REMINDER: Donald Trump Isnít President Till The Electoral College Casts Their Votes (DETAILS)
By Tim Keller -
November 10, 2016
For the last month, tens of millions of Americans have sent their ballots by mail or shown up at the polls to voice their opinion on who should be President of the United States. On Tuesday night, all the major news organizations had proclaimed a victory for Donald Trump. The real estate mogul delivered a victory speech, and told the country that his opponent had delivered her concession to him in a telephone call. Later on, Clinton herself formally conceded in a speech and President Obama welcomed Trump to the White House.
But the process isnít over yet. The country has over a month before the decision is final. Thatís because the electoral college doesnít cast their votes until December 21st. And a lot can happen in that time.
A large contingent of Americans (perhaps even most of the country) believes that a Trump presidency is a threat to the country. Moreover, the Electoral College was not founded purely to echo the voice of the people. Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 68:
ĎThe immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberationÖ [who] possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.í
Itís no stretch to say that many of Americaís elites and working class alike believe that these traits do not apply to Mr. Trump, and that his victory was won at too great a cost to be valuable; to him, his party, or the country.
This point of view doesnít just apply to Clintonites and people too far left or too disgusted by modern politics to vote. Conservative journalist George Will of the Washington Post wrote;
Ď[The GOP has] won a ruinous triumph that convinced them that they can forever prosper by capturing an ever-larger portion of an ever-smaller portion of the electorate.í
Other journalists, such as Jennifer Rubin, also of the Washington Post, are concerned that the GOP has lost its way. She theorizes a separation of conservatism and its proponents from the GOP itself, and even goes so far as to postulate a dying out of the movement following this fiery resurgence. Because Trump won, not through glorifying the tenets of Reaganomics, but through charisma, populism, and a deep connection with his base. In this way, he has more in common with Bernie Sanders than with Romney or Bush.
The Electoral College has failed to represent the country at large, for the second time in 20 years. The organization that benefited from it both times now has as much power as a political party can have in a democracy and stands to gain significantly more, should another Supreme Court justice retire or die in the next 4 years.
Moreover, there are Electoral College voters who have made public their disdain for Trump, and may act on it. According to POLITICO, one elector in Texas may refuse to cast a vote for Trump because of his ďapproach on military issues,Ē specifically his blatant endorsement of war crimes.
The implications of electors going against what the system declares to be the proper result are frightening. But given the rhetoric Donald Trump used to shore up his base during this election season, perhaps itís preferable to the alternative.