Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Constitutional Tutorial - The Myth of Voting Rights

Yesterday, I made my selections on my absentee ballot in Ada Township precinct, in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District and it brought to mind on how truly uneducated the majority of Americans are on voting.  Note, I did not speak of voting as my “civic duty” as I hear so many parrot from get-out-the-vote campaigns that encourage brain-dead block-voting in the traditions of Tammany Hall.  Voting is NOT a “civic duty” and it is NOT a right… mostly.
The supreme law of the United States is, of course, the US Constitution.  Surprisingly, to many, not one of the uses of the word “vote” in the entirety of the Constitution refers to individual citizens.  The US Constitution DOES NOT give the right to vote to anyone.  It, like in most matters, leaves the method of electing and selecting Congressional Representatives, Senators, and the President to the individual States’ legislatures.  The only inference it makes of what we term “popular vote,” the direct voting of the eligible population, is in the 17th Amendment that abolished the direct election of States’ Senators by their respective legislatures.  Instead, it provided for the State Senator to be “elected by the people” (incidentally, it is an amendment that many, myself included, view as inherently unconstitutional.  Reference Article 5 which states “and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”) (We the People).
Consequences of 'Democracy'
So, what does this mean to us?  It means that the common knowledge that voting is a right and by extension, that our form of government is a democracy (a form of government in which all citizens vote on everything) are pure and simple myths.  Why this has come to be is a matter of debate.  Some believe it is a strategy by modern liberals (Wilson to present) to water-down the constitution, weaken the individual states, strengthen the federal government, and empower the federal government by allowing the individual citizens the right to vote themselves entitlement after entitlement.  Some believe it is simply a dumbing down of education, over-simplifying everything.
Regardless of the intent, the founders of this country viewed democracy with disdain.  Washington used the word democrat as a pejorative (Washington).  Madison said “Democracy is the most vile form of government... democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention: have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property: and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths” (Madison).  Another apt quote is that “[democracies] can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury” (Tytler).
We as Americans must understand that our “inalienable rights” are neither granted to us by the US Federal Government, nor by the US Constitution.  They are granted us by God.  The founders of this country understood that and made that plain in the Declaration of Independence.  The Constitution and Federal Government that arose in 1787 established our Constitutional Republic that was designed to protect the peoples’ God-granted inalienable rights… primarily from government.
If you chose to participate in your individual state’s electoral procedure this November 2, take a minute to read the Constitution.  It’s only 4400 words long!  Think about what it means.  Think of how the individual you vote for to represent you in the US House of Representatives and/or the US Senate views that document.


Madison, James. "The Free Library." James Madison. 12 October 2010 http://madison.thefreelibrary.com/.

Tytler, Alexander. "The Truth About Tytler." 2003. LorenCollins.net. 12 October 2010 http://www.lorencollins.net/tytler.html.

Washington, George. "The Library of Congress." 30 September 1798. George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799: Series 4. General Correspondence. 12 October 2010 http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=mgw4&fileName=gwpage113.db&recNum=107.

We the People. "Constitution for the United States of America." September 1787. Constitution for the United States of America. 12 October 2010 http://www.constitution.org/constit_.htm.

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