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Let's Not Replace Constitutionally Proper Elections With Mob Rule

November 16, 2016 - 6:00am

The goal of the recent, sometimes-unruly protests over the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States of America is unclear. Is it to make President-elect Trump preemptively resign? Is it to ensure that he never takes office—by any means necessary? Is it to exercise the protesters’ self-defined right to vandalize the property of others?

Of course, we’ve never had a flawed person as president. Not the progressive icon Woodrow Wilson who re-segregated the White House. Not the revered Franklin Roosevelt who herded Japanese citizens into internment camps. Not the two incredibly popular womanizers Bill Clinton and JFK. And we’ve never had a rock-star-Beyonce and F-word, N-word Jay Z at the White House of hyperbolic-story-telling president like Barack “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” Obama. And of course, there were no flaws in the Democratic candidate who never denounced the Democratic National Committee’s unfair treatment of Bernie Sanders or the heads up on questions in the primary debate.
Is the protesters’ beef that the election was not fair? There have been no reports of voter intimidation. Is the protesters’ beef that the election was not democratic? It seems the complaints about Mr. Trump are conflated with the meme ungraciously perpetrated by Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine in an effort to boost Hillary Clinton’s ego: she won more popular votes. That is a totally irrelevant, ignorant, and divisive statement perhaps meant to foment resentment and ill will.
Message to protesters: the candidates were campaigning for each state’s electoral votes (the number of congresspersons and both senators), the system set forth in our Constitution. The Electoral College treats the states as equal sovereignties and keeps large states from swallowing up the small states.
It is the fight for electoral votes rather than popular votes that results in no one ever having to campaign, for example, in deep dark blue California where the ballot offered the choice between two Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate. The skewed voting patterns of California’s 18 million registered voters could account for Clinton’s extra votes.
Majority rule sounds moral but majority rule is not automatically democratic. As Ben Franklin said, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner.”
Our country’s founders knew that the “divine right of the majority” was just as bad as rule by “the divine right of kings.” In Federalist No. 10, James Madison argued that direct democracies are “incompatible with personal security or the rights of property.” In a direct democracy, the individual, and any group of individuals who are in the minority, have no protection against the unlimited power of the majority. If the majority votes to take away your land, you lose your land. If the majority votes to outlaw your business, you lose your business.
Madison concluded that a representative democracy—which he called a “republic”—is preferable to direct democracy as a form of government. Madison reasoned that representatives would not be caught up in the heat of the moment of some passion-infused issue raised by a group. Our representatives would refine the views of the public and create laws designed to uphold the basic inalienable human rights consistent with democracy: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to a fair trial, protection against unwarranted intrusion by the government, and equal protection under the law.
Publius (either James Madison or Alexander Hamilton) noted in Federalist No. 55 that a republican government assumes that man’s virtuous nature outweighs our political jealousies. If that were not so, “nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.”
Another safeguard against governmental abuse of power is our three separate branches of government that can change the acts of the other branches. Sadly, the federal government has morphed into a species of mob rule. Its pronouncements and regulations have ballooned, largely unknown to anyone but those who wrote them and the poor schnooks who must abide by them.
Many pundits are calling for president-elect Trump to decry the protests and tell the protestors to stop. Why would they listen to the person whom they despise? Where is Hillary Clinton’s voice of reason peddling love and kindness?
To echo Oprah Winfrey (whose equanimity outraged some protesters and Hollywood types), “Everybody, take a deep breath. Hope lives.”
Dr. Singleton is a board-certified anesthesiologist and Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) Board member. She graduated from Stanford and earned her MD at UCSF Medical School.  Dr. Singleton completed 2 years of Surgery residency at UCSF, then her Anesthesia residency at Harvard’s Beth Israel Hospital. While still working in the operating room, she attended UC Berkeley Law School, focusing on constitutional law and administrative law.  She interned at the National Health Law Project and practiced insurance and health law.  She teaches classes in the recognition of elder abuse and constitutional law for non-lawyers.



What a great article! From the day of election, the media has fomented unrest and dissatisfaction with every statement, movement, consideration, or appointment Trump makes. Everything (according to the media) is "controversial." I don't remember any flack when Obama appointed Rahman Emmanuel, for example...the failure of Bernie sanders, Elizabeth warren, and Hillary to condemn the riots and violent protests speaks for itself. I likewise am an attorney. Every single person who stopped traffic by marching down state and international highways should have been rounded up and prosecuted, not just a few "token" arrestees. The first thing they taught me in law/ school was, "Don't pass any law unless you plan to enforce it....". Finally, I would add that Hillary's lead in the popular vote is premised entirely on dense urban populations with high minority representation and histories of violence (Chicago, los Angeles, Detroit, etc.). People forget that the well-thought-out purpose of the electoral college was to circumvent the control of the country by densely-populated powerful areas (at that time, the East Coast, which possessed and controlled the harbors and trade...)

P.s., my iPad changed Mr.emmanuel's first name and I do not see an "edit" choice...sorry...

A known racist as his political strategist and senior consultant. Top secret clearance for his children. What are we supposed to be waiting to see? Why should we believe this is going to get better? He is the President and their is nothing to be done about that. Changing the system isn't the answer. Educating the public is the answer. Understanding the you can respect the other side even if you don't agree. Ronald Reagan was A good President. The Bushes were both bad. Bill Clinton was a good President and Barack Obama was a fair President. President elect Trump is not a good person, has already made some bad decisions with his transitional team choices and his proposed cabinet selections, and it isn't even January yet. This Country has always been the Greatest. I wouldn't live anywhere else. We have an. immigration problem, because the rest of the world recognizes we are the Greatest place on earth. So he can't make us what we already are. Wake up!!!

Your comments and opinions are exactly that. When you say things like "a known racist", you mean by some people. There are millions that don't see him as a racist. That is why we have the type of system we have so people that don't have the same views as yours at least have a chance here. There is no evidence he is a racist but if you and others say it enough, of course people will start believing it even without checking the facts. If you look up the definition of racist you will see that he is not. We are the best but that doesn't mean we can't keep going down hill. The border wall is nothing out of the ordinary. If you look at Mexico's southern border they have a secure border. If you look at Israel, they have a wall. There is nothing racist about protecting your country is there? He was right when he said there is crime coming from mexico. Now that is a known fact. There is plenty of documentation to prove that. Does that mean I am a racist now for telling the truth, or do I have to cover up the facts in order to be PC. Wake UP!!!!

In Article II, We the People assigned our God-given right to directly elect the President, just as we did with the election of Senators. In 1913, the sovereign people reclaimed the right to elect senators. Is the nation better off or worse for the 17th Amendment? I say worse. At best, it has become a near rubber-stamp to whatever Obama wishes. The senate has become an institution without a purpose beyond reelection of its members.

Be careful "Black lives matter", "media matters" and other hired & paid protesters financed by George Soros, the Richard Lewis family ("Progressive Insurance") and other "neer-do-well" types like former Chicago SDS Members Bob Creamer and his wife Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (former socialist "Midwest Academy Director") and Obama's "bomb throwing" friends: You WILL "reap what you sow"... and when THAT "line is crossed", you will be crushed and vilified by the very media outlets that you think support you (when the "heat" turns to the media, they will cast you aside like the week-long underwear you favor...

Help yourself "C Breeze" - or whoever/whatever you are.

"There was one difficulty however of a serious nature attending an immediate choice by the people. The right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes. The substitution of electors obviated this difficulty and seemed on the whole to be liable to the fewest objections" > James Madison 2016: "Mob" = "Negros."

Robert Warner - I guess you have not been following the George Soros back thugs who have burned other people's property and beaten and killed people. All we are losing is the rule of law and personal safety.

You now have identified the issue.

Guess you haven't been following Trump and Trump's mob rulers.- especially Trump's professional mob instigator, Steve Bannon. All we have to lose is everything.

We have to stop making assumptions and saying things that are not facts. Social media is not always right, as we can see, it is all matter of opinion. We keet throwing out accusations about people without real proof. Just because someone says something on social media doesn't make it true. This rant is not against you personnaly because everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I think we all need to do some really good research before throwing things out there. What exactly will we loose with Trump in office?

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