Photo credit: Mike Mozart via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
This election cycle has provided much demonizing of the major party candidates. Much anxiety stalks the land, or at least the mainstream media. Some of this anxiety is fixating on fragility of the perceived legitimacy of the victor in the presidential election. Bosh.
The Declaration of Independence succinctly and perfectly states: “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed….” And electoral victory, in the electoral college, remains the least imperfect mechanism yet tried to discern the consent of the governed. (Electoral victory plus the division of power between the Congress and the presidency is pretty darned good.)
Our current perceived predicament is neither new nor news. H.L. Mencken, the proto-libertarian “Sage of Baltimore,” summed it up to perfection 98 years ago in In Defense of Women:
Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.
The fundamental things don’t change as time goes by.
Every election since the dawn of the Republic has been, in some respect, “rigged.” As Jill Lepore wrote in The New Yorker last summer, How To Steal An Election:
Ralph Benko, internationally published weekly columnist, co-author of The 21st Century Gold Standard, lead co-editor of the Gerald Malsbary translation from Latin to English of Copernicus’s Essay on Money, is American Principles Project’s Senior Advisor, Economics. Continue Reading