How the 12th Amendment was the beginning of Tyranny

Posted by  $  blarman 1 year, 11 months ago to Legislation
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A well-written article delving into just how quickly the Constitution was started on its road to ruin.
SOURCE URL: http://freedomoutpost.com/2016/02/trashing-the-12th-amendment-with-the-national-popular-vote/


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  • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 1 year, 11 months ago
    It's not only the 12th and 17th and the machinations against the Electoral College, it's also the House's manipulation of the representation per population. Instead of the 30,000 or so voters for each Representative at the founding, the House during the same time as the 17th, locked in the total # of Representatives at the current 435, so now each Representative/voters is at about 275,000.

    I can see that it's difficult enough to represent 30,000---but 275,000, no way. It's as well a large part of the problem the House has in budget and expenditure control and in oversight. They simply don't have enough Representatives to manage the work required of them.
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    • Posted by  $  edweaver 1 year, 11 months ago
      Really think we need more Representatives?? Seems to me that if they just stuck to upholding the Constitution they would have much less to do and we could go back to a part time Congress at a much lower wage. Just saying.
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      • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 1 year, 11 months ago
        The House is intended to be the portion of Fed Gov't closest to the people subject to the most intent and most often scrutiny with elections each two (2) yrs. It's impossible for him to know the interest of the approx 275,000 people he supposedly represents. As to work load, one of the arguments for the Regulatory regime we have is that the House can't devote enough time to their oversight responsibilities. True, they're doing more than the Constitution intended, but it's a lot easier to convince 30,000 that 'somethings rotten in Denmark' than it is 275,000 growing each Census.
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        • Posted by  $  edweaver 1 year, 11 months ago
          I understand what you are saying. Still to me, it seems like government tries to do way too much. And I'm not so sure that eliminating needless, unconstitutional departments and replacing them with more Representatives would work to reduce the size of government.

          Personally I think there are too many mountains made from molehills. Every time something goes slightly wrong people look to government for solutions and our reps are all too happy to help, of course for re-election votes. If our Federal government spent less time creating new "national (love your whatever) day" and stuck to only the most critical issues while insuring that what they do meets constitutional muster, we would have a much smaller, less intrusive government. I also believe this to be true at all levels of government.
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          • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 1 year, 11 months ago
            ed; I don't disagree with you at all about gov't at both Fed and State level getting too involved in every human action and interaction that happens. I noticed an article a few days ago (can't remember where or the details) discussing that laws/regulations hadn't caught up with something.

            It wasn't that there were any problems mentioned, more that if something existed, then we must have laws to control it. My immediate thought and question was--WHY.

            Realize that the Gov't even regulates our bowel movements and urination--on up to our burial after we're dead and gone.
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        • Posted by  $  Temlakos 1 year, 11 months ago
          OK, let's have a concrete proposal. You know, I trust, that the present House Chamber would be far too small to have in it the number of representatives the House would have to have in it, even to have one representative per 100,000 population, much less the original 30,000. In fact, I doubt you could fit them all in one place. Seems to me you're talking about building a meeting hall for anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 people. Maybe it's time to start thinking about a "virtual federal city"--mock up a virtual world using OpenSim, with a virtual main chamber, virtual committee hearing rooms, and both virtual and real offices for people to go to.

          That being said, I very much object to having executive-branch agencies that act like legislatures and judiciaries. It's time to remand all those "regulatory duties" to Congressional committees, and remand enforcement of said "regulations" to the branch that should never have let go of them: the courts.
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      • Posted by Animal 1 year, 11 months ago
        "Seems to me that if they just stuck to upholding the Constitution they would have much less to do..."

        And if my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle.

        It's gone too far. We aren't going back to just upholding the Constitution. Something else will have to happen, and it won't be good.
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    • Posted by minorwork 1 year, 11 months ago
      How many folk vote in Dancing with the Stars? Millions? Keep each of the near 11,000 representatives in an office in egg throwing distance of their constituents Don't let 'em near Washington, D.C..

      As it is now with a quorum vote each rep is representing about 19 Green Bay Packer 70,000 seat stadiums worth of constituents. That's NOT representation, that's a needle in haystack.

      Least with the original 30,000 constituents per rep a single such GB stadium would see over 2 reps representing them. On line voting is suddenly not doable for our reps? I ain't buying it.
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    • Posted by  $  1 year, 11 months ago
      That's an interesting point about the number of Representatives. Do you think that the true workload has increased for Representatives given the explosion of bureaucracies also to take care of what had been legislative functions? Would increasing the size of the House alleviate some of the problems you see?

      I can see an outgrowth you might be hinting at as well - the tendency as a represented population gets larger while the number of delegates remains constant that the individual delegates would tend toward tyranny as well just based on the population base. It's like creating fiefdoms - especially among the low-information and welfare voters.
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  • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 1 year, 11 months ago
    Your subject title here contradicts the subject title there. I fail to see how the 12th Amendment opened the door to tyranny. I do think that it would be more interesting to have the President and Vice President come from different competing political parties. We might have had more assassinations, though, and that can only be destabilizing. So, the 12th Amendment seems to have been a good technical fix that admitted to the reality of political parties.

    Also, granted that the exact language of the Constitution allows the states to choose electors any way they want, it is not clear how the present system of picking them as a whole group by party would have been avoided.

    Any way you arrange it, an elector can run as an individual by pledging to vote for some candidate or for any candidate chosen by some party.

    Moreover, it is at the state level that the ballots are created and distributed. Ideally, the President and Vice President would not be on the ballot at all, only the names of electors. But that has nothing to do with the 12th Amendment. If anything, it is a flaw in allowing states to control the election process. But I see no way around that.

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    • Posted by  $  1 year, 11 months ago
      As the article points out, the President (and Vice President) were not supposed to be elected by the public, but by the Electoral College who was beholden to the States. The Twelfth Amendment did two things: subjected the election of the President to mob voting and emotional posturing AND it ensconced political parties, which had the byproduct of making it much less useful to Impeach the Executive because the power of the President wouldn't change hands.

      I agree that the States have the ability to assign their electors any way they want - including by popular vote, but the Twelfth Amendment took that decision away from the States entirely.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 1 year, 11 months ago
    A national common set of electoral rules is needed to reflect the will of the people, but not the one proposed. Electors are nominally attached to Representative districts, but are obligated to either a "winner takes all" or proportional assignment, depending on the individual state rules. Electoral votes should be assigned according to the popular vote tally in each district, giving the vote to the winner of the popular vote in each district. This would place the Presidential election closer to the individual voter, and eliminate the role of individual persons as electors altogether.
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  • Posted by  $  RobertFl 1 year, 11 months ago
    I've said it hear for along time, repeal the 12th and 17h amendments and will start getting our country back.
    Also do away with the legislative reform act of 1970 that recorded legislative votes. That allowed lobbyest to see how a congressman voted. If they voted in their favor, the money kept coming. This is also when SuperPacs came into being.
    Restore the secret ballot.
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    • Posted by  $  1 year, 11 months ago
      Please elaborate further. I can see what you are talking about, but as a voter, I also want to know how my elected officials voted so I can determine whether or not to retain them.

      My idea regarding money for elections is pretty simple: limit acceptable donations to eligible voters of that representative's precinct. If you aren't a voter or you are from another precinct, you have no vote - either at the ballot box or via your wallet. What I am sick of are people outside my voting area influencing my elections and the choice of my representatives when they aren't under said representative's jurisdiction.
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      • Posted by  $  RobertFl 1 year, 11 months ago
        this guy explains it well... a little lengthy, but he explains the history and problem.
        youtube[dot]com/watch?v=1gEz__sMVaY

        He mostly teaches about bitcoin, but he dabbles in other areas as well.

        You can actually see when congress started doing Lobbyest bidding and ignoring the people.
        With a secret ballot the lobbyest doesn't know if I voted for or against him.
        I could say I did, I could say I tried to swing other votes, but sadly, they wouldn't go.
        It use to be said, the worst job in America was a lobbyest. But that changed after the 1970 reform. This is also when SuperPac's came to be.
        Prior to 1970, Congress did do the peoples work, so the vote showed by there actions.

        The problem with you funding solution is, the NRA is a non-voting entity, but it's members are. You would prevent a group of like minded voters from pooling the resources.

        Look what the democrats want to do with Union votes - do away with the secret ballot.

        Congress used to always do a verbal vote, "Yeahs" and "Nays" the ones with the obviously more "yeahs" carried the vote. those weren't recorded. The only time they took a head count is when it was too close to call.
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        • Posted by  $  1 year, 11 months ago
          "The problem with you funding solution is, the NRA is a non-voting entity, but it's members are. You would prevent a group of like minded voters from pooling the resources."

          Not necessarily. My suggestion does not prevent 501c3 organizations from running so-called "issue" ads which don't promote a specific candidate. If the NRA wants to encourage its members within specific voting districts to vote one way or the other, I don't have a problem with that. The NRA can even endorse specific candidates. They just can't give candidates money as an organization. The same would apply to MoveOn.org (George Soros' political action group), labor unions (thus eliminating the dues for political purposes), etc. It might even eliminate the need for organizations to refrain from constitutionally-protected speech in order to maintain their "tax exempt" status - eliminating that current governmental control over free speech. It would focus back in on who actually takes part in the political discussion: individuals - not individuals "representing" groups.

          What I want to do is eliminate donations from non-constituents. I don't want an ex- New York governor throwing money around in Virginia simply because he thinks he can influence an election to favor his ideology when it is the people of Virginia and not New York who will be directly affected by the decisions. He can donate to his choice for Representative of New York, Senator of New York, Governor of New York, and President of the United States, but he will be prohibited from donating to a prospective Representative et al of Virginia (or any other State).

          As far as lobbyists go, I support full disclosure on all meetings with elected officials. Full agendas should be released - including those of visits to coffee shops, etc.

          The other things I'd like to do is repeal the salaries, etc. of elected officials from being a Federal outlay and put those back on their individual States to fund - including their healthcare system decisions and retirement plans (if any). That would also include their staffs.
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          • Posted by  $  RobertFl 1 year, 11 months ago
            ndividual States to fund

            YES! If the states want to pay a high or low wage, it should be up to them.
            NJ Congressmen are not in DC to do the bidding for the people of TN, so there is no reason for us to pay them.

            >501c3

            Problem, Louis Lerner gets to determine who can be a 501c. :-)

            If you get a chance, watch the youtube vid and give me your feedback.. He makes a valid argument regarding the legislative reform act. Things did work better before 1970. If the goal is to eliminate regulations and such, getting rid of it might go a long way.
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            • Posted by  $  1 year, 11 months ago
              "Problem, Louis Lerner gets to determine who can be a 501c. :-)"

              Yeah. And that can easily be rectified by revoking corporate taxes. Well, easily more in concept than practice... ;)
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        • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 1 year, 11 months ago
          As a union member I never saw a secret ballot. I did see some rigged ballots with only a single hand selected candidate not uncommon. I also saw a paragraph that declared any changes would invalidate the ballot. Changes such as write in candidates. You want to know where Hitler got his Brown Shirts? Look no further than unions.
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  • Posted by  $  Temlakos 1 year, 11 months ago
    How would you avoid such tie votes? Pass a law against collusion among electors? How would you enforce it?
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    • Posted by  $  1 year, 11 months ago
      I'm not sure I'm following your question. Can you please elaborate?

      If you are referring to ties among votes for President, this happened quite frequently in the first several elections and was one of the reasons cited for instituting the Twelfth Amendment. But I don't see a problem with Electoral College voters voting the same way as others or even caucusing - as long as they do it according to the rules developed by their individual states.
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      • Posted by  $  Temlakos 1 year, 11 months ago
        The election of 1800 ended in a two-way tie for first place. Why? Because the new "Republican Party" (called the "Democratic-Republican Party" to distinguish it from the modern Republicans) nominated Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr for President and Vice-President, then nominated slates of elector-candidates to cast their ballots for both men. They were supposed to arrange to give Aaron Burr one fewer vote. Instead they gave him the same number of votes as Jefferson.

        That, of course, threw the election to the House of Representatives. And they took until almost the last minute to make a decision. To avoid any other such crises, Congress drafted the Twelfth Amendment: "They shall name in their ballots,..." etc., etc.

        Now in fact, George Washington didn't have a lick of trouble garnering enough support to elect and re-elect him President in the Elections of 1788 and 1792. In the Election of 1796, Thomas Jefferson got in as Vice-President because The Machine wasn't yet set up to vote for "Running Mates." But in 1800...!

        That being said, I would love to see, as part of any system, electors running for the job of Elector in their own names, and even running specifically as uncommitted electors.
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        • Posted by  $  1 year, 11 months ago
          The original intent of the Constitution was to make the runner-up in the Presidential race the Vice President. This meant that the Vice President would usually be of the opposition party. I fully support going back to this method of doing things because then the Vice President would take his/her role in the Senate seriously and it wouldn't be up to the Senate Majority Leader to run Senate business.

          The second - and probably most important - result would be to exponentially increase the threat of Impeachment being taken seriously, as it would mean a change in power.
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