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How Elections, Parties, and Charters Matter

Elections, parties, and charters matter to the degree that they affect Progressivism. Largely unrecognized, we are closer than ever to raising freedom higher than ever.

James Anthony
January 22, 2021

The 2020 election appears to have produced Democratic national control. What will change? Previous shifts in control suggest what changes are likely.

2008 Democratic control brought us bigger debt, 2016 Republican control brought us bigger debt, and 2018 joint control brought us even-bigger debt [1]. 2008 Democratic control brought us Obamacare, and 2016 Republican control locked into place most all of Obamacare. 2018 joint control brought us health tyranny.

Most likely, then, 2020 Democratic control will bring us bigger debt, will ratchet into place much of the health tyranny, and will add energy tyranny.

All in all, though, despite all hype, elections change the resulting policies very little. Because elections don’t change our governments’ Progressivism.

Non-republican governments

Elections wouldn’t matter at all if government people and all government extensions’ people [2] followed charters, like the Constitution, that establish republican forms of government [3].

The Constitution provides the best republican-government design. It provides limited enumerated powers [4]; separated legislative [5], executive [6], and judicial [7] powers; nondelegable legislative powers [8]; and offsetting powers [9].

State constitutions, though, don’t provide limited enumerated powers [10]. Since state governments control the charters of local governments, this enables all these governments to try to control all activities in life.

But what most thoroughly enables tyranny is that limited enumerated powers, separated powers, nondelegable legislative powers, and even bills of rights are just rules. The only sanctions are the offsetting powers. Every rule can be violated at will if violations aren’t subject to sanctions using the offsetting powers.

And the offsetting powers aren’t used by Progressives.

Progressives dominate both parties’ elected representatives: all of the Democrats are Progressives, and half of the Republicans are Progressives (including all of the Republicans’ nominal leaders).

Because of this, every election leaves us with governments that are supermajority Progressive [11].

Progressive deciding-votes, Progressive executives

For new laws to be enacted by the usual process, constitutionally the bills must be passed by simple majorities [12].

Republican constitutionalists’ simple majorities are made up of the legislators whose Conservative Review Liberty Scores [13] are highest. The deciding vote among these simple majorities is the Republican or Libertarian legislator whose Liberty Score is lowest. In the session that ended in 2020, ignoring outliers Tom Tiffany and Jeff Van Drew, the deciding vote was in the Senate and had a Liberty Score of 22%.

Democratic Progressives’ simple majorities are made up of the legislators whose Liberty Scores are lowest. The deciding vote among these simple majorities is the Democratic or Independent legislator whose Liberty Score is highest. If legislators score like in 2020, then ignoring outliers like Collin Peterson, the deciding vote will be in either the House or Senate and will have a Liberty Score of 23%.

For new laws to be enacted by the usual process, the bills that pass must also be signed.

When a president signs such a bill, he effectively merits a Liberty Score that’s the same as the Liberty Score of the deciding vote. Trump signed nearly every bill that passed, so Trump merited a Liberty Score of 22%. Biden will sign nearly every bill that passes, so Biden will merit a Liberty Score of 23%.

Simply put, for every time such Congresses and presidents enact 1 constitutionalist statute, they enact more than 3 Progressive statutes.

Compared to national legislators, state legislators earn American Conservative Union ratings that are just about the same; in nominal percentage points, on average, only 4% higher [13]. State bills are signed too, so state executives merit ACU ratings that are equally Progressive.

And compared to national legislators, urban legislators skew Democratic [14] and therefore more Progressive. Urban executives skew equally Democratic and Progressive.

So in governments national, state, and local, in 2020 legislators and executives were Progressive, and in 2021 (apart from in a few cities) legislators and executives will be equally Progressive. Not more Progressive.

New elections, new parties, and new charters each matter only to whatever extent they affect Progressivism and therefore freedom.

Raising freedom

Second Amendment sanctuaries, in which the government officers have declared and sometimes enacted that they will not enforce unconstitutionally-infringing laws, exist in 1/3 of all counties [14]. Sanctuaries for the unborn also exist. Sanctuaries from COVID tyrannies also exist.

Freedom would be raised further by each local law that disincentivizes COVID tyrannies by penalizing each such act.

Freedom is mostly just enabled by each national officer who supports the Constitution in the actions he chooses to take on the job [15]. Freedom is enabled and increased by each state officer who supports the Constitution in his actions. Freedom is raised by each local officer who supports the Constitution in his actions.

The Constitution creates the legal framework needed to limit the national government, but not all that’s needed to limit all of our governments and to limit all of our government extensions. Freedom also requires electing representatives who will support the Constitution in their actions. This is a task in each election to come, up and down every ballot—especially in local offices. All governance starts local.

Freedom will also require building at least one major party that itself has a republican form of party organization so the party organization itself is limited, leaving the party’s grassroots people in supervisory control [16]. And all parties also start local.

Freedom will further require complementing our republican Constitution [17] with republican constitutions for states, republican charters for local governments, and republican charters for all other organizations that either extend government tyrannies or create tyrannies of their own. The Constitution is fine as is, and is a priceless start. All the problematic charters are more local.

The job of building freedom was advanced by the Constitution but has been held up by long strikes in the form of unlimited state constitutions, unlimited current parties, and Constitution-defying Progressivism. The job of building freedom still remains to be completed more perfectly.

On all currently-living generations falls the task of filling this land with freedom.

The time is now.


  1. Anthony, James. “Your Future Earnings Are Quickly Becoming Other People’s Money.” The Federalist, 8 Sep. 2020, thefederalist.com/2020/09/08/your-future-earnings-are-quickly-becoming-other-peoples-money/. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.
  2. Rectenwald, Michael. “The Google Election.” Mises Wire, 13 Nov. 2020, mises.org/wire/google-election. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.
  3. Natelson, Robert G. “A Republic, Not a Democracy? Initiative, Referendum, and the Constitution’s Guarantee Clause.” Texas Law Review, 80, 2002, pp. 807-57.
  4. USA Constitution, amend. 10.
  5. USA Constitution, art. I, sec. 1.
  6. USA Constitution, art. II, sec. 1, cl. 1.
  7. USA Constitution, art. III, sec. 1.
  8. Schoenbrod, David. “The Delegation Doctrine: Could the Court Give It Substance?” Michigan Law Review, vol. 83, no. 5, Apr. 1985, pp. 1223-90.
  9. Anthony, James. rConstitution Papers: Offsetting Powers Secure Our Rights. Neuwoehner Press, 2020, pp. 3.14-5. 
  10. Maddex, Robert L. State Constitutions of the United States. Congressional Quarterly, 1998, p. xvi.
  11. Anthony, James. The Constitution Needs a Good Party: Good Government Comes from Good Boundaries. Neuwoehner Press, 2018, pp. 4-5.
  12. Coenen, Dan. “The Filibuster and the Framing: Why the Cloture Rule is Unconstitutional and What To Do About It.” Boston College Law Review, vol. 55, no. 1, Jan. 2014, pp. 39-92. 
  13. Florida, Richard, and David Montgomery. “How the Suburbs Will Swing the Midterm Election.” Bloomberg CityLab, 5 Oct. 2018, www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-05/the-suburbs-are-the-midterm-election-battleground. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.
  14. Davis, Noah. “One-Third of U.S. Counties Are Now Second Amendment Sanctuaries.” Sanctuary Counties, 23 Sep. 2020, sanctuarycounties.com/2020/09/23/one-third-of-u-s-counties-are-now-second-amendment-sanctuaries/. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.
  15. Anthony, James. “’Constitution Support’ Pushed Back Progressive Tyranny.” rConstitution.us, 18 Dec. 2020, rconstitution.us/constitution-support-pushes-back-progressive-tyranny/. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.
  16. Anthony, James. The Constitution Needs a Good Party: Good Government Comes from Good Boundaries. Neuwoehner Press, 2018.
  17. Barnett, Randy E. Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People. Broadside Books, 2016.

James Anthony is the author of The Constitution Needs a Good Party and rConstitution Papers, and has written in The Federalist, American Thinker, and Foundation for Economic Education. He’s a chemical engineer with a master’s in mechanical engineering and a strong background in process design and control.  


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