Power Politics

This post is part of a series that will make more sense if it is read in order. If you haven’t read the earlier posts in this series, please click here to start with the first one. One reason I’ve broken this series into fairly small parts is that we have a tendency to rush through reading the Constitution and miss a lot of it. I hope the readers of this series will ponder the points in each session. I also hope you will comment on each post as we go along.

We’re slowly working our way through the Constitution and its amendments. Today, we’ll consider the Twenty-third Amendment.

Throughout this series on the Constitution, my comments will be in black normal font, and the text of the document will be in this color and italicized.


SECTION 1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:

A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

SECTION 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

When the nation was founded, the District of Columbia was set up as an entity of its own, separate from any state. As such, it had no Congressional representation and no voice in Presidential elections. In fact, it’s not really even self-governing, but is ruled directly by Congress.

In 1960 the Democrats won the White House back after 8 years of Republican occupancy, and they sought to strengthen their chances of holding it. Knowing that a huge percentage of the population of the District of Columbia consisted of federal employees, who were overwhelmingly Democrat, they put forth this amendment to give themselves three fairly safe electoral votes.

They also controlled most state governments at that time, so ratification was a simple matter for them. Politics has always been a dirty business, and this was power politics at its dirtiest.


Benjamin Franklin, exiting Constitutional Convention:

“We’ve given you a republic, if you can keep it.”


For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.


About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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4 Responses to Power Politics

  1. Sharon K. Walker says:

    Interesting! Call it a “Power Grab” or “Stacking of the Deck.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There are always loopholes and if there is not a loophole, we’ll write an amendment to create a loophole. Politics are so frustrating and confusing. A necessary evil.

    Once again, thanks for breaking it down.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re certainly welcome, Patricia. I have few areas of expertise, so I try to share what I do have, especially since politicians are so adept at obscuring what they’re actually doing.


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