Happy New Year! We’re alive. We’re blessed with the possibility of health, happiness, and hope. We’re blessed with the opportunity to remember where we began, observe where we are now, and consider where we’d like to be tomorrow.
Let’s remember where we began. On April 19, 1775, in the Battles of Lexington and Concord, we fired our first shots of our Revolutionary War against our government. On July 4, 1776, in our Declaration of Independence, we unilaterally declared that we are “Absolved from all Allegiance to” our government. We enforced our absolution by the bloody force of arms, in a war that lasted until Great Britain formally recognized our independence in the Treaty of Paris in 1783. Tens of thousands were killed in action and captured as prisoners of war. In our 1789 Constitution, we created our United States of America. Our Constitution included the centerpiece of democracy, our precious right to vote. Throughout our history, we recognized that our Constitution created an imperfect right to vote. We repeatedly rose to cure the imperfections: the Reconstruction Amendments, the 19th Amendment, the Supreme Court’s principle of One Person One Vote, and the Voting Rights Act. Our precious right to vote absolved us of having to resort to the bloody force of arms, if we ever found it necessary to heed the warning in our Declaration of Independence: “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed … whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government … when a long train of abuses and usurpations … evinces a design to reduce them [the governed] under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” With our precious right to vote, we’ve done exactly that throughout our history, without any use of the bloody force of arms. We’ve done exactly that, by exercising our precious right to vote. We’ve refused to re-elect politicians who we’ve chosen to “throw off”. We’ve elected politicians who we’ve chosen to be our “new Guards”. Our beginning was a blessing.
Let’s observe where we are now. What is the condition of our precious right to vote now?
- Politicians allow George Soros, Sheldon Adelson, Mark Zuckerberg, Charles Koch, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Rupert Murdoch, and Jack Dorsey immeasurably more influence over elections than any ordinary One Person’s One Vote.
- The 17th Amendment says “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof”. Politicians allowed non-residents of Georgia to spend half a billion dollars to influence two January 2021 Senatorial elections in Georgia.
- The Supreme Court says money is speech and says corporations are people, and politicians allow corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections far more than any ordinary human being.
- By repeatedly commencing litigation, politicians tell us that politicians repeatedly attempt to illegally influence elections by unconstitutional gerrymandering.
- By creating a legal system that allows politicians to make meaningless campaign promises and to lie with impunity, politicians made it impossible for us to engage in informed voting.
- Politicians repeatedly tell us that our system of voting is unreliable or fraudulent. Georgia’s losing 2018 gubernatorial candidate told us she lost because of voter suppression. American’s losing 2016 Presidential candidate told us she lost because of Russian interference. American’s losing 2000 Presidential candidate told us he lost because of “hanging chad” in Florida. America’s landslide winning 1972 Presidential candidate Nixon told us … “expletive deleted”.
- We repeatedly end up electing a politician who is a liar, scoundrel, racist, or something despicable … according to the losing politician.
- Senators and Members of Congress repeatedly tell us they do not trust that our nation’s individual States are ready, willing, and able to protect our precious right to vote. Senators and Members of Congress formally objected to the electoral vote counts certified by individual States in our presidential elections of George W. Bush (2004), Donald Trump (2016), and Joe Biden (2020).
Let’s consider where we’d like to be tomorrow. For me, the first step is clear. It’s the creation, implementation, and protection of a voting system that is worthy of universal trust, free of the influence of money, imposes serious consequences for meaningless campaign promises and lies, and permits a politician to be elected only by the votes and voices of human beings who comprise the politician’s constituency.
May we very soon feel free from the fear of bloody armed conflict.