Russia Stole The Presidency. The Electoral College Can Take It Back.
We now know that the American election was stolen by a loose affiliation of Russian infiltrators, American white supremacists, and FBI enablers — with an assist from elected quislings like Mitch McConnell. Donald Trump, it turns out, is no more the duly elected president of the United States than I am the world’s most decorated ballerina. Luckily, this can be rectified. You see, Donald Trump is by legal definition not the elected president. He is not even president-elect (a fictitious title, nowhere supported by the Constitution). He will not become president until the Electoral College votes him into office on December 19. And — unless you sympathize with the notion of Vladimir Putin choosing the American Commander in Chief — that must not happen.
We have heard a great deal about how dissenting electors would somehow be traitorous; how they would subvert the will of the people; how they would be deeply un-American. It is time to dismiss this sophistry.
First, we know what traitors look like: they are elected Congressmen, for instance, who do the bidding of Russian intelligence. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for instance, “raised doubts about the underlying intelligence and made clear to the administration that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.” As the writer Mark Harris put it, succinctly, on Twitter: “Is there any reading of this story in which Mitch McConnell is not a traitor to the United States? No. There is not.”
Second, it is absurd to suggest that the will of the people would be subverted here. Ignoring Hillary Clinton’s crushing domination of the popular vote, I suggest that the will of the people is not aligned — except in tiny corners of Congress and the FBI — with the will of the Russian tyrant. I’d even suggest that the will of the people is overwhelmingly defined by something other than white supremacy (the “alt right”).
Third, regarding the hypocritical accusation of un-American behavior: nothing could be less American than to legitimate the presidency of a demagogue whose friends — whose campaign partners — are America’s enemies. Nothing.
If the Electoral College is composed of patriots — and I have no doubt that it is — they will combine to reject this assault upon American democracy. No, we can’t expect them to vote for Hillary Clinton; that fine ship has sailed. But we can certainly insist that they vote for a Republican whose name is not Donald Trump. Any Republican. Preferably one who has in no way collaborated with Russia or Breitbart.
By now you have probably heard about a group called the Hamilton Electors, which is devoted to just this: convincing the Electoral College to rally behind another Republican. Their initial choice (a good one) was John Kasich; he has, unfortunately, announced that he will not accept the office. Other names have been mooted: Mitt Romney, Colin Powell, John McCain. Might I suggest Jeb Bush? A man who speaks Spanish fluently, and is married to a Mexican-American? He might be a good choice, strategically, should the Republican Party hope to have any future beyond this administration, now that they have effectively alienated the entire Latino demographic.
The replacement for John Kasich must be agreed upon immediately, and vetted: it must be someone willing to assume the role. While I have the greatest admiration for the Hamilton group, the critique here is painfully close to the mark: “Hamilton Electors’ Disorganization Painfully & Perfectly Captures Why Democrats Lost.“ It is not yet too late for this candidate to be designated; soon it will be.
Lastly, for this strategy to have any hope of succeeding, the political elite must endorse it, with a full-throated public endorsement; they must embrace this as their single most important task in the coming week.
Hillary Clinton — who has, unfortunately, no hope now of becoming president — should release her electors, and urge them to vote unanimously for the alternate candidate agreed upon. And, crucially, the few elected Republicans who have not already established themselves as enablers of this Manchurian candidate — which is to say, the few who have not accepted the role of quisling in the name of party loyalty — must take a public stand. They must demand that electors vote their conscience and disavow this illegitimate president. They must recognize these people as heroes, as opposed to “faithless electors,” and pledge to support their choice in the House of Representatives, in the likely event that their designated candidate not receive the requisite 270 votes in the Electoral College.
How do you convince these Republicans? It should be a lot easier, now that they know just how greatly Donald Trump (whom most of them secretly revile) relied upon the Russians for his electoral success. Ordinary citizens should appeal — loudly — to these elected representatives, insisting that they do their job and rescue the nation from a demagogue forced upon the republic by a foreign tyrant. Should you require a ready-made document to put before the nose of relevant officials, I have provided it here: “A Plea To Concerned Republicans: Urge The Electoral College To Save The Nation From Trump.“
This may well be the greatest emergency to threaten the republic since its founding: the United States will, if it ratifies the results of this corrupt election, have capitulated to President Vladimir Putin. It will no longer be a democracy, in any real sense, because it will not have elected its own leader. No, it will not be a Russian puppet, per se. It will simply be a subordinate: a regime whose highest office is determined by the will of the Russian executive.