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Minas Tirith Forums » The Prancing Pony » The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election (Page 2)
Author Topic: The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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Ha! Nice trolling by Aiwrendel in this thread. []

It is trolling right? []

From: My place | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Maia Olorin
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Granted, the definition of fascism is a little slippier than socialism or communism, but:

if it goosesteps like a goose, it is usually a goose.

It's kinda like porn: I know it when I see it.

I am not going to get into a fruitless debate about semantics. Never, in my lifetime, has a presidential candidate appealed to the worst of human instincts the way this bloviating douchebag has. Telling supporters of rallies to punch protesters in the face; getting the explicit support of a former KKK Grand Dragon; The increase in attacks on Muslims, Latinos and other people of colour over the last year, the list can go on and on. I don't think Drumpf cares about where anyone puts their willies; what he wants is ideological concordance with his own belief system. He has his very own pet Goebbels, this Bannon guy, who is responsible for some of the worst hateful rhetoric, has ties to white supremacists, and who produces propaganda movies for Reagan and Palin.

According to Mussolini;

"Fascism should more properly be called 'corporatism,' as it is the combination of State and Corporate power."

That is a good place to start.

If one looks into Drumpf's past, there is documented evidence of discrimation based upon race when he and his father were in the apartment rental business. Loads of evidence.

His whole 'birther' thing was blatantly racist. When this red herring was of no more use to him, he said that Obama was born in the USA. That was, what, less than a month ago?

I get the desire for change. I get the feeling of being betrayed by the very people who were supposed to stand with you. I get that Hillary was a flawed candidate. Drumpf is an order of magnitude worse, in so many ways it makes me despair for humanity.

Anyone here who voted for him is, in my opinion, at best, misguided, or worse, agrees with Drumpf.

The Pußy grabber. The man facing a lawsuit for violently raping a 13 year old girl on the island of a known and convicted sex-offender.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

[ 11-15-2016, 12:48 PM: Message edited by: Maia Olorin ]

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Aiwrendel
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I must apologize for posting in this thread. I especially apologize for giving the impression I was trolling. That is something I never do intentionally!

I misunderstood the purpose of this thread thinking it might evolve into how Trump could perform as president. If it's only about Trump's personality then we are in agreement.

But I do take great exception to the personal insults leveled at myself by those who know nothing about me, my political affiliations, or whether I even voted.

From: Chicago USA | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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They don't have to know you, only have to read your posts. That's how this works.
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Aiwrendel
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Oh, yes. I forgot one's personality comes out in forums such as this. (And they do!) Thanks
[]

From: Chicago USA | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Flammifer
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quote:
Aiwrendel: I must apologize for posting in this thread.
Are you kidding me? Why?

Your comments and opinions have shown a prudence and practicality for both sides of this most challenging equation with a fair- and equal-mindedness; and apparently open-mindedness that is lacking in most all other posters. I see no personal affronts in any of your comments, and I for one appreciate your pointing the deficiencies on each side of the = sign.

You owe no apologies IMO.

From: East Bight | Registered: Jun 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Aiwrendel
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I didn't realize this thread was intended for flaming and expressing only one side of the issues. I thought it was for calm and open debate.

/sarcasm

Okay. I'm through being nasty.
[]

From: Chicago USA | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Snöwdog
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This thread was about the election. It is now done and dusted.....

... at least as far as the electoral college is concerned.
Still, the popular vote keeps coming in, and Clinton's lead is widening....
As of the 18th of November:
Clinton: 63,049,607
trump: 61,610,484

[ 11-19-2016, 03:31 AM: Message edited by: Snöwdog ]

From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Aiwrendel
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The Electoral College system of selecting a president is indeed outdated in 2016. It was valuable in times when people traveled no more than 50 miles from home and had no radio, television, and especially now, the Internet. They expressed their views to representatives who cast votes for them. That worked, then. But now?

Ask, if you could, Andrew Jackson in 1824, Samuel Tilden in 1876, Grover Cleveland in 1888, and ask Al Gore in 2000 how they feel about it. And ask the people of the USA how they feel. I think it’s time to stop it. Another candidate who won this year has repeatedly said the same thing over the course of years.

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Snöwdog
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This was an interesting read about the Electoral College.
From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Snöwdog
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An update on the election vote count.

Hillary: 64,223,958
trump: 62,206,395

Over two million votes ....

From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Aiwrendel
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That is unprecedented. A difference of over 1% in the popular vote has never happened before.

Thanks for creating this thread about the election. And thanks to Belegurth for creating The Obama Presidency thread. It was a good place to express views of current events.

Snöwdog, when are you going to open a thread about the current president elect?

*Dodges rotten tomatoes hurled in his direction and runs for his life.*

[]

[ 11-25-2016, 08:12 PM: Message edited by: Aiwrendel ]

From: Chicago USA | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Snöwdog
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quote:
Aiwrendel said: "Snöwdog, when are you going to open a thread about the current president elect?"
I thought about it, but thought I would give someone else a chance to do that. I've been trying to chill and not dwell on the dumpster fire that is the USA these days. (this next bit is for the [] [] to quote incessantly into the future) The white racist morons and all those who chose to associate with that ideology are having a hey day, and I see the scum crawling out from just about every rock now that their man got elected. And it appears that many of that ilk will be the cabinet members. He isn't draining the swamp, just scraping all the pond scum into his cabinet.

Aiwrendel, If you don't want to start the trump Presidency thread and nobody else does, I will start one in a week or so. []

In an ironic twist on this election, Jill Stein, who likely cost the election for Hillary, has called for a recount in Wisconsin. In Michigan, it is still technically too close to call it. I doubt anything will come of it or the Electors Revolt, but still.... an interesting turn

From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Aiwrendel
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I get the feeling the history of elections is missing from this discourse. Vote recounts are common and happen in every election. Nothing new. Jill Stein had no more to do with the outcome of the election than dozens of others (hundreds counting pundits, the main stream media, and Internet “news” outlets, and millions counting social media.) Sorry, again, nothing new. Lies and “enhancements” of events and comments are common. They happen in every election. Our perceptions are based on the information presented and how it is presented. We then shape our opinions with as much thought as we think best.
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The Flammifer
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Here is an allegory and I ask that you put on your adult reading glasses and follow along because in the end I ask an important question of you.

Linda was a mother returning to her career after starting a family and was searching for a nanny to take care of her 3 children and run the household, as she and her husband both had demanding jobs. A search found a number of candidates, both women and men, but one stood out with a sterling resume that included the requisite skills over a long period with 4 high profile community members. Linda was inclined to hire the applicant immediately, but because she was a loving and careful Mother, she did her due diligence and contacted the 4 previous employers.
What she discovered shocked her! While they confirmed the scope and circumstances of the resume, the details of the applicant's employment history were very disturbing.

- All reported the applicant lied to them frequently about things both mundane and important.
- All indicated that many staff and friends said the applicant was rude and abusive in private, while calm and agreeable in public.
- All believed the applicant had committed a crime while employed and had been investigated by authorities on several occasions.
- 3 reported that while managing their households, the applicant had taken kickbacks from people hired to repair and maintain the household.
- 3 of the employers knew of times the applicant fired staff for no reason other than to replace them with companies who shared their revenue with the applicant.
- 2 reported that the applicant had rented out bedrooms and other parts of the house to friends and strangers while they were away and that criminal activities had taken place on some of the occasions.
- 3 said that when neighbors threatened to complain about the activities, they were threatened and slandered by the applicant to keep them quiet.
- 3 told Linda the applicant had accumulated a net worth that far exceeded the regular nanny salary paid.
- 2 of the employers told Linda that close friends, associates or employees of the applicant had died violently, some mysteriously during the applicant’s tenure...6 people in all.

After hearing this and more, Linda knew she could not subject her family and fortune to such a corrupt and untrustworthy person and chose not to hire the seemingly qualified applicant. She also warned her friend Julie, a mother who was similarly searching for a nanny and had also interviewed the applicant. Amazingly, a few days later, Julie told her that she had gone ahead and hired the applicant anyway. Shocked and incredulous, Linda asked her friend how she could expose her family and fortune to such a vile person?
"Well," Julie replied, "after all, she is a Democrat and a WOMAN."

As I told you, this is an allegory and surely by now you have figured out the nanny applicant is Hillary Rodham Clinton. Though the story is apocryphal, the behaviors recounted are based in reported facts and easily discoverable. So my promised question to any who might have supported HRC is this:
Is the gender or party affiliation of this person so important to you that you would entrust the safety and fortunes our collective family to her?
Seriously? Thank God for the Electoral College.

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Snöwdog
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~ [] [] static~

One can use their adult reading glasses to actually read and comprehend something that is not some allegory of one particular mind. To make it easy ...


Make the Electoral College great again: let “conscientious electors” do their jobs
By Michael Signer Nov 29, 2016, 9:30am EST

There has been a tremendous amount of attention in recent days on the Electoral College, whose members will meet in all 50 states to choose the next president on December 19. There are large-scale movements afoot, such as a Change.org petition, with 4.5 million people encouraging electors to vote for Hillary Clinton, the popular-vote winner, and another arguing that electors should select a “compromise candidate.” There are also organizations, such as the Hamilton Electors, encouraging electors to act independently of so-called “faithless elector” laws, and at least one lawsuit that argues such laws are unconstitutional. (It’s on appeal to the 9th Circuit.)

Given these developments, it’s time we think about how the Electoral College should really work. First, let’s retire the nomenclature of “faithless electors” once and for all. Let’s call electors who refuse to rubber-stamp the popular vote conscientious electors, and let’s give them the resources and the protection to investigate and deliberate — in short, to do their jobs.

Constitutional history makes clear that the founders had three main purposes in designing the Electoral College.

The first was to stop a demagogue from becoming president. At the Constitutional Convention, arguing in support of the Electoral College, Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts said he was “against a popular election” for president because the people would be “misled by a few designing men.” In Federalist No. 68, Alexander Hamilton wrote that the electors would prevent those with “Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity” from becoming president. They would also stop anyone who would “convulse the community with any extraordinary or violent movements.”

Stopping foreign interference in elections was a primary goal of the founders

The second goal was to stop foreign interference in election. In the founding period, the framers were extremely concerned about infiltration by rivals including Great Britain. In Federalist No. 68, Hamilton wrote that one major purpose of the Electoral College was to stop the “desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.” He said that the college would “Guard against all danger of this sort … with the most provident and judicious attention” from the electors.

The third goal was to prevent poor administration of government. This is a less well-known purpose of the Electoral College, but it is again expressly discussed in Federalist No. 68. Hamilton wrote that “the true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration,” and for that reason, he said, the electors should be “able to estimate the share which the executive in every government must necessarily have in its good or ill administration.”

This election has three aspects that have brought the Electoral College back to relevance.

First, Donald Trump is the first unquestioned demagogue to become a major-party nominee in our country’s history. On his quest to the general election, he stoked prejudices and passions to flout fundamental constitutional norms, such as our freedoms of the press, religion, and peaceful assembly. Second, there’s incontrovertible evidence that Russia interfered in the campaign, by hacking the email accounts of top Democratic officials and cooperating with WikiLeaks’ parallel campaign to undermine Hillary Clinton campaign. Meanwhile, Trump has business entanglements in Russia and other foreign countries, the extent to which are unknown because Trump has not released his tax returns.

And third, his opponent, Hillary Clinton, is on track to win the popular vote now by over 2 million votes — over four times Al Gore’s narrow margin over George W. Bush in 2000 — a factor electors ought to be able to weigh, whether or not they think it is conclusive.

All of these factors lead us directly to a renascent Electoral College

The Electoral College was designed precisely for such extraordinary instances. As Jeffrey Tulis, Sanford Levinson, and Jeremi Suri (respectively professors of political science, law, and history) recently argued in the New York Daily News, “Our Founding Fathers created what we now call the Electoral College to protect our country against the precise danger we now face: a demagogue who has manipulated and bullied voters, exploited fears and now threatens the very foundation of our republic.”

Reforms made to the Electoral College over the years shouldn’t override the founders’ intent

It’s true that since the Electoral College was included in the Constitution, several important developments have come to pass. First was the passage of the 12th Amendment to the Constitution in 1804, which separated the election of the president from that of the vice president, and created mechanisms to break stalemates in the voting. (This amendment partly grew out of recognition of the fact that parties rather than the Electoral College would perform the role of nominating candidates.) Second was the passage in 29 states of laws attempting to prevent electors from becoming those so-called “faithless” electors by binding them to vote for the popular vote winner.

However, even these patchwork developments can’t change the core duty of all electors under the founders’ design: to serve as a fail-safe on Hamilton’s principle that “[n]othing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption.”

There’s plenty of precedent for such conscientious electors. In fact, there have been 157 in our history. In 1808, for instance, James Madison was running for president on the Democratic-Republican ticket. Madison was under attack for his support of a controversial embargo, which the sitting vice president, George Clinton of New York, opposed. Tellingly, although Clinton was Madison’s running mate on the Democratic-Republican ticket, he saw himself as a viable president in the Electoral College. Six of the 19 Democratic-Republican electors from New York, all originally pledged to Madison, agreed. Those six voted for Clinton for president instead.

In 1836, Martin Van Buren was running for president as a Democrat, with Richard Mentor Johnson of Kentucky as his vice president. In that instance, there was a scandal involving Johnson and a slave mistress, leading Virginia’s 23 electors to abstain from voting for Johnson entirely. That put Johnson below the required majority in the Electoral College and kicked his election to the House of Representatives (where he was elected).

In 1976, Gerald Ford was running for president as a Republican against President Jimmy Carter. The state of Washington voted for Ford, but a Republican elector named Mike Padden voted instead for Ronald Reagan for president. He cited an elector’s constitutional right to use discretion, which meant, for him, voting for Reagan because of his position against abortion.

Are state laws that “bind” electors to the popular vote constitutional?

The US Supreme Court ruled in Ray v. Blair (1952) that states could require pledges of electors. However, the states that do have such binding laws currently enforce them only through fines or, in rare instances, criminal penalties that would be enforced after the fact. The real issue is whether a state could force an elector to comply with the popular vote. Harvard Law professor Lawrence Tribe has opined that they probably could not.

Meantime, Michael Glennon argues in his 1992 book No Majority Rules: The Electoral College and Presidential Succession that the federal legal question is “at bottom a policy-oriented inquiry” that will likely invoke what courts call the “political question doctrine” — in other words, we’re in largely uncharted waters, where courts will weigh a range of variables in making decisions rather than apply strict legal doctrine.

In the absence of clear federal rulings, state supreme court decisions suggest that state binding laws are unenforceable. For instance, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that when the legislature attempts to “dictate to the electors the choice which they must make for president and vice-president, it has invaded the field set apart to the electors by the Constitution of the United States, and such action cannot stand." And the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that "It is only by force of a moral obligation, not a legal one, that the presidential electors pledged to certain candidacies fulfill their pledges after election."

These court decisions perfectly square with the founders’ intent. Hamilton said the electors should “enter upon the task free from any sinister bias.” That’s why no senator, representative, or “any other person holding a place of trust or profit under the United States” was eligible. Independent electors would be “most likely to possess the information and discernment” to stop a demagogue. They would be chosen solely for the purpose of participating in the college.

Most crucially, the electors would be “acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice.”

The founders went to great lengths to ensure that the electors would be protected from manipulation. Hamilton wrote that the electors’ “transient existence, and their detached situation” should prevent them from being “tampered with beforehand to prostitute their votes.” They would “possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.”

They meet in their own states in part to insulate them from national pressure

The electors meet in their respective states rather than in a single place, to prevent any demagogue from manipulating the electors en masse. Hamilton wrote that such an arrangement would “expose them much less to heats and ferments” than if they were “all to be convened at one time, in one place.” Their diffusion would mean it would no longer be “easy” to capture the electors, “dispersed as they would be over thirteen states.” It would prevent “The business of corruption” because “when it is to embrace so considerable a number of men, requires time as well as means.”

We can figure out what all this should look like, in 2016, by turning to other examples of people legally empowered in our country with the ability to investigate and deliberate — for example, duly elected and appointed officials, judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys, grand juries, Congressional committees, and special masters.

For instance, prior to December 19, electors should be able to request, under court order, documents and other materials from all relevant entities to inform constitutional inquiries such as whether foreign powers have interfered in our councils — for instance, by requesting to inspect Donald Trump’s tax returns.

On December 19, they should be given the resources and support by relevant state agencies to fully deliberate on the issues before them. Their meetings should be run under Robert’s Rules of Order and be open to citizens and to the media. If they are unable to conclude their deliberations on December 19, they should be able to deliberate as long as they reasonably need to make their choice.

Finally, with the track record of threats by Trump’s supporters toward anyone who questions his authority, the electors must be protected by local, state, and federal authorities from treatment that violates the law or prevents them from doing their job.

Trump supporters would no doubt argue that any conscientious elector who refused to act like an automaton and instead deliberated would be a “liberal.” But this is mistaken. There’s no more conservative principle in our country than fidelity to the Constitution as originally designed.

Modern-day conservatives favor so-called “originalist” understandings of the Constitution. They look to history and to the original texts of our founding documents for guidance. Recent decades have seen the invocation of original constitutional institutions to address present concerns, such as when the Rehnquist Court struck down Congressional laws such as the Violence Against Women Act and the Gun-Free School Zones Act on the grounds that they violated an originalist understanding of the Commerce Clause.

Whether or not you agree with such decisions, they establish the broad-spectrum appeal of our constitutional institutions — particularly in times of crisis. “Make America great again” is a clever marketing slogan. But our real greatness depends on employing our institutions and values to protect our republic from those who might prey on us.


An interest analysis of the current electoral system.


And the latest:
Hillary - 64,654,483 (48.2%)
trump - 62,418,820 (46.5%)

Margin - 2,235,663 (and widening)

From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Snöwdog
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And now for a breakdown of the only audible part I could hear in the [] [] 's static...

quote:
[] [] asks: "Is the gender or party affiliation of this person so important to you that you would entrust the safety and fortunes our collective family to her?"
Don't really care about the gender or party affiliation of either Hillary or trump, so it isn't important at all.
quote:
Seriously?
Yes, seriously.
From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Snöwdog
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The latest...

Don: 62,693,993 votes - 46.3%
Hillary: 65,260,513 - 48.2%

Hillary's lead in the Popular Vote has surpassed 2½ million and widening.

With the Don claiming that "millions" of votes are "illegal" I have to wonder why they are opposing a recount in three states. Probably afraid all the Russian hack votes will be discovered. []

The real election will take place on the 19th of December.


Recount update:

1. The recount in Wisconsin is proceeding.

2. The recount in Michigan: This morning a judge ordered a hand recount of Michigan's presidential results to begin by noon today -- rejecting an effort by Michigan state officials to wait two business days before starting to hand-count about 4.8 million ballots. The move increases the chances that the state could complete the count ahead of a Dec. 13 deadline.

3. The recount in Pennsylvania: This morning, lawyers for the Green Party filed a lawsuit against state officials, asking a federal judge to order a recount. The lawsuit argues that Pennsylvania's barriers to a recount violate voters' constitutional rights; that a recount and forensic examination of election system software are necessary to determine whether the election results were manipulated by hackers; and that Pennsylvania's paperless electronic voting machines make it a prime target for hacking.

Bottom line: There's a slim but real possibility we'll have recounts in all three states before December 19 when the Electoral College meets to decide whom our next president will be.

[ 12-05-2016, 11:22 AM: Message edited by: Snöwdog ]

From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Snöwdog
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This is a good read and is quite well thought out and rational.

Why I Will Not Cast My Electoral Vote for Donald Trump
By Christopher Suprun

From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Flammifer
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Texas popular vote.
Party .............. Republican.... Democratic
Popular vote .......4,685,047... 3,877,868

Trump won the popular vote by a decided margin in Texas.
This man is a deserter from the people of Texas. Replace him Texas! He is breaking his word as an elector and shows a disrespect for the electoral process as well as the populous of Texas.

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Snöwdog
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No, more like Originalist intent of the Constitution at its working best.

U.S. Constitution - Article II Section 1

1: The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows

2: 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: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

3: The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List 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. The President of the Senate 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 shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.8

4: The Congress may determine 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.

5: No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

6: In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office,9 the Same shall devolve on the VicePresident, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

7: The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

8: Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”


And to add to the intent of the reasoning of having electors...

FEDERALIST No. 68. The Mode of Electing the President
From The Independent Journal. Wednesday, March 12, 1788.

HAMILTON

To the People of the State of New York:

THE mode of appointment of the Chief Magistrate of the United States is almost the only part of the system, of any consequence, which has escaped without severe censure, or which has received the slightest mark of approbation from its opponents. The most plausible of these, who has appeared in print, has even deigned to admit that the election of the President is pretty well guarded.(1) I venture somewhat further, and hesitate not to affirm, that if the manner of it be not perfect, it is at least excellent. It unites in an eminent degree all the advantages, the union of which was to be wished for.(E1)

It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided. This end will be answered by committing the right of making it, not to any preestablished body, but to men chosen by the people for the special purpose, and at the particular conjuncture.

It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.

It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. But the precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief. The choice of SEVERAL, to form an intermediate body of electors, will be much less apt to convulse the community with any extraordinary or violent movements, than the choice of ONE who was himself to be the final object of the public wishes. And as the electors, chosen in each State, are to assemble and vote in the State in which they are chosen, this detached and divided situation will expose them much less to heats and ferments, which might be communicated from them to the people, than if they were all to be convened at one time, in one place.

Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union? But the convention have guarded against all danger of this sort, with the most provident and judicious attention. They have not made the appointment of the President to depend on any preexisting bodies of men, who might be tampered with beforehand to prostitute their votes; but they have referred it in the first instance to an immediate act of the people of America, to be exerted in the choice of persons for the temporary and sole purpose of making the appointment. And they have excluded from eligibility to this trust, all those who from situation might be suspected of too great devotion to the President in office. No senator, representative, or other person holding a place of trust or profit under the United States, can be of the numbers of the electors. Thus without corrupting the body of the people, the immediate agents in the election will at least enter upon the task free from any sinister bias. Their transient existence, and their detached situation, already taken notice of, afford a satisfactory prospect of their continuing so, to the conclusion of it. The business of corruption, when it is to embrace so considerable a number of men, requires time as well as means. Nor would it be found easy suddenly to embark them, dispersed as they would be over thirteen States, in any combinations founded upon motives, which though they could not properly be denominated corrupt, might yet be of a nature to mislead them from their duty.

Another and no less important desideratum was, that the Executive should be independent for his continuance in office on all but the people themselves. He might otherwise be tempted to sacrifice his duty to his complaisance for those whose favor was necessary to the duration of his official consequence. This advantage will also be secured, by making his re-election to depend on a special body of representatives, deputed by the society for the single purpose of making the important choice.

All these advantages will happily combine in the plan devised by the convention; which is, that the people of each State shall choose a number of persons as electors, equal to the number of senators and representatives of such State in the national government, who shall assemble within the State, and vote for some fit person as President. Their votes, thus given, are to be transmitted to the seat of the national government, and the person who may happen to have a majority of the whole number of votes will be the President. But as a majority of the votes might not always happen to centre in one man, and as it might be unsafe to permit less than a majority to be conclusive, it is provided that, in such a contingency, the House of Representatives shall select out of the candidates who shall have the five highest number of votes, the man who in their opinion may be best qualified for the office.

The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States. It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue. And this will be thought no inconsiderable recommendation of the Constitution, by those who are able to estimate the share which the executive in every government must necessarily have in its good or ill administration. Though we cannot acquiesce in the political heresy of the poet who says:

"For forms of government let fools contest—That which is best administered is best,"—yet we may safely pronounce, that the true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration.

The Vice-President is to be chosen in the same manner with the President; with this difference, that the Senate is to do, in respect to the former, what is to be done by the House of Representatives, in respect to the latter.

The appointment of an extraordinary person, as Vice-President, has been objected to as superfluous, if not mischievous. It has been alleged, that it would have been preferable to have authorized the Senate to elect out of their own body an officer answering that description. But two considerations seem to justify the ideas of the convention in this respect. One is, that to secure at all times the possibility of a definite resolution of the body, it is necessary that the President should have only a casting vote. And to take the senator of any State from his seat as senator, to place him in that of President of the Senate, would be to exchange, in regard to the State from which he came, a constant for a contingent vote. The other consideration is, that as the Vice-President may occasionally become a substitute for the President, in the supreme executive magistracy, all the reasons which recommend the mode of election prescribed for the one, apply with great if not with equal force to the manner of appointing the other. It is remarkable that in this, as in most other instances, the objection which is made would lie against the constitution of this State. We have a Lieutenant-Governor, chosen by the people at large, who presides in the Senate, and is the constitutional substitute for the Governor, in casualties similar to those which would authorize the Vice-President to exercise the authorities and discharge the duties of the President.


(I'm sure this all is to confusing and too hard to read for most trumpshirts. []

[ 12-12-2016, 06:25 AM: Message edited by: Snöwdog ]

From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Snöwdog
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I pretty much agree with Tess Rafferty's opinion here. Well said Tess.
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Snöwdog
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..... and we're up to 2.8 million ....

anyway.... it's a week away fro I day and von Clownstick still thinks the campaign is on. If that 'press conference' was anything, it shows what a moron he is. All you you clownstickshirts and tea partiers will have a lot to answer for. []

[ 01-13-2017, 09:19 PM: Message edited by: Snöwdog ]

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Grimwulf Stormspear
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As the Calvinist preacher said after he fell down the stairs...

"Well, I'm glad that's over." []

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Maia Olorin
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