One Texas Elector has courageously said he will not vote for Trump. I say courageous because the electors have been threatened, and so we have encouraged them to all stand up together, if for no other reason than that. That is what tyrants do, and we have a growing list of points Mr. Trump has in common with tyrants. Chris Suprun will not vote for Trump because he fails three tests. First, he is a “demagogue,” one of the words we still have for tyranny. The second is that Trump will not secure our nation. In fact 81 generals and fifty other persons said Trump is a great danger to our nation. The fear or threat of civil war is in fact far worse if we do not dis-elect him, as police shootings will increase tenfold after January 20. The third is called the “Emoluments Clause,” that the president cannot profit from foreign nations. It is quite impossible that Trump separate his business from his political interests, and will be impeached, or eligible for impeachment if there still is such a thing, the day he steps into the office.
In an excellent show on NPR called On Point, many solid things were said about the Electoral College and the present election. Our conflicted elector, re-blogged a while ago here on the Philosophy and Politics website, would also not vote for Trump, but “they” are still saying the electoral remedy is a “long shot” in odds makers terms. But these are the same people who did not know that the Electoral College is set up by the Constitution as a deliberative body especially to prevent this sort of circumstance. As Suprun said it, it is to prevent us from driving off a Cliff. And I believe it was Gary Gregg of the McConnell Center who said “Break the Glass.”
Something interesting that On Point taught me is that the Republicans can indeed vote for EVAN McMULLIN, the former CIA guy from Utah, even though he did not gain any electoral votes. Like our own Mike Rogers, Mr. McMullin has both executive and legislative experience. Re-reading the Twelfth Amendment, this appears to be correct, and would give the most partisan and principled Republicans someone else for whom to vote. The House of Representatives could even choose him president.
It is surely the intention that the Electoral College function as a deliberative body, and Supern also reminded us of Edmund Burke’s teaching about representatives, that they are not simply to rubber stamp some popular will, but to give those who have elected them their best judgement, at least on some issues. Federalist 68 indeed leaves one with the impression that the founders foresaw this moment prophetically, but the degeneration of democracies into tyranny is an old point of political science back to Aristotle, well known to the Eighteenth century readers the great thinkers. Supern himself did not begin to waver until about December 4th, when Mr. Pence came out complaining that there were 3 million fraudulently cast popular votes. But by now, having denied the CIA, selected Mr. Bannon and the Putin acquaintance for Secretary of State, the only question that remains for rational electors is whether the states can subvert the original intention of the Constitution as explained by Alexander Hamilton, and of course they cannot- The state laws binding electors are obvious unconstitutional, as we have a “Supremacy Clause: The Constitution Trumps state statutes on matters of federal elections.
America is more free, and our liberty still more genuine, than Trump, Putin and the White Supremacists supposed.