Suck it Up, Electoral College: Do the Right Thing

Our Founding Fathers were not stupid. They knew that it was entirely possible, perhaps even likely, that voters at some point would put a person in the White House who was totally unsuited to lead the country. (In 2016 , not even a majority of voters voted for the winning candidate.) That is why they came up with the idea of an Electoral College, which was set up to be a deliberative body to review the election results and approve the winner if the president-elect did not present a serious and dire threat to the United States.

That time has now arrived. The president-elect is totally unsuited to hold this office and represents a serious and dire threat to our country and to the world.

There were many who admitted that Trump was outrageous and irresponsible during the campaign but argued that he would mellow if he were elected and would make an effort to be presidential. He would move toward the center. Some of my Republican friends have suggested he would turn out to be another Eisenhower. Aside from a comment or two here and there about not locking up Hillary, Obama being an ok guy, and wanting to bring our country back together again, he has confirmed–even exceeded–the fears of many, if not most, of the voters who did not vote for him. He is a disaster. Let’s review what he has done since the election:

  1. His cabinet appointments–with one or two exceptions–are the worst in history. For the most part they are extremists and people with an agenda centered on rolling back anything and everything even remotely progressive.
    • His Chief Strategist is a Nazi sympathizer and a champion of the alt-right.
    • His Labor Secretary is fiercely anti labor and anti worker, notorious for taking advantage of his workers at Hardees.
    • His Commerce Secretary has an ax to grind with China and has promised tariffs, which according to economists would  lead to higher prices at Walmart (and most everywhere else) and trade wars.
    • His Homeland Security appointee is anti immigrant and supposedly wants all the eleven million illegal immigrants out including the children protected under Obama’s American Dream action.
    • His National Security Advisor is avidly anti Muslim and makes little distinction between ordinary Muslims and extremists. It is akin to saying members of the Ku Klux Klan are legitimate Christians. He is also one of the perpetrators of the Pizzagate, the fake news story that motivated the maverick vigilante who armed with an assault weapon entered Comet Ping Pong Pizza in search of a non-existent, child sex ring run by Hillary.
    • His Attorney General has been a lifelong opponent of civil rights.
    • His Secretary of Education is anti public schools who advocates  taking massive amounts of money away from traditional public schools to be used for vouchers and charter schools.
    • His Secretary of HUD is anti “handouts” and is already threatening to roll back these programs, which could include public housing and Housing Choice Vouchers, the two principle programs standing between the very poor and homelessness.
    • He has already appointed two Goldman Sachs executives to major positions. Their mantra is likely to be more tax breaks for the rich and a roll back of regulations affecting big business.
    • Several of his appointees are multi billionaires, hardly the kind of people who are going to stand up for the little guy.
    • He has appointed three generals, all with distinguished military records but all apparently leaning toward guns over butter, suggesting we could be inching closer to another Cold War–this time with China. At least one general wants to revoke the Iran nuclear deal.
    • The Secretary of Human Services is fanatically anti Obama Care and has promised to kill it without articulating an alternative that makes any sense.
    • His EPA head is a climate denier who has pledged to roll back environmental regulations and get the U.S. out of the Paris climate deal.
    • His anticipated Secretary of State, the head of Exxon Mobile, has a long history of doing business in Russia and is described by The Washington Post as  a friend of Putin.
  2. He continues to tweet and say all sorts of outlandish things such as that he really would have won the popular vote were it not for massive voter fraud, that his win is unprecedented, and that he has a mandate to do whatever he wants.
  3. He continues to be a bully, last week tweeting against a local labor leader in Indiana who had the gall to question how many jobs were actually saved at Carrier.
  4. He has upset Asian relations by talking to the president of Taiwan.
  5. He continues to take victory laps in states that he won using the same inflammatory rhetoric that got him elected.
  6. According to the Washington Post, the Energy Department has been ordered to provide the names of all officials who have attended conferences on global warming or climate control. A friend of mine at the Energy Department confirmed this and said that everyone was terrified with many looking for new jobs in the private sector.
  7. He has refused to give up his business interests and stated that he will stay on as executive producer of The Apprentice.
  8. And last and hardly least, Trump has aggressively denied that Russia had any connection with interfering with the election. He has ridiculed the CIA and doubled down on his support for Putin, including his likely nomination for Secretary of State, a Putin apologist.

Is this enough to cause concern? If it isn’t, then the Electoral College is a sham and irrelevant. It should be abolished.

So Electoral College, suck it up. Show some courage. Save us from the looming catastrophe. Save the Republic!

The only plausible, but chilling, argument that I have heard against the Electoral College dumping Trump  is that if the Electoral College were to do this, his most avid supporters would rise up in armed rebellion, and  we would find ourselves in another civil war. Sounds extreme to me, but then I think of Pizzagate and the Comet Ping Pong Pizza incident.

However, I am not holding my breath for a reprieve by the Electoral College.

Looks like we are in for some very trying and terrifying times. What are we to do? Any ideas?

***

This is my last post of 2016. I am giving you a break. Get some rest. Enjoy the holidays. Try not to think about Trump.

The holiday season  is a special time of the year. We now refer to the Winter Solstice timeout as simply “The Holidays,” because the U.S. is now multicultural, and a lot of people who are not Christian celebrate other religious holidays this time of year. This is the way it should be. But those of us who call ourselves Christian should not forget how the holiday began and what it is all about. It is not all about parties and having fun. It is about remembering that at a certain time and place on the Planet Earth, a child was born who led a life that many people believe gave us a glimpse of the nature of the Divine. It is all about love and acceptance and our relationship with our fellow man and the illusive spirituality that we hard-wired humans long for but experience too infrequently. It is a time for thanksgiving and celebration and reflection as to what it means to be human on our planet at this time in human history.

Best wishes to all for a blessed holiday season!

8 thoughts on “Suck it Up, Electoral College: Do the Right Thing

  1. Joe, you are nothing if not passionate and relentless. Again, I offer my unconditional surrender in the war of verbiage. Truth is, I’m in agreement with most, but not all, of what you say. I do think that Dr. Carson’s childhood experiences give him authority and insight to speak on ghettos, poverty, and the corrosive effects of so called “toxic charity” that neither of us possesses. But that and other comments would amount to nothing more than quibbling and playing devil’s advocate.

    I’ll comment on your first paragraph, an attempt to define the job description of the Electoral College. A month ago I would have said the exact same thing. That was the explanation I picked up in some civics or history class somewhere along the way. Then, as part of researching an op-ed I did down here (you’ve seen it), I got out my copy of The Federalist and read number 68, penned by Hamilton and dealing with the method of choosing the president. In short, it takes a lot of interpretive “reading between the lines” for me to come up with the commonly held notion that it’s function was to save the American public from itself. Hamilton writes at one point of the overarching importance of avoiding “tumult and disorder,” but that’s about it. He did feel it was important that the electorate choose several people to form a deliberative body as opposed to one man (sic) who would himself be the president. It would seem that the Electoral College could choose anyone qualified by age and birth. So, IF they decided in the current election not to pick Trump, they could reasonably and logically conclude the since the Republican won the electoral vote, a Republican should be chosen in his stead, and elect Ted Cruze, the last Trump rival to fall. Or, of course, they could choose HRC, the winner of the popular vote. But if the avoidance of tumult and disorder is their primary duty, then I have to say that electing Trump would be less tumultuous than electing Hillary. She may have won the popular vote but he won by the rules then in place.

    Point is, I can find no constraints on their field of candidates. They could even choose you, or me. How scary is that?!

    I echo the previous comment about your reference to the truth behind Christmas. Two recent pics of our family will come via e-mail.

    1. The Professor–a meager pre med major at Davidson, not a history major like me–hath spoken and is recommended to be an adjunct history professor at Davidson. Well researched and well done! That said, we are still stuck with Trump, and the question that no one has even commented on—let alone answered– is how do we get through this. What do we do next?
      By the way I did give Carson a B on my Trump scorecard for exactly the reasons you noted. Now that he has come out against government “give aways” to the poor, I am changing his grade to a C and if he keeps it up, it will keep being lowered.

  2. Now, how can we get this blog post out to the Electors pronto? Any ideas?

    I am an eternal optimist and am counting on the Electoral College (which, after a glass of stiff egg nog last night I called the “Electrical College”) to save us from four years of turmoil and worse.

  3. I am so proud of you uncle! Every word is wonderful. Mimy thank you for being optimistic. Did you all see the Full Page Letter to the Electors in the Washington Post this morning?

  4. For a hard-to-believe “next shoe drop,” try to see or audit the WAMU.ORG transcription of the 10 AM Diane Rheem Show for today (Wednesday, 14 December), in which an extremely credible panel of reporters (Eric Lippman of the NYTimes, lead among them) discuss NEW information and analysis that the Times has surfaced and published in the last 24 hours that strengthens the arguments about an active role for the Russians in interfering in the election (mostly through selective leaks of the Russian-hacked DNC/Podesta emails).
    It really does seem to be looking worser and worser. . . . .

    bp

  5. Well done Joe and Jimmy, and I like Mimy’s “electical college” description. I think Mr. Trump has already become president, in an effort to extend his four years that are mandated. We need Art Buchwald back in print to ask whether or not it’s true that the Lincoln Bedroom will become a time share! And, indeed, a Merry Christmas to all. We do not need humbug in the coming year!

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