Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Electoral College Should Vote for a Fit Conservative Republican, not Donald Trump

           The Electoral College should vote tomorrow for a conservative Republican who is fit, who is not a demagogue or who is not the beneficiary of foreign interference on behalf of his candidacy, instead of voting for Donald J. Trump for President of the United States, who is does not meet any of these standards intended by the Framers of the Constitution.

            As I have explained in earlier posts, because the Framers created a representative republic, not a democracy, the Electoral College was created as a representative body, as the presidential election was not conceived as a popular exercise.  Like any representatives, the presidential and vice presidential Electors are supposed to exercise their best judgment in good conscience in representing the people and the States.  See my posts from last month, The Presidential Electors Are Supposed to Be Representative of the States and the People, and Cinfici’s Latest Piece at the Federalist Re: the Representative Role of the Electoral College,, and my article at The Federalist:  In these posts, I explain briefly the origin, purpose and early history of the Electoral College and note how the popular vote is for the Electors, not the President and Vice President. 

            As more Republican Electors were elected, assuming their elections were not the result of foreign interference, then the Electoral College should be expected to elect a Republican or possibly an independent conservative, not the liberal Democratic nominee, even though her Electors received more votes collectively.  Electors are not bound, despite some state laws to the contrary, to vote for their party’s nominees, against their conscience.  There are grounds for which they should vote their conscience and vote for someone other than Trump, according to the intent of the Framers, as explained by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist #68.  The Framers, who created the presidency around George Washington, who was fit, selfless, prudent and patriotic, established the Electoral College as a check to prevent someone unfit, demagogic or advanced by foreign interference from being elected President.  All three concerns are raised in regard to Trump.

            A lengthy post could be written on Trump’s unfitness, but I shall summarize briefly the concerns about how morally and intellectually unfit he is.  He is vulgar, narcissistic, insulting, bigoted, misogynistic, dishonest and credulous in conspiracy theories.  Trump has cheated his wives, business partners and contractors, and has violated the law in numerous ways.  The supposedly “pro-life” Republican nominee has stated his desire to commit war crimes and has repeatedly praised dictators for war crimes, crimes against humanity and human rights abuses.  Accordingly, Trump’s campaign was based upon deception and intimidation, as he misrepresented himself as a successful businessman and spread false information and caused, directly himself or indirectly through his supporters, every opponent or critic to be afraid of him.  In addition, he had failed to disclose all of his business interests sufficiently to eliminate the appearance of any conflict of interests.  Although it is known that he would be receiving an emolument from the United States, which would violate the Constitution if Congress does not grant him permission, Trump’s emoluments from foreign states are of most concern, while his non-disclosure of federal personal income tax returns and business interests mean he could be bribed and the American people would never know by whom or by how much.  One’s character is an indication of how one might serve in office.  Having served in public life, I can confidently declare that character is of foremost importance to public service.  And the highest standard is necessary with the greatest responsibility of the highest office. 

In addition to his moral unfitness, Trump is extraordinarily ignorant of the Constitution and its principles and of the scope of the presidency.  He seldom mentions liberty or freedom or expresses any reverence for the Founding Fathers and does not believe in American exceptionalism.  Instead, he admires authoritarians and has demonstrated authoritarian tendencies himself, such as in regard to the Separation of Powers and independence of the judiciary, the freedom of the press.    

            Trump’s demagoguery was exemplified by his protectionism and nativism, which, if not the product of his own bigotry, were recognized as such by his enthusiastic “white nationalist” fascist supporters, as they call themselves, including Ku Klux Klansmen and Nazi sympathizers.  His populist anti-establishment political revolution was based in part on the misleading belief that the Republican-led Congress had acquiesced to the policies of liberal Democratic President Barack Obama and that no experienced politician could be trusted, only Trump, who alone could solve problems.  His demagoguery, like the way he has conducted his campaign, are typical of the many democratically-elected leaders who became authoritarians.

            The level of foreign interference in the American presidential election, particularly from a hostile power, although the full extent of it is not yet completely known, can already be recognized as unprecedented.  Trump benefited not only from hacking and leaking of American political parties and candidates by the Communist Russian Federation, but by its propaganda and disinformation in support of his candidacy, which augmented his own deception and that of his supporters.  He welcomed and encouraged the interference by the Russians, whose authoritarian leader Trump has praised.  I note among the business interests Trump is believed to have are some with Russians. 

            Trump’s deception and intimidation, as well as the foreign interference on his behalf, have tainted both his Republican nomination and the election of the Republican Trump-Pence Electors, which means that Congress may object to the votes of the Electors on the grounds they were not duly elected when it certifies the election on January 6.  A compromise vote for a fit Republican by the Electoral College would be a reasonable solution to avert any potential constitutional crisis.  

           There have been other times when the Electoral College should have been a check on the people and was not, but never have there been as abundant reasons for the Electors to vote their consciences to fulfill their duties under the Constitution they will swear an oath to defend by not voting for their party’s presidential nominee.  The Republican Electors must not vote for Trump, but instead for a fit Republican who is not a demagogue or foreign intelligence asset.  Conservatives and Republicans should urge the Electors patriotically to fulfill the purpose the Framers intended the Electoral College to be.

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