An Irresponsible Gambit for Faithless Electors

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – R. Buckminster Fuller

Months before the election I was riding down the road with a coworker on the way to brief a sponsor on our current program. My coworker, who I would describe as a left-leaning centrist, commented on his fear that a Clinton victory in the upcoming presidential election would result in riots from Trump supporters. Indeed, this idea was pervasive in the news media at the time – that Trump was sowing the seeds of civil unrest with his antics and “refusal to accept” an election outcome.

I pointed out to my coworker that he had it exactly backwards. While the hypothesis is untestable (we can’t see what happens with both outcomes – we will only get one or the other), it was my opinion that Trump supporters are not the type to riot, they are the type to rebel. Clinton supporters, on the other hand, are far more likely to riot.

Well, Trump pulled off the impossible and sure enough, Clinton supporters (or anti-Trump protestors) rioted across the country. We’ll never know about the other proposition … or will we?

Of late we’ve seen a continued call for so-called “faithless electors” to undo the Trump win in the electoral college (a win in “pledged delegates” anyway). The movement doesn’t appear to be getting much traction – and doesn’t even appear to be directed at getting Hillary Clinton elected. No, they seem to want to find a “compromise candidate” that they can all vote for. A centrist Republican, most likely.

The call strikes us as irresponsible. It’s not terribly difficult to imagine what would happen across middle America if faithless electors ousted Donald Trump. There would be a movement towards outright rebellion. I suspect it would start with an organized refusal to pay taxes (some Liberals are already proposing this because of the impending Trump presidency). Not long after I suspect we’d see several states looking for the exits and considering secession. Would they get there? I don’t know, it’s a high bar to pass.

My point is that you cannot “save America” from Donald Trump by threatening to destroy America. Attempts to influence 37 Trump electors to change their votes are doomed to fail anyway (I *think*) but would likely not have anything like the intended outcomes even if they were successful.

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