I have been renewed in my faith in democracy, seeing electors say they will be faithless on December 19th. The elector, from Texas who stepped down, didn’t help his cause. He couldn’t vote for Trump, but stepping down was really just dodging the responsibility of the position. Convictions only mean something when you have to put yourself on the line to hold to them. They mean nothing, if it is just talk. By stepping down, he just gave the GOP in Texas the power to prop up someone who will vote for Trump.
Either the electors agree that the electoral college serves a purpose, or they think the popular vote is what should prevail. Those are the only two arguments I see, and they both should arrive at the same end. Electors should vote for Hillary Clinton. Before you refuse this argument, let’s explore both sides, to see why I arrive at that conclusion.
The Electoral College Serves a Purpose
The electoral college is a funnel through which each state’s popular vote is cast. It gives the power of the popular vote to the level of the state, which in turn gives a “state” level vote to the casting of a federal vote for President. That being said, the whole purpose of the electoral college, must be that they can be faithless, or defect, when needed. It is to ensure a tyrant doesn’t sway the states, in contradiction to the popular vote. I pulled this from HistoryCentral.com, siting the Federalist papers; the origin of the electoral college: Why the Electoral College Exists
This is the part that is most striking to me:
“It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations. It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. But the precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief.
Hamilton and the other founders believed that the electors would be able to insure that only a qualified person becomes President.”
If the electors can honestly say that they believe Trump is qualified for the office of the Presidency, I would like to understand the facts they base this on. Not a feeling, not “faith”, but evidence and proof. Resume. Tax returns. Transparency. Diplomatic temperament. He has none of these, and offers none.
As hard is it may be for some electors, if you are going to do your job as it was meant to be done, you only have two choices. Vote for one of the two candidates who had the most votes in the general election. Vote for the candidate who won your state, or vote for the candidate who won the popular. That is what the electoral college is supposed to do. That is their function, and this is how they put faith into the electoral college.
That is being faithful to the electoral college. As the above is described, if the default vote for the state chosen candidate, is for a candidate who is unfit, the vote should be cast for the other candidate. Not because you like the other candidate. You don’t have to like Hillary Clinton. You just need to acknowledge that she is fit for the office of the Presidency, and Trump is not.
The Electoral College Does Not Honor Democracy
The other argument, is that the electoral college is out of date. It does not honor the popular vote of all citizens in this country. You can read about that in many articles online. I pulled this one The Difference The Electoral College Makes, which outlines how smaller states get a higher weight to their vote, than larger ones. This alone, I would think, could be adjusted to give proper weight, but then that would make them superfluous anyway. If you take the amount of voters in a large state, and divide them by the amount of electors, and compare that to the ratio in a small state, the small states’ electoral votes end up counting for more. It is disproportionate and does not give each citizen’s vote an equal voice. It punishes people for living in large states, and that does not honor Democracy.
If the electors agree that the electoral college is out date, and unfair, they should honor the popular vote. Listen to the people, who overwhelmingly voted for Clinton over Trump. Her lead has passed 2.5 million.
Don’t Vote For A Cartoon
If the electors want to be faithless, I beg them to reconsider voting for Kasich or some other person. I have heard of people voting for Donald Duck or a fictitious character, as a protest. What good is that? If your vote will have no chance of changing the status quo, you are essentially giving yourself a pass, and allowing an unfit person to run our country. You will be failing us all. I would ask you to be faithful. Have faith in the popular vote. Have faith in the people. Have faith in Hillary Clinton. In her disclosing of tax returns. In her stellar resume in public service. In her hard work to reach across the aisle and get work done. In her diplomatic expertise. She has done all of this as First Lady, in the US Senate, and as Secretary of State. People always think they can do better, but she has been graded on a misogynistic curve, her entire career. If her name wasn’t Clinton, and she was a man, people would be fawning over his resume, experience and candidacy. He would have won in a landslide.
People are starting to wake up, it seems. At least I hope they are. They are starting to realize that when all citizens are paying attention to elections and elected officials, we can actually have an impact on the results. We need to keep that fire alive. We need to send a message to the citizens of this country that their vote mattered, and that’s why the popular vote should be honored.