What if, on account of the Coronavirus, we attempt to hold the 2020 presidential election entirely on-line or through the mail, and it turns into a logistical nightmare?
What if hackers succeed in changing votes from one candidate to another, calling into question the accuracy of the electoral count?
And, what happens if our current president doesn't accept election day results if he's not declared the winner?
In 2000, we learned that an exceptionally close presidential election can produce chaos, because we have no reliable Constitutional mechanism for resolving disputes. Since 2016, we have learned that foreign countries—and perhaps other malevolent actors—have been covertly attacking U.S. election systems. In the age of hacking, our elections are more vulnerable than ever, and yet we have failed to adequately prepare for all possible scenarios. It is time for us to think about how we can prevent and/or deal with disaster before it strikes.
In A Short History, Constitutional scholar Alan Hirsch addresses these issues with urgency and precision. He presents a concise history of presidential elections that resulted in crises and advocates clear, common-sense solutions, including abolishing the Electoral College and the creation of a permanent, non-partisan Presidential Election Review Board to prevent or remedy future crises.
" . . . seminal work of meticulous and informative scholarship that should be considered as an essential and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Contemporary Political Science collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject . . . "—Midwest Library Review
"The noted law historian, author of Impeaching the President, examines the handful of seriously problematic presidential elections in American history and what the Constitution elucidates about the process of undoing such an event—namely, nothing. . . . A highly relevant study featuring much food for thought and prospects for change."—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"Democracy is broken, but as Alan Hirsch explains, it really doesn’t have to be. This is the real story of how our voting system became so vulnerable to attacks from within and without, told with precision, verve, and even hope. This is the way out."—Douglas Rushkoff, author of Team Human
“Hirsch does a very good job of offering historical context to illuminate the present—and the terrifying future. His imaginative proposals are probably too sensible to be implemented in an age of parochial partisanship.”—David Shipler, former reporter for the New York Times and Pulitzer Prize winner
"This is a must-read for anyone who cares about safeguarding presidential elections ―which should be everyone. The time to read this book and pay attention is now."—Evan Caminker, Professor and former Dean, University of Michigan Law School
Praise for Impeaching the President:
“Impeaching the President is lucid, balanced, and deeply informed. Anyone in search of a reasoned guide to the unreason of our current situation should read it.”—Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction
“Impeaching the President by Alan Hirsch is a masterpiece for the masses.”—Ralph Nader
“In an era when the notion of impeachment is tossed around as the ultimate political indictment, Alan Hirsch guides us with a steady hand through our own history to consider the three presidents who faced that ultimate punishment. This is a sober, precise, and carefully argued analysis that should be read by every member of Congress—and every president.”—David K. Shipler, former reporter for the New York Times and Pulitzer Prize recipient
“Alan Hirsch brings clarity, wisdom, and wit to a contentious and critical subject. Impeaching the President is must reading for all concerned citizens.”—Howard Shapiro, former FBI General Counsel
“Incredibly readable, well-researched, analytically sound and important.”—Alan B. Morrison, Associate Dean for Public Interest & Public Service at the George Washington Law School
“As the producer of 'The Forum' in San Francisco, which strives to foster civil conversation on complex issues, I couldn't have asked for a more mature, sophisticated, and fair look at impeachment, as Alan Hirsch provides in Impeaching the President: Past, Present, and Future. I can't tell you how reassuring it is to find an adult voice on this issue, calmly and clearly breaking through all of the current bombast and posturing. Everyone who is concerned about the governance of our country should read this book.”—Rebecca Nestle, Director of Cultural Programs, Grace Cathedral
“Absolutely enjoyed this one. The reader gets a hearty mix of American history, political intrigue, and constitutional law, all adhered with Hirsch's amazing writing. He captures the political chaos surrounding each prior case, yanking the reader out of our present exceptionalism to see the evolution of impeachment with the proper context and clarity. We have been here before and will likely be here again many more times, he suggests, with increased frequency. Can’t recommend it enough.”—Travis Cohen, Brookline Booksmith, MA