Archive for the ‘government’ Category

Several Developments in Big Tech Censorship and Manipulation

July 27, 2019

There has been a lot happening to fight Big Tech Censorship and Manipulation over the past month or so.

Here are some of the things you might have missed.

Joerg Sprave announces that the Youtubers Union has partnered with IG Metall (the German Metalworkers’ Union) to form the FairTube Campaign: https://www.fairtube.info/

They have a series of demands, mostly asking for greater transparency and independent accountability.

I think this is pretty devastating. YouTube is going to substantially change, or it is going to have to shut down.

Here’s a great recap of what’s been happening in terms of Big Tech Censorship and manipulation:

It looks like Google and other Big Tech companies have been completely exposed. They have the power to pick the winners of the upcoming 2020 political battle. Don’t think that people are going to stand idly by and let them have such power.

The days of trying to resist Big Tech through independent action and boycotts are long over. It’s well past the time for government to get involved as our individual rights are being violated and we are being manipulated.

This is the end of Big Tech. From here on out, people are going to be suspicious of everything technology and will put pressure on politicians to hold them accountable.

The internet has reached a point way beyond being a commodity. It is now a channel of the free expression and free markets, and government must be used to ensure that the channels and markets remain free and open.

Why Democracy Doesn’t Work

May 12, 2016

I work as an engineer. Well, a software developer, rather. But there are some aspects of it that are like engineering.

For instance, I build things. I give project estimates. I give my honest evaluations. Managers and leaders ask me hard questions, and I try to give them the best, most accurate answer I can so that they can make the wisest decisions.

I know what happens to companies that ignore the engineers. I am glad that all companies are structured like autocracies. That means I know who is going to make the decision, and who I need to send my report and analyses to. I don’t have to convince a large group of people of anything. I just have to convince one person.

The truth of politics is this. The vast majority of us have little idea on what is best for themselves. There are a few who have a better idea. This is the truth.

Now, when it comes to individual decisions, decisions that affect only one person or the people very close to that person, I let nature run its course. You make a bad decision, you pay. You make a good decision, you reap the rewards. There is a huge incentive for people to seek out good information and make good decisions.

However, there are some decisions that affect a very large number of people. And it isn’t hard to find cases where a cursory examination of the issue will give bad advice. In such a case, you don’t want “majority rules”. You want a small group of people to study the issue, and render a report with their analyses. Then you want an individual or small group of people to carefully weigh the decision and make the best possible choice. Putting the issue up for a democratic vote does neither of these things.

In the tragedy of the commons, it is explained how shared resources can be ruined by selfish action. The solution is not to eliminate greed and selfishness. (If we could do that, we could create a utopia!) The solution is to put a check and a balance on that greed and selfishness. For instance, assign ownership to the property in question, such that the cost of any action on the property is properly weighed by the benefit. Thus, you have one individual’s greed acting in opposition to another’s greed.

Democracy is a tragedy of the commons. We all “own” the vote. But only some of us will spend the necessary time to research the best decision. And only some of us will actually vote. There is no incentive to spend the requisite time and energy to find the best solution and to vote. And so people don’t put in the effort to make a good decision, and we’re left with sub-optimal decisions.

Don’t get me wrong. When it comes to big issues where many people have studied it and have a strong opinion, democracy works fine. But when it comes to small or intermediate issues, democracy is horrible. It’s even worse when you have to vote every few months.

I think the great enemy of America today is democracy. Democracy is an evil form of government just like oligarchy, aristocracy, plutocracy, theocracy, monarchy and autocracy. Read the history books if you don’t know why. (Hint: Why isn’t Athens a super-power today?)

The Founding Fathers despised democracy. They understood what I just explained to you above. They used democracy for making really, really big decisions (like whether to adopt the constitution), but they only allowed it in a very, very small role in the government: who do you want to represent you? And even then, only one representative was voted on, not the senators, and not the president.

Imagine, for a moment, what that would look like in today’s world. You would get a ballot every 2 years. On it would be the following questions:

  • Who would you like for your congressional representative?
  • Who would you like for your state representative?
  • Who would you like for your county representative?
  • Who would you like for your city representative?

That would be it. All other decisions would be made by people elected to one of those positions.

For instance, the state legislatures would choose the electors to send to the electoral college. There, they would debate and decide on who should be the next president and vice-president. Even though they would only have one day to make that decision, that would be more time than most people spend before they cast their vote. The types of people sent would likely be experienced office holders who have their own state’s interests at heart. The senate would be composed of people elected by the state legislatures, and act as agents of the state. They would be a sort of stabilizing force against the tides of the tyranny of democracy.

Our American history is spotted with various movements that wanted to bring in more democracy. I want to share with you what I think of people who advocate democracy. I’ll do it with a little bit of modern history. Venezuela democratically elected Hugo Chavez, a communist, as its leader. It wasn’t long until democracy seemed to be an afterthought. Now that the country is in ruins, we can blame the people, but really, we should’ve known all along what the natural result of democracy will always be.

You may complain and moan that my anti-democratic sentiment is depriving you of some “right” to vote. I ask you: Why do you think you have a right to vote? And do you have the right to vote to deprive the rights of yourself or others? The answer is: Of course not. You have no right to vote to deprive rights anymore than I have the right to deprive you of your rights. A government that cannot protect its people from democratic votes that deprive people of their rights is no government worth protecting.

 

What Government do We Have?

June 26, 2015

Yesterday’s decision that laws don’t mean what they say, and today’s decision that the Founding Fathers stealthily embedded a redefinition of marriage makes me wonder: What type of government do we have?

If someone visiting from a foreign country were to visit us and take a look around, what would they say?

We’d like to think we are a democracy. That’s not right. People don’t write laws, except for the occasional initiative. Yet we saw when the people voted to define marriage as between a man and a woman, that was denied. We are not a democracy. There is a power superior to the people.

Maybe we’re a representative democracy. People elect their representatives, and they write the laws. And yet, we see that the laws they have written mean something else.

Surely, we’re a dictatorship, then. The president sits at the head of the government and chooses which laws to keep and which to break. Except in a few cases, the president himself has had his decisions overturned.

The ultimate government in our land is not the people, not the legislatures, not the presidents and governors.

It is the Supreme Court.

We are now an oligarchy. Those 9 justices (or rather, 5) make all the decisions about what is and isn’t law, what is and isn’t a right, and have the final say on every issue.

Are you happy? Is this what you wanted to see? Because that’s what we have.

Of course, it’s been this way for a while. Hopefully now most of America realizes the truth now.What to be done? The constitution has the answer. But who has faith in that old piece of paper anyway?The truth is the power lies in the hands of the people. When the people are ready to change things again, then it will change. Until that time, we are a sleeping giant. Please have sweet dreams while the Supreme Court ignores every fundamental right and natural law on their quest for vanity.

On the Latest Muslim Brouhaha

January 13, 2015

A group of Muslims murdered some journalists in France. Their claimed justification was that they published images that insulted their prophet.

A lot of leftists here in the US and Europe want us to self-censor. A lot of others want us to stir up hatred among the Muslim community by publishing even more insulting things.

I think we need to rethink what is most important.

First, the condition of entering into a society like France’s is that you will uphold their law. If you don’t intend to keep their laws and customs, then don’t go to France. France needs to police their own borders. It would be perfectly justifiable if they asked incoming people of the Muslim persuasion, “Will you get angry if someone publishes something that insults your religion?” and “Will you either harm or protect those who harm someone who does so?” If the answer is contrary to their ideals, then France has every right to say, “I’m sorry, you’re not allowed in our country.” If the French have reason to suspect the individual is lying, then they can ban such people outright from their country, just based on something such as the people they’ve associated with or their country of origin. If there is some legally binding method in their religion whereby they can get them to swear an oath that they will not harm nor protect those who would harm them, then they should employ it.

The United States needs similar controls. We should have a way to figure out whether someone coming in to our borders intends to keep our laws and customs or whether they intend to break it. With our borders the way they are, we have lost control completely. We have no idea who is coming in our country nor what their intentions are. The only remedy I can think of is “open, secure” borders. That is, everyone is welcome to come in to our country, provided they use legal entry points and declare their intentions upon arrival. Everyone else is not welcome and should be hunted as an enemy.

Second, I don’t believe there is any purpose to insulting Islam. I don’t like it when people make fun of my church, and I believe that the rule that Jesus laid down is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” So I go out of my way *not* to insult other people’s beliefs. If people are sensible and calm and rational, then I’ll engage in a discussion about their religion, and that may involve asking questions or making statements that may be considered offensive, but if they’re so touchy that they would react violently, I leave them alone.

We should be honest in acknowledging what Islam is and what they hold sacred, we should avoid insulting them intentionally, but of course, we shouldn’t cater to their perversions.

Third, I think justice in this case involves more than finding the people who killed the journalists and their accomplices, along with all those who tried to shelter them. Find them all, punish them with the law, but understand that you can’t play whack-a-mole and expect your citizens to live freely. Proactive work needs to be done. The French need to infiltrate the Muslim community and identify those who would resort to violence and those who would not keep their laws and kick them out of the country. If there are state or state-like actors who intend to harm their country, they should be engaging in war with them as we speak. Remember, free societies don’t declare war, but we do acknowledge war with belligerents and we should take it seriously, no matter how small they seem now. It doesn’t take much resources to kill your people in their homeland.

The War on Terror in Iraq was ingenious. An entire generation of Muslim radicals were tricked into pouring into Iraq and slaughtered. We need to keep this up. We need to create a scenario where they are much more likely to go to one of their countries and wage war, and we can fight them secure in the knowledge that we’re not fighting them at home. I think today ISIS is a great magnet for these kinds of people, and we should send the message to the Muslim youth that joining ISIS is the best path to jihad. At the same time, we should be slaughtering them by the thousands.

It’s high time we treated Muslims as human beings. As human beings, we need to explain to them what rules they need to live by, the same rules we live by. Those who follow the rules should be accepted as equals. Those who don’t need to be treated justly. Justice means executing the murderer and pursuing war when we are pursued by war until we gain peace through the submission of our aggressors.

Mormons and the TEA Party

June 17, 2013

Stallion Cornell refutes an anti-mormon piece over on his blog in a series of posts. (link)

Let’s look at the state of affairs:

(1) Romney lost, as we now know, because he was Mormon. If low-income white voters had voted anywhere near the way they usually do, we would have Romney as president. The only reason they refused to vote for him was because of his faith.

(2) The TEA Party, led by chuckleheads like Sarah Palin, is inherently anti-Mormon. No matter how hard I wish it weren’t so, it is so. Despite what they claim, their purpose is to further their religious ends, IE, use the state to endorse their religion, which is sad because I had hoped it was not.

(3) The Republican Party, along with the Democratic Party, are inherently anti-religion, so it goes without saying that they are anti-Mormon. Rush Limbaugh’s expose on the fact that republican leaders wish the Christians would go away, along with the democratic convention’s obvious vote to reject God from their platform, are clear testimony against this.

As a Mormon, you can imagine how I feel about politics. Ah well. Such is life. I didn’t sign up to be Mormon because I thought it would be cool and fashionable.

I am trying to imagine some sort of political system that can be used to “overthrow” the way things are today. I just can’t see our country continuing in this mode of winner-takes-all, loser-be-damned and good things coming of it. I don’t believe our political opponents are really our political enemies, and I don’t agree with the vast majority of what the TEA Party, the Republican Party, or any other party agrees with, and I think most Americans feel the same way, particularly when they can see through the cloud that the media throws in our path.

The end result, in my mind, should always be a government focused on protecting people, a government focused on doing as little as possible to do so, a government which empowers people to live their own lives and govern their own houses and businesses the way they think is best, and at the same time, provides massive incentives for people to overcome their natural bigotry and turn towards people unlike themselves for their mutual self-benefit.

I think the changes that need to occur start in our homes, our churches, and our communities. Once our society is right, then the government will naturally follow, later rather than sooner. Step one would probably be just getting to know your neighbors — but that’s mostly a Seattle thing anyways.

We don’t need riots or wars or close elections to change things. That’s not how successful things are done in life. So I am not looking for a massive confrontation. Just a gradual turning of the ship of state, a gradual change in attitudes.

In short, I want a revolution, the most non-revolutionary revolution in the history of the world. And I think if enough of us want it, there is nothing any conspiracy in the world can do to stop it.

What Independence Day Really Is

July 4, 2012

I imagine that if you lived among the Israelites at the time they were within the borders of Egypt, the idea of leaving to form your own independent nation seemed absurd. When Moses came from the wilderness, showing signs that he was God’s chosen prophet, I wonder how many people among the Israelites thought what he prophesied would happen was impossible.

And yet, Israel has been freed, even though it took miraculous means.

Many of my fellow conservatives are depressed. They think that we are at the end of this glorious nation’s run, that the best days are behind us. I wish to inspire them by helping them understand what the historical context of this sacred day really is.

Turn back the clock. England defeats the Spanish Armada in the English Channel. Her people spread out across the earth, colonizing or conquering as they go. Among the casualties are some of the most ancient and powerful empires known to man. England stood supreme among all nations, her king and parliament the envy of all mankind. One English citizen is worth one hundred or even one thousand foreign citizens.

Although the Boxer Rebellion occurred long after the Revolutionary War, it represents something of what Americans must have felt. Even China can’t break the bonds of slavery that England had slipped around her wrists.

Americans stood at a unique position before the Revolutionary War. They had something everyone wanted. They were going to be the king’s cash cow, repaying important debts that had recently been incurred. Are we any different today? What nation among nations is most desirable to tax or to lend money to? Why do we enjoy this position? Because our work ethic, our morals, our values, and our charity, make us the most productive and prosperous people in recorded history, even in our depressed state.

When mother England began exerting her influence, it was a small fraction of the people that stood up and said, “No!” The Boston Tea Party represented a minority, extreme position that government leaders were unwilling to compromise with at the time. Negotiations between England and America by our nation’s Founding Fathers was to reconcile the ill-will and bring America back in under the king’s good graces. We wanted to be part of America, at least officially, and we wanted to pay taxes, we just wanted to be considered as peers, not subjects, of the English people.

Things happened rather quickly. I can barely understand what exactly occurred, but there was a dramatic shift in American thinking. “Common Sense and the Rights of Man” was published by Thomas Paine, someone who was no intellectual giant, and even later in life, advocated slavery for the citizens of America ala socialist-style policies. Yet it rang a few bells in people’s minds.

When the Declaration was signed, the signers thought they would all die in the most horrible way possible. Some did not think the war was winnable, but that the protest was important to make nonetheless, because it would put America in a good position in the future, or even that they were bound to represent their people, which demanded revolution despite the fact it was obviously wrong.

The Revolutionary War was nothing short of a disaster. Those who think we marched gloriously to our freedom live under a false memory. We struggled, we died, we starved. It was a handful of miracles that put us on top at the end. Our victory was not as decisive as we had wished, of course. England promised to return, and return they did, roughly 35 years later in the War of 1812.

Our fledgling nation was no paradise. We were poor, starving, petty creatures who fought over the smallest political issues while our currency collapsed and entire industries disappeared. The idea to reform the Continental Congress carried, the Constitutional Convention was formed, and it produced the Constitution of the United States, a document villified and opposed in the most powerful way you can imagine. After the compromise that lead to the creation of the first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights, the constitution was born, and our nation started upon a new era of peace and prosperity under President Washington.

Things were not always rosy. If you think it is bad today, consider other periods of time under the constitution. There was once a time when criticizing the president could get you in prison. There was once a time when people rose up to fight and kill each other, even brother against brother. There was once a time where income beyond a certain level was taxed at 90%. There was once a time when gas prices were legislated, industries were managed from the White House, and gold confiscated.

Things are bad now, but they are simply NOT the worst. We have seen worse times. Much, much worse times. And yet, every time, the people remember their great guiding principle: the equality of man. They repeal those laws and remove from office those tyrants that harm our liberty. When the chips are down, and Americans are forced to choose between tyranny and freedom, they almost universally choose freedom.

America is at a turning point right now. You can tell because there are two sides of the issues fighting tooth and nail. You can tell because we are rapidly changing our policies, one president cutting taxes, the other raising them. This is what the constitution was meant to cause. When the nation is divided, the issues are brought to bear in every person’s home. We must, each of us, decide which side we align with, and fight to protect our right to do so.

When all is said and done, history books will record the early 2000’s as a tumultuous time in America’s history where America had to reject socialism once and for all. Once the last socialists are gone from office, and you are seeing them disappear one by one, we can begin rebuilding this nation on the sound principles of liberty and independence that made us great in the first place.

When I look forward to 2050 and beyond, I see gleaming skyscrapers, cars that hover, robots that keep our homes clean and cook our food for us. I see thousands of millions of people from every nation, of every religion and skin color, proudly calling themselves “American”, and working hard to create an even brighter future for their children. I have hope that my golden years will be a time when I get to witness such fantastic things that my mind cannot perceive of it now. Imagine those born in the 1920’s living today, imagine the things they see and compare it to the farm they were born on, where most of the work was still done by hand and sweat. That’s what our grandchildren will be saying about our time.

I am hopeful for the future because I know the past. We have exceeded every reasonable expectation by such a wide margin. Do you think Benjamin Franklin could’ve perceived that the very poorest among us zoom around in automobiles, or own devices so fantastic as the hand-held smartphone? Do you think Thomas Jefferson could’ve imagined a day when someone from China can communicate by video with someone from America instantly? Or a day when universities are so open that one need simply sit at their desk to get access to the world’s greatest lectures?

If you are still hopeless, then let me share with you my ultimate hope. Remember Christ. Remember that he has already defeated the world and all its wickedness. Remember that he promises to make bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations, that he will descend from heaven in great glory, that all the wicked people will be burned from the earth. Remember that all he asks us to do to ensure this wonderful future is simply have faith, repent, and treat our neighbors with the same love we would treat the Savior. We are not asked to die on a cross or bear the world’s sin. That is already taken care of. We simply need to live by faith. So even if, EVEN IF our nation collapses, and we are in another Civil War, or everyone becomes impoverished, I will still look forward with great hope for the future.

Chief Justice Roberts, Round 2

July 3, 2012

If we give the most highly educated minds in our country months to debate issues, then I can hardly be expected to get the right answer after years. Allow me to change my opinion. I will probably change it again soon.

My current thought on the Roberts decision on Obamacare is that he should not have re-written the law. The law, if it is incorrect or unconstitutional, should simply be stricken. Tell congress what they did wrong, but don’t pull out a correction pen and publish your own version.

This means that Roberts was wrong to do what he did.

I think this is a good model for legislation. Either the law stands, or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, the justices do not have power to pass their own laws to replace them. Let the people decide what path they want to take to resolve the laws and the constitution. It could be they like the law as is, and want to change the constitution through an amendment. Or, they like the constitution and want to change the law. Or perhaps, they want to get rid of the law altogether. That’s not up to the judge to decide.

Separation of Church and State? Not when it comes to Christian Charity!

June 28, 2012

Those who would like the government to stay out of church affairs, beware invoking Christ’s teachings to justify government charity. If it is good enough to use the Bible to dictate that we should care for the poor and sick, then a similar line of reasoning can be used to do far more disagreeable things. Beware!

My stance is that charity is a church, a religious, affair. It is up to the individual to contribute, out of the goodness of their heart, to help their neighbors, whether that be to a church or to some organization. The government exists merely to use force to protect our rights to live, to serve one another, not to make life fair or to undo the injustices caused by Satan’s influence on the world. When we replace our churches with government institutions, and give our government leaders the job that we used to give our church leaders, we are setting ourselves up for the same pitfall that plagued Europe during the Dark Ages.

How to Fundamentally Transform Government

June 28, 2012

Some people think that the Supreme Court will one day step in and make a ruling that will bring the constitution back to its text, and preserve the rights and freedoms of the people in the process. This will never happen.

Some people think that a new constitutional amendment will be passed, either by the states or the congress, and that magically, the constitution will protect the rights and freedoms of the people. This will never happen, either.

Some people think that one day, we’ll elect a congress and a president, and legislatures across the country, which will begin the slow and arduous process of moving the country towards liberty by  whittling away at socialist programs, by creating a free enterprise sector of the economy where everyone is free to get rich, and by weaning people off of government. This could happen, but not how you would think.

There is not going to be a magical election when, all of a sudden, Americans choose a different government substantially different from the last. That will never happen.

Americans will oscillate between two kinds of governments, governments that represent pluralities in our country. The Founding Fathers intended this. They wanted the House of Representatives to oscillate between extremes. By choosing representatives by majority or plurality votes, all it takes is a tiny shift in public opinion, and a new party sweeps congress. They could’ve done some proportional allocation scheme, where power doesn’t transfer as rapidly, but they did not.

The change that needs to occur, the only change that will change our government, is in the hearts and minds of the people. One by one, as people’s ideas change, their votes change, and the governments change. It is up to us to convince the majority of our fellow countrymen that our ideas are correct and our ideological opponents are wrong. It is no different than the effort required to convince people to change their religion, or to change their lifestyle, or to adopt new technologies. It can be done, but it is not easy.

Our fight is not in the Supreme Court, or in the presidency, or in Congress, or in the ballot box, even. These are all effects, not causes. Our fight is ultimately in the minds of every one of the people in this country. Our job is to educate and motivate.

Ultimately, a piece of paper, the constitution, cannot secure your freedom. To expect such a thing is laughable. I can’t imagine that the Mongol Hordes were stopped by people waving contracts and laws in their face. It was stopped by people, thousands and thousands of individuals who stood up, faced their fears, stood shoulder-to-shoulder, and  fought rather than ran.

And so it is in our country. The Congress, the President, the Supreme Court, care nothing about you. They don’t even know who you are. They don’t want to know. To expect them to care about you because of a piece of paper is laughable. What makes them care is the fact that so many other people in our country care about you. What gives the constitution power is that so many other people care about it as well.

If the majority who vote at the polls care about individual liberty and the constitution, then the government will care, deeply, about what they think. The government will do everything in their power to ensure that they get re-elected in the next election. As long as the voters care, the government will care.

If you want to fundamentally transform America, don’t throw your hopes in a candidate or a supreme court case. What a false God that is! Instead, work to convince your neighbors and your friends to change how they vote. Change will not happen overnight, but it will happen. One day, we’ll have a majority in congress who actually cut the budget, who lower taxes, who pass constitutional amendments to further limit the power of government, who install justices who only care about the text of the constitution.

We’ll simply have the government we deserve.

See, God created man in his own image. He gave us dominion over ourselves and the earth we live on. He stepped away, with his ultimate rule being, “It’s up to you now.” We are the ones in charge, not a handful of people. We are the ones who determine our fate and who choose how to live our lives each day.  We can choose to look to false gods, pieces of paper, arbitrary groups, or the ballot box, or we can choose to look to the true God, and trust that the power to rule ultimately rests with the thing he said it rests in: the hands and minds and voices of every living person on this planet.

Empower yourself. Look at the world as the master and commander of your own fate. So what if our government is unjust and inequal? Do you think mankind did perfectly fine under tyranny in the past? Didn’t people live and breath and work and worship while their rulers violated their rights? Stand up, count yourself as free despite the things around you, empower those around you. Teach them the true doctrine of the true God, that we are free and man is lord over all the earth by divine birthright through Adam, that we are not animals or slaves or anything less than mirrors of the God of the universe. Teach them about natural law, God’s laws, laws that apply equally and eternally to all, and the justice of the laws, and the injustice of man’s laws. Teach them to crave a government where men’s rights are the aim and goal of every action, not because of the benevolence of its actors but because the power ultimately rests in the hands of the people. See what effect this will have.

That is our fight. Yes, campaign, and vote, and get your friends to vote, but don’t put your hopes in the arm of flesh.

An Election Story: What the Original Electoral College Would Look Like Today

June 21, 2012

Let’s suppose that the democratic component of our presidential elections is eliminated. All the state legislatures have to choose every four years who they will send to the electoral college, which meets on the same day in each state and votes for president. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, then the House of Representatives chooses the next president for them.

Let’s suppose that things are otherwise mostly the way they are today. How would this political season be different?

First off, the president would not be a position for which hardly anyone would have a say in. It doesn’t matter what you or I think, as long as we are not sitting in a legislature. So the entire debate about who the next president would be would occur out of the public arena. Is this a bad thing? I think when we choose who the next president is, it is a very good thing. We can maintain the dignity of the office, and still have a hearty discussion about who best to lead our country without being humiliated internationally.

Second, I imagine that the republican and democratic parties would take careful stock of which legislatures are in their pocket and which are not. As it stands today, republicans have an overwhelming advantage in state legislatures across the country. By my math, splitting the electoral votes evenly when the upper and lower chambers are not united in party, the republicans have 332 vs. 203 for the democrats.

Because of this second fact, a great deal more attention will be spent on the state legislatures. If you want to influence presidential selection, you need to get your people in the state legislatures. I can see the state elections becoming more important than the federal ones under this system. Is this not a good thing?

Third, when one or the other party realizes it has the upper hand, it must then choose a candidate that is agreeable to all of its states, or at least enough to carry the day. The party will be busy finding and selling a variety of candidates for president, until they find one that the state legislatures find palatable enough.

What are the qualifications state legislators would care to see in the president?

  1. For starters, they must not be so repugnant to the people that they would be in danger of being held accountable for how they vote on election day. Even though, at best, congress can put 2 years between the selection of the president and the election of the state legislatures, people will remember when the legislature makes a bad choice, and it will make re-election that much harder.
  2. The president should represent what they would like in the office of the presidency. For many and most people, this will simply be what everyone expects a president to be: smart, courageous, and able to lead fairly. For a few, this will be a test of ideological purity. Compared to what the people care about, this is worlds better than what we have today.
  3. Most importantly, state legislators will not choose a president who would interfere in their political realm. They would want a president who respected boundaries and didn’t try to usurp the power of the states to do what they wish.

In the end, I imagine that either party would have a long list of potential candidates. A committee appointed to represent interested parties would whittle this down to a few, and finally, choose one to be the candidate for the party. I can’t imagine a party forcing a candidate on a state legislature. It just doesn’t work that way. The legislatures would be more than free to tell the National GOP where they can put their candidates if they refuse to choose someone who represents their ideas.

And where would money pay a role? Perhaps you could bribe some state legislators to vote a certain way. I doubt you could bribe all of them, even if you had very deep pockets. Maybe you could promise a state that if they choose so-and-so to be president, then they would give the state money or some advantage. But if that advantage comes at the cost of the other states, I can’t see the other states jumping on that bandwagon.

We have a similar system for choosing federal judges today. Even if the senate were united in the president’s party, they would still insist on thoroughly vetting potential judges. Note that judges don’t even think of raising a dime to help their chances to get appointed, nor do they go about campaigning to be a judge. Judges are chosen.

Assuming that a party has the upper hand, the process of selecting electors will be relatively quiet and obscure. Once the candidate has been named, it is just a matter of time with boring details in between. The legislatures choose the electors, the electors meet, the candidate is chosen, and he becomes president.

In the rare case that neither party has an upper hand, then both parties will put forward a compromise candidate. This candidate would be able to convince both republicans and democrats that they would be a good president for them. In this way, it becomes a race to capture the middle. We would end up with a president who really represented all of us. What a concept that would be! The curious effect of having a divided legislature decide on something is what compels this. Since the House of Representatives would choose someone anyway, it is in every state legislature’s interest to make a choice.

The best part is that almost all of the above process would be out of the public eye. Our representatives would be doing all the hard work at coming to a resolution quickly. We can enjoy watching our TV shows and ads without being bombarded by presidential ads designed to divide us against each other. Nobody on the air would think of furthering their political agenda by hurting our president, since the people’s opinion of the president isn’t very relevant.

A curious thing also occurs. The amount of money spent campaigning for president would be almost zero. How much does a CEO spend trying to find a job? No, it would rather be the other way around. No one would ever say, “Choose me for president.” Instead, they would get chosen to be president. Gone is all the ego in getting elected.

In office, the president wouldn’t think much about re-election. As long as the makeup of the state legislatures doesn’t change much, and as long as they don’t do anything retarded, they should be safe for re-election. This gives them a similar power to CEOs, the ability to do their jobs and focus on what’s important for the country. Since the president never campaigned for the position in the first place, but instead was chosen, the country would look at him differently as well. Why would it make sense to beat up on our president, when he faces no re-election by the people? If you wanted him out of office, you’d have to either convince the House to impeach him or the state legislatures to change their affiliation or respect for the man in office.

The Founding Fathers abhorred democracy, and the above story illustrates why. What purpose does it serve to whip up emotions, to divide the country into “us” vs. “them”, and to set people ablaze with passion? How can doing so possibly help us achieve a sane government that represents and protects the rights of the people? It boggles my mind why people think democracy is a good idea, or why forcing us to beat each other up each year makes us strong.

In conclusion, we simply wouldn’t have a political system like we have today if we eliminated the democratic part of our presidential selection process.