Saturday, February 27, 2016

Electoral College could Trump disaster

The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States may not be the worst disaster to befall the U.S. of A. – we survived two world wars, the Civil War and the Cola Wars – but Lord, it can’t be a good idea.
I, for one, have the fear that we will end up with Trump the way the USFL did – bankrupt but winning a $3 court judgment.
And, for whatever reason, the Republican Party – more and more run by groups that haven’t
quite accepted the end of Prohibition, the militia part of the Second Amendment and the no law establishing a religion of the First Amendment – has become too weak to throw out what should be a mere thorn in its elephantine hide.
(We’re going to leave the Democrats out of this for now; they’ve got their own problems, but neither Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders is that far removed from the governmental mainstream; they’ve both held national office, for example.)
Instead, the GOP is going to nominate the richest multi-bankrupt person ever, a man whose political beliefs are in many cases in direct obstruction to the Constitution, and a man who has contributed not one idea to the political debate until now (if you ignore his belief that President Obama is a secret Kenyan Muslim with a fake birth certificate).
But I rise, not to warn of Trump, but to find a way to stop him. The Republicans seem unwilling to do the deed.
But there is a way, and to the joy of conservatives everywhere, it is 110 percent Constitutional.
Fellow frustrated voters, I give you The Electoral College.
Yes, that ancient body, that vestigial tail of American politics, that relic of the Founding Fathers’ belief that the mass of voters really couldn’t be trusted. (Boy, do they look prescient now!)
In short, it’s time for a college protest of the electoral kind.
What many people do not realize is that the Electoral College still does exist as real people. Granted, their role has been traditionally ceremonial, confirming the vote of each state and signing off on that state’s votes in a nice note to the Congress.
But there are real people who cast those electoral votes. Once in a while, someone goes off the tracks and withholds a vote or votes for somebody else, and is doing so in a mostly legal manner.
(I say mostly legal, as 25 states and the District of Columbia have laws requiring electors to vote for the state winner. There are still 24 that do not have such a law, and Virginia’s is seen by the National Archives and Records Administration as “Virginia statute may be advisory – ‘Shall be expected’ to vote for nominees.)
Those 24 states are Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.
Combine those 24 plus one, and you have 269 electoral votes – one short of a majority. Even if not all of them participate, it could easily be enough to deny Trump the election.
Of course, that would throw the whole thing into the House of Representatives, with each state having one vote in that body. But you have to figure there are enough people in there who realize what a danger a Trumpresidency would be to happy overthrow the whole thing.
Yes, it would be a dangerous move, one that would bring anger across the country. Then again, so did Bush v. Gore in 2000, and probably, so did Hayes v. Tilden in 1876. And we survived.
I believe that with the realization of the sensible majority, it can be realized that the danger from this move would be far, far less than the danger of the Call of the Last Trump-et.
The Electoral College may not be in the AP Top 25, but It could post a big victory for us all if it would exercise its potential and keep America from an incompetent, dangerous president.