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along with a copy of the “Invisible Government” by Dan Smoot which he also requested. They did print a lead editorial condemning me and the electoral college, but if they printed my statement at all, it was well hidden because I watched for it for 10 days. How could the citizens of the country form an opinion about this intelligently if they were told only one side of the story? This is the reason that the electoral college is more important in present-day elections than it was at the time that the Constitution was written.
The electoral college is also a guarantee that the minority voice can be heard. If it is abolished, it will become infinitely more difficult for a third political party to become influential on the national scene. Who is it who would deny the American citizens the right to vote as they wish? Interestingly, many of the same men who claim to represent minority groups at election times are the very ones who are trying to abolish the electoral college.
Our Nation was founded, has prospered, and survived as a Republic. By far the most important point which I would like to bring to your attention is the fact that if the electoral college is abolished or emasculated, we will be transformed by the same stroke of the pen into a political democracy. Our Founding Fathers went to great lengths to keep us from having a democracy because they knew that no democracy in history has survived. Yet, we are dangerously close to becoming one today on the national level. The definition of democracy as given in the 1928 U.S. Army Training Manual is as follows:
A government of the masses. Authority derived through mass meeting or any form of "direct" expression. Results in mobocracy. Attitude toward property is communistic-negating property rights. Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it be based upon deliberation or gov. erned by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences. Results in demogogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.
In the 1952, "The Soldier's Guide,” Department of the Army Field Manual, it had been changed as follows:
Meaning of democracy. Because the United States is a democracy, the majority of the people decide how our Government will be organized and run and that includes the Army, Vavy, and Air Force. The people do this by electing representatives, and these men and women then carry out the wishes of the people.
This is very strange indeed. I would like to paraphase here and point out that the definition of democracy in 1928 certainly should be the same as the present day. Why is it that this was changed ? That was in 1933. Those Army Training Manuals were destroyed.
Senator BAYH. Would you yield just a minute? I couldn't help reading your statement last night in which you compared the definitions of democracy. Maybe it would be helpful to interject a definition of democracy by Webster. I hardly feel that the Army Training Manual is going to guarantee my 13-year-old son an "A" in his English class if he had to rely on definitions like this one by the 1928 Army Training Manual.
Dr. BAILEY. I appreciate what you are saying, but I think we also have to consider the fact that sometimes definitions as well as history is determined by those who write it, too.
Excuse me, I will go on now with this, if you like.
Until 1913, the U.S. Senators were elected by their respective State legislative bodies, and they represented their State governments in
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their relationships with the Federal Government. The Senators were responsible to the State government, a relatively small and organized body of men, rather than to the people of the State in general. This is an extremely important distinction to make, for now the State governments are not represented at the Federal level in a like manner. This change was the first of two big steps which will change our Republic into a democracy. The other step will be abolition or emasculation of the electoral college. I think that, if this information were presented to the American people, they would strongly favor preserving the electoral college.
In closing, I have found that holding the office of elector is a very responsible position, and it should not be taken lightly as is the case today. It demands time-consuming study, fortitude, total allegiance to our country, and a love of all that we hold dear in our American way of life. I am appealing to your good judgment and your own love of country, with the hope that you will seriously consider the possibility of restoring presidential electors to the positions which they were originally intended to hold. It is my sincere belief that it will serve the best interests of our country, and that our generation will be able to pass it on to our heirs stronger than it was when we inherited it.
Senator Bayh. Thank you very much, Dr. Bailey. We appreciate your taking the time to be with us.
Senator Ervin, do you have questions you would like to ask this constituent of yours?
Senator ERVIN. Incidentally, I did something the New York Times and the news media did not do according to your statement. I put your statement, explaining why you cast a vote for Wallace rather than Nixon, in the Congressional Record and used it in the course of debate on the Muskie-O'Hara resolution.
Dr. BAILEY. Yes, sir; I saw that and I appreciate it very much.
Senator Ervin. I was sort of intrigued by this observation. You said today we have a far worse situation. In other words, after you pointed out that originally the presidential electors were chosen because they were better informed than the people generally and owing to the lack of adequate communications in that day, you make this statement on page 5 "today we have a far worse situation as far as an informed electorate is concerned. For some are not only uninformed but most are intentionally misinformed." You are referring there to your conviction about the impact of the news media on the people of this country?
Dr. BAILEY. Yes, sir; absolutely.
Senator ERVIN. You take the position that, I think was very well expressed, if I may be pardoned for saying so, by Josh Billings. He was a great humorist but putting great truths in amusing aspects. He said “it is better to be ignorant than to know what ain't so" and so your position is, you think that the news media, to a large extent, is slanted in one direction instead of being objective in disseminating the news, that it is propagandizing and that by reason of that, people may be led to their ignorance by being misinformed instead of, as Josh Billings would say, “what ain't so ?!
Dr. BAILEY. Yes; I think there are really two reasons. We all know that we and our friends are very, very busy in our everyday life and
very few people have the time or the interest to go into matters, political, very deeply. Unless a person does there is just no way to get all of the information that should be made available to everyone. If a person depends on what he reads on the front pages of the newspapers we all know that there are many, many things that are missed. That is why I think that it is so important that people who do know what is going on or people who, if put in the position of being a free elector, know that this burden is on their shoulders will then take the time and then go into it. They know it is on them and they have to live with the people in their district. They have to be able to give good answers for what they do. I found this out personally.
It is hard for a person to understand it unless he has been in the position himself, believe me. I had many questions and it wasn't all real pleasant.
Senator ERVIN. Your studies led you to the conviction that the present system, despite some imperfections, has operated pretty well since the amendment was adopted back in 1840 ?
Dr. BAILEY. I think the elector should be free, absolutely free, from the time they are elected. This puts upon them a burden. A man who is elected under that circumstance will realize it. He is not automatic. It is not taken lightly. It is a serious job for a man to have that duty to cast the vote for the President of the United States. If he is worth his salt he will look into these matters and do it in a very thorough way by backing up the position he takes. I think under that system we will have elections which are carried out by informed people.
Senator Ervin. Your study has convinced you that it would be better to retain the present system than to go to either one of the three proposals that are pending before the committee?
Dr. BAILEY. Well, not exactly the same, sir. Because instead of having electors nominated by two parties or three parties or whatever number there happen to be in any given election, I think that there should be one elector perhaps for each district. I think that it is important that he be from his own district, because after he votes he should then know that he is going back to live with those people whose vote he casts and have to answer for it. I think this is important. I think we are living with integrity and loyalty to country. All those have something to do. If our country is to survive we have to depend on people who have a degree of patriotism, which is certainly necessary and who will take the trouble and the time, to look into the political scene and consider all possibilities.
You, of course, are going to get different degrees of this, as you would in any matter that you go into. Some people are more capable of doing it. Some people have more interest. Some, under the system I am proposing, will certainly do nothing. I know that this is true, human nature being what it is, I don't see how we can have any other system. I don't know how we can change it unless we can find a way to change human nature. Senator ERVIN. That is all. Senator Bayi. Senator Thurmond ?
Senator 'THURMOND. Dr. Bailey, we are very glad to have you with us today.
Dr. BAILEY. Thank you, sir.
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Senator THURMOND. I am sure you are a great patriot and from all I have heard about you and the statement, you believe in the Constitution and in the Republican form of government under which we live.
I want to ask you this question first : If your vote would have meant the difference between electing President Nixon or having the contest thrown into the House of Representatives for a decision would you still have voted for former Gov. George Wallace?
Dr. BAILEY. No; I would not. Under the circumstances it appeared there was a very good possibility of Vice President Humphrey winning the election had that happened, so I think that I can pretty safely say I would not have done that.
Senator THURMOND. If the election had gone to the House I think most people concede that Vice President Humphrey would have won the Presidency. If there had been danger of that would you have voted for Wallace when Nixon was the only hope of beating Humphrey ?
Dr. BAILEY. No.
Senator THURMOND. In other words, you would have preferred Mr. Nixon over Mr. Humphrey ?
Dr. Bailey. Definitely, very definitely.
As I conceive your position you are following the intent of the framers of the Constitution at the time the country was founded. That is that people would select outstanding electors who were better informed than the average, and leave it to their judgment as to who they would vote for, for President? That is not a bad system. In fact, if it could be followed today, it would be a very fine system, because it would take the Presidency out of politics, so to speak. He would have to run before the people. These electors would be elected by the people and the people would trust them to select the best man for President, who would not have to obligate himself in so many ways to pressure groups and others who might want special favors.
However, when the advent of parties took place that changed the whole system. I believe that sprung up about Thomas Jefferson's time, and more or less since then the people have voted for the candidate rather than the electors, because the candidate would advocate certain proposals and the candidate became prominent. The candidate was in the public eye, and in many cases, most cases, the people hardly knew the electors. They would vote for a set of electors because they were the electors of a certain candidate.
Now, I can understand the situation, but today if a man becomes an elector for a certain candidate then there is a certain, probably a certain moral obligation to support that candidate unless he has announced that he is a free elector and that he expects to exercise his own judgment. Was any statement made by you or did anyone contact you about that? In other words, did they question you on that?
Dr. BAILEY. No, sir.
Senator THURMOND. For instance, I will give you this illustration. In 1948 when I ran for President there was one elector in the State of Tennessee who announced he was going to run on the Democratic ticket but he was going to vote for me. He was elected, and he did vote for me. Well, he put the people on notice. They knew just where he stood. He expected to carry out that commitment and the people voted for him on that basis. They could have left him off, but they voted for him.
I was wondering in your situation if you just conceive that under the Constitution you had that authority or you made no commitment, you didn't have to make it, but on the other hand you were running on the Nixon ticket and the people who elected you probably expected you to support Mr. Nixon. I just wondered if you cared to say anything and out of deference to you I thought you might want to make some statement on that point because many people feel you had the legal right to do what you did. In fact any lawyer who understands the Constitution, I think, would take that position that you have the legal right to do what you did regardless of what ticket you ran on, since the State of North Carolina did not have a law that would compel its electors to vote for the candidate.
On the other hand, some people feel there is a moral obligation when you run on a certain ticket to vote for that candidate unless he has announced openly or otherwise that he is a free elector. I am not trying to do this to try to embarrass you, but I thought you might wish to explain that.
Dr. BAILEY. Well, I think it should be brought out.
I think that in the first place there was no discussion of candidates at the convention when I was proposed for the position of presidential elector. There was no discussion whatsoever about it. Very little was thought about it as far as I know. I took no pledge and then, as events unfolded, right after the general election probably would have voted for President Nixon. But these other matters came up, I mean in spite of the fact that the district had gone for Governor Wallace, because it was traditional and so on, these other matters came up which I was familiar with. It made me feel that my responsibility to the United States was more important than the responsibility to the Republican Party. With my views being as they were I would have felt that I would have done wrong not to point these things out and to vote as I did. Of course, the fact that Governor Wallace won the district made it tremendously more easy.
Senator THURMOND. As I understand, you ran on the Nixon ticket, and expected to vote for Mr. Nixon but after the election because of certain positions that you didn't feel were wise for the country, you felt it your obligation. Dr. Baily. Yes, sir. Senator THURMOND. To vote for Mr. Wallace? Dr. BAILEY. Right.
Senator THURMOND. Although you wouldn't have voted for Mr. Wallace if there had been danger of it going to the House because Mr. Humphrey might have been elected ?
Dr. BAILEY. That is right.