Opinion

How “Running For President” Degrades The Character Of America’s Republic

(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Alan Keyes Former Assistant Secretary of State

This week I received an email from someone who described himself as a “Christian, federalist and part-time preacher of the gospel of Christ.”  People familiar with my thought and writings will not be surprised when I say that I found myself in agreement with his view that if “we return our hearts, minds and souls to God He will bless America again.”  They will also recall that I have more than once said that I would acknowledge myself to be a “Christian Federalist”, because the term aptly describes what I understand to be the prerequisite character of America’s constitutional self-government.

However, when the correspondent in question told me he was considering “a run for the presidency in 2020 as a Federalist”, I had to conclude that we obviously did not yet share the same sense of what the term “Federalist” connotes.  “Running for president” is a phrase that only makes sense to us in our day because people have been induced to discard the Constitution’s provisions for the presidential election.  Instead, they follow the dictates of a corrupt Party system that effectively removes the choices for that office from the hands of the people, placing them instead under the control of an elitist faction determined to overthrow Constitutional self-government, of, by and for the people.

To restore the nation, we must rediscover and follow the Constitution’s provisions.  We must restore the role the people at large are actually called upon to fulfill.  Their task is to choose representatives from amongst people they actually know.  It is not to choose “rulers”, “leaders” or “messiahs” from amongst people they cannot know except by way of prevaricating media, controlled by forces that seek to impose despotism upon them.

Instead of seeking office, true federalists should seek to restore the people to their proper office. Doing so offers the only instrumentality for restoring the scheme of representation America’s Founders rightly believed to be the key to perpetuating the self-government of the American people.  Without it our Republic will know the same fate as the failed “democracies” of the past.

Our Constitution explicitly seeks to guarantee a republican form of government in the United States, not a democracy. That form of government looks to the character of the people, not just their power.  The only people capable of sustaining their role as citizens of the Republic are those who understand and seek to fulfill their vocation as human beings, which is to seek justice according to God’s will.  This is the same vocation Christians take from the example of our Lord.

The Apostle said “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5) People who accept Christ are thus called to be His representatives.  As such, no one can represent us in government who eschews the mind of Christ.  Our representatives must look to their Father God, as Christ did, saying “Not my will but Thine be done.”  This simple logic makes clear the goal of our elections (i.e., our choices).

People who already have a leader within them need not choose another.  Rather they do their best to represent the one who already leads them from within, letting their actions conform to His good will and therefore to the will of God.  They do not approach elections asking “Who is our leader; who is our Savior; who is our Messiah?”  They first ask, “What is God’s will for us?”  Having ascertaining and agreed in God’s will in respect of the issues of the day, they look for representatives who will loyally adhere to that agreement.

Thus their loyalty is not to some candidate or other.  It is to the measures and principles that reflect God’s will for the election they are called to make.  Then, from among those who have, like themselves, affirmed before God that they will implement those measures and respect those principles, they look for the ones best suited to represent the character all who have so affirmed have in common with Christ and one another.

In present day parlance, this means that a common platform, which reflects God’s will, is the subject of their shared loyalty, not allegiance to some candidate or other.  When it comes to the presidential election, this loyalty to a platform that seeks God’s justice in government is what ought to guide voters as they ponder which people, among those who have proved most capable of articulating and advancing that platform, will best represent them in the office of Elector.  This is the office the Constitution vests with the voting power actually to elect the president (and vice president), once a Constitutional majority of the Electors agree.

Instead of choosing among people who claim they are “running for president”, people who really want to restore the Constitution integrity of our Republic should think through how we can build a system for our Presidential elections that restores respect for the goal of representation, in the sense just described. This has been my preoccupation for some years now, as events have more and more emphatically demonstrated that the present sham partisan process has altogether abandoned it.