Can the Electoral College Save Us from Trump?

Can the Electoral College Save Us from Trump?

August 16, 2019 100 By Stanley Isaacs


Alexander Hamilton. The name is Alexander Hamilton. Can’t place the face?
You’ve seen it grace the ten And now his face is in the news again. [MUSIC] Who would have thought? Alexander Hamilton,
first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (He died
in 1804) Who would have thought
he’d be hot news in 2016? And I’m not talking about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s
brilliant broadway show where Mike Pence
heard directly from the stage
from the actor playing Aaron Burr. (although that was pretty cool) Brandon Victor Dixon
did not throw away his shot Cool. But I’m _not_ TALKING about the PLAY. I’m talking about
the man himself. The actual
bastard, orphan,
son of a whore
And a Scotsman. This guy. Why is he in the news? Because People appalled
at the prospect of a President Trump —And that prospect gets more appalling
with every lying and bullying Tweet Every revelation of
business conflicts of interest every embrace
of evidence-free conspiracy theories dredged from the fever swamps
of Infowars and Breitbart Every shakedown scheme that amounts
to turning the presidency into a profit center for Trump’s businesses
in violation of the Constitution. every intimidating threat to the media
in violation of the constitution every gaslighting lie he tells and from his supporters
every bullying attack and threat by
hate groups that love him every spray-painted swastika
every chant every taunt
from some pathetic
loser who suddenly feels
authorized and encouraged to make themselves feel bigger and better
by making some vulnerable minority feel worse —people appalled at all that
and more are latching onto an essay
Alexander Hamilton wrote in 1788 just a few months
before we elected our first president They are grasping at ANY straws
they think might keep Trump
out of the White House. Chief among them,
Professor Lawrence Lessig, who cites Hamilton essay
in urging the usually faceless electors
to rise up and become faithless electors
and vote against the people who elected them to elect Donald J. Tump. They won’t. Maybe a tiny handful will But
Not enough to matter Not enough to swing the election. Faithless electors have NEVER swung
an election in out country’s history. All they ever manage
is to swing their way into becoming footnotes
in American History books And here’s why:
electors are not— as the founders expected—
chosen because of their wisdom and knowledge
(though they may well be wise and knowledgeable). They are chosen,
not for those qualities but
as a reward for party loyalty. So, who is Lessig talking to? Republican electors? Really? if Lessig expects Republican
party electors to do what the Republican voters wouldn’t do
what the Republican Chairman wouldn’t do what the Republican national committee wouldn’t
do, what the Republican National Convention
wouldn’t do What the Republican Speaker of the House
wouldn’t do. What the Republican leader of the Senate
would do. If he expects Republican electors
to somehow somewhere some way muster the courage
and integrity to say no
to Trump, I’d like to have a little of
what he’s smokin’. (It’s legal in my state) Even Mitt Romney
who made a powerful, principled speech denouncing Trump
last March even mitt romney
made a pilgrimage to Trump Tower for a job interview
And Romney got a callback. He’s hopeful now Lessig writes that the electors were meant
as a safety valve or filter to to correct the vote of the people. No they weren’t. That’s not how Hamilton saw them. He didn’t view the electors
as a court of appeals to pass judgment
on how the people voted. Hamilton wanted the electors voting
INSTEAD of the people. For Hamilton, electors
weren’t plan B. They were plan A.
They weren’t a safety valve. They were a bypass Irony alert: Hamilton wanted to isolate
the selection of president
from mob passions and pressures The last thing he would want was
Lawrence Lessig ginning up pressure on the electors. Something Lessig never ever considers:
Maybe the Repulican electors actually want Trump to be president. Sorry, professor. I like your Creative Commons,
I like it a lot. In fact,
I’m using this photo of you taken by Robert Scoble
through a Creative Commons license. But on the Electoral College, you’re
wide of the mark. Not only is it not going to work,
Not only is it not at all Hamiltonian it wlll set
a terrible precedent. It will make our electoral process
even uglier than it is It will turn our elections from a
two stage shout-fest to a three-stage rocket of repulsion. The primaries
The general election Followed by declaring
Open season on electors. As prople trying to relitigate the election. That was not what Hamilton expected. You’re about two hundred years late
to begin turning the electoral college into a deliberative committees that
the framers envisioned. It just didn’t work out that way. That ship
has sailed. You wouldn’t happen to have
a Time Turner or a TARDIS, would you? I desperately wish we could avoid the
awful ordeal of having a
President Donald John. Trump
in the White House. I think it will be a disaster. it’s already a disaster But pressuring electors
won’t do anything to keep him out of office. And it will leave a bigger mess for
future elections. Any other ideas? I’m listening. Until Next Time I’m Mickeleh Thanks everyone who welcomed me back
great hearing from you. Keep those
comments coming. This is not part two of my series on the
Electoral college. Still working on that. It will be here when it’s done
Here’s part one of that series. See ya.