We are not in sync with those diners who are reflexively express disappointment upon the advice that the awaited family meal is comprised of “leftovers.” Experience has taught us that such instinctive reaction is empirically premature, since such announcements, generally, are predictably nonspecific. Should the predecessor meal have been excellent, the leftovers, themselves, will be acceptable, if not similarly excellent. A similar derivative anticipation is applicable regarding poorly cooked prior meals.
We use a food analogy in aid of the articulation of our present theme, viz., that while most of the provisions of the U.S. Constitution were well-conceived and, in their continued application, just and useful, there exist some which, if they ever had a valid rationale at the time of their drafting, like good leftovers from a previously acceptable meal, are now unpalatable and unacceptable.
These unpalatable, “warmed- over,” provisions include (a) the Electoral College, (b) the uniform allocation of two Senators per State, irrespective of disparity in population and (c) the Presidential pardon.
THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE
As generally known, the Electoral College is comprised of a group of Presidential electors, required by the Constitution (Amend 12), to convene every fourth year for the purpose of electing the President and Vice President. Each state appoints electors equal in number to its Congressional delegation.
Some of the Founding Fathers were of the view that the common man lacked the resources to be engaged with and informed about, current affairs and that, accordingly, the President should be chosen by the vote of Congress; others feared the “huddling mob” would steer the nation in the wrong direction, while a third group feared that a “Populist President,” who could appeal to directly to the people, might dangerously assert unlimited power.
It is apparent that the purported quadrennial need for this protective filter, like the warmed-over leftovers of a poorly conceived meal, is anachronistic and no longer eatable. Assuming it had some sociological value, in the 18th Century, thereafter, with the advent of widely distributed newspapers and popular attendance to the broadcast media, voters fully have the opportunity to engage with and be informed about, current events with the result that the argument on this point is entirely stale.
Regarding the fear of the “huddling mob,” it was the recent sad experience that a populist, an ignorant and immoral former second-rate gameshow host and real estate gonif, Donald Trump, the choice of the uninformed, under-educated, flat-earth denizens of the planet was elected, by the vote of the Electoral College; the popular vote, interestingly. was in favor of his more capable educated and experienced, Hillary Clinton.
History tells us that there were, in total, five Presidents chosen by the Electoral College who lost the popular vote. One man, one vote, means that all popular votes should be counted and consequential. To do otherwise is to cause severe gastric upset to America’s claim of equality.
THE PRESIDENTIAL PARDON.
Article 2, Sec.2 Clause 7 of the Constitution gives an American President the unlimited right to set aside a conviction and to pardon any individual for a Federal crime, regardless how reprehensible; and apparently, regardless of his relationship, personal, political or otherwise, to the President. This arbitrary and unlimited license seems to us, to bizarrely and inconsistently emulate an unjust feature of monarchial autocracy which the Founders seem to have emphatically opposed, in favor of liberty, justice, and above all, equality. We have been completely unable to find a rational basis for this Devine Right, which is diametrically opposed to the tenets of Republican Democracy, especially considering the expressed emphasis which the Founders expressly placed upon the constructs of equality and justice. This is a choice of cuisine that a believer in those constructs could never digest.
The question as to whether a President has the power to pardon himself for the commission of a crime, we note, has been taken up, but never resolved. Our question has, eternally, been as to whether a President, such as the miscreant, Donald Trump, can pardon individuals for crimes in which he is complicit. The entire general subject of Presidential pardon is fully capable of giving any American, truly concerned with equal justice, ptomaine poisoning.
We have never been able to satisfy ourselves that the equal allocation of two Senators for each State, regardless of their great diversity in population, is compatible with the intention of the 14t,h, 15,th 19,th 24th and 26th Amendments, nor to any rational understanding of equality under the law, equal treatment and representative democracy, As one (of many) illustrations, the voting power of Wyoming, the least populated State, has been calculated by political scientists, to be sixty-seven times the voting power of a citizen of California, our most populous State. It is interesting to additionally, take note of the fact that the less populated States are reported to have smaller black populations than the more populous ones.
In their (partial) defense, the Founders could never have imagined the future immense expansion of the United States in terms of territory and the diversity of its future citizens. There would appear, however, to exist no current, moral rationalization for this significant misappropriation, contrary to the tenets of representative government and essential fairness.
As ardent supporters of the ideal of Republican Democracy, truly intended for America, we look forward to the rectification of the above three instances of indigestible inequality.