3.4.2020 – voting voters vote

voting voters vote
different kind of merit
esteem, confidence

When I vote, I am sifting the grain.

Winnowing that wheat

Throwing out the chaff.


That is my job.

Growing the wheat.

Bringing in the sheaves.

Provide me with candidates who I can, with some confidence and, dare I say, satisfaction, vote for!

That is what the political process is supposed to do.

Watching the process sort out the candidates for the high office of President of The United States, I get to thinking, “This is it?”

Before he became a musical, Alexander Hamilton had a role in explaining the new United States Constitution in the series of public letters now known as the Federalist Papers.

The Federalist Papers have become a political version of John Calvin’s Institutio Christianae Religionis to help explain those hard to understand parts of the Constitution.

The part of the Consitution on Qualifications for President isn’t hard to understand.

All it says is, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

It has always been said that in the United States, anyone could grow up to be President.

That was what Mr. Hamilton wanted to explain.

Mr. Hamilton wrote in The Federalist 68, published on March 14, 1788, that:

The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.

Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States.

It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue.

I picture Mr. Hamilton waiting backstage for the duel scene reading today’s paper and mumbling to himself, “something went wrong.”

But did it?

Mr. Hamilton and his buddy, Mr. Madison set up the engine and sent it off, but it isn’t a train engine.

It isn’t on a track that is already laid out.

It is more like a Hot Wheels car that you shove across the basement floor.

Sometimes the car goes straight.

Sometimes it spins around and goes every which way including backwards.

Can we expect, in this age of social media, to find anyone whose talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity play stronger than their lack of merit?

Henry Louis Mencken is credited with saying, “Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.”

I get who I deserve to get.

Maybe a good President is too hard to find.

Maybe a good President is too much to expect.

Back in the day, Will Rogers said something like, “Ohio claims they are due a president as they haven’t had one since Taft. Look at the United States, they have not had one since Lincoln.”

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