Category Archives: Politics

The Only Winning Move is not to Play

Aficionados of the teen angst, Cold War, rebel with or without a cause, give-peace-a-chance, et al., type of talkie will recognize, immediately and practically without apparent cognitive effort, the title as the conclusion reached by a supercomputer dubbed WOPR (War Operation Plan Response) by the MIC (Military Industrial Complex), or “Joshua” by its creator and others, in a hugely successful 1983 movie called War Games. The story is pretty simple:

  1. Military personnel, tasked with pushing the buttons, turning the keys, etc., and thereby starting the final conflagration of global thermonuclear war in simulations that have gone slightly awry, have refused to comply with their standing orders and have not unleashed the (admittedly simulated) war birds.
  2. An official, played by Dabney Coleman, has succeeded in instituting a program whereby a supercomputer can, through artificial intelligence and various simulations, “learn” to choose properly, based on probabilities of success, whether to continue with the order, or not.
  3. A less than stellar high school student (as far as high school goes) succeeds in hacking the school system’s computers and changing a few grades. Then he manages to discover something he finds odd and interesting in Silicon Valley. When he hits a wall beyond which he cannot go in his search, he proceeds to get himself into NORAD by certain expedients, and learns of the problems being caused by WOPR/Joshua, which/who has suddenly developed a desire (of some kind) to bring the game to an end state.
  4. Young student and his girlfriend embark upon an expedition, rushing to the Pacific Northwest to convince WOPR’s creator to return with them and lend a hand in bringing the unruly child under control.
  5. Because retired PhDs like Dr. Falken often accede in the wishes of adolescent trouble-makers, Falken returns to NORAD and convinces Joshua to play Tic-Tac-Toe against itself. Simultaneously, Joshua/WOPR is trying to “crack” the launch code to bring off a world ending war, and is running all of the simulations again.
  6. Before the code is cracked, WOPR/Joshua realizes that the “game” he is playing is one that cannot be won, and utters the words comprising the title of this piece. Then he offers to play “a nice game of chess”.

Silly in the extreme? Or prophetic? I think neither, but rather allegorical. For I think I see the same kind of thing playing out week after weary week, year after weary year, in our national demise, said demise accelerating rapidly over the course of time.

This week the big controversy is that one Phil Robertson, a cast member of a rather popular cable television show, has been placed on indefinite hiatus by the network that owns the franchise, called Duck Dynasty. In the way of most such controversies, boycotts have been urged by certain elements of the population, and the focal points of those boycotts have begun to grow outside the boundaries of the network and their presumably contracted employees, the cast of the show, and in particular the person who is now being called the “patriarch” of those contracted employees. One or more companies have apparently decided to suppress their involvement with the show by removing certain items from their store shelves, at least for now, or reducing their prices. So where’s the controversy?

A very few days ago, the big controversy was over a few events connected with the Nelson Mandela funeral, memorial service, etc. What was that all about? Oh, yes, it was that a sitting President of the United States and a sitting Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, indulged in taking “selfies” surrounding the very attractive head of the government of Denmark. The result was that the President’s wife apparently rearranged the seating, and just by the way did not look very pleased with some events or others.

Now, I’m wondering if anyone remembers the big controversy preceding the Mandela thing? No? I didn’t think so. How about Snowden and the NSA? That was last Spring. Lots of things between then and now. Uh, the “failed” “Obamacare” rollout, from the Website to the policy cancellations and everything else? The Presidential, Congressional, and other lies about the Affordable Care Act? Various shootings in public places, including elementary and high schools? Benghazi? September 11, 2001? The housing bubble? The dot-com crash? Don Imus saying silly and stupid things about a female college sports team, or Rush Limbaugh saying silly things about a professional law school student? The Grenada invasion, or Panama? The Bork or Thomas hearings? Maude worrying about abortion? Race and gender based quotas in everything there is?

Don’t the big controversies go back, uh, forever?

We, the people, are focusing on things that have very little real significance, all spoon fed to us by a willing and complicit media working busily for whoever their masters may be, and we are losing, ever more rapidly, the focus on the really important things, such as governance of the Nation.

I submit that, apart from a knowledge of and an adherence to, the Constitution of the United States, one is totally ignorant of just which “controversies” are of any importance at all. If some tempest in a tea-kettle doesn’t affect the Constitution, it’s just not worth much notice.

At the same time, I submit that whenever such tempests consume our energies and our time, we have already lost the central focus, and we really don’t give a tinker’s dam about the Constitution, our liberties, or the future.

You’d better choose. I hope you choose not to play.

George Washington Opposed Presidential Term Limitations?

As a Professor of History and Education in New York University’s Steinhardt School, Jonathan Zimmerman [4][5] should be much more honest and transparent in his treatment of the historical record regarding President George Washington’s imaginary opposition toward limiting the number of years a person might serve usefully and rightfully in the office of President. In his op-ed piece [2] of November 28, 2013 (revised on November 29, 2013), Professor Zimmerman quotes from a letter [1] written by the future President to the Marquis de Lafayette as follows:

I can see no propriety in precluding ourselves from the service of any man who, in some great emergency, shall be deemed universally most capable of serving the public.

For his reasons alone, the professor chose to omit the surrounding context from the quotation, which is as follows:

There are other points on which opinions would be more likely to vary. As for instance, on the ineligibility of the same person for President, after he should have served a certain course of years. Guarded so effectually as the proposed Constitution is, in respect to the prevention of bribery and undue influence in the choice of President: I confess, I differ widely myself from Mr. Jefferson and you, as to the necessity or expediency of rotation in that appointment. The matter was fairly discussed in the Convention, and to my full convictions; though I cannot have time or room to sum up the argument in this letter. There cannot, in my judgment, be the least danger that the President will by any practicable intrigue ever be able to continue himself one moment in office, much less perpetuate himself in it; but in the last stage of corrupted morals and political depravity: and even then there is as much danger that any other species of domination would prevail. Though, when a people shall have become incapable of governing themselves and fit for a master, it is of little consequence from what quarter he comes. Under an extended view of this part of the subject, I can see no propriety in precluding ourselves from the services of any man, who on some great emergency shall be deemed universally, most capable of serving the Public.

Please read that quotation much more closely than you might have. Please notice that George Washington, more than a year before he became President of the United States of America under the Constitution of 1787, expressed certain far-reaching qualifications toward his alleged opposition to Presidential term limitations. The most telling of those qualifications seems to be that Washington considered it impossible, under the conditions he desired, and possibly expected, to obtain, for a person to “continue himself one moment in office,…” He is explicit in describing the conditions he definitely desires not to prevail:

…but in the last stage of corrupted morals and political depravity.

Furthermore, at such a passage of events, he declares:

…any other species of domination would prevail.

To make the point in greater depth, he then adds:

…when a people shall have become incapable of governing themselves and fit for a master,

Then Washington caps his remarks with:

…it is of little consequence from what quarter he [the master: Ed.] comes.

First, please observe again that George Washington feared the last stage.

Please further observe that George Washington, when he uses the words “a master”, is most definitely and explicitly not referring to some person who would serve as President; to think of a President as a “master” rather than a servant would have been anathema to him. No, he refers instead to the would-be slave holder who holds in her or his hands the possibility of giving to someone, in Washington’s future, the unparalleled office of President of the United States of America, for the purposes of base gain, political motivation, and power over an entire population, its treasure, and its future in a time characterized by him as of “corrupted morals and political depravity”.

Does one not see that Washington is not referring here to the one who desires to be a slave “owner” whose morals are certainly corrupted and whose politics are depraved, but rather to a populace, and in particular to a populace having the inestimable privilege of suffrage, a populace largely consumed by material gain and power over their brethren in the body politick? The one who would be the master of other humans is already morally corrupt and politically depraved! But a populace which has become so is only a collection of “useful idiots” capable of transferring that power and gain to the actual slave holder through the elected puppet. But that populace derives from the slave owner the same corruption and depravity.

In President George Washington’s Farewell Address to the Nation [3], he spoke a most serious warning:

To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliance, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a constitution of government better calculated than your former for an intimate union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.

All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.

However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

Now: Right now. Without waiting, please ask yourself if this body politick has not become the matter of the very worst of Washington’s nightmares, a populace which wants only material gain, and to that end will exercise political power to realize it. It is a very serious question, and an honest answer will require soul-searching and more. Ignore the question at the peril, not only of yourself, but of this once great Republic and of all who live here.

The question will not disappear.

May God Almighty bless the United States of America.




Incapable of Annihilation

Having begun this first day of the 238th year of the independence of the United States of America in the way I have now practiced for forty consecutive Fourths of July, anything to follow will be denouement for the remainder of the day, for the tradition I follow on this anniversary centers upon a reading of the Declaration of Independence. At times I have added the original United States Constitution, including of course the Bill of Rights, the Articles of Confederation, and other documents, but the Declaration of Independence, adopted by the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia on this date in 1776, is for me the proper focus of attention today, as it expresses the genius of the Founders with a clarity and fullness unmatched in other merely human literature.

In some cases I have considered every word in the Declaration, reflecting upon each one’s meaning within its phrase or sentence and within the entire document. Today I thought about larger elements, and found myself drawn, several times, to the third through the sixth grievances against George III, and particularly to the sixth, with the utterly fascinating phrase:

“…incapable of Annihilation…”

Without context, this phrase is perfectly meaningless, for nearly everything is, in some sense, annihilable, or at least convertible to a form having a different character, other physical qualities, etc. Having read the Declaration many times, I trust not only its veracity, but its sensibility, implicitly. Furthermore, the Founders were educated men, many of whom had read their Empedocles (“For it is impossible for anything to come to be from what is not, and it cannot be brought about or heard of that what is should be utterly destroyed”) and Epicurus (“[T]he totality of things was always such as it is now, and always will be”), and almost certainly some had encountered Lavoisier’s work in the realm of conservation of matter and energy. The Founders were not discussing chemical and physical phenomena, though; this thing that is “incapable of Annihilation” was not for them, and is not for us, an object capable of responding to force, or a force capable of exerting influence upon an object.

This thing that can not be annihilated, obliterated, destroyed utterly once and for all time, is, in fact, a combination of many elements concerning natural law, humanity, governance, and justice, all existing for the Founders as realities having a fundamental nature transcending that of mere matter and energy. The realm of discourse of the Declaration of Independence is dual, the object is singular.

Idea, the Formal Basis of the Declaration of Independence

I humbly submit that the Founders would never have approached the heights they achieved apart from their lifetimes spent in struggle with the philosophies, the informing genius, the lofty ideas, of the giants of thought on whose shoulders they most assuredly knew they stood during the late Spring and early Summer of 1776. Their education, whether in schools or otherwise, had rewarded them with foundations in the Ancients, and the Schoolmen, and the Moderns of their age. This is not to say they were all equal geniuses of thought, but rather that the fortuitous combination of their lives at that time, in that place, facing that common enemy and crisis did mold them into a political force such as the world had never before seen, and probably would never see again.

The clear language throughout the Declaration, in the English indicative mood, bespeaks a reasoned civility balanced with a firm strength of character. It is difficult to imagine this harmony occurred by sheer chance, but however it came about, the proof of its existence is in the words of the Declaration itself. The Preamble, which I take to be in two sections, is almost apologetic in its preparation of the reader for that which is to follow: “When…it becomes necessary…to separate…a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires” the kind but firm warning and challenge that will issue in the end.

With the somewhat apologetic language comes one step in the logical progression after another. “Self-evident” truths and “unalienable rights” lead directly to mankind’s place in the universe as a creature of “Nature’s God”, and thus the dependent but inherent value of humans, transcending by means of natural law any encroachment upon that truth, those rights, that value, by any government instituted by mankind; to the contrary, governments rule only “by the consent of the governed”. Because governments tend to hold the governed in low esteem, by depriving them of the means of seeking the happiness attendant upon realizing each person’s fullest potential rather than legislating or commanding that people be happy, the inevitable end of the conflict is either human slavery or human freedom. In order to be fully human, it therefore is always the right of “the people” to examine their government to determine if it is doing their will, and if it is failing in that regard, “the people” then have a duty to throw off even the accustomed and comfortable form of government and establish a “new government” they believe capable and desirous of supporting the ideals of liberty (“happiness”) and security in a perfectly balanced way.

King George III and his government having failed to meet the standard demanded by natural law, the Founders had no recourse but to follow their conscience, and that was a matter of established fact at the time, but they continued upon the path of civility and logic and set forth their grievances against the government then set over and against them. The list is twenty-seven items in length, each more serious and harmful to the common weal than those previously named, and it indeed does detail “a long train of abuses” whose end is the establishment of an “absolute tyranny” over the American Colonies of Great Britain. That list reads much more like a formal set of charges against a criminal than it does anything else, and the details become ever more tyrannical. But there is a breaking point in the list, in my mind’s eye, and that occurs in the third through the sixth grievance, wherein the detail is that the government of Great Britain, with George III at the helm, had arrogated to itself the power to annihilate that which is not annihilable: the right, under the Law of Nature and of Nature’s God, for humans to pursue happiness as they choose, and not as it is thrust upon them.

In simple terms, the 27 grievances are an indictment. The American Colonial citizens of Great Britain, acting corporately as a kind of grand jury, had produced a “true bill” of indictment against the government and King of Great Britain. In particular, since the King had illegally nullified their natural law right to self-government, they had understood correctly that the legislative power, intended to be representative, had in fact become directly the province of “the people”.

Furthermore, they had decided that their cause was anything but “light and transient”, the British crown and government were unfit to rule “a free people”, natural law and God the Lawmaker and Judge was the true source of their liberty and security, and on July 4 did declare, that they would take the matter to trial, not least on the battlefield and the high seas. In other words, they would take action commensurate with their findings and their judgment, having taken all possible steps to explain their judgment and findings to “a candid world”, and to effect that action did pledge, each and corporately, their “Lives, … Fortunes and … sacred Honor.”

Action, the Functional and Immediate Outcome of the Declaration of Independence

“The British Colonials in North America declared war against the British Empire on July 4, 1776.”

That is the popular view. It is also false. In point of fact, the war had been engaged more than a year earlier, particularly on April 19, 1775, in the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and on June 17, 1775, in the Battles of Bunker Hill and Breed’s Hill. These were respectively the beginning and end of significant military action during the Boston Campaign of September 1, 1774, the date of the “Powder Alarm”, through March 17, 1776, when British Troops abandoned their occupation of Boston following George III’s royal assent to the Massachusetts Government Act vacating the royal charter of the Province of Massachusetts Bay.

Patrick Henry delivered his “Give me liberty or give me death” speech to the Virginia Convention at St. John’s Church in Richmond on March 23, 1775. Here is the final paragraph of that speech, which leaves no doubt that a state of war existed long before July 4, 1776:

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace–but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Another commonly repeated idea is as follows:

“By proclaiming the independence of the United States of America, the Colonists became rebellious Subjects of the Crown.”

That is a similarly popular view, and it is likewise false. On August 23, 1775, George issued A Proclamation for Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition in response to British losses in the Battles of Bunker Hill and Breed’s Hill. In the text of that proclamation King George charged the colonists with “traitorously preparing, ordering and levying war against” the Crown. The official stance of the British Empire at the time the Declaration of Independence was adopted was that the Colonies had already been in a state of rebellion for more than ten months.

If war and rebellion were not the functional, structural outcomes of the Declaration, then what was it the Founders started on July 4, 1776? The answer is strikingly simple. The Founders began the long struggle to ensure that human liberty would always be framed within the lattice of Law, Reason, and Civility based upon worth naturally inherent to mankind; that human endeavor would gain benefits forever precisely because it would be forever protected from tyranny, either of an aristocracy, an oligarchy, or a bureaucracy; that the paradigm of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” would forever remain the sole pursuit of human governance.

Liberty, the Ultimate Object of the Declaration of Independence

The ultimate objective of the Founders was the continuance of liberty. Before a thing may continue in fact, it must exist in reality, and when opposition arises to this end, war is the inevitable result. During the long history of humanity, the war has raged without interruption, in one way or another, because, as the Founders knew fully well, mankind will forever partition itself into two groups: those who desire to live within a framework of respect, and righteousness, of growth and advancement, of maximal effort for maximal good; and those who desire to control and own other people. There is no other way to divide the thing.

If the Founders had left us nothing else, the Declaration of Independence would stand forever as the finest achievement of human governance. But they left us something else, of at least equal importance, and that is the legacy of their common resolve and good-will in the face of daunting and overwhelming force. That common purpose was not then, 237 years ago, a common thing, and it is likely not nearly as common today as it was then.

But there are Sons and Daughters of the Revolution, of Patrick Henry, of Thomas Jefferson, and all the others among us in these degraded times. We desire nothing more than the promise of Micah 4:4, “…but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid…” But we must remember and cherish and practice the words of our Founders in order to reach that estate in this life:

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

…with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Finally, we must remember and cherish and study the words of President Abraham Lincoln following the Battle of Gettysburg, paraphrased as follows:

We here highly resolve that [what has been is not] in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

When we have met that challenge, we will indeed have become

Incapable of Annihilation

The Genius of the Electoral College

The Constitution is clear in its appointment of an Electoral College to serve after each Presidential Election for the sole purpose of choosing, if possible, the President and Vice-President of the United States. There is no less clarity in definition of the operation of this Electoral College, or the handling of their function if they should be unable to determine the question to which their hands are set. There remains great confusion and even frustration with the Electoral College after every Presidential Election, for one reason or another. This article will attempt to clarify some of the misunderstandings, and possibly to answer some of the questions, that occur every quadrennium in the United States.

Without a doubt the best place to begin looking for answers is in the words of the United States Constitution, particularly in one Article and one Amendment that replaces some of the original language of the Article. Accordingly, that is where we will begin.

Each State shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector. (U.S. Constitution, art. 2, sec. 1, cl. 2.)

The Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors, and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States. (U.S. Constitution, art. 2, sec. 1, cl. 3.)

The Electors shall meet in their respective States and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; the President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; – The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each State having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States shall be necessary to a choice. (U.S. Constitution, amend. 12, sec. 1)

The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such numbers be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States. (U.S. Constitution, amend. 12, sec. 3)

In order to gain a thorough understanding of the purpose, composition, and importance of the Electoral College as defined and required by the Constitution, we must understand that the Articles of Confederation adopted in 1781 provided for no “president of the United States”. This omission of an executive branch, and of a judicial branch, and of any means of defraying the expenses of government, was among the chief reasons that soon after the Articles were adopted, they came to be seen as ineffective for the governance of a free people. With all federal power, such as it was, housed in a single entity, the Congress, there was entirely too much likelihood that an oligarchy would arise from within the Congress or by action of conspirators who had gained control of Congress, and the democratic experiment would certainly fail. The Electoral College design overcomes every possible danger envisioned by the Framers in the vital area of selecting a Chief Executive for the “more perfect Union” they envisioned.

It is also crucial to understand the importance the Framers placed upon limited and representative government, separation of powers, and a guaranteed system of checks and balances toward the end of ensuring the endurance of the young American Republic. The very ideas themselves balance each the others, for when any one part of the government is limited in its relation to the others, the others are thereby strengthened relative to the weakened member, necessitating that the powers of government be separated by the firm and unbreachable walls of the Constitution, and furthermore that even within the different spheres of governments, including federal branches, States in relation to the federal government, and States in relation to each other, there be restraints upon overwhelming power, lest a faction, or a combination of them, gain an upper hand and dilute or quench the others in their proper spheres of influence.

The Framers had these specific objects in mind when they devised the Electoral College. In Federalist #68, Alexander Hamilton explained that, while the people’s vote would ultimately determine the outcome of the Presidential Elections, it could not be left to a plebiscite for the reason that the people, being of many temperaments, levels of moral development and education, and other distinctions, were not to be tempted by base greed in the matter of choosing the Chief Executive. Rather, the people would choose electors, persons who had proved that they were above crude motivations for the sake of power or riches, and the electors so chosen by the people would cast the votes to select the President and Vice-President. Further, “no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector” (U.S. Constitution, art. 2, sec. 2, cl. 2), thereby excluding the basest ambitions of the electors themselves.

Notice that, even with these guards in place in the matter of choosing a President and Vice-President, the Constitution makes it perfectly clear that it is completely within the purview and power of the States, under the control of their respective Legislatures, to appoint the electors who will be sent to the Electoral College. And then, so as to punctuate this separation of powers, the Constitution again makes it perfectly clear that these electors, and the Electoral College derivatively, must meet within their respective States, to further deny any power or force from outside each State, for the purpose of casting their votes for the offices they will determine. They may not meet in combinations of States, either regional or national, but must meet in their respective States. It is a perfect and sublime example of the separation of powers in a federal system of representative government. The Congress may only decree three matters, and those are the “time of choosing the electors”, “the day on which they shall give their votes”, and that this must occur on the same day uniformly throughout the United States. Again, these provisions are exemplary of true federalism in action within a representative and republican framework.

We must notice, and give heed to, the totality of the language in the Constitution, which by means of its own provisions includes its Amendments, to this vitally important matter of ensuring the continuity of civil government. It was not without accident that these words were chosen, for these words follow upon long and sober reflection, and upon the decisions of the several States in the ratification of this Supreme Law of the Land. Is there not more of restriction upon the unbridled power of a federal government, and upon the powers of the States, and upon the powers of the federal and State Legislatures, and upon the powers of elected and appointed officials, and finally upon the powers inherent to the people themselves, than there is upon the Rule of Law itself? The Framers most certainly understood that mankind were then, and are now, predisposed to take the easier course, the baser course, than to choose to elevate themselves to a higher course, and they codified that understanding into our Constitution. More particularly, the States chose, through their several devices of governance, to ratify that Constitution in its entirety. In so doing, they chose the Electoral College system for determining the person who would be, or could become, Chief Executive.

We, who live in this 21st Century, are yet bound by this legal document, which many would disparage simply because it is “legal”; but even so, we are held to it. Those Framers, and the States which ratified this Constitution, are in the position known as “federal head” to all of those who live today. Their actions represent us. Their decisions affect us. We are held to the decisions taken in 1787, until such time as we, or a later generation of Americans, choose to change the effects of those actions and decisions.

A Prayer for President Obama

By Dan Delzell , Special to CP

November 8, 2012|6:21 am

As Christians, it is our duty to pray for our president and for all those in positions of authority. (see 1 Timothy 2:1-4) As Christians, we obviously are deeply concerned about the sanctity of human life, the institution of marriage between a man and a woman, and the moral necessity of paying off our national debt for the sake of future generations.

With those matters and other moral issues in mind, here is a prayer which many of us can pray regularly in sincerity and in truth.

Almighty God,

Thank you for giving us your Son as our Redeemer. Thank you that His kingdom shall have no end. Wash away my sins Lord Jesus, and give me O Holy Spirit a love for the things you love….and a hatred for the things you hate. Help me not to grieve you by my words, my behavior, or my daily agenda.

Thank you Lord for all the blessings which you have poured out upon our nation over these many years. We are not worthy of your blessings….but we humbly and graciously thank you for your goodness and mercy to us.

Look down upon President Obama and grant him your wisdom O Lord. In his profession of faith in Christ, show him clearly what his profession calls him to do….first as a believer, and secondly as president. Lead him to trust in Christ’s death on the cross for his sins, and not in his own efforts or religious deeds. Teach him the Gospel message of salvation through faith in Christ alone. Bring him to that spiritual place where his soul is born again through faith in Jesus….and empower him to share with others his love for you O Lord.

Give President Obama a love for the Scriptures, and for prayer. Grant him faith to trust you everyday in every situation. Give our president and his wife and daughters a strong prayer life together, and daily discussions about how Christianity transforms our life and our decisions.

Teach President Obama that the killing of unborn children is every bit as evil as the slavery which white men forced upon black men in our nation’s history. Encourage our president to keep his thoughts not only on those outside the womb, but also on those inside the womb. Lead him to become obsessed with the ultrasound images of unborn babies, and to become convinced of the immorality of inflicting pain and death upon unborn children. Give him a passion to protect and to free these innocent black, white, and brown babies from the cruel and barbaric practice of abortion.

Change his heart O Lord not only on the issue of life, but also on the biblical issue of marriage. Teach him to take the Scriptures literally, not only in those passages regarding salvation….and heaven and hell….and the blood of Jesus….and the need for righteous living….but also on your clear teaching concerning marriage. Show him O Lord that a promotion of same-sex marriage is a promotion of sin, and that it is his duty as a Christian never to promote sin of any kind….whether it be lying, stealing, oppression, adultery, injustice, greed, or homosexuality. Teach him O Lord that “righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)

Give our president a love for all people regardless of their lifestyle, and the Christian conviction about biblical marriage which is held by black, white, and brown believers in Christ all over the world. Show him how to love the sinner, without embracing the behavior and promoting the sin.

Help President Obama to make wise financial decisions as well. Teach our president that it is wrong to pass on this huge financial debt to future generations. Wake him up to the dangers which this enormous debt presents to our nation. Give him wisdom in the area of financial responsibility, and in all other areas which require common sense and “sanctified sense.”

Thank you Lord that we have not elected a “Pastor-in-Chief,” and that our president does not need to be a full-time theologian. But help him Lord to understand the necessity of turning to the Bible everyday for wisdom, strength, and direction. Show him his responsibility in this critical area as a professing Christian.

Help me Lord to trust you even when things in this world seem confusing or alarming. My hope is in you Jesus, and not in any elected official. Thank you Lord for being such a faithful friend and Savior, and for granting me the free gift of eternal life through faith in Christ. Help President Obama to develop a strong friendship with you, an eternal trust in you, and a life of daily obedience to your commands.

Protect and deliver us today in America O Lord. Turn my heart and millions of hearts to you this day through repentance and faith in Christ. And in so doing, we will be led to serve and follow you, our King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Come quickly Lord Jesus. We need you in our lives and in our nation now more than ever, and we rely upon your forgiveness, your blessing, and your guidance.

I pray all of these things in the name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord. Amen.


(Reposted with the gracious permission of the author.)