Will the Electors Follow Precedent?

Will the Electors Follow Precedent?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Donald Trump is scheduled to be the nation’s next President. His election will be confirmed on December 19th when the Electoral College meets and confirms the decisions rendered in the 50 states on November 8th. But the question is: Will the electors follow precedent and confirm the Election Day results that showed Trump winning over Hillary Clinton by 306 to 232?

The Electoral College isn’t a college and there is no national gathering of the electors to make their choice. The selection of President is made when individuals (electors) pledged to vote for their political party’s candidate meet in their state and cast their ballot. If the voters in a particular state chose Trump, then the slate of Republican electors are expected to ratify that choice.

Some states legally bind each elector, although that requirement has never been legally challenged in the courts. Could the electors choose someone other than the choice made by their state’s voters on Election Day? The answer to that extremely poignant question is yes.

In 1968, a Republican elector in North Carolina refused to cast his ballot for Richard Nixon, the winner of the popular vote in that state. His vote for George Wallace was duly recorded. In 1972, a Republican elector in Virginia refused to vote for Nixon, the popular vote winner in his state. He opted instead for the candidate of the Libertarian Party. And his choice was also duly recorded.

Some states have taken steps to legally bind electors to cast their ballots as decided on Election Day. No challenges to those restrictions have made their way through the courts.

A Republican elector in Texas recently announced that he won’t vote for Donald Trump on December 19th. That elector, Christopher Suprun, claims that Mr. Trump is not qualified to hold the highest office in our nation and does not possess the proper “demeanor” to be president. He hopes other electors throughout the nation will follow his lead.

Mr. Suprun found immediate support from Harvard University law professor Lawrence Lessig, who distinguished himself as a backer of the movement to hold an Article V constitutional convention. A Con-Con, of course, can completely erase the current U.S. Constitution and invite a totally new one. In 2015, Lessig announced his own candidacy for president as a Democrat. But his president candidacy went nowhere, and he soon abandoned the race.

Lessig now claims that the winner of the popular vote (Hillary Clinton) should be declared president by the electors on December 19th. Mrs. Clinton did win more than two million votes than Donald Trump. But Trump’s victories in numerous states added up to an Electoral College win – if the electors follow precedent.

The Founding Fathers didn’t want a popular vote to determine the winner of the presidency. They wanted the states to chose the president. Especially concerned were they about the smaller states having a voice. The electoral system they created does give small states an important say in who becomes the nation’s leader.

A recent report from DC-based Politico says that a team of lawyers has already been assembled to assist Republican electors who want to bolt the system and vote for someone other than Trump. If a sufficient number of electors ignores tradition and Trump does not receive 270 electoral college votes, then the choice of president goes to the House of Representatives, where the decision will be made according to a process little known by the American people. It appears in the Constitution’s Amendment XII adopted in 1804.

It would take 38 Republican electors to block Donald Trump from being named President on December 19th. Christopher Suprun, the balky Republican elector from Texas, is number one in the movement toward this goal. Will there be 37 more? Or will Donald Trump be confirmed as President on December 19? Chances that enough electors will create a presidential crisis are slim. But so were the chances that Donald Trump would do as well as he did on Election Day.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


How Castro Seized Control of Cuba

How Castro Seized Control of Cuba
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

On April 9, 1948, 21-year-old Fidel Castro took part in a bloody communist uprising in Bogota, Colombia. While shouting over a seized radio station, “This is a Communist revolution,” he and his marauding comrades proceeded to murder hundreds while setting fires that claimed many more lives. Arrested and charged with murder, he boasted, “I did a good work today; I killed a priest.” But the Colombian authorities merely sent him out of their country.

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Back in his native Cuba in 1953, Fidel led a band of insurrectionists in an attack on one of the country’s military posts.  Arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison by the Batista government, he benefitted from a general amnesty in 1954. Castro then made his way to New York, where he met with friends who provided him with millions of dollars in aid and promises to smuggle quantities of arms into Cuba — which promises they kept.

In 1956, he went to Mexico, where he received training from die-hard communist forces who had fought in the Spanish Civil War. It was there that he met and enlisted Argentine communist Ernesto “Che” Guevara as his second in command. Before 1956 ended, the two led a band numbering less than a hundred into Cuba, established a base of operations, benefitted from a U.S. arms embargo aimed at the Batista government, and advanced toward their eventual takeover of the island nation.

In the United States in May 1957, a pro-Communist named William Wieland won appointment as the head of the State Department’s Caribbean Desk.  When U.S. Ambassador to Cuba Arthur Gardner warned his superiors (Wieland certainly included) that Castro was indeed a communist, he was speedily replaced and prevented from briefing his successor, Earl E.T. Smith. To put it mildly, that constituted a highly unusual break in policy. Instead, Wieland sent Smith to Herbert Matthews at the New York Times for his briefing and Matthews, who had already been heaping praises on Castro, assured the newly appointed ambassador that Castro was a trusted friend of freedom. Nevertheless, Smith learned the truth, reported what he learned to Washington, and was likewise replaced.

In mid-1958, former Assistant Secretary of State Spruille Braden warned, “Rebel chief Fidel Castro is a pawn in the Kremlin’s international intrigue.” Over in Mexico, U.S. Ambassador Robert C. Hill sent a similar message to Washington. But Secretary of State Dean Rusk and President John F. Kennedy vouched for the bearded revolutionary. They also did nothing to rid the U.S. government of William Wieland and his cohort, Roy Rubottom. After Castro took control of the island nation on January 1, 1959, he visited the United States, lied about his communist purposes, and won glorification from government officials and media heavyweights. Then, on December 2, 1961, he boldly confessed to having been a communist during his entire adult life. Only then did the U.S. government classify the Castro regime as an enemy.

Three months prior to Castro seizing control of Cuba, private citizen Robert Welch published the truth about the Cuban revolutionary in his small American Opinion magazine. He stated in September 1958, “Now the evidence from Castro’s whole past that he is a Communist agent carrying out Communist orders and plans is overwhelming.”  Welch would later found The John Birch Society.

No one in government, Wieland and Rubottom included, ever paid any price for their treachery.  Media luminaries who lauded Castro continued in their posts. But a price was paid, and is still being paid, by the Cuban people. Since the Castro takeover, thousands have been jailed or executed. More thousands have died at sea attempting to flee the Communist hellhole. In March 2016, President Obama journeyed to Cuba to start a resumption of relations with Fidel and his equally tyrannical brother Raúl. Fidel has now gone to his Maker and Raúl has continued the Castros’ tyrannical rule.

Cuba’s fate over the past 50-plus years brings to mind the adage, “Crime unpunished is crime rewarded.” The Castro brothers have never been punished. Nor have State Department officials who helped them into power and paved the way for like-minded diplomats to be their successors. A house cleaning is still very much needed.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


A Return to the Republic: A Game Plan for Donald Trump

A Return to the Republic: A Game Plan for Donald Trump
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

The following statement was solicited and then aired, along with the thoughts of others, via the nationwide “Connecting the Dots” radio program on November 22, 2016. We were asked what advice would we give to incoming President of the United States Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump, I suggest that you add to your goal of making America great again the following statement: “America became great, not because of what government did, but because of what government was prevented from doing by the U.S. Constitution.”

Image from Wikipedia.

You should consider that, were the Constitution fully adhered to, the federal government would shrink to 20 percent its size and 20 percent its cost.

To questions asking what you intend to do after your inauguration, you should say, “I am not going to do as much as people might expect. Instead I shall use all the proper powers of the presidency to undo much of what government now does. And what I intend to undo, to abolish, are all agencies, departments, and bureaucratic monstrosities that are not authorized by the Constitution.”

Among the federal agencies that should be abolished are the Departments of Education, Energy, Interior, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and many of those issuing handouts of various kinds. You should arrange to have the U.S. military and the U.S. Border Patrol take on whatever responsibilities have been assumed by the Department of Homeland Security.

One by one, all agencies of the federal government that have been created and empowered by presidential Executive Orders should be abolished. The most egregious of these is the federal Environmental Protection Agency, a monster created via an Executive Order written by President Nixon in 1970. The EPA was never voted into existence by Congress.

America has not won a war since 1945 when victory was achieved in World War II. No victory in Korea, in Vietnam, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Why? Because our nation submits to rules and regulations mandated by the United Nations and its controlled stepchild NATO. For this reason and many more, the United States should withdraw from the United Nations at the earliest possible time. A measure to accomplish this goal, H.R. 1205, has been introduced in the House of Representatives and it should receive presidential support.

Proper attention should be given to the very first sentence in the Constitution that states, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States….” That means no law making is proper if made by presidential Executive Order or by a Supreme Court decision. Any law enacted outside of the legislative branch must be declared null. One good example needing termination is the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade that has legalized the taking of 60 million lives since 1973.

Presidential power must be employed to have a thorough audit of the Federal Reserve, something that hasn’t been done in the Fed’s more than 100 years of existence. Congress would welcome the help of the President to get this done. Once audited honestly and thoroughly, moves should be undertaken toward abolishing this unconstitutional engine of inflation. The path toward creating precious metal backed currency should be laid out and followed.

Various job-destroying entanglements in which our government has placed the nation should be terminated. This means exiting NAFTA, CAFTA, the World Trade Organization, and others.

Let me say again: “America became great not because of what government did, but because of what government was prevented from doing by the Constitution.”

Mr. Trump, I will continue to pray that you accomplish all your legitimate goals, only some of which I have listed in this brief statement.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Electoral College 101: December 19th Vote

Electoral College 101: December 19th Vote
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

After the votes of the people in the recent election were counted, the projected Electoral College totals showed that Donald Trump should win the presidency by 306-232. But partisans of the “Never Trump” movement and others can’t bring themselves to accept the Trump victory. They are hard at work trying to persuade Electors to vote for someone other than the GOP’s victorious candidate.

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

A bit of a refresher course is needed here. The Electoral College system calls on voters nationwide to cast their ballots, not for President, but for a political party’s slate of electors who are pledged to the party’s candidate for president. A citizen’s vote for Trump, Clinton, or any other candidate is actually a vote for the slate pledged to that particular candidate. Whoever wins the popular vote in each state will expect that their party’s slate of electors will choose him or her when the Electoral College meets.

According to the system under which the nation has operated from its early years, each state shall have the total number of electors equal to its number of senators (fixed at two per state) and House members (varied according to population). Congress sets the date for the Electoral College to meet and the date chosen for 2016 is December 19th. On that date, electors will meet in state gatherings to confirm the winner of their particular state’s electors. They will duly forward the results of their vote to the President of the Senate. But many of the GOP electors are now receiving fervid pleas to ignore their pledges and vote for someone other than Trump.

Should a sufficient number of electors choose to ignore the pledge they made when they agreed to be an elector for their party and its candidate, and their number shrinks Trump’s lead of 306 to below the 270 majority needed for victory, the Constitution (see Amendment 12) calls for the House of Representatives to hold a completely new and remarkably different election. In it, each state would have one vote and only the top three candidates from the November election can be chosen. Each member of the House shall have a vote and the state itself shall have one vote in this unique selection process. Whoever receives a majority of the 50 state votes will become President. A similar procedure would select the vice president but only the top two from the November election would be eligible.

Having to rely on this process for choosing a President is unlikely. However, should a sufficient number of electors refuse to honor their pledge to vote for the candidate who was chosen, first in the grueling primaries and then in the general election, they would face an eruption of disillusioned and angry voters. And if the eventual House of Representatives vote for president should choose someone other than Trump, those who voted for him in the general election will feel betrayed by our nation’s governmental system.

Anti-Trump activists are determined. Should they succeed in denying Donald Trump his hard-won victory, chaos would surely reign. We can hope that this never previously relied upon process shall not be needed.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Stand Behind the Electoral College

Stand Behind the Electoral College

by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

As she has done in the past, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) immediately called for changing the way Presidents are chosen in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s defeat. She abhors the Electoral College method and wants the popular votes of all Americans to determine who is president. A Clinton backer, she laments that Clinton won approximately one million more votes than did Donald Trump. But Trump comfortably exceeded the required 270 Electoral College votes (306 to 232).

The California Democrat knows that her proposal will likely go nowhere because it can’t be enacted without an amendment to the Constitution. That is a very unlikely prospect requiring passage in both houses of Congress plus ratification by 38 states. Smaller states will jealously guard the power they have been given with the Electoral College system. Boxer isn’t alone in calling for the change. If her wish had been realized a few years ago, Al Gore would have won the presidency in 2000 and Hillary Clinton would have won in 2016. Each of those defeated candidates won more popular votes but lost the all-important Electoral College vote.

Historians tell us that the method of choosing a president resulted from a compromise agreed to by the delegates at the 1787 Constitutional Convention. Understanding why the Electoral College system was chosen has to begin with awareness of the founders’ off-stated abhorrence of democracy and its required majority rule. Also needed for understanding their decision is the fact that it is the states, not the people, who were given the power to choose a president. Then, as now, the smaller states were protected from being overwhelmed by the large-population states. And it should be remembered that the states created the federal government, not the other way around.

The Boxer proposal certainly has its supporters. They want majority rule (the main feature of democracy) to determine who inhabits the White House. But the founders spoke harshly of both democracy and majority rule, and their attitude is obvious in their choice of the Electoral College system. James Madison stated, “… democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

Alexander Hamilton cited his knowledge of history showing that “ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one feature of good government. Their very character was tyranny.” John Adams declared. “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself.” These are the early American leaders who created a Republic and its Federalist system with power remaining in the states, not in the hands of a self-serving majority.

Opponents of the Electoral College always claim that it is unfair to deny the winner of the popular vote the presidential prize. But they never note that if the president were elected by popular vote, the candidates would campaign far differently. If the president is to be chosen by popular vote, candidates would spend far more time in what are deemed the “safe” and larger states where either a Democrat or a Republican is expected to win easily. The Electoral College system elevates the importance of so-called swing states, even those that have fewer than ten Electoral College votes. If democracy’s majority rule is the method for choosing a President, there would likely be a remarkably different popular vote total for each candidate. But, without doubt, the candidates would ignore small population states such as New Hampshire and Iowa with their small number of Electoral votes.

There’s very little chance that the Boxer proposal will catch fire and be added to the Constitution. The founding fathers were correct and the Electoral College they designed is an excellent way to choose the nation’s leader. It should be left in place.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Media Double Standard Clearly Evident

Media Double Standard Clearly Evident

by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Recent headlines insist that Stephen Bannon, Donald Trump’s choice for a top advisory post, is a hate-filled ogre. Rallies and demonstrations throughout the nation describe him with explosively charged rhetoric. The demonstrators also don’t accept the Trump victory on November 8th while claiming that the President-elect is a racist and sexist hater of gays, Muslims, and immigrants.

Let’s go back a few years and recall there were no protesters when the hate-filled outbursts of Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s became known. Wright was the pastor of a Chicago church where Barack Obama could be found for many years. He and Michelle were so close to Wright that they chose him to perform their marriage ceremony. But a video of Wright captured him exhorting his compliant congregation to join him in proclaiming “God d–n America.”

Obama wasn’t in attendance when Wright’s hateful outburst was caught on film. How many other times the left-leaning pastor called on his parishioners to condemn America isn’t known. But the acceptance by his congregation of his strident condemnation of our nation surely indicated that his call for the Almighty to destroy our country wasn’t an out-of-the-ordinary occurrence.

When that video surfaced, Obama was just a candidate seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination. He quickly responded in a televised speech in which he sought to separate himself from the angry pastor. But there were no protests or riots because of the denied connection between the candidate and his pastor.

Nor did either the mass media report or the protesting minorities make note of Obama’s close relationship with Saul Alinsky, the so-called community organizer who saluted “Lucifer” and taught Marxist political tactics. The mass media would have eagerly pounced on most others for anything remotely equivalent in their background.

Then, there’s the numerous unanswered questions about the Obama birth certificate. Yes, Trump eventually accepted it as legitimate and sought to convert the matter to non-issue status. But questions that the media should have asked, but never did, remain.

For instance, the birth certificate released by the White House after years of ignoring the matter states that the race of Obama’s father was  “African.” But in 1961, blacks were termed Negroes and the term African-American was used by no one. This birth certificate lists the site of Obama’s birth as “Kapi’olani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital.” But in 1961, there was no such institution by that name. A merger of the two separate facilities didn’t occur until 1978 when the hospitals were combined and the new name created. Further, the birth certificate states that Obama’s father was born in “Kenya, East Africa.” But Kenya didn’t exist in 1961. Later formed as an independent nation (in 1963), the region was known in 1961 as “British East Africa Protectorate.”

We point out these remarkable inconsistencies, not to insist that Barack Obama was not a “natural born citizen” but to provide more evidence of the mass media’s willingness to overlook important information that might unfavorably impact one of its favorites. Had Donald Trump, or any Republican for that matter, produced a similarly flawed document or been credibly linked in a relationship with an anti-American like Jeremiah Wright, you can bet the angry youngsters clogging the streets and the liberals and leftists who dominate the Fourth Estate would never let such “juicy” information die.

Those who protest Trump’s victory and media stars who refuse to ask meaningful questions about Obama’s legitimacy show their bias. But the Trump victory indicates that their hold on the thinking of millions of Americans is slipping away. And that’s very good news.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Lazy Liberal Journalists Smear Bannon

Editor’s Note: The following comes from Accuracy in Media and reveals many activities that are happening behind the scenes of the current protests. As JBS has been saying, these are anything but spontaneous.

“Lazy Liberal Journalists Smear Bannon” by Cliff Kincaid, Accuracy in Media

Media bias won’t let up just because the liberal media were humiliated on November 8. The bias is now being directed at the President-elect’s conservative appointments.

Steve Bannon, 2014 photo from Wikipedia.

Steve Bannon, 2014 photo from Wikipedia.

On Monday night’s CBS Evening News, anchor Scott Pelley proclaimed that the Southern Poverty Law Center had declared that Donald J. Trump’s campaign CEO Stephen Bannon “has no business being in the White House.” Bannon was named as chief strategist and counselor.

In fact, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has no business being cited as a credible source by any responsible news organization. It smears conservatives for profit, diverting attention from real domestic threats, such as the Marxist extremists currently demonstrating against Trump in the streets and threatening to disrupt his inauguration.

Many of the demonstrators are from the ANSWER Coalition, an outgrowth of the pro-North Korea Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party.

But don’t expect to get any information about the ANSWER Coalition from the SPLC.

In fact, the SPLC is in bed with communists of all kinds, having participated in the notorious Left Forum held in New York City earlier this year. We noted at the time that the event featured “an assortment of communists, 9/11 truthers, pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel activists, and other extremists.”

Even more troubling, SPLC President and CEO Richard Cohen was a member of the “Countering Violent Extremism Working Group” of the Department of Homeland Security in 2010. It is possible that Cohen, in this capacity, was able to get access to classified information, and that the SPLC, in turn, shared its erroneous data on conservative opponents of the Obama administration with federal law enforcement agencies.

The attacks on Bannon stem from his leadership of the news site, Breitbart News, a popular source of alternative news and information which was strongly pro-Trump during the campaign. On occasion, the site features some unorthodox conservative views that Bannon’s critics have tried to pin on him.

The site was named for Andrew Breitbart, who pioneered new and effective ways to undermine the left. One of his disciples, Jeremy Segal, did a video exposing Democratic Rep. Danny K. Davis (IL) being honored at the Communist Party U.S.A.’s headquarters in Chicago for a lifetime of “inspiring leadership.”

Lazy liberal journalists would rather cite the SPLC as authoritative without having to bother to investigate how the group has been exposed by such investigative reporters on the left as Ken Silverstein. At one time, notes Silverstein, the group did some good work against racist hate groups. But later, in order to expand its business model and make more money, it expanded the “hate” label to mainstream conservative organizations. It has accumulated $300 million in a reserve fund and has become “one of the most profitable charities in the country,” with its top officials getting membership in the so-called financial elite one percent.

Read the rest of the article.