Elections and the Constitution

The 2016 voting starts, finally, with the Iowa causes. Caucuses, of course, poorly represent what people really think. They are meetings of the party faithful. Even in—especially in Iowa during a blizzard. They are skewed toward the politically active few. Folks who like the Electoral College love caucuses.

Folks who decry the Electoral College forget that the framers of the constitution did not believe in one man-one vote. Not for slaves; not for women; not even for all white men. To them only people who had a stake in society merited the vote. They left that definition to the states, but it generally meant owning so much land or having so big a bank account or paying so much taxes.

Talk about your one-per-centers. Jefferson, Madison, and Washington were not representative of their fellow citizens. They may have been the best and brightest of their day, but they were no democrats.

The framers believed in an oligarchy of rich men passing laws, like Plato’s philosopher king, for the good of everyone else. And they didn’t trust each other. Therefore they established a republic, not a democracy, where everything was decided at least one- step removed from the great unwashed masses. And checks between the three, supposedly-equal branches of the federal government.

We’ve come a long way. Most of it good; some not. Our form of republic is not the best type of government possible, it’s just the best we’ve managed to create with what we have, which is a lot of imperfect people.