Why the Electoral College Matters

When the United States Constitution was ratified in 1787, the Framers were afraid of tyranny. Having recently secured their independence from England, the Framers did not want to trade one dictator for another.  However, as much as they feared the tyranny of the minority, they were also worried about mob rule. After all, one demagogue leading the masses would be no different than a king issuing decrees for all to follow.

To prevent tyranny of any form, the Framers created a four-tier system for the selection of our national leaders, to-wit:

  • The House of Representatives would be elected by the people, directly.  Every two years the people of each State would pick the members of the People’s House.  Thus, the people would be one (1) step removed from the members of the House of Representatives.
  • Members of the Senate, though, would not be picked directly by the people. Although this method has since changed, the people would select the members of their State legislatures; the State legislators, in turn, would appoint the Senators to six-year terms.  Thus, the people would be two (2) steps removed from their Senators.
  •  The President also would not be popularly elected.  The people would select the members of their State legislature; the State legislators, in turn, would appoint electors (i.e., the Electoral College); the electors, in turn, would select the President. Thus, the people would be three (3) steps removed from their President.  (Although every legislature has opted to appoint the electors based upon a popular statewide vote of the people, the Constitution does not mandate this procedure.  In fact, if a State legislature ever wanted to appoint the electors directly, they absolutely could.  So while it appears as if the people are picking the electors, technically they are not.)
  • Finally, the Judges would be selected by the President and confirmed by the Senate.  As such, the people would select their State legislators; the State legislators would appoint the Senators and the electors; the electors would appoint the President; the President and the Senate would pick the Judges.  Thus, the people would be four (4) steps removed from their Judges. 

Because the Constitution incorporates the Separation of Powers Doctrine — by delegating Legislative power to the House of Representatives and the Senate, Executive power to the President, and Judicial power to the Judges — no single person or group could make all of the decisions in our federal government.

However, even if one faction could control all federal power, the Constitution utilizes other safeguards to liberty–by restricting federal power and by reserving all other rights to the States and to the people.

Per the Framers, every election put before the people would be on a State-by-State basis.  This is because our Framers recognized the need for compartmentalization of power.  As long as the States remained sovereign — and as long as the people voted as States — our nation would remain a free people.  But as soon as we concentrated power in the hands of a central government, by limiting the role of the States, liberty would be placed in peril.

Since the recent defeat of Hillary Clinton, liberals have lamented about the Electoral College, lambasting its archaic nature.  They are absolutely wrong.  Put simply, we are a free people because we are the United STATES of America.  Any change to the Constitution that would marginalize the critical and sovereign role of the States would signal the very demise of our way of life.  Creating a national referendum for the most important position in the federal government would do just that.

The Electoral College forces the President to look at the needs of fifty sovereign States (and the District of Columbia).  However, if the President is elected by a national popular vote, the State lines will blur quite rapidly.  And if this happens, the delicate balance created by the Framers — and the liberty that it protects — will be gone forever.


Personal Salvation

For centuries, December 25 has been the chosen day to commemorate the birth of Christ.  I say the “chosen day” because there really is no absolute record of when, exactly, Jesus was born.  After all, Bethlehem didn’t exactly dole out birth certificates two millennia ago; even if it did, those ancient texts probably would no longer exist after all the turmoil the Holy Land has witnessed in the centuries hence.  So for reasons that are irrelevant to this discussion, the early Catholic church picked today to be the anniversary of Jesus’ birth.  As such, today marks the most auspicious time of the year to discuss the advent of Christ.

Matthew chapter 1, verses 20-21, describe how Joseph, the soon-to-be-husband of Mary, learned the reason for her unplanned pregnancy.  In a dream, an angel told him of God’s plan for this Child:

Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

In verses 22-23, Matthew explains a bit more, by citing to the prophet Isaiah:

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Notice that in this one passage Matthew identifies two names for Christ, viz.:  Jesus and Emmanuel.  This is peculiar to say the least. Although the Child is named Jesus,  Matthew quotes the passage from the Book of Isaiah where the Child is named Emmanuel. 

At first glance this would appear to be a big non sequitur–almost as if one were to say, “Because he should be named Tom, let’s name the child Steve.”  The only way this passage makes sense is if we somehow equate the name Jesus with the name Emmanuel.

When we compare the meanings of the two names, while adopting the implied premise that both names are interchangeable (not unlike James is with Jim, or Robert is with Bob), we can ascertain the true meaning of Christmas, or more precisely, the birth of Christ (whenever it was).

In the Greek, Jesus (Iēsous) means “Jehovah is salvation.”  Likewise, the Greek word for Emmanuel (Emmanouēl) means “God with us.”  By equating the two definitions, we find that the salvation of Jehovah (which is one of many Biblical names for God) equates to the very presence of God.

In other words, if God is with us, then God will save us.

Or put another way, if God saves us, then God is with us.

This implies that whenever God saves someone — be it from sin, or hell, or death, or an unhealthy relationship, or pending bankruptcy, or a strange illness — it is always done personally.

In other words, your salvation is something that God simply will not delegate to someone else.  He will not pass the buck to one of His angels.  He will not ask someone to do Him a solid and bail out his BFF (i.e., you).  No, when He saves you, He does it Himself.  Thus, when it comes to your salvation, He will do it personally, for you.

That is the true meaning of Christmas.  Not the gifts, or the visits with family, or the days off from work.  The true meaning of Christmas is that God loves you so much that He personally wants to solve your problems.  Therefore, if you will allow Him into your life, if you will seek His Presence, you will find the salvation that you need for the problems that you face.  Because no problem can survive the manifest Presence of God.