It all started with wanting to right a wrong.
The day AFTER the 2016 election, just like the MAJORITY of this nation did, I started asking the questions… CAN we end the Electoral College? Why do we NEED the Electoral College? If we were to end it, what would we want to replace it WITH?
Understanding why we need the Electoral College is the first step in figuring out if we can END it. The words written in “The Federalist Papers” clearly lay out the reason for creating the Electoral College.
“Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union?” –Federalist #68
Any other conclusions about its purpose have been informed by their essays, but our modern understanding of the Electoral College’s reason for existing, was never stated by the Founders.
The Electoral College, according to the words of the founders themselves as written in “The Federalist Papers”, was to guard against foreign influence in our elections. To prevent a BAD ACTOR, backed by a hostile foreign adversary, from ascending to the Office of the Presidency. IF one day someone were able to deceive a MAJORITY of this nation using the FUNDING of another country, the Electors would be our LAST DEFENSE.
They could weigh the evidence and make an informed decision to cast their vote against the BAD ACTOR. It was never written by the Founders that the Electoral College was conceived out of a mistrust of the people to choose their President. But they do express their fear of a TYRANT securing ascent to the Office, and subjugating the citizens of this Republic.
When viewed in this light, we can see the security system envisioned to protect us from foreign interference in our elections, has a FATAL FLAW….
The susceptibility to corruption possessed by the men charged with carrying it out.
Corrupted by political leanings. Corrupted by self-interest… corrupted by COLD HARD CASH.
Over the course of 2017, I continued to find more reasons to end the Electoral College than to keep it. Every argument in favor of the Electoral College seems to be based in factual error, assuming it was originally intended to protect minority opinions or the Rights of the States. We must apply the original intentions of the Founders to the question:
“Does the Electoral College protect our elections from the outside influence of a hostile foreign adversary?”
Based on the DATA we have now… the answer is NO.
It’s done a damn good job for the most part, but it has now outlived its usefulness. Like a lock that’s already been picked… it’s simply a matter of TIME before it happens again.
By the fall of 2017, I was convinced that ending the Electoral College was the right thing to do. I did not know how I would, or IF I could… but I knew there’s only ONE PERSON who could oversee such an immense task, and shepherd the necessary resources of both TIME and TALENT to bring such a grand idea to fruition.
The Junior Senator from the Great State of Kansas wouldn’t be able to do it.
A newly elected Representative from the Kansas 3rd District couldn’t pull it off either.
If it were to have any chance of success, Constitutional change of this magnitude would have to be overseen by the President.
“When YOU grow up, you could be elected President of the United States.”
Is that TRUE? In theory it is, in practice…??
MORE than that… could I become President?
The mental inventory taking began… Who did I owe money to? What Laws have I broken… what Laws have I broken that I’ve gotten away with? Who have I harmed in my life? Is there anyone I have not made amends with yet, and would that disqualify me from being worthy of the Office if it were to come to light? (Had I anticipated pursuing a position as an elected official, I might have lived my life a little differently!)
What WOULD stand as sufficient to disqualify someone from being President? In the beginning of my campaign, it was easy to compare myself to the current occupant of the Office, but I knew that would not be sufficient. I want what EVERYONE wants… a return to NORMALCY. That means judging myself against the very BEST of our nation’s history, looking to their lives for guidance on whether or not I could even attempt it.
In October 2017, Senator John McCain spoke after receiving the Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Center:
“The Land that repairs and re-invents itself. The Land where a person can escape the consequences of a self-centered youth, and know the satisfaction of sacrificing for an ideal. The Land where you can go from aimless rebellion to a noble cause… and from the bottom of your class, to your party’s nomination for President.” -Senator John McCain
As I had been weighing my misdeeds and judging my actions, I forgot… NONE of us are perfect, and none of us could ever serve as President if that were a requirement. It is, ultimately, a judgement I cannot make… I am who I am, and I can only present myself OPENLY and HONESTLY, and let the PEOPLE decide.
I cannot change who I was then… but I can decide who I will BE in the future.
In January 2018, I decided I would make my final decision sometime in March, after I had a chance to speak with our tax man. I wanted to make sure I didn’t do anything to jeopardize my family’s financial integrity, by mishandling funds collected by my campaign, or misfiling required declarations, etc… you know, methodical. Do it right the FIRST TIME. Begin the process slowly…
My decision to run for President was made on February 17, 2018, three days after the shooting at MSDHS in Parkland, Florida. On the 14th, as news headlines started rolling out… I tuned OUT. Frustrated once again by the INACTION that was sure to follow… as it had done countless times before.
After Sandy Hook… After Columbine… After Olathe North. I’m surprised Paul Ryan didn’t have campaign bumper stickers that read “Thoughts & Prayers”…
On the morning of February 17, Senator Richard Blumenthal spoke on Morning Joe about the situation:
[ VIDEO UNAVAILABLE ]
After an HOUR of searching… there is NO VIDEO to be found. According to the internet, I’m not even quite sure he was a guest that day. But that would make sense though, considering the fact that he spoke of the UNSPEAKABLE. He reminded us of the reason that Gun Safety Legislation would NOT pass in the United States House of Representatives… the reason it would not even be called for a VOTE on the floor…
That legislation would never see the light of day because of THE HASTERT RULE.
He said it as if it were an after thought, tacked on at the end of a sentence. Dismissed SILENTLY as just a given… treated like a subject all of them took for granted.
I’m sure my mouth was agape, because I was stunned. It was like hearing a song you haven’t heard in a decade, but you INSTANTLY remember every word. I remember thinking, “Is that still a thing? I thought they got rid of that?”
… and that is the point of the SILENCE.
I instantly made the connection between the tactics employed by a serial abuser, and the tactics being employed in the House of Representatives. It made sense finally, why a MAJORITY of Americans wanted Gun Safety Legislation but nothing was ever DEBATED on the floor.
The Hastert Rule is the legislative equivalent of serial abusers exerting power over their victims… and the only thing that allows it to continue is SILENCE.
On February 17, 2018, I realized that those kids in Parkland… THEIR struggle is OUR struggle. They faced the same horrors faced in EVERY STATE, over and over again… needlessly, due to the intentional inaction of legislators, who are BEHOLDEN to DARK MONEY DONORS for their reelection.
Thankfully, out of the wreckage of that tragedy, there was a resounding voice of HOPE, and I knew how I could help them make #NeverAgain a reality.
If I was going to have even the slightest chance of being seen on a national level, I knew I would have to start right away. Two and a half years to pour out everything I could, and publish my thoughts in a PUBLIC way. For the first time, I established my presence on social media.
From the FIRST DAY, I approached my social media presence as an active digital archive of every policy position I would take if elected. My Twitter feed has stood as my active presence in the political social circles of Washington, DC, and my website has been my billboard. Over the course of two years… I’ve basically written a novel.
In this time, I’ve tweeted 22,000 times and have published 133 essays on my website. I’ve offered my thoughts and opinions on every subject that’s come to my attention, and will continue to do so. I’ve engaged with people who are opposed to my opinions and, even if I did not gain their support, in most instances I’ve earned their respect.
My Twitter feed PERMANENTLY documents my thoughts and positions, and when viewed in total, it shows how my ability as a politician has evolved. It publicly documents my errors and misjudgments. It also captures the errors and misjudgments of the elected officials I’ve engaged with… both CURRENT and FORMER.
When I started out, I did not know if I could make a difference simply by TWEETING. By the beginning of March 2018… I knew that I would.
Every Tweet sent out by an elected official, by ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States, is PUBLIC PROPERTY. Therefore, our First Amendment Right to FREE SPEECH applies to COMMENTS on those Tweets, and it is illegal to CENSOR THEM. Elected officials express their views, and it is our DUTY as citizens to SPEAK OUT when they are WRONG.
That is what I resolved to do. I dedicated myself to CALLING OUT the Speaker of the House every time he spoke about a lack of support for legislation, or how we shouldn’t act when emotions are raw, or how sad he felt for those effected by the tragedy… the tragedy his leadership allowed to happen.
The first time I replied to Speaker Ryan using the hashtag #EndTheHastertRule, he “flinched”. He did NOT want that message displayed on his Official Tweet, but he couldn’t delete it without bringing attention to what it was he wanted to HIDE… so they composed an identical Tweet. Most casual social media users won’t scroll back through timelines more than just a handful of Tweets.
The Speaker’s Office was attempting to SILENCE my opposition by ignoring my criticism and, in essence… attempting to cover up, or paper over the TRUTH.
In China, defamation of a political poster is a crime punishable by imprisonment.
It seems that Speaker Paul Ryan would have preferred it be that way HERE in the United States, when it comes to the topic of his FULL THROATED SUPPORT of The Hastert Rule. A strategy named for the person who established it, Former Speaker Dennis Hastert… convicted felon.
EVERY DAY starting in February 2018, I called out the hypocrisy of the Speaker TO HIS FACE, in full view of the public. I did not Tweet insults and anger randomly behind his back. I tagged his Official Tweets when I commented on them, and I would @ him whenever I spoke about his inaction in my Tweets. I made sure I was STANDING UP and SPEAKING OUT so everyone could see and hear exactly what I had to say.
On April 11, 2018, Paul Ryan announced he would not be seeking reelection.
The events of February 14, 2018, and the actions taken by the SURVIVORS of that tragedy, sealed Paul Ryan’s fate, because it brought SUNLIGHT to the legislative inaction employed by the Speaker, and instead of defending himself… he chose SILENCE.
He could not defend the indefensible.
We should all be grateful for the bravery shown by the survivors of that day, because their efforts ensured February 14, 2018, would be forever known as the LAST DAY of the Speakership of Paul Ryan.
When you STAND UP and SPEAK OUT… Paul Ryan goes back to Wisconsin.
From now until November, I resolve to do the SAME.