“We the people”….. three simple words symbolizing how a singular notion of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, rallied its people “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”
It’s not “we the politicos”, “we the corporations”, or any myriad of other “we the __________” special interests currently infesting our federal government. It’s not “we the left wing”, “we the right wing”, “we the social justice warriors” or “we the social conservatives.”
No matter what side of the political aisle you currently reside, no one can argue that we are currently in a state of anything but “domestic Tranquility”.
And that “general Welfare and Blessings of Liberty” the Founders laid down for posterity has been co-opted by so many self-want groups that for far too many today liberty is literally gauged by to what degree they can get Washington, D.C. to give them more stuff.
Given this state of affairs, it is no surprise that out of over 320 million of us living under the Red, White and Blue the five left standing for their political party’s nomination to be President of these United States leave much to be desired.
On the Democrat side the two finalists are Bill Safire’s “congenital liar” Hillary Clinton and a self-avowed “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders that literally spent his honeymoon in the old Soviet Union.
On the Republican side is a billionaire that wants to “make America great again” but can’t control his own tweets Donald Trump, a self-proclaimed “outsider” that hopes you don’t look too hard at his Bush past and Wall Street present Ted Cruz, and a guy named John Kasich that seems to think his dad being a mailman gives him the right to usurp the nomination for himself.
Needless to say, the upcoming conventions are shaping up to be political bloodbaths so in the interest of bipartisanship I hereby offer both parties a way out: Put them all on the ballot.
The Gloria Steinem/Madeline Albright feminists and the Wall Street boys can have their Hillary. Those glassy eyed young ones whose brains have yet to fully develop can vote their fantasy of free everything with Bernie. Trump can corner the market on wall builders and traders, Cruz takes the purist vote and every child of a postman can stand with Kasich.
That such an arrangement virtually guarantees no one candidate wins the Presidency outright is exactly as intended.
For along with that little “We the People” notion, the Founders also gave us Article I, Section 2 and its Amendment XII follow up that in such a case “ then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote;”
A one state, one vote simple majority President elected by the chamber that the framers intended to be closest to the people. A chamber that if it votes so against the will of “We the people”, can be turned out on its ear in two short years.
Sure it would be a circus, sure it sounds crazy. But look around; think back, have you ever witnessed a crazier circus than what is currently being forced upon us? Would it really be any worse than what we’ve already got?
Sometimes, crazy just ain’t quite as crazy as it seems.
And maybe, just maybe, it’s just what this fractured, schizophrenic nation needs at this moment in history.
PUBLISHER NOTE: A version of this column first appeared in the April 10, 2016 print edition of the Joplin Globe.