Politics in the U.S.
The craziness of the U.S. 2016
2016-NOV: A bit of a long shot:
Urging the Electoral College
to revolt against Donald Trump's
election to the presidency.
Part 11 of fifteen parts
Daniel Brezenoff writes for Medium.com about the Electoral College:
He notes that:
- American voters have never directly elected a president. That task is done by the electors who form the Electoral College.
- Some state laws require their electors to cast their vote for the presidential candidate who won the largest number of votes in their state. But 21 states allow the electors to vote for anyone who is qualified to become president because of their citizenship at birth and current age.
The Electoral College was created by the 12th amendment to the U.S. Constitution 1 in order to prevent the Northern States from forcing the Southern States to abandon human slavery.
Donald Trump lost the popular vote this month by the widest margin ever experienced by a presidential candidate. 2
Brezenoff commented on Donald Trump's suitability to be president:
"Trump would be the first president in American history who has never held public office. He has never held the public trust, and he has demonstrated very little knowledge of, or respect for, the Constitution.
In fact, many of Trump’s proposals violate the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights.
• He has proposed forced religious registration.
• He has advocated torture.
• He has advocated violating international treaties.
• He has appointed -- as his closest advisors -- extremists who have a history of supporting civil rights violations.
• He has attacked the First Amendment, appearing to condone violence at rallies.
• He has mocked journalists based on race, gender, and disability, and threatened the freedom of the press with lawsuits." 2
Since 1804, when the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, there have been several electors in the Electoral College who have deviated from their expected choice and have voted for another individual. If 37 electors were to do this in 2016, and switched their vote to Hillary Clinton who won the popular vote, then she would become the next president.
Daniel Brezenoff initiated a petition on Change.org:
The petition states, in part:
"On December 19, the Electors of the Electoral College will cast their ballots. If they all vote the way their states voted, Donald Trump will win. However, they can vote for Hillary Clinton if they choose. Even in states where that is not allowed, their vote would still be counted, they would simply pay a small fine -- which we can be sure Clinton supporters will be glad to pay!
We are calling on the Electors to ignore their states' votes and cast their ballots for Secretary Clinton. Why?
Mr. Trump is unfit to serve. His scapegoating of so many Americans, and his impulsivity, bullying, lying, admitted history of sexual assault, and utter lack of experience make him a danger to the Republic.
Secretary Clinton WON THE POPULAR VOTE and should be President." 3
As of 2016-NOV-20, the petition has received over 4.5 million supporters. This is an unprecedented number for petitions at Change.org! The immediate goal to increase the total to six million signatures.
A letter will accompany the petition, when it is sent to the Electoral College:
It states, in part that Founding Father:
"[Alexander] Hamilton pointed out that:
'Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States'.
Casting your ballot for Hillary preserves majority rule - the 'sense of the people' - and prevents the most unqualified candidate in history from taking office. Never in our Republic's 240 years has our President had no previous experience in an office of public trust, be it elected or appointed, civilian or military. Never has a President admitted to sexual assaults. Never has a President encouraged violence at campaign events.
There is no reason electors cannot vote with their conscience. They are not taking away the majority vote, and are not violating the Constitution.
Please protect our Constitution and our Republic by casting your ballot for Hillary Clinton'." 2
Webmaster's opinion [bias alert]:
This letter is going to place many of the Electoral College's electors in a real bind.
- Common fairness would call for them to follow the wishes of the public as expressed in the national public vote, and elect Hillary Clinton to be president.
However, following the vote in their state would install Donald Trump as president. This would put the Executive Branch and both houses in the Legislative branch under Republican control. It would also permit the election of replacement Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court with members who follow a strict constructionist judicial philosophy. This, in turn, would make it likely that important past rulings of the High Court could be overturned, like Roe v. Wade (which legalized women's access to early abortions) and Obergefell v. Hodges (which legalized gay marriage). Having a Repubican president and conservative-leaning Supreme Court would be very appealing to many Republican electors.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
The text of the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution can be read at: https://constitutioncenter.org/
Daniel Brezenoff, "Unprecedented -- Why the Electoral College Should Stop Donald Trump," Medium.com at: https://medium.com/
Daniel Brezenoff, "Electoral College: Make Hillary Clinton President on December 19," Change.org. at: https://www.change.org/
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Copyright © 2016 by Ontario Consultants on
Original posting: 2016-NOV-20.
Latest update : 2016-DEC-17.
Author: B.A. Robinson