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Did you hear the news?

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a paper that gives all of California’s “bazillion” electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote.

This is not a misprint. To the winner of the NATIONAL popular vote. Here is the LINK.

In other words, the votes of someone in Indiana will have as much effect on California’s electoral votes as mine, a taxpaying resident of the state of California.

Why did he do this?

Simple!

Liberals are afraid of a repeat of the Bush/Gore election where Al won the popular vote (by a hair) and George won the electoral vote (by a dimpled chad in Florida.)

Abolish the electoral college! (shouts everyone)

How silly! (shout I)

The older I get, the more I appreciate the wisdom of the founding fathers. 

On their better days, I believe they were truly inspired by God. And, like Martin Luther King, I don’t believe you can separate faith convictions from politics.

They founded the Electoral College for a reason.

A very good reason.

The envisioned each state sending its best and brightest (college presidents, business leaders, agriculturalists, journalists, clergy, intellectuals, historians, etc.) to a real meeting in Washington DC every four years. Kind of like the group that wrote the constitution in the first place….

They would choose one person to manage the country for four years. Keep it in the black. Keep it efficient.

Politicking was seen as bad form. The decision was NOT to be made ahead of time. The idea of a sitting president raising a billion (!) dollars for re-election would have resulted in deportation.

There was to be no popular vote for the president. The leaders of the country were to confer and choose one.

Why?

Because the founding fathers were afraid of two things:

1) America becoming a high-overhead imperial power (like England).

2) A spike in popular opinion putting a charismatic nut in the office of the presidency through a direct popular vote.

Thus the constitution was built with lotsa shock absorbers to cushion against instability, extremism, and hysteria.

Only the House of Representatives would fully mirror the current mood of the people. Every two years everyone is back up for election. New “movements” would get representation here (tea party, contract with America, new deal, reaganomics, great society, etc.) and a chance to gain a foothold. New ideas would be given a test drive.

The Senate was staggered so that only a third of the seats would come open at any given time. The terms were longer than the president’s; denoting higher status. They were to be chosen by state legislatures, to provide yet one more filter against extreme mood swings. The Senate was thus to be more conservative and less prone to sharp turns. They would be the ones approving foreign treaties (or basically just staying out of them).

The presidency was not an elected King/Queen. The president was to be an efficient, proven leader who could keep things on track. Not a charismatic survivor of a brutal campaign trail. Not the winner of endless debates.

George Washington was thus elected president (by a real electoral college) more or less against his will. He begged the country not to put is picture on the money and thus elevate the presidency. He insisted on “Mr. President” rather than “Your highness” or even “Your honor.” The president was to be like a city manager of a large country. Not in the news all the time.

Time to bring this great idea back. No more imperial presidency. No more sending our troops abroad without a declaration of war. No more elected emperors.

Have each state send its brightest and best; non-partisan if possible, and choose a good manager for the next four years. Peter Ueberroth would have been chosen in the 80’s after organizing the L.A. Olympics and making a profit.

Leave the electioneering to the House of Representatives, where it belongs. A popular house. Where fresh ideas are given a chance.

But the real power should be in the Senate. Longer terms than the president (six years). A compounding society of wisdom. Not susceptible to the whims of the season.

The electoral college.

A great idea.

About time we get it right.

And put the presidency in its place.

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Please pass the link for this on to everyone else. Thanks!

Twitter: @RobinwoodChurch

Some reflections on the National Day of Prayer

1) President Obama did not cancel it. In fact, here is his proclamation affirming it:

http://tinyurl.com/24q8lu5

2) There has always been tension between church and state. For 2,000 years. Not just in America. To kings, the idea that there is another King has been problematic. Always has been, always will be.

Church/state tension reached a high point, not in 2010, but in 1077 at Canossa, in Italy. You need to look it up and read about it:

3) There never has been a time when any national government and the true, faithful Christian Church were fully aligned.

4) Christian activity rises and falls in America. It goes in waves. Great Awakenings. The Pentecostal Azusa awakening in 1906. The big post WW2 churchgoing boom. The Jesus movement of the 60’s and 70’s. We are not in a post-Christian era. We are between booms.

5) Our Founding Fathers of the USA were neither the Focus on the Family Republicans the “right” makes them out to be, nor the “enlightenment Deists” that the “left” makes them out to be. Thomas Jefferson considered himself to be a devout follower of Jesus, but would hardly move to Colorado Springs to be with his peeps if he lived in our generation.

6) We cannot COERCE people to pray. Government should never coerce any faith practice. Jesus never coerced anyone. He let them walk away. But, on the other hand, the fact that some are OFFENDED by us “intentionally, publicly spiritual people,” does not obligate us to practice our faith only in private.

Any OFFENSE on the part of others, because of any of our faith practice, private or public, when we are not being coercive, is NOT another reason to push us out of the public practice of our faith (which is totally guaranteed in the Bill of Rights). That was a long, complicated sentence, but I don’t know how else to say it.

It seems like, lately, whenever what we do offends someone, some court makes us stop doing it. This is not constitutional. We are not properly distinguishing between coercion and offense. The former is wrong, the latter can’t be helped in a free society. The systematic elimination of all offense leads to a controlled, non-free society.

7) No government can cancel a national day of prayer. Any more than churches can legislate tax code.

8.) Over 90 percent of Americans pray regularly. Not just born-again Christians. Everyone prays before algebra exams. 🙂 Humans come hard-wired for prayer. Built in wi-fi.

9) As a free-market family-values conservative, I have the right to criticize our own movement. We have gotten way less attractive since Bush left office. We are more prone to conspiracy theories than ever before. A lot of us have just turned off our brains.

I just confronted a man who was looking for signatures using a poster of our president with a Hitler mustache in front of our post office. We are going to lose the next elections if we don’t work on our image. Middle America is not going to vote with what they see as crazy people.

Elections are won and lost with the moderates. We are alienating them. We come across as extremists (remember how may votes Goldwater got?) who love big guns, big business running our health care, closed borders and deportations, conspiracy theories, and people who hate gay people. Reagan (as opposed to Goldwater) got huge votes because of what he was FOR (free markets, strong America, positive-optimistic attitude).

10) We have another national day of prayer, instituted by Abraham Lincoln: Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a transitive verb which requires an object. And that would be God.

11) For the record, I believe:

-in having “in God we Trust” on our money

-in school prayer

-that the Bible should be taught in public schools, at least as literature and history

-that intelligent design should be taught in public schools along with spontaneous non-designed evolution.

-that marriage is between one man and one woman.

-that faith conversation and prayer belongs in the marketplace, the public square, the government, the media, and our schools. It is a part of who we are and free societies are free to be who they are.

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