The Electoral College was designed to prevent the likes of Trump and could be used to do so

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The Electoral College was designed to prevent the likes of Trump and could be used to do so

Post by >THE Ben Reilly< on Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:34 pm

Trump can still be stopped. The Founding Fathers foresaw just this catastrophe, and built a fail-safe into the Constitution. It’s called the Electoral College. Alexander Hamilton was explicit: this mechanism was designed to ensure that “the office of president will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.” In short, it was designed to prevent just this situation: the rise of an unqualified demagogue like Donald Trump.

You can make it do what it was meant to do.

The requirement here is modest: a small group of Republican electors must be persuaded to vote their conscience. No question that many of these are appalled at the prospect of a Trump presidency; surely a few are courageous enough to cast a vote for someone else. (Most if not all would vote for another Republican, of course; it doesn’t seem likely that many would choose Hillary Clinton.) Depending upon how current recounts turn out, somewhere between a minimum of ten and a maximum of thirty-seven electors would have to defect in order to bring Trump’s count down to less than 270.

If neither party ends up with 270 votes, then the decision passes to the House of Representatives, and a vote in that chamber determines the winner. The House is permitted to choose from among the three candidates who receive the most votes in the Electoral College. Hence, dissenting electors can rest assured that they — and the voters they represent — will end up with a Republican president.

Although 24 states seek to prohibit faithless electors by a variety of methods, including pledges and the threat of fines or criminal action, most constitutional scholars believe that once electors have been chosen, they remain constitutionally free agents, able to vote for any candidate who meets the requirements for President and Vice President.
These so-called “faithless electors” are vanishingly rare, which is as it should be — this is a unique circumstance, which requires emergency measures. Ignore the epithet: these electors would not be remotely faithless; this act would be faithful to the letter and intent of the Constitution. It would be patriotic.

A crucial fact here is that votes in the Electoral College are cast anonymously. An elector need not reveal that he or she is the one who chose to support another candidate. This shields an individual from retribution.

Why should Democrats fight for this? Because any conceivable choice on the part of the Electoral College and the House, however extreme, would be preferable to Trump.

This would not be an abuse of the Constitution. Quite the opposite, as I say: it would be the proper use of the Constitution to prevent the abuse of a general election. The Founding Fathers would have approved. More: they would have been distressed to see this not happen, given the circumstances. They chose to found a republic that was not a direct democracy, and this is why: a simple binding majority vote provides no check upon the election of a tyrant. (This election was an exception, ironically: Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, and direct democracy would have spared the world the terrifying promise of a Trump presidency.)

If you honor the Founding Fathers — and the Constitution — then you will insist upon employing the emergency measures coded into the very definition of the republic.

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Eddie: "It's shit mixed with vomit."
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Re: The Electoral College was designed to prevent the likes of Trump and could be used to do so

Post by Original Quill on Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:43 pm

Nah...impeachment is the only course.  Don't worry...give him sex months...opps, I mean six months.

Actually, the electoral college was a compromise, as the nation was coming off the Articles of Confederation, where the states were paramount.  

The states were originally supposed to select the president, and also the Senate.  That's why the Jefferson quote--essentially saying, the "responsible" men will be from the states.  (The Senate gradually changed, state-by-state, to a popular electoral format.  The presidential system has yet to change.)

What the founders didn't anticipate was the emergence of political factions.  In fact, they naively saw faction as an evil, to be avoided, but hardly the eventual outcome.  See, Federalist Papers, Federalist No. 10.  What they thought of as factions, today we know as political parties.  They have become the norm of political life.  So, the Jefferson quote was actually a misperception.

Trump has just created a third party (disguised under the "Republican" namesake), and third party movements are usually quite vociferous, with strong intensity behind them  It's unlikely that those electors will ever change their votes.

“Little thieves are hanged, but great thieves are praised.” — Old Russian proverb, offered by Vladimir Putin to Donald J. Trump, Helsinki, July, 2018.

"I don't stand by anything."  ― Donald Trump, interview with John Dickerson, 5.1.17...

If you can't indict, and you don't impeach, you've got villainy.

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Re: The Electoral College was designed to prevent the likes of Trump and could be used to do so

Post by veya_victaous on Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:07 am

While I generally Agree with what you said Quill
what do you really think the chances of impeachment are with republican controlled houses?

I'd have thought near nothing confused

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