.  If a child is being raised by his or her grandparents, that's a family.  If a man and a woman (or a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, or a person and their cat) are living together without children, that's a family.  Mom and boyfriend/Dad and girlfriend...family.  You get my drift.

What a surprise to find out that it's a "marriage license" that says "family!"

What about faith?

The point of this madness is not to give gay folks the "right to marry" - it's not only to normalize that which has never been "normal."  It is to GLORIFY that lifestyle choice, and to force EVERYBODY to accept it, applaud it, normalize it.

remember the Borg?  "You will be assimilated."

People of faith who do not agree that "government sanctioned gay relationships" are wrong?  Via Tammy Bruce

Having been a liberal “community organizer” in my past, I immediately recognized the strategy being employed. This is an effort to condition the public into automatically equating faith with bigotry.

To make faith in the public square illegal and dangerous, you need legal cases and publicity. Voila, lawsuits against small business resting on the notion that acting on genuinely held faith is bigotry per se.

Under these rules, freedom of conscience is squashed under the jackboot of liberals, all in the Orwellian name of “equality and fairness.” Here we are dealing with not just forcing someone to do something for you, but forcing them in the process to violate a sacrament of their faith as well.

If we are able to coerce someone, via the threat of lawsuit and personal destruction, to provide a service, how is that not slavery? If we insist that you must violate your faith specifically in that slavish action, how is that not abject tyranny?

And now, we wait.

"No more illegal wiretapping of citizens, No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are. And it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists. The FISA court works. The separation of powers works. Our Constitution works. We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers, and that justice is not arbitrary. This administration acts like violating civil liberties is a way to enhance our security. It is not…There is no short cut to protecting Americans”.

-- Senator Barack H. Obama, 2007

I'm reading "Fair Society" (at the suggestion of a liberal "book buddy" at work) and once again it strikes me that how you define "fair" makes a huge difference in how you view the world.

The opening parts of the book talks about income and power disparities and "fairness."

If "fair" means equal outcome, regardless of effort, then the world will never be fair. Those who work hardest and risk the most...will not be rewarded for their efforts.

If only the privileged can succeed, then life certainly is unfair....but...

According to Forbes, the person whose income increased the most in 2011 (the most recent year) is Mark Zuckerberg. Although he was in a family of educated people, he was hardly on the tract to billionaire.

Our current president is the son of a middle-class American woman and an African, Muslim, polygamist father. Hardly the stuff that "automatic political success" is made of.

We have free public education, but "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink." Is it "fair" to make sure that all graduate, regardless of how they apply themselves at school? Is it "fair" to the kid who works hard to see a forced success rate? It is "fair" to the one who doesn't apply themselves - to teach them that life will hand them success on a plate?

Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama are living proof that life in America IS "fair" - if you apply your skills, if you work hard, if you take big risks, there are big rewards.

Scripture tells us that