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Freedom, you have far better cause to appreciate what we had and lost in this country than most. And I appreciate that more than you would probably guess. So please don’t think I’m trashing you personally, I just come to a different conclusion, based on different circumstances – but with the same love, even reverence for the Constitution of the United States. I don’t like adulterants added to my steaks, my chocolate ice cream, or my Constitution – leave ‘em all as-is (with the final item in that list being massively more important than the previous two, of course).

Keep in mind also that the Constitution which we both love and revere, says NOTHING about parties or primaries. Those are concocted methods of herding the people, as L Tecolote masterfully chose for his metaphor. That fits perfectly. We don’t even choose a president. Each state, per Constitutional direction, sets up its own system of choosing the “electors” that go to the Electoral College, and THEY choose the president. There is not even anything in the Constitution that says the electors must vote in line with the results of their state primaries – because primaries are a later invention.

So in a very real sense, as disgusting as it seems (and has become), what the RNC or DNC do at conventions has nothing to do with the Constitution, and the way in which they do it also has no basis in the Constitution, so long as it meets the basic criteria of age, “natural born citizen” (whatever that means!), etc. You and I are both incensed at how the RNC (and for that matter, the DNC) have operated, and may yet operate this time around. Yet we’re really only upset because they are changing THEIR own rules. We’ve been forced into playing THEIR game ever since power party politics took over the “rules” of how presidential CANDIDATES are selected. And Congress, the FEC, and other government entities have been the ones to “fix” the system so not just anybody can run for the presidency of the United States. They’ve even effectively shut out the likely possibility of a 3rd party being on all 50 state ballots – even though it’s a federal election.

Thus for me, I look at it as a rigged system from the very start, EVEN if primaries run smoothly and legally, vote counts are accurate, and nobody gets really squirrely when the Electoral College sits down to vote. In theory, we could all have someone elected by a landslide, winning almost all the state primaries, and yet something could happen at the Electoral College, and a different president could emerge. If I’m wrong, I’ll take my stripes, but I find nothing that disallows a hijacked Electoral College vote, at least at the federal level. Apparently there has never been a federal court challenge on the subject, because more than 99% of Electoral College votes have been according to the electors’ various state laws that govern the process.

SO, just as the wise old owl said, I’m just a microscopic spec in the process, and therefore can do little more than maybe get in the corner of somebody’s eye and cause them a bit of brief irritation before being flushed out. It really doesn’t matter what I do. But my own code of conduct dictates (maybe even the words “moral code” fit here) that I always do SOMETHING. And sometimes that “something” may amount to voting for the slowest possible progress toward destruction, rather than sitting back and allowing the herd to determine both the direction and the speed, to use Tec’s metaphor. Even if I just get in one other buffalo’s way and cause him to veer just a tiny bit one way or the other, his movement will trigger a response with another one or two, and so on. Will the impact be large enough to change the approximate eventual outcome? No – not just from me. But if I can slow it down even imperceptibly, or influence the direction – even just for a few moments – and it benefits me and those I care about for just a tiny bit longer, I’ll never have to look back and acknowledge that I consented to the worst possible outcome.

Silence, after all, is still a response – and it becomes consent.