- - Thursday, September 3, 2020

A San Francisco reader writes about a column and says he will read no more of them because “Trump is a danger to our democracy.” Nothing coming from San Francisco surprises. That San Franciscans don’t like President Trump’s policies is hardly surprising. How could individuals who put up with thousands of people shooting up and defecating on their streets surprise anyone?

A polite request to the reader for elaboration produced — nothing. That too does not surprise.

The “danger to democracy” charge relies, presumably, on the Russia-collusion canard, now sufficiently disproved to convince all but die-hard anti-Trumpers and Never Trumpers that the charge was spurious from the beginning — as was the Ukraine conversation gambit. Those people were intent on disposing of Mr. Trump from the moment of inauguration — which vitiates their later charges against him. They looked — and looked, and looked — for plausible crimes with which to remove him. Their failure must gall them. 

And so they say he’s a threat to democracy itself, without offering any specifics. 

But it’s the Democrats, of course, who are really preparing to take down the system. They accuse you of doing precisely what they intend to do. 

The New York Times published a piece by Harvard professor Alexander Keyssar titled “How Has the Electoral College Survived?” His argument — but you’ve already guessed — is that maintaining the Electoral College is essentially racist.

He seems uninformed about the founding generation’s fear of majority rule — the tyranny of the majority. The Electoral College scheme requires candidates to appeal to voters outside large cities, and it increases the political influence of small states. But if your politics are coastal, you want to cut out the middlemen — the people who live in fly-over land, who cling to their guns and religion. You want to empower the professors in Massachusetts and California. 

Abolishing the Electoral College is fundamentally un-American, of course, and would require a constitutional amendment. Or would it? 

There is currently underway an end-run movement around the necessity to pass a constitutional amendment to have the popular vote determine the election.

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) is an agreement, currently signed by 16 states and the District of Columbia, under which they would award all their electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the overall popular vote in the 50 states and District of Columbia.

Is it constitutional? Well, what does “constitutional” mean? Would the Supreme Court consider it constitutional? Do you mean the current Supreme Court? Almost certainly not. 

No problem. If the Democrats win both houses of Congress, they simply pack the Supreme Court (after eliminating the filibuster in the Senate), and — presto! — the measure is constitutional. 

There’s another way the Democrats can do whatever they want — and will. If the Democrats win both houses of Congress, they will eliminate the filibuster and vote to make the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico states. That will add electoral votes to the Democrat column, making it ever more difficult for a Republican to win a presidential election. 

A decent interval after obtaining absolute power — 10 minutes? — the Democrats will enact their wish list of liberal-progressive-woke-socialist (fascist?) provisions. 

First, a gun control law that eviscerates the Second Amendment and gives government absolute power over the people. Hitler’s gun control law was directed only at the Jews (a friend remembers being told by his father in 1938 when Hitler’s anti-Jewish gun law was enacted that the Jews were “finished”); the U.S. law would not be so racially insensitive, of course. Venezuela’s gun control (banning firearms and ammunition) was directed at everyone. Ask Mark and Patricia McCloskey how they will like that. They are the St. Louis couple who kept a mob at bay by waving their guns at them.

Abortion will be extended to infanticide and the Supreme Court, if asked, will approve. 

Affirmative action will become the law of the land, which will lead to rampant discrimination against all groups not favored by the Democratic Party — Whites, the middle class, suburbanites, heterosexuals, people clinging to their religion and guns. 

They will also enfranchise illegal immigrants and give the vote to 16-year olds. 

Will all this “democracy” worry folks who live in San Francisco? Please.

But it worried James Madison, who wrote in The Federalist Papers, “In all very numerous assemblies, of whatever characters composed, passion never fails to wrest the sceptre from reason.” Plebiscitary democracy was not the system bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers, and “democracy,” at least as the term was originally employed in this country, did not mean what the Democrats intend to institute if they win in November. 

They mean to change, fundamentally, the governing structure of America, producing what Madison would have called a tyrannical majority.

So: Is our democracy in danger? You bet it is.    

• Daniel Oliver is chairman of the board of the Education and Research Institute and a director of Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco.

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