I’ve mentioned in the past my daughter’s obsession with Hamilton, the musical. We were in the car this afternoon listening to “One Last Time,” in which George Washington tells Alexander Hamilton that he is stepping down as president after two terms and asks Hamilton to help him compose his Farewell Address (which was actually published in the newspaper), I commented to my daughter that this was one of the greatest decisions ever made by a politician in our country’s history.
Until FDR, all other presidents had followed Washington’s precedent and chose not to run again after two terms. Following FDR, the 22nd amendment formalized this tradition, forcing a two-term limit on the presidency. Just think of what this arrangement, started by Washington, has saved our country.
There is no doubt, given the size of Barack Obama’s ego, that he would have run for a third term and, given the media bias – which was even worse in his favor, if you recall, than for Hillary – there is little doubt that he would have won. Which means that we would still be looking at a potential nuclear strike from North Korea, anemic economic growth, high unemployment and the continued corruption of the FBI and intelligence services that have only come to light since President Trump was elected. Thank you, General Washington!
The other key lyric in the song is when Washington says “I want to warn against partisan fighting.” It’s a pity that our politicians didn’t heed that warning. Imagine what President Trump could accomplish if he didn’t have to spend so much time and effort defending himself against made-up charges and fighting against for-no-other-reason-than-they-hate-the-fact-that-they-lost obstruction by the Democrats.
There were all kinds of attempts to lure the GOP state electors into voting for someone other than Donald Trump. A few took the bait, but so did some Democrat state electors; Hillary Clinton lost even more electors that Trump did. But, now that the Electoral Vote is done—yesterday—and now that Trump is again the victor, but Clinton won the popular vote, there’s a new meme emerging: that the Electoral College is racist. Yes, you read that correctly.
The New York Times leads the outcry with a description of the three-fifths clause in the Constitution and a distortion of its relationship to the Electoral College.[i]
The Electoral College, which is written into the Constitution, is more than just a vestige of the founding era; it is a living symbol of America’s original sin. When slavery was the law of the land, a direct popular vote would have disadvantaged the Southern states, with their large disenfranchised populations [Ed.: slaves and Indians—and women]. Counting those men and women as three-fifths of a white person, as the Constitution originally did, gave the slave states more electoral votes.
For the most part, those who opposed slavery only wanted to consider the free people [sic] of a population, while those in favor wanted to include slaves in the population count. This would provide for slave holders to have many more seats in the House of Representatives and more representation in the Electoral College. (…)
The implementation of the Three-Fifths Compromise would greatly increase the representation and political power of slave-owning states. The Southern states, if represented equally, would have accounted for 33 of the seats in the House of Representatives. However, because of the Three-Fifths Compromise, the Southern states accounted for 47 seats in the House of Representatives of the first United States Congress of 1790. This would allow for the South to garner enough power at the political level, giving them control in Presidential elections.
However, as time moved forward, the Three-Fifths Compromise would not provide the advantage for which the Southern states and slave-owners had hoped. The Northern states grew more rapidly in terms of population than the South. Even though Southern states had essentially dominated all political platforms prior to the Civil War, afterward that control would be relinquished slowly but surely. It would not be until the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was be enacted in 1865 that the Three-Fifths Compromise would be rendered obsolete.
The Compromise was a trade-off because no perfect solution to the slavery conundrum was available at the time. It was an advantage to the South at first, but over time, the advantages amounted to nil. (This also explains Bloody Kansas.) Strategy.
Thus was the infant USA not born the perfect USA; it was born with a birth defect—an “original sin” just like every other nation on earth. ( The Organized Left always wants to talk about “original sin” even when they don’t believe in real sins—at least not those committed by their ideological allies.)
If the North had not compromised, one wonders what would have happened. Two nations would have likely been born and lasted about as long as 1812—the year of the next war with the British. And that time estimation is a generous one.[ii] And even if those fantasy nations had lasted, one wonders when the Southern Nation would have ever abolished slavery. Sounds like a Democrat’s…er…Confederate’s dream, no?
So it is that the EC and the Compromise ensured that a USA was born, grew and matured and that her citizenry and liberty expanded.
But, it seems to me that the NYT editorial staff dreams of a never-born United States of America and believes it’s never too late to have an abortion. What a surprise.