Friday, December 16, 2016

The Electoral College is the Last Hope to Stop Trump

The  electoral college is our last best hope to avert an unprecedented calamity. The coalescing Trump administration has been described as the most dangerous group of individuals in the history of the world. Trump himself is a pathological liar and a horrifying combination of conceit and ineptitude.

Make no mistake about it a darkness is about to descend on America and the globe.  Environmentalists, social activists, and those with a modicum of common sense are grasping at straws to try to find some way, any way to keep this climate-destroying kakistocracy from taking power on January 20th.

The ramping up of fossil fuels will have devastating implications for climate change. Joseph Romm compared the Trump-Putin-Exxon alliance to the Axis Powers of the ‘30s.

Trump’s energy agenda will indeed be a catastrophe that represents a serious existential threat to life on this planet.

The Electoral College votes on December 19, and thousands of peple are begging the electors to save Ametica and the planet from the Trump administration.

It is important to remember that the Electoral College was meant to check the questionable wisdom of the electorate. It was also meant to serve the interests of slave owners. Even Trump has called for its removal. The system puts too much power in the hands of small conservative states.

Although Trump erroneously claims that he won by a "landslide" the truth is he narrowly squeked out a victory in one of the closest elections in American history. (Hilary won the popular vote by almost 3 million).

Geoffrey R. Stone, an Edward H. Levi Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Chicago argues that electors are obligated by the Constitution to reject Trump. He believes voting against Trump under these circumstances is faithful to the nation’s founding principles.

The anti-Trump movement is being led by citizens (the Democrats have remained silent). There is a petition calling on the Electiral College to teject Trump and it has already garnered almost 5 million signatures. Protests are planned in state capitols across the country on Monday, 12/19. People are also contacting their state electors directly.

The members of the Electoral College have the right and some would say the constitutional duty to deny Trump. He is exactly the kind of leader that the Electoral College was meant to reject.

We cannot afford to normalize Trump. He is the most egregious candidate in US history. This is not partisan hyperbole. There is a long list of mainstream Republicans that revile him (Mitt Romney, John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush to name a few).

It is not only Trump that we need to fear. Some of his cabinet picks want to dismantle the departments they have been charged to oversee.

Its a long shot but it is the only one we have. If only 37 of Trump's 306 Republican electors do not vote for him, he would not have enough electoral votes to assume office.

Some electors have already indicated that they will not vote for Trump. Harvard professor Larry Lessig, suggests there are 20 electors that think Trump is not fit to be president and as such they will not vote for him.  If Lessig is correct that means only 17 more are needed to avert a catasrophe.

There is a powerful case that can be made to reject the President-Elect. The framers of the Constitution created the Electoral College to be sure that the people vote for someome who has the ability to fulfill the obligations of the office. In Trump's case this is highly suspect.

In the words of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers who created the Electoral College, the system is meant to protect the nation against men like Trump.

According to Hamilton electors have a duty to discern and analyze the situation and vote accordingly. Failing to vote against Trump can be construed as a failure to perform their constitutional duties.

As Hamilton explained in The Federalist Papers, the Electoral College was designed to ensure “that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.”

Trump has demonstrated himself to be woefully ignorant about global affairs yet he says he is smarter than the generals and he does not need intelligence briefings.

Trump is seen as a savior among white supremacists. He is also a friend of Russia's Vlad Putin, who according to intelligence reports  played a major role in Trump's victory.

In the wake of this news the Electoral College must realize that the 2016 presidential election was undermined by a foreign power.  This is precisely the kind of situation envisioned by the founding fathers for electors to reject a President-Elect.

Hamilton specifically mentioned protecting the nation against “the desire of foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils . . . by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union.”

Republicans are threatening electors with political reprisals if they vote their conscience and do as the Constitution suggests they should.

Trump's victory stokes the fires of the very worst in American society (racist, misogynistic, homophobic, zealots).

As Hamilton wrote in Federalist 68: "Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government..."

If the bid to reject Trump succeeds it will be up to the House of Representatives to decide who will be.

Related
The Coming Darkness: What the Election of Trump Means for our Planet
Facing the Truth About What A Trump Administration Means for Climate Action
Donald Trump Laid Bare: Comprehensive Summary of Reasons Why Trump is a disaster
Voting for Trump is Tantamount to Treason
Trump's Litany of Lies Captured on Video
Republicans Opposing Trump Say he is Dangerously Unqualified to be President
A Trump Presidency Would Kill Climate Action and Push us Past Irreversible Tipping Points
Trump Could Win and We All Could Lose
Trump Wants to Mine Coal Frack for Gas and Drill for Oil

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