By Jim Holland
The mailing lists of the Social Security Administration contains millions of names of citizens alive when America was bombed and torpedoed in wars with Japan.
There were far fewer octogenarians in America in 1861, but count of years from now to the attack on Pearl Harbor is the same as the years between Pearl Harbor and the attack on Fort Sumner that began the fighting of the Civil War. And the count years from Fort Sumner to the Battle at Yorktown that ended the Revolution to the attack was also 😯 years.
Yorktown to Fort Sumner, 80 years. Fort Sumner to Pearl Harbor, 80 years. Pearl Harbor to today, 80 years. Three back to back present day lifetimes.
Just three lifetimes ago America was fighting for independence, and just two lifetimes ago AmerIca was fighting a rebellion. Today America is fighting for democracy.
Free of British rule, the thirteen colonies formed a constitutional federal republic. With democratic features—the election of the representatives in the Congress.
The federal government became more democratic than initially. Direct election of Senators is one big way. More and more of the population became eligible to vote. Presidential electors are by popular vote in all states. America become more of a democratic republic and less of a federal republic.
Now that trend towards democracy is being reversed.
Twelve score or so years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are enduring in a testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.
The battlefield is in the state houses. The objective is the appointment of presidential,electors. The point of attack is this language in the Constitution: “Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors.” The weapon is gerrymandering of state legislatures.
Since 1787, all the states have enacted laws mandating that electors should be nominated by the political parties, with the final selection being determined by the popular vote. If Republicans have their way that is to change. Determined by the popular vote will not long endure.
B. NOTWITHSTANDING SUBSECTION A OF THIS SECTION, THE LEGISLATURE RETAINS ITS LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY REGARDING THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTOR AND BY MAJORITY VOTE AT ANY TIME BEFORE THE PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION MAY REVOKE THE SECRETARY OF STATE’S ISSUANCE OR CERTIFICATION OF A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTOR’S CERTIFICATE OF ELECTION. THE LEGISLATURE MAY TAKE ACTION PURSUANT TO THIS SUBSECTION WITHOUT REGARD TO WHETHER THE LEGISLATURE IS IN REGULAR OR SPECIAL SESSION OR HAS HELD COMMITTEE OR OTHER HEARINGS ON THE MATTER.
This sweeping provision before the Arizona legislature says that, regardless of any other law, the Legislature retains ultimate authority in deciding who the state’s presidential electors are. That lawmakers, by a simple majority, could revoke the election results and substitute their own decision.
No Democratic majority legislature would consider such a measure.
Let us watch the spread of Arizona-type provisions in state houses controlled by the other major party.