Look, it’s heartbreaking that Hillary Clinton lost the electoral college while winning the popular vote by almost 3M votes, with as many votes as Obama won in 2012, while Trump won only 0.35% more than Dukakis. That said, the Electoral College is the name of the game, and, until we change it, we should live by its rules. I don’t buy the Trumpian argument that, had the rules been popular vote, Trump would have campaigned in California and NY and won that, too. I don’t buy that for a second. But it doesn’t matter: rules are rules, democracies follow rules, Trump won more electoral college voters.
But here’s the deal, if rules are rules, then let’s be clear that we should follow all the rules. And all the rules include, very clearly, the duty for electoral college voters to consider three things when casting their ballot next Monday:
- is this person fit for the Office of President of the United States?
- is this person a Demagogue?
- is this person under foreign influence?
Now, reasons 1 and 2 are, in my opinion, quite dangerous to push for, because they are incredibly subjective and I could easily imagine Republicans trying to argue that Hillary is “unfit for office.”
But reason #3 is not subjective. Reason #3 is a real problem with a very clear bright line: can the President-Elect be significantly influenced by foreign actors? Or, as the New Yorker explains, is the President-Elect already in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution, which states, in part, that “no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”
There is plenty of evidence that Trump is already significantly conflicted with his business ties around the world and his alleged large debts to foreign banks. The CIA is saying that Russia helped Trump win the election, and now Trump has nominated a particularly Russia-friendly Secretary of State.
So this is not OK. And it is absolutely reasonable to wonder whether Donald Trump is under foreign influence. Don’t let yourself be silenced by screaming Republican pundits claiming you’re a conspiracy theorist because you’re pointing out what is right there in front of your nose: Trump is massively conflicted with foreign holdings, he’s already leveraging his President-Elect position for influence, and world leaders are starting to use this situation to wield influence on the President-Elect. Oh, and Russia might have a metric ton of damning evidence – think RNC version of the DNC email hack – to blackmail Trump.
It is not unreasonable to question this. It is our duty. It is patriotic. It is UNpatriotic to ignore it. Republicans would be foaming at the mouth if half of this evidence had transpired against a President-Elect Hillary Clinton.
So I’m going to live by the rules of our Democracy. Trump won the the election, but he hasn’t yet won the Electoral College. And Electoral College voters have a duty to consider whether Trump is under foreign influence, and to vote against him if they believe he is. That is their Constitutionally-mandated job. And I know it’s probably hard. They’re Republicans, after all, and people like me are asking them to vote against their team. It’s not trivial. But it is about Country first. And once you get that, the rest is easy. The Electoral College should soundly reject Trump.
Are you with me to do something about this? Then follow these directions. Do it now. There is little time left.