Talk to any constitutional lawyer and they will explain to you how the Electoral College was put in place as a safeguard against the dangers of a purely representative democracy. The Founding Fathers cautioned against endowing absolute power of election to a population which can be swayed by a charismatic figure with “talents for low intrigue and the little arts of popularity” and maintained that a buffering body is necessary to safeguard against the hazard of any elected leader who may threaten the very state and principles of America. If ever there was a moment in American history where it is imperative that the Electoral College fulfill its duty of oversight, this is it.
Donald Trump is a criminal and a sociopath who fans the flames of racism and xenophobia with hateful rhetoric and divisive speech. He attacks his critics, admits no fault, and is willing to forgo any process or protocol in the pursuit of unlimited power. He has a vision of women as sexual objects and reproductive slaves and he plans to literally and figuratively build a wall around us to shut out the interaction and influence of a discerning world community.
Like all sociopaths, he is charming and charismatic and has lulled a certain percentage of our population (not the majority by any stretch) into a comforting and inspiring vision of their own superiority. There is no telling how far away from democracy his ethos of might-makes-right may take us but it is undeniably a rejection of the very principles upon which America was founded and has evolved.
If ever there was a moment in American history where it is imperative that the Electoral College fulfill its duty of oversight, this is it.
These electors that we now ask to take the moral high ground, support the actual winner of the election, and vote for Clinton, will be under great pressure from their Republican party heads to stay in line and vote for Trump. We are asking them to make a great personal sacrifice. We are asking them to jeopardize their own reputations within their party and their personal standing in their communities. We are asking them to potentially risk their jobs and their relationships with their families. We must assure them that their personal sacrifice will be borne out by history. That they will be counted amongst the heroes. We must assure them that safeguarding America from totalitarianism is a choice that is supported by our constitution, by our system of government, by the majority of Americans. They need our support and affirmation that to make the brave choice of voting for Clinton on December 19 will ultimately be not the choice that will save their own skins but indeed the choice that saves their souls.
Whether you accept the necessity of the Electoral College or not, it is wrong to roll over in this moment and accept the idea that “President Trump” is a done deal. Let us be vigilant in counteracting the volume of words the media is now propagating advocating acceptance, complacency and the normalization of oppression. If you believe in representative democracy, Clinton, who won the popular vote, should be named our next president. If you believe in the system of Electoral College oversight, then the Electoral College should, in this moment, fulfill their highest duty and do the hard job which is the ultimate justification for their existence. Either way, Clinton is the right choice.
It is not a matter of the majority of Americans who voted for Clinton (and who now support the Electoral College following suit) being sore “losers.” Lack of sportsmanship is not what the thousands and thousands of American citizens who have taken to the streets every single day since this election are expressing. They are rejecting the normalization of racism, xenophobia, and misogyny. They are rejecting fascism in America. They are rising up not to reject the democratic process and the outcome of fair elections but indeed to defend it!
If we do not recognize fascism when it appears on the horizon, all of our democratic systems and institutions are rendered meaningless. None of it amounts to anything if we cannot shake each other awake. We must be willing to fight for our democracy and its underlying meaning. We must be willing to fight for each other. We must reach out to our Republican electors and impress upon them: December 19 is the time to defend our freedom, to defend our great country. It is all on you.
A list of the names of the electors in each state that need to be swayed is available here. Does anyone know them? Can anyone respectfully reach out to them and let them know about the groundswell of support for them to defend democracy over complacency? They are people with hearts and minds who are on the hot seat of history. We must hold them up and empower them to do the right thing.