Why Can’t the Electoral College Save America?
Given the opinion expressed yesterday by Michael Signer, attorney, and a lecturer at the University of Virginia (Time.com), that Trump is a demagogue, why is it that no one has any confidence in the electoral college and what’s to be done?
If no one has confidence in the electoral college and it does not do its job, why do we have the Electoral College?
Who makes up the Electoral College? Is it possible to get a better understanding of how they will be making their decisions on December 19? According to Signer, “Since Nov. 9, Donald Trump has been described as our ‘President-elect.’ But many would be shocked to learn that this term is actually legally meaningless. The Constitution sets out a specific hurdle for Trump to ascend to the presidency. And that will not happen until Dec. 19 when the members of the Electoral College meet in their respective states to vote for the President.”
The Electoral College has a big job, in fact the biggest. They are the ultimate in the checks and balances of our constitution to ensure our country is not hijacked by a demagogue. And, as Signer puts it, the Electoral College was “designed to provide a mechanism where intelligent, thoughtful and statesmanlike leaders could deliberate on the winner of the popular vote and, if necessary, choose another candidate who would not put Constitutional values and practices at risk. In other words, the electors are not supposed to rubber-stamp the popular vote. They’re supposed to do the opposite — to take their responsibility gravely, to subject the winning popular vote candidate to exhaustive scrutiny, and, if the candidate does not meet Hamilton’s standards, to elect an alternative.”
If it’s the case then, as Signer argues, that these electors “owe it to all Americans to deliberate on their choice in the manner required by the Constitution.” but choose not to, what’s our Constitution‘s system of checks and balances for the Electoral College?