Butler County Times Gazette
  • The convention to end all conventions

  • If we learned anything in the past couple of weeks, it is how amazing a national party convention can be.
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  • If we learned anything in the past couple of weeks, it is how amazing a national party convention can be.
    The convention process as it exists today was created in part by the 12th Amendment to the Constitution. This Amendment changed the Electoral College because the way the constitution originally created it just didn't work. The second attempt didn't go much better.
    The framers – and amenders of that framework – intentionally avoided true democracy. Their arguments made sense at the time because only land-owning white men were allowed to vote. They believed in putting power in smaller pockets.
    They didn't want "the people" to have much say in the process of selecting leaders. So they picked electors to choose the President and members of the state legislatures chose Senators. It was more than 200 years ago and times have changed. When the 12th Amendment passed, women and black people were not even allowed to own land, much less vote. The constitution is not holy scripture. In some ways it is antiquated and needs updating. It has been amended successfully 27 times and there have been hundreds of attempts to offer other amendments that have failed.
    One of those recent attempts came in 2005 when an amendment that would have determined Presidential elections by popular vote failed to get out of Congress. It is an idea whose time has come. Senators are no longer chosen by state legislators. The vice president is no longer just the guy who came in second in the presidential election.
    The people can be trusted with choosing a president. In 1800 when the 12th Amendment passed, it was an attempt to solve a problem. That problem was the beginning of the two-party system. With a president and vice president from different parties, life proved to be difficult. So the 12th Amendment made provisions to allow both members of the Executive Branch to come from the same party. Over the years, the convention system became the process by which the tickets were officially chosen. Since Mr. Todd Natvig and I are official write-in candidates, we decided we needed to have a convention.
    So Monday, Sept. 10 from 7- 9 a.m. we will convene to make our candidacy official. The convention site was carefully chosen. We didn't want to make the mistake of risking a hurricane interrupting our brief convention. We also didn't have any interest in going to a swing state and perpetuating the Electoral College method of playing favorites in states with wishy-washy voters.
    So we chose GoJoes Coffee Shop in Augusta, Kan. Not only is there no chance of a hurricane, it barely ever rains here. And Kansas is anything but a swing state. GoJoes will offer 50 percent off to anyone with a coupon (either on this page or we will be handing them out at the convention that morning) on any coffee, coffee drink or fountain drink. When you turn in your coupon, you will be pledging your delegate to Bush-Natvig for the write-in ticket. It will be a fun event. We are hoping to have some high-profile political people at the event.
    Page 2 of 2 - Sarah Palin and George W. Bush are invited to attend since the Republicans didn't invite them to their celebration a couple of weeks ago. Palin knows a good candidate when she sees one and I think she will be able to understand why the Electoral College is such a bad idea for states like Kansas and Alaska. I hope she will decide to come. She visited Andover's Dillon's Grocery Store during a recent book tour. She has to know how much fun a GoJoes convention would be.
    George W. Bush gets invited because we share two names and he knows baseball and likes to play golf.
    After the Democrats finished their convention, I decided not to ask any of them to come. They seemed a little too wild for Augusta. But I will invite Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney. They were also uninvited to the Democratic Convention last week to avoid the GOP's celebrity-President narrative.
    They are more than welcome to attend our convention. I embrace my position as a celebrity. So come by and get a half-price drink and enjoy our convention. It can't possibly be any worse than the other two conventions and we have great prices on coffee and fountain drinks.
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