Letter to the Editor: Don’t be deceived by NPVC
Lately there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the United States being a democracy and whether or not the Electoral College is a valid institution. Would we be better off going to a national popular vote system?
Many people are under the impression that the United States is a democracy. We are, in fact, a Federal Republic with a democratic type of government, with the distinction that it exists to protect the rights of personal security and property; which are always in jeopardy in a true democracy.
Benjamin Franklin illustrates that democracies are like two wolves and a sheep deciding on what is for dinner. James Madison stated “democracies are as violent in their lives as they are in their deaths”. Democracy is the tyranny of the masses and has no lasting promise.
History has proven a republic is best for a self-governing society providing a balance between tyranny (dictatorship) and anarchy (lawlessness). Powers are divided between states and the Federal government. Our founders put checks and balances in the constitution for the three branches of our Federal Government, Legislative, Executive and Judicial, to insure that one branch cannot override another.
James Madison states “a republic is a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people; and is administered by persons holding their office during pleasure, for a limited period, or during good behavior.”
In a republic, as in a democracy, it is “one man, one vote”, albeit voters, with their one vote, are directing other people called electors to cast vote for the President and Vice Presidential candidates who receive the most votes in their state. This process was established by the framers of the Constitution to forge a compromise between those who wanted the president to be elected by members of Congress and those who wanted a president elected by popular vote.
If Colorado were to sign on to the National Popular Vote Compact, as passed by our state legislature and up for ratification by Colorado voters in November, our nine electoral votes would be obligated to the Compact representing as few as 11 states. According to Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution, it is illegal to form interstate Compacts or agreements not approved by Congress. Thus, not only is it unconstitutional, but we are allowing more populous states to ride roughshod over us. This violates the principles of our republic and our freedom of choice.
This is not a new concept. It has been bandied about for years, mostly by those whose candidate won the popular vote, but lost the electoral vote. This has happened five times since 1824. As a republic, our Constitution has provisions to promote fairness to the minority while still upholding the will of the majority.
As Election Day is rapidly approaching, please do your homework. Know the source of your information and be aware of voting records of the candidates, and remember, not voting is a yes vote.
Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin at the time of the Constitutional Convention, “Well Dr., what have we got, a republic or a monarchy”? With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “ A republic, if you can keep it.”
Carol Whitehead and Carol Haskins,
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