Some people think elections are corrupt, don’t really mean anything, or votes don’t count. But hold on — we’re not talking here about foreign influence, social media giants controlling campaign information, or intra-party sabotage of rival candidates — all apparently underway. No, the phenomenon being addressed here is more subtle. This stealth corruption is citizens from California, New York, Mississippi (or name any state) successfully determining election outcomes in Virginia.
Elections actually do have consequences. Anyone paying attention these days knows this. Free elections are critical for our republic, and vitally important is to have confidence in the process and stand by the results. Wouldn’t most folks agree with that? (Well, apparently not all, given the national embarrassment ongoing in Congress — but let’s move on). Part of election confidence is trusting we can elect our representatives free from inappropriate influence.
So, where’s this treatise going specifically? Again, set aside for the moment Russians, Ukrainians, undocumented voters, FBI crimes, media bias, impeachment, and all these serious issues. Have you noticed there is a completely accepted and vigorously exploited process both political parties use almost constantly, which is profoundly undemocratic in our election processes? It opens to external interference every vote in every precinct in every state. Although legal, it’s democracy-corrupting.
Here’s how it works. Let’s say a political party needs one more senator in D.C. from State X. Enormous sums of money from all over America are funneled into State X to influence the targeted election, and the same occurs for congressmen and governors. Just think about our last Virginia gubernatorial election. Huge money ensuring that win came from non-Virginians, giving us the questionable leadership underway in Richmond today. The same happened again right here in The Valley during the most recent congressional election.
Have you seen the ads by billionaire and ex-mayor of New York supporting his new political aspirations? They boast that he has helped “run winning campaigns in 21 house seats.” That’s buying elections in someone else’s jurisdiction.
So what to do? It seems the only answer is to change the U.S. Constitution that makes it illegal to fund any candidate by those outside the jurisdiction involved. Not possible, you say? You’re correct, if such a fix depends on the establishment running Washington these days.
Likely the only vehicle to change this is a Convention of States authorized by Article V of our U.S. Constitution. Fifteen states are already on record for fixing the Constitution via an Article V Convention; 24 are considering it; 11 no action. Thirty-four are needed to call the Convention. Virginia has not signed up.
Clearly there also are other serious Constitution repairs needing review, e.g., balanced budget, voter eligibility, term limits, short congressional sessions, infanticide, marriage, states appointing senators as originally intended, and surely more. Article V constitutional changes are hard work, and for good reason. But the change process was put in there for just such a time as this.