It Isn’t Too Late To Stop Him

When Michigan finishes auditing its election, T—p is expected to have 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232. She will have received a couple million more votes nationwide, maybe 2.5 million more, but that won’t matter. 

Therefore, when the Electoral College votes next month, we only need 37 Republican electors to demonstrate some bravery and good sense – or to follow orders from the Republican hierarchy, a very different thing – and vote for someone other than T—p. If that happens, he won’t get the required 270 electoral votes to become President.

Assuming Hillary Clinton doesn’t get 270 either (it’s highly unlikely that any Republican electors would vote for a Democrat), and the Kasich/Kaine national unity ticket I proposed fails to sweep the nation (despite the 100 people, many of them real, who have signed my petition so far), the election will be decided by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

According to the little-known 12th Amendment to the Constitution, each of the 50 states will get one vote. There will be three candidates in the running. Presumably, two of them will be T—p and Clinton. But the third will be whoever came in third in the Electoral College. Maybe it will be Mike Pence. Or Paul Ryan. Or Matthew McConaughey. Or you.

The voting would continue until one of the candidates received at least 26 votes. (Meanwhile, the Senate would be picking the Vice President.) T—p might win in the House anyway, depending on who that third candidate was, but the Republican leadership could easily find an excuse to dump T—p for a more traditional Republican, protecting us from the worst. President. Ever. 

Of course, I didn’t expect my petition to take flight and change history (although I kind of hoped it would), but anything any of us can do to “normalize” the idea that the Electoral College should intervene is worth doing. The more we spread the idea, the more acceptable the idea will become, especially because rejecting terrible candidates is part of the Electoral College’s job!

And the idea is spreading. Yesterday, a Democratic elector wrote an article for Daily Kos called “Yes, I am one of those 538 national electors and the Electoral College is in play”. He is trying to get Republican electors to vote for anyone but T—p. The Denver Post has covered the story (although the accompanying video throws cold water on the idea, because that’s what seasoned, cynical political reporters are expected to do).

Today, a professor of journalism and political science published an article at The Atlantic entitled “The Electoral College Was Meant to Stop Men Like Trump From Being President: The founders envisioned electors as people who could prevent an irresponsible demagogue from taking office”.

His conclusion:

Before this election, I supported abolishing the Electoral College. Now I think America needs electors who, in times of national emergency, can prevent demagogues from taking power.

Go ahead and call me an elitist; Donald Trump has changed the way I view American government. Before this year, I would have considered Hamilton’s demand for independent-minded electors who could prevent candidates with “talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity” from winning the presidency to be antiquated and retrograde. Now I think the framers were prescient and I was naïve. Eighteen months ago, I could never have imagined President Donald Trump. Now I’m grateful that, two hundred and twenty-seven years ago, they did.

So please spread the word. It isn’t too late.