A new political idea

One of my local newspapers, the Albany Times-Union, has been the first in the nation — so far as I know — to urge the Electoral College to reject Trump, to put its Constitutional duty ahead of partisan accommodation. Here’s the key section, but read the whole thing.

On Monday, members of the Electoral College will gather in each state to select a president. We call on them, particularly Republican electors, to deny Donald Trump the presidency – as the Constitution allows and as the Founding Fathers envisioned for a candidate so antithetical to their aspirations for the nation’s highest office.
…this is precisely what the founders of our republic envisioned when they devised the Electoral College, a singular body with a singular purpose: to afford, as Alexander Hamilton explained to the people of New York in Federalist No. 68, “a moral certainty, 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.”

Only a few days remain before that strange entity meets, to certify Trump, or to salvage the republic they are supposed to serve. Savage or salvage, so to speak.
The odds are against it, I know. The Electoral College is like any political assembly, perhaps more so. You can imagine faster than I can write down all the personal excuses which would be offered, were it ever possible, later on, to ask why they had not taken this honorable action.
Do I reveal my pessimism here, assuming the effort will fail? Afraid so. And it’s possible that, should such an effort succeed, the resulting battles — in the courts, in the media, no doubt also in the streets — might be worse than what a Trump administration would have brought about.

Still, it’s nice to think about a new political idea.

We could call it “Civil Obedience.”


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