Letter: Changing how elections work

August 1, 2018

The July 9 edition of this paper published my letter to the editor that they titled “Selection of Leadership is important.” In that letter, I explained my understanding of the Founding Fathers systems to select leaders for our federal government. I explained how the original systems for leadership selection were very similar to modern organizations systems for selecting their leaders. Both utilized qualified people to make their selections. The fundamental theory behind both systems is “The wiser the chooser, the wiser the choice.”

Those original systems have, for various reasons, degenerated to our current systems that require no demonstration of wisdom to be involved in making the choice of our national leaders. The intent of my last article was to stimulate a conversation on this important topic. I have been successful.

On July 24, Robert Stubblefield doubled the size of this effort by picking up the baton and making a contribution. Welcome to the effort. He adds the point that this nation has been on a slippery slope from a Republic toward a Democracy. The Founders abhorred a democracy almost as much as a monarchy. In an effort to keep this dialogue alive and perhaps enlist others I will move from problem definition to proposed solutions.

The first element in my solution is to move voting for federal offices from a freely given right to an earned privilege. This privilege can be earned by passing a simple standard test on our constitution and citizens responsibilities for maintenance of good government.

Since the House of Representatives originally had as their constituency the people; the people, who qualified, would continue to select individuals for these positions.

The Senate was intended to be populated with our wisest people and was to be the rudder of our ship of state. Since there was and continues to be competition between state and federal government the constituency of Senators was to be the state they represent. Originally these selections were made by state legislatures. I recommend we simply go back to that approach.

The original method for selection of the president was for the states to appoint electors whose only job was to select the president. These electors could not currently hold federal office and it was assumed that the state legislators would appoint their wisest citizens for this responsibility. These wise people would meet, discuss and cast a secret ballot. The constitution provides a formula for declaring a winner and a method to select a winner if the primary method fails. Since the constituency of the president is the entire country this collection of wise people are charge with making a wise choice for the country.

If we can cause these first three selection systems to make wise choices in our behalf I would change nothing about the method of selecting Supreme Court Justices.

The forgoing is my initial offering for a methodology to select wise and honest leaders from our population that would enhance our probability of having wise and honest federal government.

You are invited to join the campaign.

Ronald L. Feller


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