Percolating through the legislatures of many states are bills that would provide that a state's electoral votes would go to whichever presidential candidate receives a majority of the national popular vote, regardless of how well the candidate did in the particular state that passed the bill into law. Called the "Popular Vote Project," such a plan is in direct contravention of both the letter and the spirit of the Constitution.
Not only does the Constitution make no mention of the term "popular vote," but such an idea is meaningless within the context of America's founding document. The designation "popular vote” evolved over time as a sort of shorthand to describe the votes cast for presidential electors who had publicly committed to vote in the Electoral College for a particular qualified presidential candidate.
No presidential electors in any state were chosen by voters until 1824. The Constitution says nothing about how presidential electors are chosen by states except that each state legislature shall determine the method of choosing those electors.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) continues its attack on the constitutionally guaranteed right of free speech and religious expression as it targets school districts in Mississippi and Kentucky that have held to their long-time traditions of public prayer. On August 18th the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported that the Wisconsin-based secularist group had sent a letter to the superintendent of the DeSoto County, Mississippi, school district, the largest in the state with 40 schools and 32,000 students, demanding that the district stop allowing prayers at school athletic events and high school graduations.
“Prayer over the loudspeakers at football games is a constitutional no-no,” quipped FFRF spokeswoman Annie Laurie Gaylor. “The Supreme Court has spoken on this issue…. We’ve given them the law, and the law is incontrovertible. What they’re doing is illegal.”
The Commercial Appeal noted that on “Friday nights, it’s customary for the football public address announcer to hand over the microphone to a student or teacher to pray before the home team’s band performs the national anthem.”
When Robert Welch coined the phrase, "This is a republic, not a democracy, let's keep it that way," he made an important contribution to American political debate and understanding.
The Founding Fathers loathed democracy. The idea of unfettered majority vote was anathema to them. And that is why they constructed a Constitution that broke up government power into three separate branches —executive, legislative and judicial — and put strong restrictions on what the majority could do to the minority, and what the minority could do to the majority. The result was a constitutional republic, not a democracy.
In a pure democracy, the majority has the power to destroy a minority.
That's what happened in Germany in 1933 when Hitler's National Socialist Party was voted in by the majority. Hitler then consolidated his power into the Nazi dictatorship with its deranged racism and plans for world domination. All of this was stated by Hitler in his own book, Mein Kampf, which any German could have read.
What laws are we morally obligated to obey? Help with the answer can be found in "Economic Liberty and the Constitution," a 66-page pamphlet by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.
Hornberger offers a hypothetical whereby Congress enacts a compulsory church attendance law that requires children to attend church service each Sunday. Parents are penalized if their children fail to comply. Would there be any moral or constitutional legitimacy to such a congressional mandate? The law would be a clear violation of one's natural, or God-given, rights to life and liberty. As to whether it would be constitutional, we have to see whether mandating church attendance is one of those enumerated powers of Congress found in Article 1, Section 8 of our Constitution. We'd find no such authority. Our anti-federalist Founding Fathers didn't trust Congress with religious liberty, so they sought to protect it with the First Amendment to explicitly deny Congress the power to mandate religious conduct. Suppose there's widespread popular support for a church-going mandate and the U.S. Supreme Court rules it constitutional; do Americans have a moral obligation to obey the law?
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) finally laid the notion of the Fairness Doctrine to rest this week when it eliminated more than 80 media industry rules. According to The Blaze, “The doctrine, that sought to ensure inclusiveness of different viewpoints broadcast on the airwaves, was officially erased by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Monday.”
Since its implementation post-World War II, the Fairness Doctrine mandated that those with broadcast licenses present controversial issues in a manner dubbed by the commissioner to be fair and balanced. At the time the doctrine was put in place, there were less than 3,000 radio stations in existence, as opposed to the 14,000 today.
As noted by The New American’s Daniel Sayani, while much of the regulation pertaining to the Fairness Doctrine was repealed in the 1980s under FCC Chairman Fowler, the doctrine technically remained on the books.
In Rick Perry’s August 13 presidential announcement speech in South Carolina the Texas Governor stated:
.…we have led Texas based on some just really pretty simple guiding principles. One is don’t spend all of the money. Two is keeping the taxes low and under control. Three is you have your regulatory climate fair and predictable.
Later in his speech he claimed:
I’ve cut taxes. I have delivered historic property tax reductions. I was the first governor since World War II to cut general revenue spending in our state budget.
But Perry’s record on taxes reveals something entirely different. Especially for Texas businesses, where things are far from fair and predictable.
The Nullify Now! tour continues to attract support as it makes its way across the United States. Last Saturday, the tour stopped in Kansas City, Missouri, where a number of prominent speakers spoke on the dangers of a growing federal government and encouraged the use of state nullification to overrule unconstitutional powers acquired by the federal government.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “Whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers ... a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.” The Tenth Amendment Center recognizes that this is a viable option against the growing Leviathan that is the United States federal government and believes it is a policy that should be revisited by the American people. Therefore, it launched the Nullify Now! tour as a means to highlight Jefferson’s philosophy and emphasize the constitutional basis for such an option.
At the Kansas City event, which took place at the Truman Auditorium in the Kansas City Library Plaza Branch, best-selling author Thomas Woods, Jr. appeared as the keynote speaker.
Every four years, the two major political parties choose their nominees for President of the United States. The Republican and Democrat standard-bearers, like the political parties themselves, then represent the opposing sides of the political divide between conservatism and liberalism — or so we are told. In truth, though the major-party standard-bearers certainly appeal to different constituencies, the substance of what they would do as President is much more similar than their rhetoric suggests.
For too many years, regardless of whether the occupant in the White House is a Republican or Democrat, the President has generally pursued a course of more socialism at home and more interventionism abroad. Consider the TARP bailout of the big financial institutions: GOP Senator John McCain and Democrat Senator Barack Obama both voted for the TARP legislation prior to the 2008 election — an election that supposedly pitted an opponent of redistributing the wealth (remember how McCain embraced “Joe the Plumber”?) against an advocate of socialism. Despite the rhetoric, if McCain were elected President in 2008, he could have been expected to continue supporting socialist bailouts, just like the last GOP President, George W. Bush, did.
After much networking, private fundraising, and even some preliminary campaign staffing, Texas Governor Rick Perry finally tossed his Stetson into the GOP 2012 presidential ring. Now conscientious voters around the nation will want to examine his record.
Beginning his political career as a Democrat, Perry was elected a State Representative in 1984, garnering favor with some liberal Texas lawmakers, and serving as Al Gore’s Texas campaign chair in 1988. Becoming a Republican in 1989, he served as Texas Agriculture Commissioner until elected Lieutenant Governor in 1998; he then moved into the Governor’s mansion in 2000 when George W. Bush resigned to become President. Many conservative Texans, however, know that although Perry has consistently positioned himself as a conservative, his public record reveals considerable inconsistencies. For instance, in the 2008 election, he first endorsed pro-abortion and pro-homosexual “marriage” Rudy Giuliani for President, before endorsing John McCain when Giuliani withdrew — though in terms of substance McCain’s positions on key issues varied little from those of Barack Obama.
As if the AFL-CIO does not have enough political clout, it has announced its initiative to launch a super Political Action Committee in order to raise money. According to The Blaze, the effort is “part of the federation’s goal to build a year-round political organizing structure instead of ramping up and down based on election cycles.”
The initiative was discussed earlier this month at an AFL-CIO executive council meeting. The proposal is still subject to approval, and will be open for discussion for the next few weeks.
Supporters tout a number of benefits, especially the impact such a committee could have on struggles over state legislation, where unions have been particularly entrenched in recent months.
For example, unions invested millions of dollars this year into the Wisconsin recall elections, which challenged those state legislators who voted in favor of legislation that minimized collective bargaining for public employees. The AFL-CIO alone contributed $5 million to the effort.