Original Argument: The Lost Chapters. Translated by Joshua Charles

Number 22

Other Defects of the Present Confederation (continued)

Alexander Hamilton

New York Packet

Friday, December 14, 1787

In addition to the defects of the existing federal system that I discussed in my last paper, there are others which are just as important, and that also make this current system of ours incapable of administering the affairs of the Union.

All parties agree that the lack of a power to regulate commerce is one of these defects.[1] The usefulness of such a power has already been discussed in earlier papers (Nos. 11-13), and for this reason, as well as the universal agreement on this subject, not much else needs to be said.  Even the most casual observer will see that that whether it is trade or finance, nothing else clearly demands Federal oversight more than commerce.

The lack of this power has already kept us from signing treaties with foreign powers that would have been beneficial, and has also caused friction between the states.  No nation that is familiar with our current political system would be unwise enough to make any binding agreements with the United States because those agreements would concede important privileges to us, as any agreements on behalf of the Union could be broken at any time by one of the states.

Also, they have found that they are able to enjoy every advantage our markets provide them without granting us anything in return, except when it may be convenient for them.  It is therefore not surprising that when Mr. Jenkins introduced a bill to the House of Commons (Great Britain) that would regulate all the temporary interaction between our two countries. He introduced it by declaring that previous bills had been able to achieve all the goals of British commerce, and that it would be wise to continue this policy until it became clearer whether or not the American government would become more stable.

Several states have tried to influence the actions of Great Britain in this regard by enacting their own bans, restrictions, and exclusions.  But the lack of coordination, which itself comes from a lack of a general authority, not to mention the different views of the states, has thwarted every similar attempt, and will continue to do so as long as the obstacles which prevent us from implementing a uniform commercial policy remain the same.

Contrary to the spirit of the Union, the meddlesome and un-neighborly regulations of some states have sometimes given other nations good reason to be offended and complain about us.  I fear that if examples like this are not restrained by a national authority, they will not only happen more often but will become more widespread until they become very serious sources of animosity and conflict, which may even obstruct the commerce between different parts of the Confederacy itself.

“The commerce of the German empire is in continual trammels, from the multiplicity of the duties which the several princes and states exact upon the merchandises passing through their territories; by means of which the fine streams and navigable rivers with which Germany is so happily watered, are rendered almost useless.”[2]

Though the genius of the American people may never permit this to happen, we can reasonably expect that conflicts between the regulations of each state will gradually cause the citizens of each to be regarded and treated by the others as no better than foreigners or aliens.

Under the Articles of Confederation, the power of raising armies amounts to not much more than the congress being able to require from the states certain quotas of men.  As the Revolutionary war showed, this system has been found to be full of obstacles to a strong and effective system of defense.  The states began to compete with each other in a sort of auction for men.  In order to provide the quotas required of them, they outbid each other until their bounties became so large that they could no longer support them.  Those who were more willing to serve began to procrastinate and stopped sending their men into battles as often because they continued to hope that the bounties would become even larger.

What resulted was a slow stream of very few men during our most desperate emergencies, short enlistments (to our great loss), and continuous fluctuations in the number of troops, which proved disastrous for their discipline and also constantly put the public safety in danger of the crisis of a disbanded army.  This also forced us to occasionally use harsh methods to recruit and keep men in the army, which were only put up with because of the People’s enthusiasm for liberty.

This method of recruiting troops is just as unfriendly to the economy and our national vitality as it is to an equal sharing of the burdens of war.  The states near the front lines, in the interests of self-preservation, made the necessary effort to supply their quotas of men (which was often more than they could truly afford), while the states at a greater distance were just as negligent in their efforts as the others were diligent in theirs.  The immediate pressures that were felt from all of this was not eased by the hope that some of the negligent states would come clean (as was the case with financial contributions).  The states which did not pay their fair share of money could at least be charged with that, but it wasn’t possible to keep track of all the shortages of men.  There is really no reason to regret this however, since there is a very small chance that delinquent states will ever be able to provide compensation for their financial failures anyway.  The system of quotas and requisitions, whether it regards money or men, is in every way a stupid system for the Union, and one which results in inequality and injustice amongst the states.

Giving each state the exact same voting power is another horrible part of the Confederation.  Every idea of fair representation condemns this principle that gives Rhode Island the same voting power as Massachusetts, or Connecticut the same as New York, and gives Delaware just as much influence over national debates as Pennsylvania, or Virginia, or North Carolina.  Its very nature contradicts the fundamental principle of republican government, which requires that the majority should prevail.

Arguments that sound good but that lack substance could be made in support of the idea that sovereigns are equal, and that a majority of the votes of the states will be a majority of Confederated America.  But this sort of logical game will never replace what fairness and common sense tell us is correct.  Under this principle, it would be possible for a majority of the states to only include a minority of the People (New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Georgia, South Carolina, and Maryland are a majority of the states, but they are not even a third of the total population of the United States).  Two thirds of the People of America will not be persuaded by fancy arguments or fancier speech to allow their interests to be governed at will by the other third.  The larger states would sooner or later revolt against the idea of having to live under the laws which came out of the smaller states.  If they were to give up their rightful political importance in this country, it would not only require giving up the love of power, but also even the love of equality.  It is neither rational to expect the first, or moral to require the second.  Considering how much the smaller states rely on the Union for their protection and welfare, they would be wise to drop this claim to equal voting power which, if not given up, would prove fatal to the existence of the Union.

It could be argued that since under the Articles of Confederation nine states (two thirds of the states), not seven, are required to agree on the most important decisions, then those nine states will always include a majority of the citizens of the Union.  But this doesn’t even address the unfairness of an equal vote between states that are completely different sizes and have very unequal populations.  Nor is it even accurate to say this: by simply adding New York and Connecticut to our previous list and bringing it to a total of nine states, we still don’t have a majority of the People.  Besides, there are very important matters which can be decided by a bare majority, while there are others about which doubts have been raised which, if we say that seven votes are enough to make a decision about them, would end up affecting some of our most important interests.  It should also be pointed out that while it is likely that the number of states will increase, there is currently nothing in the Articles of Confederation which will provide for a proportional rise in the ratio of votes required to pass resolutions.

But this is not all: what at first may seem like a cure is in fact a poison.  To give a minority the power to override a majority (which is always the case when more than a majority is required to make a decision) essentially subjects the views of the greater number to those of the lesser.  Because some states’ representatives have not even been present, congress, like the Polish Diet, has been frequently brought to a complete halt because of a single VETO.  Delaware and Rhode Island, which represent a full 1/60 of the population of the Union, have been able to bring congress to a complete standstill several times.  This is one of those things which sound good in theory, but whose actual result is quite the opposite.  The idea that the important decisions of any public body should be unanimous was originally coined because of a desire for greater security.  But what has actually happened has resulted in  the embarrassment of the administration, the destruction of the energy of government, and the replacement of the regular debates of a respectable majority with the capricious desires of an insignificant, turbulent, or corrupt junta.[3] It is during national emergencies when the goodness or badness, weakness or strength of a government becomes extremely important because of the necessity for action.

The public business must, in some way or another, go forward.  If a stubborn minority can control the opinion of the majority, then the majority will be forced, in order to move public business forward, to conform to the views of the minority, and thus the views of the smaller will ultimately overrule the views of the larger.  This causes tedious delays, constant negotiation and intrigue, and as such will disgracefully compromise the public good.  And yet, in such a system, it is fortunate that a compromise can even be made in the first place, since coming to any sort of agreement will not even occur on other occasions, which would put the functions of government on hold, or even fatally stop them.  In this system, it is often impractical to obtain the necessary number of votes, and so the government is constantly very busy doing nothing.  Its situation will always be one of weakness, or even borderline anarchy.

It is not difficult to see how the rule of the minority would help facilitate foreign intrusions into our country, as well as a greater amount of domestic factions than the rule of the majority would, despite the fact that the opposite is the common assumption. The biggest source of the mistake behind this assumption would be, and has been, not enough attention being paid to those problems which would result from the work of government being obstructed during certain critical periods.  When the agreement of a large number is required by the constitution to do anything at the national level, then we can at least rest peacefully knowing that at least nothing inappropriate will likely be done.  But we forget how much good could be prevented, and how much bad could result from keeping the government in this straitjacket, and from doing what is necessary.

Suppose, for example, that we were in an alliance with one foreign nation in a war against another, and let’s say that our situation demanded peace, while the interests or ambition of our ally leaned towards continuing the war, a situation which would justify us in seeking a separate peace treaty.  In this situation, this ally of ours would find it much easier to tie up the hands of our government, which requires two thirds of the vote instead of a simple majority to negotiate peace, by their scheming and bribes.  In the first case, he would have to corrupt a smaller portion of our government, and in the second, a much larger portion.  Based on the same principle, it would be even easier for a foreign nation we were actually at war with to confuse our congress and make a mockery of our war effort.  Similar things would happen economically as well.  A nation with whom we had a treaty of commerce could very easily prevent us from negotiating a similar treaty with one of their competitors, even though such a treaty would be beneficial to us.

These evils that I have described are by no means simply imaginary.  Despite the many advantages, one of the weaknesses of a republic is that it is too easy for a foreign power to corrupt.  A hereditary monarch, though he may often sacrifice his subjects for the sake of his own ambition, has such a great personal interest in the government and the external glory of his nation that it would be very difficult for a foreign power to offer him anything which would make him willing to commit treason against his own state.  There have been very few examples of this type of royal prostitution, though there have been many examples of all sorts of other kinds.

In republics, people who are elevated above the rest of the community to prestigious and powerful positions by the votes of their fellow citizens, may find that it is worth it (unless they are exceptionally virtuous) to take a bribe which seems to outweigh their obligations and duty to the public.  Hence the reason why history provides us with so many mortifying examples of foreign corruption taking place in republics!  I have already discussed how this has led to the downfall of many of the ancient confederacies (Nos. 18).  It is a well-known fact that some of the representatives of the United Provinces (United Netherlands) have been bought off by the representatives of the neighboring kingdoms.  If my memory serves me correctly, the Earl of Chesterfield (Great Britain) wrote in a letter to his court that his success in some important negotiations with the United Netherlands was because he was able to obtain a Major’s commission (military rank) for one of their representatives.  And in Sweden, the rival parties were both alternately bought by France and England in such a shameless and notorious manner that it aroused universal disgust throughout that nation, and was also the main reason behind how the most limited monarch in Europe became in a single day, without any uproar, violence, or opposition, one of the most absolute and uncontrolled monarchs in Europe.

I have yet to mention the defect which tops off all of the defects of the Confederacy: the lack of a judiciary power.[4] Laws are worthless words on paper without courts to interpret and define their true meaning and function.  If the treaties of the United States are to have any force at all, they must be considered part of the law of the land.[5] Their true significance, as far as individuals are concerned, must, like all other laws, be determined by the judiciary.  To make sure that these determinations remain uniform, there ought to be a body which has the last word on all of them, a SUPREME COURT, which should be given the same degree of authority as that which negotiates the treaties in the first place.[6] Both of these ingredients are absolutely necessary.  If each state has its own supreme court, a court which would have the last word for that individual state, then there may be as many legal determinations as there are courts.  There is an infinite amount of diverse opinions among men, as we see when not only different courts, but judges on even the same courts disagree with each other.  To avoid the confusion that would come from multiple courts making contradictory decisions on multiple laws, all nations have found it necessary to establish one Supreme Court that is above all the others and which has the final say on all judicial determinations, so that the rules of civil justice remain uniform throughout the land.

This is even more important in a situation like ours, where the laws of the whole are in danger of being overridden by the laws of the parts.  If each state’s court is allowed to make its own final decisions, other than the contradictions which are sure to come up between the states, it is likely that each court’s decision will be strongly affected by local views, prejudices, and laws.  As far as such interference is concerned, it is more likely that the provisions of the local laws will be preferred more than the national laws, simply because of the greater respect that men in public office give to the authority to which they owe their existence.  The treaties of the United States can currently be broken by thirteen difference legislatures, as well as by all the different courts which act under the authority of those legislatures.  The good faith, reputation, and peace of the entire Union are thus always at the mercy of all the prejudices, passions, and interests of each of the states.  Is it possible for foreign nations to respect or trust such a government?  Is it even possible that the People of America will continue to trust their honor, happiness, and safety to such an unstable foundation?

In this overview of the Confederation, I have only focused on its most obvious defects, and temporarily ignored the many imperfections that can be found in the details, imperfections which render all the powers given to the Confederacy dead on arrival.  It must be obvious at this point to all wise and unbiased men that this system is so radically flawed and unsound that it must not merely be amended, but must have its main features and characteristics completely changed.

The very organization of congress is utterly incapable of exercising the powers which are necessary for the Union to have.  A single legislature may be the proper receptacle of those small, extremely restricted powers which the current federal government has, but it would be contrary to good government to entrust it with those additional powers which even the more moderate and rational opponents of the Constitution agree the United States should have.  If the proposed Plan is not accepted, but the Union is still able to survive the schemes of men who wish to profit from its dissolution, then we should probably give the congress, as it is currently structured, several supplementary powers.  Either the machine will completely fall apart because of how weak it is, or it will have its force and energy gradually increased in the future (as necessary) until it finally has gathered unto itself, and in a single body (congress) all the important rights and powers of sovereignty, leaving to our posterity one of the most hideous forms of government ever imagined by man.  Thus, we would actually create the very tyranny which the opponents of the Constitution wish to avoid!

The fact that the existing federal system was never ratified by the PEOPLE has contributed more than just a little bit to its infirmity.  Resting on no better foundation than the consent of the legislatures of the states, many frequent and detailed questions about the validity of its powers have been raised, and have even (in some cases) given birth to the dangerous idea of a right to legislative repeal.  Since the Confederacy owes its existence to the law of a state, it has been argued that the same power which established this central government (the individual states) could also repeal the law which it itself passed.[7] No matter how profane it is to say that a party which has made an agreement has a right to break that agreement, this doctrine has found some respectable supporters.  The mere fact that this has even come up should prove to us the necessity of providing our national government with a stronger foundation than the one which simply relies on authority delegated from some other authority.  The fabric of American empire should rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE.[8] The streams of National power should flow directly from this pure, original fountain of all legitimate authority.

Publius


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

[2]“Encyclopedia, article ‘Empire’” [sic]

[3]Junto: “A self-appointed committee, especially one with political aims.”

[4]United States Constitution: Article III, Section 1

[5]United States Constitution: Article VI, clause 2

[6]The description of the Judicial Branch under the Constitution is contained in Article III, while the description of Congress and the President (“… [the] same authority as that which negotiates the treaties in the first place”) is mostly found in Article I and Article II, with several miscellaneous powers of Congress existing throughout the Constitution.

[7]Nullification Doctrine: This is the doctrine, or principle which said that the states were individually capable of declaring Federal laws unconstitutional, and therefore had the right to repeal them (for that state).  It was also very closely related to the idea of secession, which was the idea that the states had the right to leave the Union.  Historically, there seems to be at least a tacit acknowledgement of this doctrine’s legitimacy by both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.  Jefferson wrote in the Kentucky Resolutions (1798):

“…that in cases of an abuse of the delegated powers, the members of the general government, being chosen by the people, a change by the people would be the constitutional remedy; but, where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact, (casus non fœderis) to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits: that without this right, they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whosoever might exercise this right of judgment for them: that nevertheless, this commonwealth, from motives of regard and respect for its co-States, has wished to communicate with them on the subject: that with them alone it is proper to communicate, they alone being parties to the compact, and solely authorized to judge in the last resort of the powers exercised under it…”

Madison wrote in the Virginia Resolutions (1799), which are typically paired with the Kentucky Resolutions:

“The resolutions, having taken this view of the Federal compact, proceed to infer that, in cases of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the States, who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound to interpose to arrest the evil, and for maintaining, within their respective limits, the authorities, rights, and liberties appertaining to them. ...The Constitution of the United States was formed by the sanction of the States, given by each in its sovereign capacity. It adds to the stability and dignity, as well as to the authority of the Constitution, that it rests on this solid foundation. The States, then, being parties to the constitutional compact, and in their sovereign capacity, it follows of necessity that there can be no tribunal above their authority to decide, in the last resort, whether the compact made by them be violated; and, consequently, as parties to it, they must themselves decide, in the last resort, such questions as may be of sufficient magnitude to require their interposition.”

[8]United States Constitution: Preamble

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)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

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)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

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)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

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.