Article I, Section 2, paragraph 1 of the 1787 Constitution (ratified in 1791) of these States in Federal Union specifies that in the election of members of the House of Representatives "...the Electors [voters] in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature."
So, when the Union was formed, each State retained its authority to specify voter qualifications as stipulated by that State's Constitution. Qualifications varied from State to State, thus providing an opportunity for citizens to choose to live where their convictions prevailed. The central government was specifically denied the authority to set voter qualifications.
But this arrangement was a hindrance to those individuals who wished to manipulate elections to enact their political agenda or to attain local or national office. Coupled with the original provision of appointment of their Senators (Article I, Section 3, paragraph 1 "...chosen by the Legislature thereof...") by each jealous State Legislature, the built-in stability, checks, and balances of the original Constitution protected the citizens, the States, and the nation from these demogogic maneuverers.
These walls hemmed in the glories of a representative Constitutional Republic of law and fenced out the tyranny of mob rule of exploitative men that is a mass democracy. Thomas Jefferson intended for the Constitution to "bind them down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."
For those with their own nefarious purposes to restructure America from a Republic into a democracy, the aftermath of the War between the States (another confirmation that the United States is a union of States and not a singular entity) provided a long sought avenue. In the wake of the passage of the involuntary servitude Amendment XIII of 1865, Amendment XIV was certified to have been "ratified" in 1868.
As a result, all of the above original provisions of beautifully integrated checks and balances were upset and set aside. The door was opened to more easily manipulate voter requirements through a central, all powerful government. For, you see, it is much easier for those who are power hungry to manipulate one central authority for their own profit than to have to do it State by State, 13, or 20, or 48, or 50 times.
The Fourteenth Amendment set, for the first time, national standards, requirements, qualifications for "electors": males, 21 years of age. We are told this amendment outlawed discrimination. One has only to read the text to realize that this is not true, however. The Amendment says, (Section 2) "But when the right to vote at any election...(federal and State)...is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being 21 years of age..., the basis for representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens 21 years of age in such State." [Emphasis added.]
So, the XIVth Amendment did not outlaw so-called "discrimination." It provided that if there was proven discrimination, then representation in the U.S. House of Representatives would be reduced proportionately --- say, 4 instead of 5 representatives to Congress from Mississippi, if 20 percent of males, 21 years old and over were denied the vote!
What we were taught about the Fourteenth Amendment abolishing State race or color qualifications is not so. It remained for the Fifteenth Amendment of 1870 to change this State retained prerogative. Additionally, there is a mountain of credible evidence that the Fourteenth Amendment was not properly ratified by the requisite 3/4ths of the States --- but rather it was just arbitrarily imposed, and although enforced, it is bogus, ultra vires.
One-man, one-vote mass hysteria (mobocracy), carefully planned and executed, thus evolved. And, as Alexander Fraser Tytler (1714-1778) predicted (referencing the Athenian Republic 2000 years previously), once a mob realizes it can "vote itself largess out of the public treasury," fiscal bankruptcy ensues. That is where we are now with "entitlements" that are forbidden by the Constitution being mostly responsible for the (unreported) $15 trillion national debt. Tytler then adds, "...to be followed by dictatorship," the inexorable result of privilege being usurped without responsibility. And we now have that, too.
When one reads the Declaration of Independence of 1776, it sounds like it was written this morning --- "...when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism..."; "...erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass the people, and eat out their substance"; "...obstructed the Admin-istration of Justice..."; "combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution..."
But there were other varying voter qualifications retained by the various States. For example, when 1913 came along and the Seventeenth Amendment was declared ratified, that altered the old Article I, Section 3, paragraph 1 ("Senators --- chosen by the Legislature thereof") which continued to stipulate verbatim that voter requirements for the new popular election of Senators were to be different in each State (Amendment XVII, Section 1 --- "qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislatures").
Yet, the Seventeenth Amendment was a giant step in the transformation of these States United, from the Federated Republic intended into a single-unit democracy. Most of the remaining State-retained differences in voter requirements were short lived.
The Nineteen Amendment of 1920 adds the right to vote to women. The 1964 Twenty-fourth Amendment outlaws poll tax. And the Twenty-sixth Amendment ratified in 1971 lowers the voting age from 21 (set in 1868) to 18.
Successful projects require information, knowledge of the past, planning for the future, assessing the obstacles, amassing the assets, tact, persuasion, tenacity, enthusiasm, and rejection of discouragement --- but most of all, action.
At every opportunity, in private and in public, I adjure you to loudly spread abroad all of the above. Put pressure on all incumbents and candidates for a written commitment to (1) obey and enforce the Constitution as their oath obligates and requires and (2) promote the repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment. If you can't find one who will, run for office yourself on this platform. Remember 1998 is an election year!
Dr. Caine is an anesthesiologist in Jackson, Mississippi, and a member of the Editorial Board of the Medical Sentinel. His e-mail address is LandCCaine@msn.com.
Originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1998;3(5):188, 191. Copyright © 1998 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).
(This column on the Constitution appears in the Medical Sentinel to remind us that it is the unConstitutional (and thus illegal) activities in medicine and all other facets of our lives that have trampled on and outlawed our God-endowed freedom and liberty.)