Hillary’s Plurality Under a Microscope

Hillary’s Plurality Under a Microscope
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Supporters of Hillary Clinton’s bid to become President can’t get over the fact that she won more votes than did her opponent. Her numbers exceeded Donald Trump’s by more than 2.8 million. “How can it be,” her followers ask, “that she can attract that many more voters and still lose?”

An analysis of the 2.8 million difference shows that it came from the single state of California (Image from Wikipedia).

An analysis of the 2.8 million difference shows that it came from the single state of California (Image from Wikipedia).

The answer, of course, is that popular vote totals aren’t the test for presidential candidacies. The Constitution says the votes that decide the winner come from the Electoral College. If a candidate wins by a wide margin in several large states but loses – even by tiny margins – in numerous other states, the victor is the candidate with the most votes cast by the electors.

The November 8, 2016 numbers tell us that Clinton was the choice of 65.8 million voters nationally. Trump was the preference of only 63 million voters. But that’s not the whole story. An analysis of the 2.8 million difference shows that it came from California, which is more and more referred to as the nation’s “left coast.” Clinton’s California margin of victory was 3.4 million. Exclude California from the nationwide totals and Donald Trump was the nation’s choice by more than 500,000 voters.

Even more, look at the areas in California that gave Clinton her largest margins:
Los Angeles County: 1,273,000 votes over Trump
Alameda County: 395,000
Santa Clara County: 346,000
San Francisco County: 278,000
Contra Costa County: 181,000
San Mateo County: 166,000
Sacramento County: 111,000
Orange County: 84,000.

These margins of victory alone add up to 2.8 million — the plurality gained by Clinton nationally.

Other than raising funds to be used elsewhere, Clinton and Trump avoided campaigning in California. Each knew who the victor would be so they went elsewhere. Therefore, we have to ask: Should eight counties (let alone one state) of California decide who shall be the nation’s President? Put another way, what about the states and the people who populate the Midwest, Rocky Mountain areas, South, and Southeast? Should the leftists and so-called progressives who numerically dominate other regions overwhelm the preferences of the smaller states?

Hillary Clinton is not the first candidate who won the popular vote but lost the election.  As recently as the year 2000, Al Gore won the popularity contest but lost the presidency to George W. Bush. More than 100 years ago, Grover Cleveland won the popular vote but lost the election to Benjamin Harrison.

The Founding Fathers who gave us the Electoral College system to choose a president believed that the states should decide the winner – not the popular vote. Clinton supporters will seek ways to circumvent this system. Their effort should be blocked. A hard look at the figures given above may be all that’s needed to protect the system that has served the nation so well since 1789.

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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.


Various Ways to “Rig” an Election

Various Ways to “Rig” an Election
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Whenever Donald Trump claims that the election is “rigged” in favor of his opponent, many pundits and Democrat loyalists get apoplexy – or worse. Their standard response isn’t denial; it’s ridicule.

Trump’s rigging charge is usually aimed at the networks, the newspapers and magazines, and the voting process. But there are other devious ways to sway voters and these deserve mention as well.

It is now known, for instance, that the interim chairwoman (Donna Brazile) of the Democratic National Committee leaked some questions to Hillary Clinton as she prepared for debates. Having the questions beforehand, of course, enables a debater to bone up on the topic and seem extra competent.

Brazile is a longtime ally of Hillary Clinton. She held down a post at CNN until the network (caustically labeled “Clinton News Network” by some) accepted her resignation in mid-October. Releases from WikiLeaks showed that she alerted Clinton staffers about a question regarding capital punishment prior to it being asked of Hillary during one debate. Another release produced by WikiLeaks contained information about advanced warnings regarding the health consequences felt by a Flint, Michigan, family in the wake of the city’s contaminated water problem. Her quick response to that fairly difficult question led some viewers to wonder if she had knowledge of what would be asked beforehand. She did have knowledge of the question before it was asked.

Boston College political science professor Dennis Hale commented: “Trump has stressed over and over again that the press is not just biased, but that parts of it have become adjuncts of the Democratic Party. This [revelations about Brazile] certainly feeds that story.”

There are numerous other ways to shape voter attitudes and rig elections. Project Veritas, the organization run by the doggedly determined James O’Keefe, videotaped conversations he had with veteran Democratic Party activist Scott Foval. A longtime employee of the Democratic Party, Foval bragged about busing people across state lines to voting halls where they could cast votes illegally. He told of carefully arranging for skirmishes at GOP rallies to make the Trump candidacy look bad. O’Keefe was ready to air his revealing tapes when several news outlets refused to use them after they learned of their contents.

Throughout the 2016 election cycle, there has been strident opposition to requiring voters to show a valid ID before being given a ballot. Isn’t showing identification reasonable? Opponents of such a measure must have skulduggery in mind. Further, it’s downright frightening to think about what electronic wizards can do by tinkering with voting machines. Most of the computer-savvy gurus are boastful Clinton supporters.

As for the mainstream media, why do they allow Mrs. Clinton to claim a mere “mistake” when she placed sensitive material on her private server? Or when she destroyed thousands of emails so they couldn’t be read? She broke some laws and calling her actions “mistakes” wouldn’t hold up for others. Why is she not hounded for her horrendously harmful decisions regarding Iraq, Libya, Benghazi, Egypt, and elsewhere? Why is she given a pass when her ineptitude led to the creation of ISIS, the strengthening of Iran, and the need to place thousands of “boots on the ground” in Iraq when that campaign was supposed to be over? Why is there so little mention by the media of the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of huge payoffs from the Saudis and Qataris who have supported the Islamic State terrorists? Why aren’t the contents of her 2015 speech before the United Nations publicized? She actually insisted that religions have to change their attitudes about abortion, same-sex marriage, and more.

The media attacked Trump for understanding enough about tax law to avoid paying federal taxes. He committed no crime in doing so. They blamed him for disturbances at his rallies when Democrat operatives deliberately caused them. They took as unimpeachable fact various claims by some women that Trump has abused them. But Bill Clinton and his enabling wife haven’t been targeted for their provable outrages.

There are many ways to influence voters and cause an election to be “rigged.” We have pointed out only a few and hope that the rigging doesn’t lead to success 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.


Let the States Decide! Say Yes to ID for Voters

Let the States Decide! Say Yes to ID for Voters
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Elections are important. Will the elected individual perform according to the oath of office? Or will he or she avoid constitutional restraints and hope voters won’t realize the betrayal?

Our nation’s founders strongly believed that voting in any election for a federal post should be limited. Not everyone should vote, and limitations about who will cast a ballot should be set, not by the national government but by each state. With a few exceptions, states would decide not only who would vote but also when voting day would occur. For many years, Maine’s voters cast their ballots in September, a practice later changed to conform with the rest of the country. Over the years, several amendments to the Constitution removed many other original restrictions.

Amendment XV (1913) banned denying the privilege of voting because of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Amendment XIX (1920) gave women the right to vote. Amendment XXIV (1964) said no eligible voter could be denied a ballot for not paying a poll tax. And Amendment XXVI (1971) lowered the voting age to 18.

These changes were properly enacted via amendments to the Constitution, not by any law or presidential executive order. In recent years, however, the federal government has broadened its dominance over the setting of voter qualifications without relying on the amendment process. Judicial power has also been used to set new rules, even cancelling voter requirements that are logical and, in this writer’s view, very much needed.

Some require would-be voters to produce photo identification before being given a ballot. Objections arose over this rather simple and sensible test because, it has been claimed, requiring a photo ID is costly for some and an inconvenience for others. As in many other instances, the charge of racism was used to foster change. It helped to convince a Texas judge and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that the Texas requirement for a photo ID must be abolished because it violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The Texas law and similar laws in other states seeking to protect the voting process from fraud were erased. Yet, a person has to show a photo ID to board an airplane or cash a check. Shouldn’t there be that kind of requirement for voting?

Is there any recourse to reverse this decision? The Constitution contains the answer in Article III, Section 2, Clause 2. It says Congress can limit the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court whenever it decides that the high court or lesser federal courts have gone too far. Such a little used and little known provision of the Constitution could be employed to rein in federal judges, even up to the Supreme Court level. This constitutional power possessed by Congress is an obvious extension of the desire of the Founders to create a system possessed of “checks and balances.”

Shortly after the 1787 Constitution had been written and was being considered by the states for ratification, John Marshall (who became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1801 to 1835) addressed the potential for judicial abuse during the Virginia’s ratifying discussions. He explained, “Congress is empowered to make exceptions to the appellate jurisdiction, as to law and fact, of the Supreme Court. These exceptions certainly go as far as the legislature may think proper for the interest and liberty of the people.” Marshall obviously believed that Congress would, when necessary, use its constitutionally authorized power to keep the Supreme Court and any lower federal courts from overreaching.

Congress should use its Article III power to stop judicial meddling. Let the states decide via the Tenth Amendment what a would-be voter must provide before being given a ballot.

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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.


The Hidden Establishment

The Hidden Establishment
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

With an election for the president looming, Americans from coast to coast will be asking each other to state their choice of candidate. Are you a Republican, Democrat, or Independent? Are you a conservative, liberal, or moderate? Do you like candidate A or candidate B, even candidate C or D? Most will happily give an answer hoping to sway the one asking to their stance.

But there’s something new in American politics this year. It goes beyond the choice of party, political flavor, even candidate. The new choice is: Are you anti-establishment or are you willing to continue supporting the establishment’s favorites?

Even though most Americans would have a difficult time explaining precisely what the term “establishment” connotes, they have sense of what it means. Suggest that it’s the “old boy network that has been running things for decades” and you’ll likely get an approving nod. Use the words “political elitists” and you’ll readily get a positive response.

But is there a definition of the Establishment? A careful selection of a few words that practically all can accept? Has anyone publicly offered a concise explanation of what the increasingly hated term stands for?

The answer is yes, there is a definition. It actually appeared in a newspaper column by the late Edith Kermit Roosevelt, the granddaughter of our nation’s 26th president (1901-1909).  In her December 23, 1961 syndicated column, she used the word “clique” as a synonym for the Establishment and then went on to say:

The word “Establishment” is a general term for the power elite in international finance, business, the professions and government, largely from the northeast, who wield most of the power regardless of who is in the White House. Most people are unaware of this “legitimate Mafia.” Yet the power of the Establishment makes itself felt from the professor who seeks a foundation grant, to the candidate for a cabinet post or State Department job. It affects the nation’s policies in almost every area….

What is the Establishment’s viewpoint? Through the [past four] administrations, its ideology is constant.  That the best way to fight Communism is by a One World Socialist state governed by “experts” like themselves. The result has been policies which favor the growth of the superstate….

Substitute “all our enemies, domestic and international” where she mentioned “Communism” 50-plus years ago and you have what many more Americans are beginning to realize. Some would even prefer to leave the word “Communism” in her statement because there is a sense that our country is being made over into a communist-style state. These Americans may be enrolled as Democrat, Republican, or Independent. They may have considered themselves liberal or conservative. But increasingly, vast numbers are fed up with the people who have been in charge, especially those who solemnly promised change and didn’t deliver. They want someone other than entrenched party politicians, Wall Street manipulators, media elites, and left-wing academics. They want an outsider who might really change the way things have been going for decades.

In recent years, there have been cries claiming “not a dime’s worth of difference” between Democrats and Republicans. Leading GOP figures have been tagged as a RINO (Republican In Name Only). And some who claim to be conservatives have been labeled Neoconservatives, pushing for more government, even more war.

Will the reigning Establishment be supplanted? Not easily. But the kind of change sought by those who recognize its control is sorely needed. Old labels have become somewhat meaningless. New awareness that opposes the Establishment by name is a very healthy development.

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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 Are Those Who Represent You Actually Voting?”

“How Are Those Who Represent You Actually Voting?”

by JBS President John F. McManus

How many Americans have no idea about the votes their congressman and two senators register? If you answered “few,” you’d be correct. If you answered “very few,” you’d be even more correct.

#3014-CoverEven good citizens who watch what a candidate for office says, especially when he or she is up for reelection, don’t have much of a clue about how that person has performed in office. They all talk a good game but few back up the rhetoric. Something is needed to show what the record is.

Twice a year The New American magazine, an affiliate of The John Birch Society, publishes the “Freedom Index. All members of the House and Senate are rated according to their votes on ten key issues. The ratings are awarded based on how well the office holder adheres to the U.S. Constitution. Those who stand by their oath get 100 percent ratings. Those who don’t honor their oath get less with quite a few scoring a complete zero.

If a measure calling for some form of foreign aid comes up, and a congressman or senator votes “Nay,” that earns a plus ten. There is simply no authorization for foreign aid anywhere in the Constitution. A vote for foreign aid earns nothing. And so it goes for all 435 House members and all 100 senators although the measures in question will not always be the same for each house of Congress.

The “Freedom Index” frequently demonstrates that there’s very little difference between liberal Democrats and “progressive” or neo conservative Republicans. A congressman or senator showing up at a town hall meeting back in the district is frequently bombarded with questions from constituents about why he or she voted for more restrictions on gun ownership, raising the national debt ceiling, additional EPA regulations, more funding for food stamps, and more.

In the latest “Freedom Index,” appearing in the July 28, 2014 issue of The New American, the average score for members of the House is 39 percent and the average in the Senate is a paltry 28 percent. This means that most members of Congress are voting constitutionally only a fraction of the time. Some members in each House actually scored zero, meaning that they ignored the Constitutional limits on their powers 100 percent of the time.

High scorers in the House with 100 percent included Stockman (Tex.), Duncan, (Tenn.), Sanford (S.C.), Jones (N.C.), Amash (Mich.), Huelskamp (Kan.), and Broun (Ga.). No senator scored 100 percent but the high scorers included Lee (Utah) and Paul (Ky.).

An online version of the “Freedom Index” is housed at TheNewAmerican. com. Take a look and then bring it to the next meeting of your congressman or senators. The people we elect to serve us in high office must be made to stand by their oath to support the Constitution.