My Presidential Platform, the real #1: Restoring Elections and the Electorate

Plank #1

Although I gave my chicken plank a #1, it will clearly end up more like 178,

I pledge to my supporters that I shall do what I can to restore the vision of political order that inspired the drafters of the Constitution.

The cautious language is an honest admission that in my two terms as President of the United States, there is relatively little either I or any President could do to restore the Constitutional Order before it was undermined by John Marshall and destroyed by Lincoln.  What I could do, however, by using the so-called Bully Pulpit in a way that has never been used before, is to communicate the sound principles that animated the establishment of the United States in 1776 and 1787.  

The enemies of what little Constitutional liberty we have left would, in the name of direct democracy, destroy the Electoral College.  That is exactly the opposite of what needs to be done.  The various forms of Indirect Election—the Electoral College, the appointment of senators by state legislatures, the equal apportionment of senators among large and small states, and the 10th Amendment—were an attempt to prevent the very demagoguery that has destroyed the republic.  A comprehensive program of indirect elections that take the sense of the real communities that are the constituents of the American Federation should be outlined, explained, and justified.  

Much of my campaign will be based on one simple principle:  Democracy, as practiced by the Democratic Party, is not mob rule but the rule of a tinier elite than once ruled the USSR.  This elite controls the media, the universities, public and private and schools, publishing—in other words, all the organs and institutions that form the character of children and adolescents and determine the opinions of the electorate.  The power monopoly of that elite can only be broken by stripping it of its legitimacy and exposing its leaders for what they are:  criminal degenerates.

Since the current complexion of the American electorate would not tolerate any move away from the demagoguery of mass democracy toward the institutions of a free republic, the first measure to be put on the table will be a restriction of full citizenship privileges to those who make a positive contribution to American society.  This means restricting eligibility for office, service on juries, and voting will be reserved for people who are not dependent upon government for their income.  This restriction excludes those dependent on welfare checks or  government salaries, e.g., bureaucrats, social workers, school teachers, and careerists in the military.  This measure will require some fine-tuning.  For example, an exemption might be made for people receiving welfare for less than X number of months in a year or Y number of months in a lifetime.  We might also exempt men—note the gender—serving one a specified number of years in the armed forces.  I would also exempt those who have served in combat during a declared war.  (There will be no more undeclared wars.)

Here is the principle reduced to a slogan: Representation Without Taxation is Tyranny.

Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

10 Responses

  1. Thomas Fleming says:

    Representation Without Taxation is Tyranny.

  2. Jacob Johnson says:

    When the attack ads come out , this slogan will be in bright red along with the ostinato notes from the low keys.

  3. Thomas Fleming says:

    It’s pretty nifty, even if I say it as shouldn’t. I’d like to say I came up with it on the spur of the moment this morning, but the joke hit me some years ago, I believe in the course of being interviewed on the radio.

  4. Vince Cornell says:

    Should definitely include a rule about any private companies where half or more of the income comes from direct contracts with the Federal Government. Take that, Northern Virginia!

  5. Thomas Fleming says:

    The calculation I made years ago would, in principle, distinguish net tax-payers from net tax-consumers, so employees of defense contractors, if the company had more than 50% of its income from governments at any level, would case to be full citizens.

    In the film of crazy Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, no one is a citizen unless he or she serves in the military. Since I don’t believe in the draft, certainly not a peace-time draft (though I might be persuaded on something like the National Guard run by the separate states), I would not want to make this a rule, but I should say that people who claimed CO status should not be permitted to vote.

  6. Thomas Fleming says:

    PS Since calculating every business’s percentage of income from government would be difficult, one would have to simplify by designating certain types of businesses as the equivalent of registered lobbying firms. This would be relevant to their tax status and to the citizenship of management and employees, The object would not be to exclude every single dependent but to eliminate the largest classes of them and to make government service seem shameful.

    But just think for a moment. A city like Rockford has a large population of two particular minorities. Of the adults in the two groups, over half are either on welfare or employed by government. Their exclusion, followed by exclusion of the employees of the largest employer–school teachers–and second largest employer–city and country government–would radically change the political complexion of the city and county. Our Democratic mayor could go back to collecting old trading stamp books and most of the Republicans would be stigmatized as liberals.

  7. Andrew G Van Sant says:

    I will vote for you and support your platform even though almost all my income comes directly from the Government. The rest comes indirectly.

    I was paid half an ensign’s salary while attending the Naval Academy (no student loan debt) and served on active duty for six and a half years before working for various government contractors for about 18 years and then as a government employee for another 18 years. A true double dipper, my four years at the Academy and my Navy service, active and reserve, counted for my time in service when I retired from the Civil Service.

    With our social security and my three retirement annuities, my wife and I make more money now than when I was working. And it is all indexed for inflation.

    This was not planned. It all happened as a result of being recruited to play football for Navy out of highschool. Notre Dame said I was too small and Stevens Point, Wisconsin did not have a job waiting for me after graduation. My only regret is that we settled in the People’s Republic of Maryland, the “Free State,” where my wife’s parents lived when I left active service.

  8. Dom says:

    My situation is similar to Mr Van Sant’s and I also support this platform – knowing all the while it could be the last vote I cast.
    We are taught to think as if our vote is the only thing protecting us from savagery, but one individual’s vote cannot in fact protect him from the savagery of the others’. It is funny to think that a sacrificed vote might wield more power than an exercised one.

  9. Dom says:

    That is not to disparage local elections. A vote can still influence local policies, but that probably depends on the locality.

  10. Kurt Kronfuss says:

    Both of my parents had a way of politely making government service seem shameful, which I am forever thankful for. Mr. Van Sant, your honesty is much appreciated. Thomas Fleming, I’m betting your plank is being polished for your walk. Seriously, your proposals make sense politically, if that is possible. You are an inspiration for life, and life everlasting.