Put None But Americans On Guard?

Have the Democrats, Republicans and possibly the Green Party all given us dangerously compromised candidates from which to choose and is this going to become the rule rather than the exception?


None but AmericanSupposedly General George Washington uttered the oft quoted phrase ‘Put none but Americans on guard tonight’  to regimental commanders in 1777. More likely the quote is a later paraphrasing of “You will therefore send me none but Natives, and Men of some property, if you have them” a record of which is found on approximately that date. [1]

The point, despite the politically correct knee jerk reaction to the use of ‘native’ and ‘property’, was that it was vital that those on watch, those that were tasked with the security of American camps were of unquestionable loyalty and without possible conflicting allegiances or loyalties.


The U.S. Constitution in Article II, Section 1, Clause V requires that “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

The purpose of this provision, as explained by famed American jurist and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Joseph Story,  was to:

“cut off all chances for ambitious foreigners, who might otherwise be intriguing for the office; and interpose a barrier against those corrupt interferences of foreign governments in executive elections.”[2]


In an age when European aristocracy routinely were installed as reigning monarchs regardless of their place of birth, residence or raising, the founding fathers were cautious to limit access to the presidency to Americans with undivided loyalty.


The entire history of our Republic has seen only Americans of uncompromised loyalty to the US citizenry attain the presidency. The necessity of ensuring that the commander in chief of all US military forces has no realized or potential factors that might influence his/her administration of the U.S. Constitution and the security of the nation was of primary importance.


In this latest presidential election three of the top four presidential candidates had extensive potentially compromising foreign influences, both fiscal and/or political. This includes the winner, President-elect Donald J. Trump.



Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has a history of financial interactions with foreign businessmen in such widespread locales as Saudi Arabia, and Russia. Through her and her husband, former President William J. Clinton’s non-profit 501 ( c ) 3 corporation, millions of US dollars have been received from diverse international donors.[3] Through their numerous paid speaking engagements, both Clintons have netted millions of dollars in speaking fees.[4]


Republican nominee and President-elect, Donald J. Trump, has extensive and well documented business dealings with foreign and foreign ex-pat businessmen, especially those from Russia and Kazakhstan. [5] His domestic partnerships and employment of former Russian and current Russian nationals such as Tevig Arif, Alex Shnaider, Felix Sater, Rauol Goldberg and other business associates that have links to the Russian ‘Bratva’ (brotherhood) renowned as the world’s foremost criminal network, are well documented as well. [6] President-elect Trump’s use of high value, rough and tumble campaign chiefs [7] [8] reflects a disturbing trend for major parties to hire a professional cadre of high dollar campaign managers who have often times sold their services to foreign governments including despots and unfriendly nations.  The potential influence of those foreign clients on the campaign managers as well as the influence of the campaign managers on the candidates is worrisome to say the least.


Green Party candidate Jill Stein, despite her recent call for a recount of three states in the mid-west, was in fact a Donald Trump advocate in a binary choice election and has had numerous ties with the current Russian regime as well. [9] Those ties, less onerous by the nature of her candidacy for an international party movement (Greens) are still fair game for concerned inspection.


It has to be said, in the strongest of terms, that none of the above mentioned ties prove any conflicted loyalty or nefarious, foreign inspired intent. While the connections and potential influences are greater than any in U.S. History, they are not conclusive that those foreign powers that have donated, assisted, partnered with, praised and possibly hacked in furtherance of any of the three candidates will exert any control over any of the candidates.

However as in the case of General Washington, wishing to only post Americans on guard and in the case of the framers of the U.S. Constitution wishing to avoid any insertion of a foreign influenced leader in the presidency, it is upon us as American citizens to vet and vote against dangerous possibilities of compromise and foreign control when choosing the President of the United States. It is one thing that a President might be inclined towards or beholden to a domestic agenda, industry or faction but quite another if an American president is beholden to or subject to blackmail or coercion by a foreign power. When that foreign power is a traditional global rival with a stated hostility towards the United States then the American citizenry is morally duty bound to reject a compromised candidate. Unfortunately, through the power of the major party controlled ballot access, media courtship and large financial base, Americans felt that they, for the first time in U.S. history, had only the choice between two compromised candidates.



This is the inevitable result of the effect of ever increasing party power politics and globalization of not only business but consultancy and charitable giving. While a global marketplace with honest competition is not a bad thing in and of itself it creates a nightmarish likelihood that a global political faction will arise. As is often the nature of cyclical historical epochs, the age of international oligarchs which our founding fathers helped to banish, seems to have arisen yet again. Political consultants, much like international lobbyists, flow from nation to nation following the work. Global monied interests, especially from people and groups like the Russian Bratva or despotic regimes invest with and patronize high profile Americans. They have little need for immediate profit but infinite patience in buying into ventures for future influence.



One of the traditional defenses against significant foreign influence or domestic corruption was the fact of fifty different states staging fifty different polling scenarios with fifty different sets of security tactics. Additionally, the winner take all nature of electoral votes that would limit any influence that occurred in a major population center to that population center served to sort of ‘circuit break’ any one venue’s numerical influence even if it were successfully targeted. With so many different systems and so many different leaning blocs of electoral votes the influence of the actual vote count by nefarious means was a near impossibility.

The polarization of elections into largely red and blue blocs over the course of the last five presidential elections has, however, actually made it possible to only target a handful of U.S. states. While I do not believe that the election day poll results themselves have been hacked, the growing popularity of pre election polling, especially online polling, does give a narrowed opportunity to apply online foreign pressure to only a few ‘swing states’ rather than across the entire vast nation. This narrowing of the battlefield is not by nefarious design but it does make an American Presidential election far more inviting of a target for well resourced or moneyed foreign interests.


The binary dilemma that prescribes only two major choices in a national election makes it easy to buy into and fish for influence in one or maybe even both sides of the election. For the first time in U.S. history both the Republican and Democratic candidates have extensive foreign dealings that could be catastrophically dangerous for U.S. Security and prosperity. If a robust third or fourth or more party held significant support then it would become far less easy to bet on one candidate or perhaps to invest directly or by proxy into both candidates in order to ‘hedge their bets’.

It is vital to the preservation of an American constitutional Republic that the headlock that the two major parties on U.S. have on choice be broken. When Americans feel that they can realistically say no to compromised candidates because other candidates with no such obvious risk factors exist then the incentive to compromise candidates is lessened just as the incentive to collude in business is lessened by unfettered competition. Monopolies, especially in vital services or government, nourish corruption and graft like agar nourishes mold in a high school lab petri dish.



The major parties have failed us this election. They have produced candidates that have potentially dangerous foreign influences. It is not entirely their fault as trending circumstances have conspired to make it more and more inviting for foreign influence and interaction in the American political process. I am not suggesting that any of the candidates mentioned are in any manner disloyal or have any intention of being controlled overtly or covertly by a foreign interest. In fact I feel that they likely are not bought and paid for. However, I do feel that they are at risk of being subtly or otherwise influenced. Their business, and philanthropic endeavors may well influence them subtly or directly. Their mercenary campaign consultancy often has been in contact and in the employment of foreign interests that very possibly influences the candidate his or herself. It is that risk that we must be allowed to mitigate, if not eliminate.

To eliminate or mitigate this risk we must move to make certain that viable alternatives to major party internationally compromised candidates exist. To do this we must move to reform ballot access nationwide and overcome the mindset that a vote for a non major party candidate is wasted. We must move from the de facto binary choice that narrows the effort of foreign governments or businesses to influence to a wider, more robust and open field of candidate.


[1] The Writings of George Washington, ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, vol. 7, p. 495 (1932).

[2] Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States § 1473, at 333 (1833).

[3] http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-04-29/clinton-foundation-failed-to-disclose-1-100-foreign-donations

[4] http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/05/politics/hillary-clinton-bill-clinton-paid-speeches/index.html

[5] http://time.com/4433880/donald-trump-ties-to-russia/

[6] https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/heres-what-we-know-about-donald-trump-and-his-ties-to-russia/2016/07/29/1268b5ec-54e7-11e6-88eb-7dda4e2f2aec_story.html

[7] http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/donald-trump-aide-paul-manafort-scrutinized-russian-business-ties-n631241

[8] http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/presidential-campaign/289047-exploring-russian-ties-to-the-men-lurking-behind

[9] http://www.redstate.com/streiff/2016/08/08/already-know-will-win-november-answer-ugly/

Updated: May 12, 2017 — 11:06 am

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