FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Future of the U.S. and the World is in the Hands of the Electors

On Monday, December 19, 2016, the United States “democratic republic” system moves into its final stage of electing the next American president when the “Electors” cast their votes. While most were given or voted into their positions based on their party affiliations with the intent to vote the way of their state, no constitutional provision or federal law requires Electors to vote according to the popular vote in their states.

As of Monday, December 12, 10 Electors have asked for an intelligence briefing regarding Russian interference in the US presidential election. One Republican Elector, Christopher Suprun, a paramedic from Texas, has said that he will not vote for Trump when the Electoral College meets, because Trump is unfit for office. Suprun cites Trump’s calls for violence against protestors at his rallies, his encouragement of Russia to hack Clinton’s emails, and his misunderstanding of the Constitution that expressly forbids a president from receiving gifts or payments from foreign governments. Suprun writes that Trump’s financial conflicts of interest could get him impeached in his first year and cites Trump’s calls for retribution against his critics.

The tenor of the nation has changed. What happened? The President-Elect still refuses to release his tax returns. He continues to do what he wants, currently enjoying a “victory” tour while claiming he does not have time for daily presidential security briefings. Trump will not listen to or respect the findings of the Central Intelligence Agency that recently released findings that Russia hacked the DNC in order to influence the election. Trump dismissed the CIA’s findings as “ridiculous” although he sent out a Tweet storm in reaction. The intelligence community finds his disrespect for national security officials shameful.

Trump announced on Monday that he is postponing his news conference, detailing how he will handle his business Conflicts of Interest, from Thursday, Dec. 15, before the Electoral College meets, until sometime in January, after the Electors vote. Throughout the campaign, Trump praised Putin and even hired a campaign manager who got rich working for a Putin ally in Ukraine. The Republican platform was subtly rewritten to remove pro-Ukrainian language, and Trump selected as his foreign-policy advisor a retired general who has been paid by the Russian English-language network, RT. Throughout the campaign, Trump spoke positively about Putin’s strategy in Syria and suggested he may not honor NATO commitments. He even excused Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea. Most recently, Trump selected as his Secretary of State a Putin-friendly oil executive businessman, chief executive of Exxon Mobil. On Dec. 11, Republican Senator John McCain from Arizona called for a special panel to investigate Russian election interference; now there is deep bipartisan support.

All this follows the announcement of an investigation into FBI Director Comey’s unprecedented and irresponsible actions in failing to condemn Russian hacking as well as mishandling the investigation into Clinton’s email server. This worrisome Russian “story” follows Trump’s other cabinet picks of a fast-food executive for Labor Secretary, who advocates replacing some human workers with machines as a way to reduce business costs and is an outspoken foe of the livable wage movement; a climate change denier and fossil fuel advocate for the E.P.A.; a general who said it is “fun to shoot people” for Secretary of Defense, and a woman with no education degree or teaching experience or background, who has never attended a public school as Secretary of Education. These picks came after Trump’s selection of Jeff Sessions whom his own party called racist and Stephen Bannon someone White Nationalists see as an advocate. Add to that the fact that Trump has lost the popular vote by the largest margin ever recorded for any “winner” of the Electoral College.

According to the Federalist Papers, the role of the Electoral College was to prevent a foreign power from gaining control of the union. Suprun, the Texan Elector who has already pledged not to vote for Trump, states, “Electors can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential Electors have the legal right and constitutional duty to vote their conscience. I swore an oath to defend my country and Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. On Dec. 19, I will do it again.” We will have to wait and see what the other Electors do. If the Electors cannot prevent this American tragedy, who can?

More articles by:

December 11, 2018
Eric Draitser
AFRICOM: A Neocolonial Occupation Force?
Sheldon Richman
War Over Ukraine?
Louis Proyect
Why World War II, Not the New Deal, Ended the Great Depression
Howard Lisnoff
Police Violence and Mass Policing in the U.S.
Mark Ashwill
A “Patriotic” Education Study Abroad Program in Viet Nam: God Bless America, Right or Wrong!
Laura Flanders
HUD Official to Move into Public Housing?
Nino Pagliccia
Resistance is Not Terrorism
Matthew Johnson
See No Evil, See No Good: The Truth Is Not Black and White
Maria Paez Victor
How Reuters Slandered Venezuela’s Social Benefits Card
December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
Ajamu Baraka
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Time to De-Colonize Human Rights!
Andrew Levine
Thoughts on Strategy for a Left Opposition
Jennifer Matsui
Dead of Night Redux: A Zombie Rises, A Spook Falls
Rob Urie
Degrowth: Toward a Green Revolution
Binoy Kampmark
The Bomb that Did Not Detonate: Julian Assange, Manafort and The Guardian
Robert Hunziker
The Deathly Insect Dilemma
Robert Fisk
Spare Me the American Tears for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Joseph Natoli
Tribal Justice
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Macdonald Stainsby
Unist’ot’en Camp is Under Threat in Northern Canada
Senator Tom Harkin
Questions for Vice-President Bush on Posada Carriles
W. T. Whitney
Two Years and Colombia’s Peace Agreement is in Shreds
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Ramzy Baroud
The Conspiracy Against Refugees
David Rosen
The Swamp Stinks: Trump & Washington’s Rot
Raouf Halaby
Wall-to-Wall Whitewashing
Daniel Falcone
Noam Chomsky Turns 90
Dean Baker
An Inverted Bond Yield Curve: Is a Recession Coming?
Nick Pemberton
The Case For Chuck Mertz (Not Noam Chomsky) as America’s Leading Intellectual
Ralph Nader
New Book about Ethics and Whistleblowing for Engineers Affects Us All!
Dan Kovalik
The Return of the Nicaraguan Contras, and the Rise of the Pro-Contra Left
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Exposing the Crimes of the CIAs Fair-Haired Boy, Paul Kagame, and the Rwandan Patriotic Front
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail