Thursday, February 14, 2008

Selecting our Leaders

Grandpa, who are you going to vote for President in the upcoming elections in the fall?"

Grandpa without even looking up at me said, "nobody."

His answer startled me and my only response to it was a grunt of, "Huh, aren’t you going to vote, grandpa?"

With a mischievous twinkle in his eye he looked up and said, "yes, boy, your grandmother and I are going to vote. But as you will learn when you are old enough to vote your grandmother will enter one booth and vote in accordance to her conscious and I will enter another and vote my conscious. And when we come out of that booth nobody will know whom we voted for. Your grandmother will keep her ballot secret and I will also and that means we will keep it a secret from even each other. That is the meaning of casting a secret ballot. Every marriage has secrets and this secret is one that belongs in our marriage.

This does not mean that your grandmother and I avoid talking politics or avoid talking of the candidates that are up for elections. And over the years of our marriage we both have come to the point of being in agreement as to what we need to look for in a man that we feel should be elected. But even with that agreement your grandma may find one candidate meets those criteria better than another does while I may find a different man meeting those criteria.

Now, to answer your question, boy, when I said "nobody" I meant that by the Constitution we do not have the privilege of electing the President of our country. And it is one of the ways that makes our form of government unique. We elect delegates to the Electoral College and it is the people making up that Electoral College that elects our President and Vice-President.

In fact, boy, if you look deeply at our system of selecting our leaders you can see a hint of what our founding fathers were attempting to achieve in our central government. In Congress there are two bodies, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The people select the members of the House of Representative directly. The Senate was selected by the state governments, which are the voices of the states as a whole. A body of people that was to be representative of both, the people and the states selects the President. And the Supreme Court was made up of people as selected by the President along with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Now, if you notice, the house that represents the people have no say in the selection of the Supreme Court. Only the house that represents the states do as well as the man who represents the nation as a whole. And seeing how the other members of our government were selected you will see that the people had very little voice in the selection of our leaders. Now, what does the way our leaders were selected tell you about the intent of the founders for our government and why?"

I just sat there dumbfounded by his question and from the grin on grandpa’s face I knew it showed.


Sugarbabe said...

At this point in time, listening and a lot of thinking, is going to determine the final vote for most of us.. It's may be hard to decide on which rotton egg in the basket smells the best...


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