CONTRIBUTOR

The Electoral College Must Make Hillary Clinton President

12/14/2016 12:15 pm ET | Updated Dec 18, 2016
Wikimedia Commons, Getty Images / Drew Angerer

The time is now for the Electoral College to fulfill their constitutional duty and obligation to defend America against a demagogue.

Our nation is at a crossroads. In November, Americans cast their vote for president, and despite winning the majority of the popular vote by a substantial margin, Hillary Clinton will lose the presidency under the Electoral College system.

In any other election the conversation might end right here. But from the outset, this has not been an ordinary election year, and these are not ordinary circumstances. Donald Trump is the president-elect, he does not have a popular vote mandate, and his rival, Hillary Clinton, is on course to earn the most votes for a presidential candidate in history, second only to President Obama.

So what happened? Friends, we have been engaged in the politics of blame, and spent too long pointing fingers at one another. The blame game needs to end, and it needs to end NOW. Wallowing in our defeat is a mistake. Blaming our superb, historic candidate is a mistake. Infighting about who is to blame shifts the narrative away from what we should ALL be talking about:

The Electoral College must make Hillary Clinton president. They would be well within their constitutional authority to do so. While popular vote victories do not determine the presidency, her commanding win gives the Electors moral justification to select her on top of their constitutional right and obligation to. On top of her extensive qualifications and experience, the alternative candidate has proven that he is unqualified to lead and moreover, is an active threat to both our national security and our democracy. There has been a real and demonstrable systemic failure to protect the integrity of our elections that Americans, and the Electors, must wholly reject. This isn’t conspiracy theory. This isn’t conjecture. This isn’t poor sportsmanship. This isn’t even about Hillary Clinton anymore. This is about protecting our democracy. Free and fair elections are one of the cornerstones of American democracy and we have now seen credible reports that our rights thereto have been impeded upon by:

1) Voter suppression in North Carolina and Wisconsin;

2) Russian interventionism via hacking in Florida’s election systems;

3) FBI Director Comey’s willful and intentional release of documents meant to suggest criminal wrongdoing by the Democratic nominee a week before the presidential election, shown to have had an impact on the outcome of the election;

4) The use of Wikileaks as an agent for a hostile foreign power to hack e-mails and meddle with our election;

5) Potentially criminal conflict(s) of interest in Donald Trump’s business holdings, including ties to Russia, Vladimir Putin, and other foreign entities that run afoul of Article I Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution;

6) Trump’s publicly stated intention to NOT divest from said holdings

7) “According to the exit polls conducted by Edison Research, Clinton won four key battleground states (NC, PA, WI, and FL) in the 2016 Presidential Election that she went on to lose in the computerized vote counts.”;

8) A systemic failure by the news media to differentiate false equivalencies or to report on falsehoods propagated about the Democratic nominee, as well as the epidemic of fake news;

9) 79,646 total votes across Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan gave Donald Trump the electoral college victory in an election where more than 136 million votes were cast. Meanwhile, millions of valid absentee, provisional, and machine-error ballots were wrongfully disqualified.

10) Trump’s troubling reticence to acknowledge that he was aware of Russian interference, despite his own potentially treasonous call to Russian forces to hack his opponent, and the fact that tens of millions of Americans heard the issue come up with Mrs. Clinton on the presidential debate stage in all. three. debates.

Donald Trump’s reticence to acknowledge the very real intervention by Russian forces, especially given his praise of Putin in the past, is a very troubling sign that he may have even been involved. Add to the mix NBC News‘ latest report that Russian president Vladimir Putin himself personally directed these efforts as a personal vendetta against Clinton, and you have the recipe for a national emergency. If true, we are facing a crucial global and sociopolitical crisis in which a hostile foreign nation actively meddled with the presidential election of the world’s leading democratic superpower, and may have influenced the outcome to his preference. Even more troubling, the president-elect knew about it and now denies prior knowledge, either because he was involved or because he refuses to admit this crime against our nation.

A scene from war-torn Aleppo, Syria captured in the Huffington Post’s “Children of Aleppo Ask Candidates Questions,” October 2016.

The fact that the president-elect either actively, or through his silence, supports and/or abets Putin is even more disturbing amidst news this week of the tragic fall of Aleppo, where hordes of Syrians are being slaughtered at the hands of General Bashar Assad. Assad has received backing from Putin throughout the Syrian conflict, and the president-elect has praised the regime’s allies and endorsed Assad’s torture tactics. If we do not respond to threats to our democracy, the epidemic of fake news, the various interventionist forces in our election, and demand action be taken, we are more culpable than either of the candidates in this election. Indeed, we are complicit in the downfall of democracy itself.

I want to be clear-throated and painfully honest: The likelihood we are able to change the outcome of this election is small, the merits of the argument notwithstanding. However, we are called to action when justice requires it, not solely when we are favored to win. Sufficient evidence exists to show that but/for the influence of external actors, Donald Trump would not have etched out victories in crucial battleground states.

Let me also be clear that there is NO compromise candidate. If Donald Trump does not secure the 270 electoral votes needed, the vote will go to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, which is sure to elect him. That is, of course, unless another candidate wins the 270 electoral votes needed. Hillary Clinton is the only feasible option in an already highly unlikely scenario. But surely, a United States Senator, a former Secretary of State, a First Lady of the United States and of the state of Arkansas, a Yale-educated lawyer, and one of the most winningest candidate in American history presents a finer option than Donald Trump. Despite personal feelings about Mrs. Clinton, it cannot be said that she be unqualified, untested, or unfit. While her political ideologies may differ from yours, the alternative could be a catastrophe unlike any these great United States have ever seen.

A petition asking the Electoral College Make Hillary Clinton President has gained nearly 5 million signatures. Concerned citizens may join us at www.asktheelectors.org. A comprehensive list of resources and information can be found at the Bros4Hillary Election Watch 2016 - Daily Digest.

Finally, in the days ahead, no matter the outcome, our nation must stand renewed and ready to fight for a progressive and inclusive legislative agenda, to fight regressive policies that hurt LGBT people, minorities, immigrants, and women, and to defend democracy both here and abroad.

God speed and God help us all.

A version of this letter originally appeared via Bros4Hillary on November 14, 2016.

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