Unprecedented — Why the Electoral College Should Stop Donald Trump
The unimaginable happened — Donald Trump was elected president. Except he wasn’t.
The American people have never — not once — elected our own president. Instead, a small group of party loyalists elect the President. This is the Electoral College, a system largely designed to protect the institution of slavery from Northern voters.
This year, the Electors vote on December 19. Tradition — and some state laws — dictate that the Electors vote for the candidate who won the most votes in their state, However, the U.S. Constitution allows the Electors to cast their vote for anyone who meets the legal qualifications, and there are 21 states with no laws against it — more than enough electors to keep Trump out of the White House.
If just 38 Republican Electors vote for Secretary Hillary Clinton, she wins.
But why would they do this? Why should they?
Two reasons: The first is Donald Trump. The second is 3 1/2 Californians. (More on that tomorrow.)
Donald Trump is the kind of president our Founding Fathers warned us about.
Alexander Hamilton, who was second only to James Madison in crafting the Constitution, worried in The Federalist Papers that someone unqualified, but with a talent for “low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity” could attain office.
As a protection against this, he urged the Electors study the requirements of the job, be “favorable to deliberation”, and, ultimately, choose only someone suited to be Commander in Chief.
So why not Trump?
If Trump were truly the people’s choice, arguments over whether he is fit for office might be moot. Surely most Americans would not seek to deny victory to the most popular candidate.
But Trump not only lost — he’s actually the biggest loser ever. No one has ever become president after such a trouncing in the national popular vote. More Americans — millions more — voted for Secretary Clinton.
Trump would be the first president in American history who has never held public office. He has never held the public trust, and he has demonstrated very little knowledge of, or respect for, the Constitution.
In fact, many of Trump’s proposals violate the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights.
• He has proposed forced religious registration
• He has advocated torture
• He has advocated violating international treaties
• He has appointed as his closest advisors extremists with a history of supporting civil rights violations
• He has attacked the First Amendment, appearing to condone violence at rallies
• He has mocked of journalists based on race, gender, and disability and threatened the freedom of the press with lawsuits
Of course, Trump knows a lot about lawsuits. He has been sued more times than all other U.S. Presidents combined. He would be the first president to enter office while settling an active lawsuit — and, if today’s news about a big payout in the Trump University scandal is accurate, as the losing party.
Trump is unfamiliar with the duties of his office or the processes of government, and he is inexperienced and impulsive. He is truly unfit to be Commander in Chief.
Most voters agree. And, the Electors hold the power to protect our Constitution and support the will of the people.
Over the last 240 years, there have been several “Conscientious Electors,” but never enough to change the outcome of an election. This action would be unprecedented.
But Donald Trump is unprecedented.
His attacks on women, immigrants, people of color, Muslims, people with disabilities, and the Bill of Rights are unprecedented.
His lack of experience is unprecedented.
His impulsive, reactionary temperament is unprecedented.
The Republican party’s obstruction of the Supreme Court nomination is also unprecedented. And if the Senate is willing to break with tradition and deny the President his rightful appointment to the Court, refusing even to consider any nominee, then why shouldn’t Conscientious Electors break with tradition?
They have every right to do so, and a moral obligation to “deliberate”. I hope they will deliberate very carefully.
Our electoral system was designed to protect slavery — but it was also designed to protect our country. While that system has resulted in more Electors pledged for Trump, it also obliges those Electors to vote their conscience. It is imperative they do so this year to protect our Constitution and to preserve the people’s vote.
Please visit electoralcollegepetition.com to join this movement. And check back tomorrow for more on the “3 1/2 Californians”.