Some BIG news here about an exciting new project here at A/O, plus some thoughts on China's intentions in the South China Sea... and MORE!
American Opportunity
A/O Global Intelligence Weekly: Defending the Constitution
It is with a great deal of excitement that we welcome to American Opportunity/Free Congress Foundation our newest senior fellow, Mr. Michael C. MaibachA scholar of federalism, Mr. Maibach will be heading up our newest project focusing on the defense of the Electoral College as an institution designed to preserve our freedoms.  We anticipate publishing both in our weekly newsletter and on our webpage several essays and white papers from Mr. Maibach in the weeks to come and look forward to hearing your input and thoughts as we push back against progressives who seek to radically redefine our constitution and our role as citizens in a free society.

Today is a highly unsettled time in American politics.  Yet there is a desperate need for education on how our elections work.  Without the Great Compromise of 1787, there would have been no United States of America.  The small states would never have subsumed themselves into a country dominated by the larger, more populous states.  Yet there are voices this very day urging exactly that result in order to confer legitimacy on our election process.  

More and more voices express dissatisfaction by attacking the underlying foundations of our Republic, and our Constitution.   We believe there is a need for a voice standing up for our Constitution and the liberties it preserves and protects.

Our first research work will be on an issue of federalism enshrined in our Constitution, its existence, and meaning of the Electoral College.  As you probably already know, the Electoral College meets, votes, and elects the President of the United States.  Since the Founding, the Electoral College now follows the popular vote in each state, but still stands for the proposition that states vote as states.  

Make no mistake -- many voices today seek to undermine the Electoral College.  Not a day passes on liberal media outlets without the commentators reporting that Hillary Clinton won more popular votes in the 2016 election, suggesting that President Trump’s election is somehow illegitimate (of course, without mentioning that Hillary Clinton also won the popular vote in 2008 against her Democratic rival, Barack Obama).  Such is their animus that in 2016, Rolling Stone magazine wrote that the election by the Electoral College was somehow “rigged”. 

All of these attacks have the effect and intention of undermining the American people’s confidence in our own democracy.  As AO/FCF begins to explore these core foundational issues, we also like to warmly solicit your comments as the basis of further writing for our thousands of followers.  America's constitutional framework faces enemies both outside and within, precisely because it has maximized human liberty not only at home but across the globe... and quite frankly, it is a revolution in thought and spirit worth defending and protecting. 

American Opportunity/Free Congress Foundation will continue its principal work in tax reform to achieve economic growth and research on American foreign policy.  Previous work in these and many other subjects can be viewed on our webpage and is included in our archived newsletters.  

More after the jump. . . 
Joim American Opportunity

News this week as a US Navy P-8A reconnaissance plane was "warned off" by a Chinese military installation in international waters, renewing interest in the condition of the South China Sea where several nations -- including Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia -- have overlapping claims along a region where an estimated 1/3 of the world's merchant marine travels. 

The Chinese government has long asserted claims over the entirety of the South China Sea, in some places over 1,000 miles beyond the Chinese mainland.  Most of this stretch is considered by the Chinese government to be part of China's historic territorial reach over what are mostly unpopulated atolls and islands just under the water's surface along the Spratly Islands.

Yet the South China Sea isn't just an area of mercantile traffic, though this has long been its value as ships travel through the Straits of Malacca.  The region also has the potential of harboring one of the world's largest unexplored and unproven energy reserves, containing both oil and natural gas.  As recently as July 2017, an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal opined about Vietnamese exploration off of their coastline being hampered and finally stopped by Chinese threats of military action should the Vietnamese government continue -- a notable first attempt by the Chinese government to impose a Pax Sinica where the Pax Americana has traditionally preserved the freedom of the seas.

Thus the dual conundrum for American policy-makers.  The post-Second World War peace has been preserved in no small part due to the American commitment to exert a monopoly of force to maintain the sinews of commerce on the high seas.  The South China Sea and the Spratly Islands -- long recognized as international waters or contested as parts of either Indonesia or the Philippines -- have seen a remarkable investment in Chinese hard power as billions of dollars in new investment has produced runways, missile silos, power plants and other hard assets forward deployed in the region. 

In short, despite assurances by the Chinese government in 2015 that it would not militarize its presence in the South China Sea and perhaps emboldened by the willingness of the Obama Administration to back down over Iranian nuclear weapons or North Korean missile development, the Chinese military has moved forward regardless in the hopes that neither the United States nor the regional powers will challenge their presence.  Thus far, the gambit has paid off, as Vietnam's protestations last year against Chinese expansionism went largely unheeded by her neighboring states.

As for the United States, with attention being drawn towards North Korea's nuclear weapons program and US commitment to Taiwan continuing to be a thorn in the side of the Chinese government, continued belligerency in the South China Sea only demonstrates to foreign policy hawks that China -- in a position of strength -- will operate in contravention of international norms to secure its own near abroad.  

Some news and articles we recommend for information and discussion purposes, none of which necessarily represent the position of A/O:

As always, American Opportunity is always looking for new resources and topics we can address in detail.  Please feel free to stay in contact! 


Jim Gilmore
901 N. Washington, Suite 206 Alexandria, VA 22314
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