Original Argument: The Lost Chapters. Translated by Joshua Charles

Number 40

On the Powers of the Convention to Form a Mixed Government Examined and Sustained

James Madison

New York Packet

Friday, January 18, 1788

The second point which we will examine is whether the Convention was authorized to frame and propose this mixed (Federal/National) Constitution (Point 2, from No. 39).  In order to determine the answer to this question, we ought to very closely inspect the commissions which were given to the delegates of the Convention from their respective states and constituents.  Since all of these commissions were somehow based on the recommendations that came out of the Annapolis meeting (September 1786)[1] or from congress (February 1787),[2] it will be adequate to refer to those recommendations themselves.

The meeting at Annapolis recommended the:

“…appointment of commissioners to…take into consideration the situation of the United States; to devise such further provisions, as shall appear to them necessary to render the constitution of the federal government, adequate to the exigencies of the union; and to report such an act for that purpose, to the United States in congress assembled, as when agreed to, by them, and afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every state, will effectually provide for the same.”[3]

The recommendation from congress is as follows:

“Whereas, there is provision in the articles of confederation and perpetual union, for making alterations therein, by the assent of a congress of the United States, and of the legislatures of the several states; and whereas experience hath evinced, that there are defects in the present confederation; as a mean to remedy which, several of the states, and particularly the state of New York, by express instructions to their delegates in congress, have suggested a convention for the purposes expressed in the following resolution; and such convention appearing to be the most probably mean of establishing in these states, a firm national government: Resolved, That in the opinion of congress, it is expedient, that on the 2nd Monday in May next, a convention of delegates, who shall have been appointed by the several states, be held at Philadelphia, for the sole and express purpose of revising the articles of confederation, and reporting to congress and the several legislatures, such alterations and provisions therein, as shall, when agreed to in congress, and confirmed by the states, render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of government, and the preservation of the union.”

From these two recommendations, it appears that the purposes of the Convention were as follows:

  1. To establish a firm National government
  2. That this government would be able to meet the demands of government, and the preservation of the Union
  3. That this purpose was to be fulfilled by making the necessary changes or adding the necessary provisions (“such alterations and provisions therein”) to the Articles of Confederation (as the recommendation from congress says)
  4. The changes and added provisions were to be reported to congress and to the states so that they could be agreed to by congress, and established by the states

By comparing and objectively analyzing these several recommendations, we can determine the nature of the authority under which the Convention acted.  They were to frame a National government, able to meet the needs of government and of the Union, and to alter the Articles of Confederation in such a way as to accomplish these purposes.

There are two rules of interpretation which are based on both plain reason, as well as legal principles.  The first is that every part of an expression should, if possible, be allowed some meaning, and should somehow be made to combine together for some common end or meaning.  The second is that when the separate pieces of an expression cannot be made to agree with each other, the less important parts should give way to the more important ones, and thus the means sacrificed to the end, rather than the end to the means.

Let’s now suppose that the expressions which were used to define the authority of the Convention were completely incompatible and contradictory, that a National and adequate government could not possibly have been accomplished in the Convention’s mind simply by alterations and adding provisions to the Articles of Confederation.  Which part of this definition should they have embraced, and which part should they have rejected?  Which part was more important, and which part was less important?  Which part was the end, which part the means?  Let the most learned scholars of delegated powers, and the most hardened critics of those powers which were used by the Convention, answer these questions.  Let them declare with their own mouths whether it was more important to the happiness of the American people that the Articles of Confederation be scrapped and an adequate government put in its place, or whether an adequate government should’ve been thrown to the side and the Articles of Confederation preserved.  Let them also tell us whether or not preserving the Articles of Confederation was the end for which the reform of the government was to be the means, or whether, if establishing a government capable of preserving our national happiness was the original goal of these Articles in the first place, and because they have proven incapable of accomplishing this, they should now be sacrificed.

But is it necessary to presume that these two expressions are indeed completely incompatible with each other?  Could no amount of alterations or adding provisions to the Articles of Confederation have produced an adequate National government, such as the one which has been proposed by the Convention?

Certainly it is safe to assume that no one will object to a change in the title of the Articles of Confederation, something which could never be regarded as the exercise of a power which was never given in the first place.  Alterations to them are explicitly authorized, as is the addition of new provisions.  Thus, there is the power to change the title, to insert new provisions, and to alter old ones.  Unless absolutely nothing of the original Articles of Confederation remains, must we necessarily admit that this power has been violated?  Those who maintain that a part of the original Articles of Confederation must remain should at least make the boundary between authorized and unauthorized changes clear, between the amount of change that can be made in accordance with alterations and further provisions, and that that amounts to a total transformation of the government.  Should it be acknowledged that the changes should not have affected the substance of the Confederation?  If that was the case, then the states would never have so solemnly appointed the Convention, nor given its purpose so much latitude and freedom if they did not expect some sort of substantial reform.  Should it be acknowledged that the Convention did not have the power to change the fundamental principles of the Confederation, so they should not have been altered?

It might be quite useful at this to simply ask “What are these principles?”  Do they require that in the establishment and ratification of the Constitution, the states should be regarded as distinct and independent powers?  The proposed Constitution regards them as such.[4] Do they require that every member of the government should be appointed by the state legislatures, not the People of the states?  One House of the new Congress will be appointed by the state legislatures (the Senate),[5] while under the Confederation, it is possible for all of the members of congress to be appointed directly by the people, and this is actually the case in two states.[6] Do they require that the powers of the government should apply only to the states themselves, and not to individual citizens?  Some previous examples have already shown that some of the powers of the new government will act on the states as political entities, and not on individual citizens.  There are, however, some examples of the powers of the current government applying directly to individuals.  The powers of the Confederacy operate directly on individuals and their interests in cases of capture, piracy, the post office, weights and measures, trade with the Indians, claims made under grants of land by different states, and above all in the case of court martials in the army and navy, where the death penalty may be inflicted without the intervention of any jury, or even a civil magistrate (a judge).  In particular, do these fundamental principles require that no tax should be imposed that does not require the use of the states as an intermediary to collect them?  The Confederation itself authorizes a direct tax (to a certain extent) on the post office.  The current congress has interpreted the power over coinage in such a way that it requires a tribute from the states from that same source.  But even letting these examples slide, was it not a widely acknowledged purpose of the Convention, as well as the universal expectation of the People, that the regulation of trade would become the duty of the new government, and in such a way that it would become an immediate source of revenue for it?[7]

Didn’t congress itself repeatedly suggest that this power was in no way inconsistent with the fundamental principles of the Confederation?  Had not every state but one, including New York herself, complied with the plans of congress so far, to the point that they even recognized the principle of this new power?  Finally, do these principles require that the powers of the General government should be limited, and that beyond this limit the states should possess their sovereignty and independence?  Just like in the old, we have seen that the general powers of the new government are limited, and that the states will be allowed to enjoy sovereign and independent jurisdiction over every power that is not specifically granted to the Federal government.[8]

The truth is that the great principles of the Constitution which has been proposed by the Convention can be considered less as being absolutely new, and more as an expansion of the principles which are already found in the Articles of Confederation.  However, the shame about the old system has been that these principles are so feeble and restricted that all the accusations of them being inefficient are entirely justified, and therefore require that the principles be so enlarged that it makes the new system appear as if it were a complete transformation of the old.

However, the Convention could be said to have departed from the spirit of its commission in one specific way.  Instead of providing a plan which would require the ratification of all the states, they have devised one which can be ratified by only nine states.[9] It is worth pointing out that this objection, while it is the most valid, has been the one least talked about throughout the entire swarm of publications against the Convention.  The reason for this is probably because of the absolute absurdity of risking the fate of twelve states to the perversity and corruption of a thirteenth.[10] Yes, indeed it was the example of a stubborn majority of one-sixtieth of the People of America opposing the actions called for by the voice of twelve states who make up fifty-nine-sixtieths of the People, an example which is still fresh in the memory and anger of every citizen who has been concerned about the wounded honor and prosperity of their country.  Therefore, since this objection has apparently been ignored by the critics of the Constitution, I dismiss it without further comment.

The third point to be examined is, given the gravity of the event, how much the Convention’s feeling of duty could have made up for a lack of some sort of regular authority which could have done the same thing that they did (Point 3, from No. 39).  Throughout all the previous observations I have made, I have analyzed and tested the powers of the Convention with the same precision and according to the same rules as if they had been the only powers needed to establish a Constitution for the United States.  With that assumption in mind, we have seen how they have stood up to those observations.  We must now remember that the powers which were given by the states to the Convention were merely based on advice and recommendations, and were understood by both as such.  Accordingly, the Convention planned and proposed a Constitution which is as worthless as the paper it is written on unless those to whom it is addressed give it their seal of approval.  This fact puts the entire subject in an entirely different light, tone in which we will be able appropriately judge the actions of the Convention.

Let’s take a look at the ground on which the Convention stood.  Based on their actions, we can assume that they were deeply and unanimously aware of the crisis which had forced their country, with a nearly single, unanimous voice, to even have to call for such a solemn and extraordinary experiment in order to correct the errors in the system which had produced the crisis in the first place.  They were obviously just as deeply and unanimously convinced that a set of reforms, such as the ones they proposed, were absolutely necessary in order for them to fulfill the duties required of them by their appointment.  They were no doubt aware that the hopes and expectations of the majority of citizens throughout this great empire were focused, with the greatest anxiety, on their deliberations.  They also had every reason to believe that the exact opposite feelings disturbed the minds and very being of every external and internal enemy of the liberty and prosperity of the United States.  They had seen the beginning, the progress, and the eagerness with which even the proposition, made by the single state of Virginia, that the Articles of Confederation be partially amended, had spread and gained steam.[11] They had seen at Annapolis how a very small group of deputies from a very small number of states went completely beyond their commission and recommended this great and all important experiment which became the Convention, and which was not only justified by public opinion, but was actually put into effect by twelve of the thirteen states (not including Rhode Island).  They had seen several examples of congress, at the behest of public opinion, assuming powers which were not just recommended, but which they actually had already, during and for the sake of occasions and purposes infinitely less urgent than their own.  They must have concluded that during any great changes in an established government, form ought to give way to substance, and that a stubborn adherence to form would render the transcendent and precious right of the People to “abolish or alter their governments as to them shall seem most likely to affect their safety and happiness”[12] as merely nominal, and worthless.  Since it is impossible for the People to spontaneously and all at the same time move in concert towards their goal, it is essential that such changes be instituted via some informal and unauthorized proposals made by some patriotic and respectable citizen, or group of citizens.  They must have remembered that it was by this unexpected and understood privilege of proposing to the People plans for their safety and happiness which originally united the states against the danger posed to them by their ancient government (Great Britain).  They must have also remembered that committees and congresses were formed in the first place in order to concentrate all of the people’s efforts and defend their rights, and that conventions were elected in the several states in order to establish the constitutions under which they are currently governed.  Nor could they have forgotten that there was nowhere to be seen any poorly timed second thoughts, or any eagerness on the part of anyone to adhere to ordinary forms of government, except in those who, under these masks, wished to indulge their secret hostility to the substance of what the Revolution represented.  They must have also kept in mind that since the Plan to be framed and proposed was to be submitted to the People themselves, that the rejection by this supreme authority would destroy it forever, but also that its approval would blot out all the previous mistakes and abnormalities of the old system.  It might have even occurred to them that among those who would be eager to criticize them, any neglect on their part to use all of the power which was available to them, and even more so any recommendations on their part which went beyond their commission in any way, would arouse the same amount of criticism as any other recommendations they provided which were fully capable of answering the needs of the nation.

With all of these impressions, and in the midst of all of these considerations, what if the Convention, instead of exercising a courageous confidence in the country which had bestowed its trust uniquely on them, and pointing out a system which they believed would be capable of securing its happiness, had instead made the cold and dismal decision to disappoint its most ardent hopes, to sacrifice substance to form, and placed the dearest interests of their country at the mercy of delay and of events?  Let me ask the man whose mind is capable of conceiving just one lofty idea, and who can awaken in his bosom just one patriotic emotion: if the Convention had made the second choice, what judgment ought to have been pronounced against the conduct and character of such an assembly by the impartial world, by the friends of mankind, and by every virtuous citizen?  Or if there is a man who simply must condemn others, let me ask what sentence he would pronounce against the twelve states who usurped power in order to send deputies to the Convention, a body completely unfamiliar to their constitutions; to a congress who recommended the formation of this assembly (just as unfamiliar to the Confederation); and for the state of New York in particular, who was the first to advocate, and then to comply with this apparently unauthorized assembly?

For the sake of denying the opponents of the Constitution every pretext for their criticism, I will grant for the moment that the Convention was neither authorized by their commission, nor justified by their circumstances in proposing a Constitution for their country.  Based on that reason alone, does it follow that the Constitution should be rejected?  If, as according to the noble teaching, it is right to accept good advice even when it comes from an enemy, shall we then set the shameful example of refusing such advice even when it is offered to us by our friends?  The wise choice will always be to not care about who gave the advice, but whether or not the advice itself is good.

The sum of everything which I have put forward and proven is that the accusation made against the Convention, specifically that it exceeded its powers, except in one instance which the critics don’t seem to care about (requiring the approval of nine states, instead of all thirteen), is completely baseless.  If they exceeded their powers, they were not only justified in doing so, but as the trusted servants of their country, and because of the circumstances into which they were placed, were required[13] to do so, and to exercise the liberty which they had taken upon themselves.  Finally, even if the Convention violated both their powers and their obligations in proposing the Constitution, it should still be supported and ratified if it will accomplish the purposes and the happiness of the People of America.  Whether or not the Constitution will accomplish these things is the great question which we are investigating.

Publius


[1]Annapolis Convention (1786): A meeting which was held in Annapolis, Maryland from September 11-14, 1787, and was attended by 12 delegates from five states (Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware).  The official name of the meeting was a “Meeting of Commissioners to Remedy Defects of the Federal Government.”  The primary purpose of the meeting was to overcome barriers to the limited trade and commerce between the states, who were mostly independent and sovereign under the Articles of Confederation.  The recommendations of the Annapolis Convention can be found in the Appendix of this work.

[2]Recommendation from Congress; February 21, 1787 (Original): “Congress having had under consideration the letter of John Dickinson esqr. (Esquire) chairman of the Commissioners who assembled at Annapolis (refer to previous footnote) during the last year also the proceedings of the said commissioners and entirely coinciding with them as to the inefficiency of the federal government and the necessity of devising such farther provisions as shall render the same adequate to the exigencies of the Union do strongly recommend to the different legislatures to send forward delegates to meet the proposed convention on the second Monday in May next at the city of Philadelphia…That it be recommended to the States composing the Union that a convention of representatives from the said States respectively be held at—on—for the purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the United States of America and reporting to the United States in Congress assembled and to the States respectively such alterations and amendments of the said Articles of Confederation as the representatives met in such convention shall judge proper and necessary to render them adequate to the preservation and support of the Union.”

[3]The complete recommendations can be found in the Appendix of this work.

[4]United States Constitution: Article V

[5]United States Constitution: Article I, Section 3, clause 1

[6]Connecticut and Rhode Island.

[7]United States Constitution: Article I, Section 8, clause 3

[8]This principle (which was codified in the 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights) is referenced and described in more detail in Federalist No. 32, and is also referenced in Federalist Nos. 81-82.

[9]United States Constitution: Article VII

[10]Rhode Island boycotted the Constitutional Convention.

[11]On January 21, 1786, the Virginia Legislature (on the recommendation of James Madison) invited all of the states to a Convention in order to solve the problems which were associated with the Articles of Confederation.  This first meeting became known as the Annapolis Convention.  It was held in Annapolis, Maryland from September 11-14, 1786, but was only attended by 12 delegates from five states (Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware).

[12]Declaration of Independence.

[13]Emphasis added.

It's time for our April 29, 2019 edition of our Candidate Power Rankings. We get to add two new candidates, write about a bunch of people that have little to no chance of winning, and thank the heavens we are one day closer to the end of all of this.

In case you're new here, read our explainer about how all of this works:

The 2020 Democratic primary power rankings are an attempt to make sense out of the chaos of the largest field of candidates in global history.

Each candidate gets a unique score in at least thirty categories, measuring data like polling, prediction markets, fundraising, fundamentals, media coverage, and more. The result is a candidate score between 0-100. These numbers will change from week to week as the race changes.

The power rankings are less a prediction on who will win the nomination, and more a snapshot of the state of the race at any given time. However, early on, the model gives more weight to fundamentals and potentials, and later will begin to prioritize polling and realities on the ground.

These power rankings include only announced candidates. So, when you say "WAIT!! WHERE'S XXXXX????" Read the earlier sentence again.

If you're like me, when you read power rankings about sports, you've already skipped ahead to the list. So, here we go.

See previous editions here.

20. Wayne Messam: 13.4 (Last week: 18th / 13.4)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

A former staffer of Wayne Messam is accusing his wife of hoarding the campaign's money.

First, how does this guy have "former" staffers? He's been running for approximately twelve minutes.

Second, he finished dead last in the field in fundraising with $44,000 for the quarter. Perhaps hoarding whatever money the campaign has is not the worst idea.

His best shot at the nomination continues to be something out of the series "Designated Survivor."

Other headlines:

19. Marianne Williamson: 17.1 (Last week: 17th / 17.1)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Marianne Williamson would like you to pay for the sins of someone else's great, great, great grandparents. Lucky you!

Williamson is on the reparations train like most of the field, trying to separate herself from the pack by sheer monetary force.

How much of your cash does she want to spend? "Anything less than $100 billion is an insult." This is what I told the guy who showed up to buy my 1989 Ford Tempo. It didn't work then either.

Other headlines:

18. John Delaney: 19.7 (Last week: 15th / 20.3)

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Good news: John Delaney brought in $12.1 million in the first quarter, enough for fifth in the entire Democratic field!

Bad news: 97% of the money came from his own bank account.

Other headlines:

17. Eric Swalwell: 20.2 (Last week: 16th / 20.2)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The Eric Swalwell formula:

  • Identify news cycle
  • Identify typical left-wing reaction
  • Add steroids

Democrats said there was obstruction in the Mueller report. Swalwell said there “certainly" was collusion.

Democrats said surveillance of the Trump campaign was no big deal. Swalwell said there was no need to apologize even if it was.

Democrats said William Barr mishandled the release of the Mueller report. Swalwell said he must resign.

Democrats say they want gun restrictions. Swalwell wants them all melted down and the liquid metal to be poured on the heads of NRA members. (Probably.)

16. Seth Moulton: 20.6 (NEW)

Who is Seth Moulton?

No, I'm asking.

Moulton falls into the category of congressman looking to raise his profile and make his future fundraising easier— not someone who is actually competing for the presidency.

He tried to block Nancy Pelosi as speaker, so whatever help he could get from the establishment is as dry as Pelosi's eyes when the Botox holds them open for too long.

Moulton is a veteran, and his military service alone is enough to tell you that he's done more with his life than I'll ever do with mine. But it's hard to see the road to the White House for a complete unknown in a large field of knowns.

Don't take my word for it, instead read this depressing story that he's actually telling people on purpose:

"I said, you know, part of my job is take tough questions," Moulton told the gathered business and political leaders. "You can ask even really difficult questions. And there was still silence. And then finally, someone in the way back of the room raised her hand, and she said, 'Who are you?' "

Yeah. Who are you?

15. Tim Ryan: 21.6 (Last week: 14th / 20.7)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

When you're talking to less than sixteen people in Iowa one week after your launch, you don't have too much to be excited about.

Ryan did get an interview on CNN, where he also talked to less than sixteen people.

He discussed his passion for the Dave Matthews Band, solidifying a key constituency in the year 1995.

Other headlines:

14. Tulsi Gabbard: 25.2 (Last week: 14th / 25.9)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Tulsi Gabbard torched Kamala Harris in fundraising!!!!! (Among Indian-American donors.)

No word on who won the coveted handi-capable gender-neutral sodium-sensitive sub-demographic.

She received a mostly false rating for her attack on the Trump administration regarding its new policy on pork inspections, a topic not exactly leading the news cycle. Being from Hawaii, the state which leads the nation in Spam consumption, she was probably surprised when this didn't go mega viral.

Other headlines:

13. Andrew Yang: 27.2 (Last week: 12th / 27.1)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Yang has a few go-to lines when he's on the campaign trail, such as: "The opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math." Another is apparently the Jeb-esque "Chant my name! Chant my name!"

Yang continues to be one of the more interesting candidates in this race, essentially running a remix of the "One Tough Nerd" formula that worked for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.

I highly recommend listening to his interview with Ben Shapiro, where Yang earns respect as the only Democratic presidential candidate in modern history to actually show up to a challenging and in-depth interview with a knowledgeable conservative.

But hidden in the Shapiro interview is the nasty little secret of the Yang campaign. His policy prescriptions, while still very liberal, come off as far too sane for him to compete in this Stalin look-alike contest.

Other headlines:

12. Jay Inslee: 30.4 (Last week: 11th / 30.4)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

If you read the Inslee candidate profile, I said he was running a one-issue climate campaign. This week, he called for a climate change-only debate, and blamed Donald Trump for flooding in Iowa.

He also may sign the nation's first "human composting" legalization bill. He can start by composting his presidential campaign.

Other headlines:

11. John Hickenlooper: 32.2 (Last week: 10th / 32.0)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

John Hickenlooper was sick of being asked if he would put a woman on the ticket, in the 0.032% chance he actually won the nomination.

So he wondered why the female candidates weren't being asked if they would name a male VP if they won?

Seems like a logical question, but only someone who is high on tailpipe fumes would think it was okay to ask in a Democratic primary. Hickenlooper would be better served by just transitioning to a female and demanding other candidates are asked why they don't have a transgendered VP.

Other headlines:

10. Julian Castro: 35.7 (Last week: 9th / 36.2)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Lowering expectations is a useful strategy when your wife asks you to put together an Ikea end table, or when you've successfully convinced Charlize Theron to come home with you. But is it a successful campaign strategy?

Julian Castro is about to find out. He thinks the fact that everyone thinks he's crashing and burning on the campaign trail so far is an "advantage." Perhaps he can take the rest of the field by surprise on Super Tuesday when they finally realize he's actually running.

Other headlines:

9. Kirsten Gillibrand: 38.1 (Last week: 8th / 37.8)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Gillibrand wants you to know that the reason her campaign has been such a miserable failure so far, is because she called for a certain senator to step down. The problem might also be that another certain senator isn't a good presidential candidate.

She also spent the week arm wrestling, and dancing at a gay bar called Blazing Saddle. In this time of division, one thing we can all agree on: Blazing Saddle is a really solid name for a gay bar.

Other headlines:

8. Amy Klobuchar: 45.1 (Last week: 7th / 45.5)

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Klobuchar is attempting a run in the moderate wing of the Democratic primary, which would be a better idea if such a wing existed.

She hasn't committed to impeaching Donald Trump and has actually voted to confirm over half of his judicial nominees. My guess is this will not be ignored by her primary opponents.

She also wants to resolve an ongoing TPS issue, which I assume means going by Peter Gibbons' desk every morning and making sure he got the memo about the new cover sheets.

Other headlines:

7. Elizabeth Warren: 45.3 (Last week: 6th / 46.0)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Elizabeth Warren is bad at everything she does while she's campaigning. I don't really even watch Game of Thrones, and the idea that Warren would write a story about how the show proves we need more powerful women makes me cringe.

Of course, more powerful people of all the 39,343 genders are welcome, but it's such a transparent attempt at jumping on the back of a pop-culture event to pander to female voters, it's sickening.

We can only hope that when she's watching Game of Thrones, she's gonna grab her a beer.

Other headlines:

6. Cory Booker: 54.9 (Last week: 5th / 55.5)

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Booker is tied with Kamala Harris for the most missed Senate votes of the campaign so far. He gets criticized for this, but I think he should miss even more votes.

Booker is also pushing a national day off on Election Day—because the approximately six months of early voting allowed in every state just isn't enough.

Of course, making it easier to vote doesn't mean people are going to vote for Booker. So he's throwing trillions of dollars in bribes (my word, not his) to seal the deal.

Bookermania is in full effect, with 40 whole people showing up to his appearance in Nevada. Local press noted that the people were of "varying ages," an important distinction to most other crowds, which are entirely comprised of people with the same birthday.

Other headlines:

5. Robert Francis O’Rourke: 60.2 (Last week: 4th /62.6)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Kirsten Gillibrand gave less than 2% of her income to charity. The good news is that she gave about seven times as much as Beto O'Rourke. Robert Francis, or Bob Frank, also happens to be one of the wealthiest candidates in the race. His late seventies father-in-law has been estimated to be worth as much as $20 billion, though the number is more likely to be a paltry $500 million.

He's made millions from a family company investing in fossil fuels and pharmaceutical stocks, underpaid his taxes for multiple years, and is suing the government to lower property taxes on a family-owned shopping center.

He's also all but disappeared. It's a long race, and you don't win a nomination in April of the year before election day. If he's being frugal and figuring out what he believes, it might be a good move.

But it's notable that all the "pretty boy" hype that Bob Frank owned going into this race has been handed over to Mayor Pete. Perhaps Beto is spending his time working on curbing the sweating, the hand gestures, and the issues with jumping on counters like a feline.

Other headlines:

4. Pete Buttigieg: 62.9 (Last week: 3rd / 62.9)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

When we first put candidates in tiers earlier this year, we broke everyone into five categories from "Front Runners" to "Eh, no." In the middle is a category called "Maybe, if everything goes right," and that's where we put Pete Buttigieg.

Well, everything has gone right so far. But Mayor Pete will be interested to learn that the other 19 candidates in this race are not going to hand him this nomination. Eventually, they will start saying negative things about him (they've started the opposition research process already), and it will be interesting to see how Petey deals with the pressure. We've already seen how it has affected Beto in a similar situation.

The media has spoken endlessly about the sexual orientation of Buttigieg, but not every Democratic activist is impressed. Barney Frank thinks the main reason he's getting this amount of attention is because he is gay. And for some, being a gay man just means you're a man, which isn't good enough.

When you base your vote on a candidate's genitals, things can get confusing.

Other headlines:

3. Kamala Harris: 68.6 (Last week: 1st / 69.1)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

There are a couple of ways to view the Harris candidacy so far.

#1 - Harris launched with much fanfare and an adoring media. She has since lost her momentum. Mayor Pete and former Mayor Bernie have the hype, and Kamala is fading.

#2 - Harris is playing the long game. She showed she can make an impact with her launch, but realizes that a media "win" ten months before an important primary means nothing. She's working behind the scenes and cleaning up with donations, prominent supporters, and loads of celebrities to execute an Obama style onslaught.

I tend to be in category 2, but I admit that's somewhat speculative. Harris seems to be well positioned to make a serious run, locking up more than double the amount of big Clinton and Obama fundraisers than any other candidate.

One interesting policy development for Harris that may hurt her in the primary is her lack of utter disgust for the nation of Israel. There's basically one acceptable position in a Democratic primary when it comes to Israel, which is that it's a racist and terrorist state, existing only to torture innocent Palestinians.

Certainly no one is going to mistake Harris for Donald Trump, but a paragraph like this is poison to the modern Democratic primary voter:

"Her support for Israel is central to who she is," Harris' campaign communications director, Lily Adams, told McClatchy. "She is firm in her belief that Israel has a right to exist and defend itself, including against rocket attacks from Gaza."

Just portraying the rocket attacks as "attacks" is controversial these days for Democrats, and claiming they are responses to attacks indicates you think the Jeeeewwwwwwwws aren't the ones responsible for the start of every hostility. Heresy!

Someone get Kamala a copy of the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' before she blows her chance to run the free world.

2. Bernie Sanders: 69.2 (Last week: 2nd / 68.3)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

If Bernie Sanders hates millionaires as much as he claims, he must hate the mirror. As a millionaire, it might surprise some that he donated only 1% to charity. But it shouldn't.

It's entirely consistent with Sandersism to avoid giving to private charity. Why would you? Sanders believes the government does everything better than the private sector. He should be giving his money to the government.

Of course, he doesn't. He takes the tax breaks from the evil Trump tax plan he derides. He spends his money on fabulous vacation homes. He believes in socialism for thee, not for me.

Yes, this is enough to convince the Cardi B's of the world, all but guaranteeing a lock on the rapper-and-former-stripper-that-drugged-and-stole-from-her-prostitution-clients demographic. But can that lack of consistency hold up in front of general election voters?

If Bernie reads this and would like a path to credibility, clear out your bank account and send it here:

Gifts to the United States
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Funds Management Branch
P.O. Box 1328
Parkersburg, WV 26106-1328


Other headlines:

1. Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.: 78.8 (NEW)

Joe has run for president 113 times during his illustrious career, successfully capturing the presidency in approximately zero of his campaigns.

However, when the eternally woke Barack Obama had a chance to elevate a person of color, woman, or anything from the rainbow colored QUILTBAG, he instead chose the oldest, straightest, whitest guy he could find, and our man Robinette was the beneficiary.

Biden has been through a lot, much of it of his own making. Forget about his plagiarism and propensity to get a nostril full of each passing females' hair, his dealings while vice president in both Ukraine and China are a major general election vulnerability— not to mention a legal vulnerability for his children. But hey, win the presidency and you can pardon everyone, right?

His supposed appeal to rust belt voters makes him, on paper, a great candidate to take on Trump. The Clinton loss hinged on about 40,000 voters changing their mind from Hillary to Donald in a few states—the exact areas where victory could possibly be secured by someone named "Middle Class Joe" (as he alone calls himself.)

No one loves Joe Biden more than Joe Biden, and there's a relatively convincing case for his candidacy. But we must remember this unquestionable truth: Joe Biden is not good at running for president.

He's a gaffe machine that churns out mistake after mistake, hoping only to have his flubs excused by his unending charisma. But, will that work without the use of his legendary groping abilities? Only time, and a few dozen unnamed women, will tell.

Also, yes. Robinette is really his middle name.

If only Karl Marx were alive today to see his wackiest ideas being completely paraded around. He would be so proud. I can see him now: Sprawled out on his hammock from REI, fiddling around for the last vegan potato chip in the bag as he binge-watches Academy Awards on his 70-inch smart TV. In between glances at his iPhone X (he's got a massive Twitter following), he sips Pepsi. In his Patagonia t-shirt and NIKE tennis shoes, he writes a line or two about "oppression" and "the have-nots" as part of his job for Google.

His house is loaded with fresh products from all the woke companies. In the fridge, he's got Starbucks, he loves their soy milk. He's got Ben & Jerry's in the freezer. He tells everyone that, if he shaved, he'd use Gillette, on account of the way they stand up for the Have-Nots. But, really, Marx uses Dollar Shave Club because it's cheaper, a higher quality. Secretly, he loves Chic-Fil-A. He buys all his comic books off Amazon. The truth is, he never thought people would actually try to make the whole "communism" thing work.

RELATED: SOCIALISM: This is the most important special we have done

Companies have adopted a form of socialism that is sometimes called woke capitalism. They use their status as corporations to spread a socialist message and encourage people to do their part in social justice. The idea of companies in America using socialism at all is as confusing and ridiculous as a donkey in a prom dress: How did this happen? Is it a joke? Why is nobody bursting out in laughter? How far is this actually going to go? Does someone actually believe that they can take a donkey to prom?

Companies have adopted a form of socialism that is sometimes called woke capitalism.

On the micro level, Netflix has made some socialist moves: The "like/dislike" voting system was replaced after a Netflix-sponsored stand-up special by Amy Schumer received as tidal wave of thumb-downs. This summer, Netflix will take it a step further in the name of squashing dissent by disabling user comments and reviews. And of course most of us share a Netflix account with any number of people. Beyond that, they're as capitalist as the next mega-company.

Except for one area: propaganda. Netflix has started making movie-length advertisements for socialism. They call them "documentaries," but we know better than that. The most recent example is "Knock Down the House," which comes out tomorrow. The 86-minute-long commercial for socialism follows four "progressive Democrat" women who ran in the 2018 midterms, including our favorite socialist AOC.

Here's a snippet from the movie so good that you'll have to fight the urge to wave your USSR flag around the room:

This is what the mainstream media wants you to believe. They want you to be moved. They want the soundtrack to inspire you to go out and do something.

Just look at how the mainstream media treated the recent high-gloss "documentary" about Ilhan Omar, "Time for Ilhan." It received overwhelmingly bad ratings on IMDb and other user-review platforms, but got a whopping 93% on the media aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

This is exactly what the media wants you to think of when you hear the word socialism. Change. Empowerment. Strength. Diversity. They spend so much energy trying to make socialism cool. They gloss right over the unbelievable death toll. BlazeTV's own Matt Kibbe made a great video on this exact topic.

Any notion of socialism in America is a luxury, made possible by capitalism. The woke companies aren't actually doing anything for socialism. If they're lucky, they might get a boost in sales, which is the only thing they want anyway.

We want to show you the truth. We want to tell you the stories you won't hear anywhere else, not on Netflix, not at some movie festival. We're going to tell you what mainstream media doesn't want you to know.

Look at how much history we've lost over the years. They changed it slowly. But they had to. Because textbooks were out. So people were watching textbooks. It was printed. You would bring the book home. Mom and dad might go through it and check it out. So you had to slowly do things.

Well, they're not anymore. There are no textbooks anymore. Now, you just change them overnight. And we are losing new history. History is being changed in realtime.

RELATED: 'Good Morning Texas' joins Glenn to get an inside look at Mercury Museum

You have to write down what actually is happening and keep a journal. Don't necessarily tell everybody. Just keep a journal for what is happening right now. At some point, our kids won't have any idea of the truth. They will not have any idea of what this country was, how it really happened. Who were the good guys. Who were the bad guys. Who did what.

As Michelle Obama said. Barack knows. We have to change our history. Well, that's exactly what's happening. But it's happening at a very rapid pace.

We have to preserve our history. It is being systematically erased.

I first said this fifteen years ago, people need clay plots. We have to preserve our history as people preserved histories in ancient days, with the dead see scrolls, by putting them in caves in a clay pot. We have to preserve our history. It is being systematically erased. And I don't mean just the history of the founding of our country. I mean the history that's happening right now.

And the history that's happening right now, you're a problem if you're a conservative or a Christian. You are now a problem on the left, if you disagree and fall out of line at all. This is becoming a fascistic party. And you know what a fascist is. It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican or an independent. If you believe it's my way or the highway, if you believe that people don't have a right to their opinion or don't have a right to their own life — you could do be a fascist.

Christianity might seem pretty well-protected in the U.S., but that's not the case in many parts of the globe.

On Easter Sunday, suicide bombers made the news for killing 290 innocent Christians in Sri Lanka and injuring another 500. On Tuesday, ISIS claimed responsibility for the massacre. Of course, the Western world mourned this tragic loss of life on a holy day of worship, but we forget that this isn't an isolated incident. Indeed, Christians are discriminated at extreme levels worldwide, and it needs to be brought to light. And whenever we do highlight brutal persecutions such as the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, we need to call them what they are — targeted attacks against Christians. Sadly, many of our politicians are deathly afraid to do so.

RELATED: Hey media, there is absolutely a war on Christians!

A 2018 Pew Research Center study found that Christians are harassed in 144 countries — the most of any other faith — slightly outnumbering Muslims for the top of the list. Additionally, Open Doors, a non-profit organization that works to serve persecuted Christians worldwide, found in their 2019 World Watch List that over 245 million Christians are seriously discriminated against for their religious beliefs. Sadly, this translates into 4,136 Christians killed and 2,625 either arrested, sentenced, imprisoned, or detained without trial over the year-long study period. And when it comes to churches, those in Sri Lanka were merely added to a long list of 1,266 Christian buildings attacked for their religion.

These breathtaking stats receive very little coverage in the Western world. And there seems to be a profound hesitation from politicians in discussing the issue of persecution against Christians. In the case of the Sri Lanka bombings, there's even a reluctance to use the word "Christian."

After the horrific Pittsburgh Synagogue and New Zealand Mosque shootings, Democrats rightfully acknowledged the disturbing trend of targeted attacks against Jews and Muslims. But some of these same politicians refer to the Sri Lanka bombings with careless ambiguity.

So why is it so hard for our leaders to acknowledge the persecutions Christians face?

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, for instance, certainly did — calling the incursions "attacks on Easter worshippers." Understandably, the term confused and frustrated many Christians. Although, supporters of these politicians argued the term was appropriate since a recent Associated Press report used it, and it was later picked up by a variety of media outlets, including Fox News. However, as more Democrats like 2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro and Rep. Dan Kildee continued to use the phrase "Easter worshippers," it became clear that these politicians were going out of their way to avoid calling a spade a spade.

So why is it so hard for our leaders to acknowledge the persecutions Christians face? For starters, Christianity in democratic countries like the U.S. is seen differently than in devastated countries like Somalia. According to Pew Research, over 70% of Americans are Christian, with 66% of those Christians being white and 35% baby boomers. So while diverse Christians from all over the world are persecuted for their faith—in the U.S., Christians are a dominant religion full of old white people. This places Christians at the bottom of progressives' absurd intersectional totem poll, therefore leaving little sympathy for their cause. However, the differing experiences of Christians worldwide doesn't take away from the fact that they are unified in their beliefs.

By refusing to name the faith of the Sri Lankan martyrs, politicians are sending a message that they have very little, if no, concern about the growing amount of persecution against Christians worldwide.

Martyrs don't deserve to be known as "Easter worshippers." They should be known by the Christian faith they gave their lives for. Decent politicians need to call the tragedy in Sri Lanka what it is — a vicious attack on the Christian faith.

Patrick Hauf (@PatrickHauf) is a writer for Young Voices and Vice President of Lone Conservative. His work can be found in the Washington Examiner, Townhall, FEE, and more.