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States Nullifying NDAA “Indefinite Detention” Growing

By Harold Pease, Ph. D

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) funding national defense and updated every December despite a few modifications continues to “require the military to hold suspected terrorists linked to Al Qaeda or its affiliates, even those captured on U. S. soil, indefinitely” and without trial, on the say so of the military through the President alone. Moreover, even U.S. citizens could be removed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba against their will and deprived of their constitutional rights. The law gave no protection from a revolving definition of terrorism to anti-government, perhaps even Tea Partiers.

The threat of potential incarceration without recourse to a lawyer, judge and jury is very serious. It violates Article III. “No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.” It also emasculates Amendments 4, 5, 6 and 8 of the Bill of Rights. The military performing police duty, heretofore rendered by civil authorities, is unconscionable in a free society.

Amendment 4 deals with searches and seizures and reads in part “no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation…” Warrants give civil authority the power to arrest only when the reason for the search (probable cause) has been reviewed and authorized, normally by an elected judge, who has given an oath to uphold the Constitution. He stands between the plaintiff and the defendant as the protector of constitutional law. There is no role for the military even with a President’s authorization. Freedom dies when this amendment dies.

Amendment 5 has several parts that are affected by this law but space limits my coverage to just a couple. Infamous or serious crimes mandate a grand jury, twelve or more citizens to evaluate the evidence before proceeding, which will not exist in a military arrest and extradition to Guantanamo Bay process. Moreover, one cannot “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Due process is the civilian judicial system.

Amendment 6 deals with criminal court procedures where “the accused shall enjoy the right to … a public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed … to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel in his defense.” This law destroys the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution for those thought to be enemies of the state by a president. There will be no “impartial jury,” no “obtaining witnesses in his favor,” no “counsel in his defense,” and Cuba is hardly within “the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.”

Finally the NDAA obliterates Amendment 8 for those the President and his military define as terrorists. The protection against cruel and unusual punishment for them ends and torture becomes justified. The military will not care about excessive fines or bail, also parts of the eighth amendment. The possibility of “indefinite detention” or transfer to an unnamed foreign entity for unspecified purposes under military, rather than civilian jurisdiction, is “cruel and unusual punishment.” As is having a missile fired upon you by a predator drone based upon secret evidence presumed to be true by one man—the president

Sadly both Democrats and Republicans, despite their oath to preserve the Constitution, are responsible for this bill. With bipartisan support it is unlikely to be reversed. But there is another just as powerful way found in the Tenth Amendment to return to the Constitution. The use of The Liberty Preservation Act, “which bans participation with or assistance in any way with any federal act which purports to authorize the indefinite detention of a person within the United States.”

Virginia, home of Declaration of Independence author, Thomas Jefferson, and the Father of the Constitution, James Madison, was appropriately the first state in the Union to nullify the NDAA in a 96-4 and 39-1 vote in its House and Senate respectively. Done March 1, 2013, just two months after Obama signed it into law. Alaska joined Virginia in July followed by California in October of the same year, Governor Jerry Brown stating. “It is the policy of this state to refuse to provide material support for or to participate in any way with the implementation within this state of any federal law that purports to authorize indefinite detention of a person within California.”

Michigan followed December 27, 2013. Appropriately it was the first state in the Union to use the 10th Amendment to defy the unconstitutional Fugitive Slave Act of 1855, which refused to return runaway slaves to the South and their masters. Michigan will not participate in “holding a US citizen without Habeas Corpus.”

According to the Tenth Amendment Center, a non-partisan organization that keeps track of state nullification efforts, “16 states have introduced or passed non-compliance resolutions or bills resisting the NDAA.” They also provide a model for resistance called the Liberty Preservation Act for other states wishing to implement this part of the Constitution. Texas proposes the toughest penalties on federal agents attempting to implement NDAA law in their state, a jail term “not to exceed one year, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both the confinement and the fine.”

Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit

5th Anniversary of NDAA “Indefinite Detention” Law

Harold Pease, Ph. D

On December 31, 2011, New Year’s Eve, President Barack Obama signed into law the most constitutionally damaging law in American history, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. This New Year’s Eve we note its 5th Anniversary. Previous annual appropriations bills funding national defense were mostly procedural but it was the addition of two sections, buried deep within the over 600 page document, that potentially gutted the Bill of Rights for American citizens thought by the President to be assisting the enemy, that so upset constitutionalists and libertarians.

Subsections 1021–1022 of Title X, Subtitle D, entitled “Counter-Terrorism,” authorized the president to apply the Authorization for Use of Military Force, the 2001 congressional document used to justify war on Iraq, now broadly to all thought to be terrorists—including Americans living in the states far from any battlefield. The military would be used to find, arrest and “detain covered persons…pending disposition under the law of war.” Translated, this means military tribunals and prisons and no Bill of Rights. U.S. law; local law enforcement agents, juries, courts and judges would be excluded, all on the whim of but one man—the president. Moreover there exists no requirement to notify local authority when one is “kidnaped” (captured and detained), or transferred out of the country, as for example to Guantanamo Bay, or detained indefinitely. President Obama did promise that he would not use it against US citizens. This power will be transferred to Donald Trump January 20, 2017.

Constitutionalists and libertarians, notably Senator Rand Paul and Dianne Feinstein, have worked hard to at least modify these two sections. Newer versions do have Sections 1031-1033 that portend to affirm the rights of due process and habeas corpus but opponents of newer NDAA’s are certain that it is not enough to get back to pre 2011 constitutional protections. Senator Feinstein noted that her goal “was to ensure the military won’t be roaming our streets looking for suspected terrorists.”

The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, following the Civil War, forbade the U.S. military from performing law enforcement functions on American soil. The American Civil Liberties Union warned in 2011, “Since the bill puts military detention authority on steroids and makes it permanent, American citizens and others are at greater risk of being locked away by the military without charge or trial if this bill becomes law.” When asked if it were possible for an American to be shipped to Guantanamo Bay, Senator John McCain said yes. Senator Lindsey Graham was more blunt. “When they say, ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them, ‘Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer.’”

With at least three generals in the Trump cabinet it is questionable whether they will advise Trump to return to the constitutional protections heretofore in place. But it will be a major test of his sincerity respecting separating himself from the establishment, both Republican and Democratic, who together, have imposed this upon all Americans. Cosponsors of the disturbing changes were Senators Carl Levin and John McCain, the latter Trump deeply offended in his presidential campaign. Neither is likely to abandon what they created without a serious fight.

Some things are very clear in the sections disputed. The terms “terrorists” and “affiliates” are not adequately defined, the President is given too much power, and they violate the U.S. Constitution, which everyone voting affirmatively swore to uphold. It is hard to trust the government’s definition of terrorist when Vice President Joe Biden, once referred to Tea Partiers as terrorists and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as mobsters (a term also implying a threat to society). What guarantee do we have that the “new” enemy does not simply rotate to anyone defined as “anti-government,” citizen or not?

Presidents have not proved particularly trustworthy in the past with respect to the Constitution and civil liberty. Franklin D. Roosevelt, with the stroke of a pen, detained over 110,000 Japanese Americans in “relocation camps” (Japanese-Americans called them concentration camps) in World War II on the basis of race and potential terrorism. Why should we have confidence in any president to not use this power as “seemeth” him good?

The Writ of Habeas Corpus found in Article I, Section 9 recognized that some day war might exist on our soil and that the accused had rights that might have to be momentarily delayed until recognized civilian authority could reasonably attend to them. It allowed this delay in only two circumstances “when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.” Section 9 provides a list of powers specifically denied Congress; nor were they given to the President in Article II. This strongly suggests no federal role outside the two parameters, rebellion or invasion. The removal of any civilian role and the carting off of U.S. citizens to a foreign place without benefit of civilian judge or jury obliterates this right.

The threat of potential incarceration without recourse to a lawyer, judge and trial is very serious. The military performing police duties previously rendered by civil authorities is unconscionable in a free society. Ninety-three senators voted for this bill. Only seven understood the Constitution well enough to defend it and vote no. These were Democrats Tom Harkin, Jeff Merkley, Ron Wyden and Republicans Rand Paul, Thomas Coburn, Mike Lee.

Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit

California Uses Nullification Doctrine to Protect Illegals

Harold Pease, Ph. D

American cities are in rebellion. Since the election of Donald Trump, mayors have lined up by the dozens and announced that they will not assist the federal government in the deportation of illegals. Universities followed, declaring themselves off-limits to federal law. None of this is protected by the Constitution. But now California is using the Tenth Amendment, the nullification doctrine, to become a sanctuary state and defy federal law as well. Is it constitutional?

Sanctuary cities defying federal law are nothing new. They did it under President Barack Obama with his encouragement. Estimates of illegals with criminal convictions released to the streets during the Obama tenure range as high as 68,000. Probably most hang out in sanctuary cities that seemingly plan on preventing their deportation. More than 600 of these were released back into the public more than twice. On August 19, 2015, 193 with homicide convictions and 426 with sexual assault convictions were released by the Obama Administration. One, 45-year-old Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, with seven felonies and having been deported five times, murdered Kate Steinle, July 5, 2015. More than 340 cities have laws shielding illegal aliens from federal law.

Two constitutional problems exist: as mentioned, the Constitution does not give cities any right to defy the laws of the land emanating from Congress (the only law making part of the federal government), nor should cities or states follow law made solely by the president, as for example executive amnesty. Every mayor has taken a solemn oath “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” The existence of sanctuary cities is as clear a constitutional violation as exists.

But a state is exempted from federal law that is not constitutionally based by two parts of the Constitution: Article I, Section 8 and Amendment 10. The first, known as the enumeration clause, lists the areas where Congress can make law. Any extension of this list requires an Amendment to the Constitution as all other power remains with the states. Amendment 10 clarifies this relationship more firmly. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

So states can refuse to obey federal law and should do so to keep the federal government from absorbing the jurisdiction left to them, “powers not delegated” to the federal government. Remember our Founders created a system of dual governance between the states and the federal government with neither being master or slave.

Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton were each especially vocal with respect to states having the authority to “Just Say No!” to federal law not enumerated. Such was used in 1798 in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolves, in 1832 in the Nullification Crisis in South Carolina, and more successfully with the northern states, especially Wisconsin, in 1854 over the highly unconstitutional Fugitive Slave Act.

More recently the 10th Amendment, and resulting Doctrine of Nullification, first strongly implied in the Constitution and then more firmly stated in the 10th Amendment, is being used by states to prevent the federal government’s overreach of enumerated powers. Thirty states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form, usually medical, openly defying federal law and on November 8, California, Massachusetts, and Nevada joined Alaska, Oregon, Washington and Colorado completely legalizing marijuana for recreational use as well. Whether my reader views this as good or bad, the fact still remains that without a new amendment to the Constitution this issue remains a state issue. States’ refusal to implement the Real ID Act, passed in 2005, which established new federal standards for state-issued drivers licenses, is a form of nullification as well.

When enough states say no, the feds back away. In 2013, nine State Sheriffs’ Associations put the Executive and Legislative Branches on notice that they support the traditional interpretation of the 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights and 336 elected county sheriffs inferred that they would protect their people on this issue—even against federal agents coming into their counties. Barack Obama and the Justice Department backed away.

The use of marijuana, and the ID Act are not within the scope of enumerated powers and thus belong to the states. President Obama’s reinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment rightfully was ignored by the states. Health, education, and marriage, or anything remotely like unto them, can not be found in the Constitution as federal powers and thus, as per Amendment 10, remain state functions only—regardless of what five rogue justices on the Supreme Court may rule. Any other interpretation would lead the federal government to legislate any thing it wished, end federalism (dual government), and in time destroy all the other checks and balances in the Constitution.

Now California is using the doctrine of nullification to defy federal law on immigration, as it rules itself a sanctuary state. The problem is immigration is clearly constitutionally left to the federal government alone. Article I, Section 8, Clause 4 gives the federal government the right, To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.” It has and thus states cannot defy it. Moreover, eight of the 18 clauses listed as the powers of Congress deal with national security and border security defines even the existence of a nation. The Constitution puts an end to the issue in Article 6: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; … shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit

The “Over Mediated Syndrome” in Trump First Month

By Harold Pease, Ph. D

Doctors assess ailments and maladies and sometimes offer prescriptions. I feel very comfortable in doing the same with respect to the unanticipated Trump election as president and the resultant reaction of Clinton supporters and many Independents and Republicans who also did not like Trump. My diagnosis is called the “over mediated syndrome.”

We all witnessed a drastic mood swing, for and against Trump, on all news networks between 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. on Election Day a month ago. That mood turned to indescribable despair on most television news outlets as Trump won state after state as the evening progressed, and open sobbing of Hillary supporters, unlike for any presidential candidate in modern times, as she went down in defeat. The media elites in all networks except Fox were themselves a show as they stumbled to explain why the win they had almost prophesied failed to occur.

This was followed by several events not characteristic of previous elections, all within a month of the election, and all attributed to the “over mediated syndrome.” The first, well-organized street demonstrations of mostly young voters caring signs, “Not My President,” in major cities throughout the country through Thanksgiving. Next was the sanctuary cities’ rebellion. Mayors lined up by the dozens to announce that they would purposely hide illegal immigrants from deportations. Universities followed too declaring themselves off-limits to federal law.

Next, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who got only 1% of the vote, demanded a recount in three states projected by the Democratic Party news outlets, everyone but Fox, to be Hillary wins: Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Over-night they gathered $6 million to cover the cost of the recount. Jill Stein could not hope to benefit from the count so no one was fooled by this extreme Stein effort to undermine or reverse the election and the Clinton encouragement for her doing so.

Finally, thousands of threatening messages (some death) were sent to Electoral College representatives if they do not change their vote from Trump to Hillary on December 19. Blaise Ingoglia, Florida Republican Party Chairman, received as many as 4,000 such messages.

The difference between this presidential election and those before is that the media no longer veiled their open support of the Democratic Party; they became the Democratic Party. It must be noted that 55 of 57 of the nation’s largest newspapers endorsed Hillary; only two endorsed Trump. The Gods of paper news, the Washington Post and the New York Times, and perhaps a hundred other papers who consistently reprint their editorials, became Hillary outlets as had the Gods of the antenna: ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, and CNN.

The major problem was their lack of issues. Hillary would duplicate personally popular Obama whose programs were being rejected, notably Obamacare and his executive orders on illegal immigration, which conflicted with the Constitution. She had no real successes as a legislator or as Secretary of State, and Republicans were nipping at her heals on the deaths attributed to her leadership in Benghazi and the 33,000 bleach-bitted emails allowing enemy nations to know our security secrets—the disclosure of just one for anyone else would have been imprisonment.

Donald Trump gave them their only real issue FEAR—scare voters into supporting Hillary. Virtually ignored by them was the hard evidence against her provided by Wikileaks, the FBI, and the discovery of 6,500 Hillary emails, evidence thought disposed, on Anthony Weiner’s hard drive. Clinton supporters knew little of this evidence because it did not contribute to the fear Trump narrative.

No one in modern-day politics has put his foot in his mouth more than Trump and the Democrats easily turned such statements into fear of what he would do based upon his rash or reckless statements. Not one of these news outlets, however, mitigated this fear by telling their readers or viewers that the Constitution would prevent many of these actions. For those getting their news only from the Democratic Party press, virtually all but Fox and talk radio, they were intentionally over-dosed on fear of Trump rhetoric.

Let me be bold. The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and MSNBC have shown themselves to be the media arm of the Democratic Party and thus have discredited themselves as neutral or fair news sources. They are directly responsible for the “over mediated syndrome” that led their readers or viewers to participate in the activities previously described.

The outcome of this blatant media bias was predictable, a distorted fear of Mr. Trump and the belief that the only reasonable next president would be Clinton. When the election went so differently and those opposed to Trump, believing their sources credible but betrayed by their being denied all the information, they contracted the “over mediated syndrome.” They were conditioned to react as though a fascist dictator had been elected. They had been over exposed to one side.

My prescription to this serious malady is simple—select but one of the above noted media outlets for the Democratic Party view and Fox news or the Washington Times for primarily the Republican view, then balance this with some established Internet news sources. They too may be biased but the Internet remains the only truly free press. Otherwise the malady will persist.

Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit

The “Real” Election of the President has not Yet Happened

By Harold Pease, Ph. D

Those who understand the Constitution know that the election of the president does not actually happen until December, this year the 19th, and never in November. They also know that a popular vote has never been legitimized by the Constitution or any amendment to it. In fact, the people as individuals are actually excluded. We have discussed why in previous columns. The selection of a president was left entirely to the state legislatures and what is called the Electoral College.

The Constitution reads: “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress.” Only indirectly were the people involved, more populated states having more members of the House of Representatives and thus more College Electors.

But these Electors (special citizens) sometimes referred to as “wise men,” because presumably their major function was to preserve the republic freshly created, were not to be Senators or Representatives, “or Persons holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States.” Those with a vested interest, outside the common good, were excluded. They simply wanted persons of seasoned integrity, stability, wisdom and achievement but actual qualifications were left to the state legislatures. Political parties did not then exist to confuse this process or promote special interest.

These “wise men” or Electors, as the Constitution refers to them, are “to meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President … they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.“

Thus the “real” presidential election is held in the 50 state capitals plus the District of Columbia and the results sealed and sent to the President of the Senate. Sealed suggests out of public or media view, the results to be known at the same time as sister states when opened before both houses of Congress. Congress determines “the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.” This year it is December 19, as mentioned. The press rarely covers this election because they can’t spin or manipulate it.

When Congress reassembles, “the President of the Senate,” Vice President Joe Biden, “shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;—The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed,” today 270.

So how did the popular vote come about when there exists no language in the Constitution for it and it undermines state dominant influence in the process? The breakdown began in 1824 after the Electoral College denied the presidency to Andrew Jackson, the most popular man in America due to his success in the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812. His supporters, believing the denial to be an injustice, created a straw vote so that the people could participate in the election even though this vote had no power.

Over time the media empowered the popular vote, and itself, by treating it as the “legitimate” vote for the president belittling the College process as unfair and undemocratic. Seldom do they remind us that it works because we are not a democracy, but a republic, and that none of the branches of government are democratic, most especially the Senate and Supreme Court. Andrew Jackson had to wait until he could convince the seasoned citizen voters (wise men) of the Electoral College that he was not too emotional for the office. He did so four years later in 1828. Today the media seldom cover the real election of the president in December; such is their distain for it.

Political parties also contributed to the breakdown. Today instead of looking for Electors possessed with understanding of, and loyalty to, the concepts of a republic, loyalty to political party became primary. With winner take all legislation in most states, almost forcing electoral consensus as a state, even making it unlawful for Electors to deviate from the party line, the independence of the Electors to protect us from those who would destroy the republic in favor of democracy or socialism has been sacrificed.

Granted the “real” presidential election in December, when the Electoral College vote is taken, is the most difficult part of the Constitution to understand and is easy to oppose because it is so undemocratic. I ask my students how many months they spent studying the propositions on the last California ballot prior to voting? Months? Days? Hours? Seldom was it more than the least amount possible to give them a “gut” feeling.  I then ask why they should have the same vote power as one who did spend months studying an issue? When put this way they better understand the principles of a republic, and why our system historically has gone to such great lengths to find those who do.

Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit

Thank God We Have the Electoral College

By Harold Pease, Ph. D

California U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer threatens measures to end the Electoral College, as has someone every presidential election. Those in this camp prefer the popular vote but without the College a close race would make the election far less settled and result in massive civil unrest perhaps even civil war. Thank God we have the Electoral College that legitimizes the outcome.

In the 2016 presidential race Trump’s projected win is 306 electoral votes to Clintons 232, but Clinton bested Trump with 1 1/2 million more popular votes out of 125,505,086 cast for the two. The divide is a little over one percent. Imagine the endless recounts, accusations of voter fraud that would have to be investigated, and the time to determine the outcome legitimizing the winner—if that were even possible. Some took to the streets the next day before we even knew the popular vote count. As volatile and emotional as the reaction to the Trump victory was, who can guarantee that the losing side would not revolt as in other countries.

One might argue that in a democracy everyone should have an equal vote and a simple majority should be what counts. But the Founding Fathers did not create a democracy. They universally opposed it because it had failed in Athens and Rome and in every other place it had been tried long-term and hoped that descendants would never turn what they created into such.  The word democracy is not in any of our original governing documents—the word republic is.  Benjamin Franklin referred to democracy as two wolves and a lamb voting on what they would have for lunch; the well armed lamb contesting the vote.  Realizing that the majority is not always right and, as such, could trample the rights of the minority becoming very tyrannical, they created a republic instead, thus we pledge allegiance to “the republic for which it stands.”  A lynch mob is a democracy; everyone voting to hang the accused except the one proposed to be hung.

There is no language in the Constitution authorizing a popular vote for the president because the people tend to vote for leaders who can give them the most from their vote, but the Constitution is designed to give nothing to anyone except the opportunity to maximize their talent in an environment of freedom from excessive government. The moment government takes from one and gives to another, recipient voters henceforth expect something from their vote and politicians have shown that they can be purchased.  President Obama offered free cell phones to entice voters and Bernie Sanders free college. It becomes a “blood sport” as to which candidate can give the most “goodies” to get elected. “Gift giving” should not be in the equation.

The Founding Fathers left the election of the president to the states through their population. The vote system they created, referred to as the Electoral College, spread the vote geographically by states, and favored the informed over the less informed. Everyone knew that a popular vote could be won by a few populated states, (today as few as ten, some say four), and that rural states or sections would never see the candidate nor would he make an appeal to their interests.  To equalize the population advantage and encourage candidates to make a larger geographical appeal, the College gave population-deprived states disproportionately at least three votes.  Although candidates could probably still ignore the rural states, the College made it decidedly less tempting to do so.

As described in the Constitution, states select a number of voters for the president equal to the number of members of Congress (both House and Senate) that they have.  These non-governmental individuals, selected by the state legislatures presumably for their integrity, experience, success, and wisdom, are presumably less emotionally driven and less susceptible to the emergence of a popular tyrant or someone who defies the Constitution.  Remember, Adolph Hitler was elected.  Presumably this would have been thwarted had Germany a functioning electoral college to mitigate the emotion or ignorance of the masses.  Under a democracy a dangerous man, knowingly hostile to the concepts of a republic, could occupy this position to destroy it.

The citizens chosen to be Electoral College voters do so in their separate state capitols usually in late November and that vote is sent to, and read by, the vice president of the United States before a combined session of both Houses of Congress usually the first week in December.  This year it will be December 19. Normally there is little coverage of the “real” election of the president and this, usually negative.

This process is certainly not without its problems, but when the ill informed have the same vote strength, or higher (because they are the majority), as the well informed, the Electoral College offsets this by placing the weight of government in favor of reason and experience over emotion.  It remains the best system in the world.  I realize that in a day when we have high-speed communication it is easy to assume that, as a result, we have high-speed knowledge and experience as well.  As a college professor in the subject area, I can emphatically argue otherwise.  Nothing replaces the benefits of reason and experience and these don’t come high speed.

So the states with their populations have voted and Trump has 36 Electoral College votes more than the 270 needed and Clinton 38 under—a clear, clean, decisive vote for both winner and loser. Thank God we have the Electoral College. Why would we wish to change to a system that almost guarantees confusion and chaos?

Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit