To: President Donald Trump, The United States House of Representatives, and The United States Senate
Let the Electoral College know they're constitutionally obligated to prevent a Trump presidency
Remind our Electoral College: regardless of popular vote, per our own founding documents (specifically, the constitution and Federalist Paper, No. 10), the college is required to prevent Donald J. Trump from becoming the president. James Madison warned of "Factions"--popular movements against the good of the people or detrimental to minorities--and that’s precisely why the Electoral College even exists.
Why is this important?
After Mr. Trump proposed his controversial ban on Muslims from entering the country, President Obama’s White House announced that Mr. Trump had disqualified himself from the Presidency. This wasn’t just hot air, it hearkens back to our Federalist roots and why we have the system we do. In Federalist Paper No. 10 James Madison explains, among other topics, why, as a country, we are a Republic and not a direct democracy. It all boils down to one word: "Factions."
Factions, in Madison's estimation, are defined as a number of citizens, whether a majority or minority, who are united and activated "by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community."
Let’s repeat that last part: factions are defined as popular groups ADVERSE to (a) the rights of others, or (b) the permanent and aggregate interests of the community, i.e. our nation and our interests.
For this reason, and this reason alone, Madison suggested we vote indirectly, through an Electoral College system. The college is expected to respect the will of the people, UNLESS that will is contrary to the interests of the nation or a particular people within that nation. It’s intended to keep a hypothetical "Hitler" from rising to power on our own soil. The division of powers in our own Federal government would then ideally prevent corruption from occurring within this Federal model.
Mr. Trump and his followers have become a faction, exactly as Madison predicted might happen. Here’s why…
1. He wants to “expand libel laws” to prevent reporters from criticizing him. The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law ‘abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.’” What he calls libel, others call fact checking. (It’s also worth noting he has his volunteers sign a contract pledging to never criticize him for life, a model I assume he’d like the press to follow as well.)
2. As mentioned earlier, Mr. Trump wants to make the practice of Islam, or rather the lack thereof, the primary litmus test for entry into the United States. Again, the First Amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law ‘respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’” Even talk of such a policy, policy which is predicated on religion, is adverse to both a minority community and our core values as a nation, all the while promoting prejudice and hate.
3. In addition to keeping Muslims out, Mr. Trump wishes to propose special badges for Muslims to wear, similar to those worn by the Jews in Hitler's Germany. Once more, this is adverse to the rights of a particular group of people and sullies the name of the nation.
4. International law is only a suggestion, or so he believes. He advocates doing “much worse” than water boarding, which is a not so subtle endorsement of torture, and absolutely illegal in the eyes of the international community.
5. He advocates killing the family members of ISIS, whether they are innocent or not, which is, likewise, illegal under international law and considered a war crime. (He hasn’t mentioned whether this applies to American ISIS fighters overseas whose families are still here at home.)
6. He wants to “round up” every Mexican here illegally. A mass “round up” would have to be facilitated by armed State personnel, bulk transportation, and temporary holding facilities. It is morally corrupt, reminiscent of Nazi boxcars and Japanese internment, detrimental to our economy, and hurtful to our reputation. Not to mention, since Mr. Trump rarely cites illegals from Europe or Canada, it all seems vaguely racist.
7. His supporters have made violence at his rallies the norm and he’s encouraged it. He’s offered to pay the legal fees for supporters charged with assault, which has incited more violence. Minority protesters have been beaten, called “monkey” and other racist slurs, and the KKK has openly endorsed him. Black citizens have been singled out by Trump’s security by simply being there. The violence, in turn, has triggered more violence from the opposing side in Chicago. This is 100% due to his message and directly traceable to him and him alone.
8. Mr. Trump has passive aggressively mentioned the idea of his supporters “rioting” if he doesn’t receive the GOP nomination. By mentioning these “thoughts” he’s given his followers the message to do so, which threatens the safety and well-being of American citizens and property.
9. His supporters have begun "pledging" to Mr. Trump, and doing so with a familiar gesture involving a raised arm, visibly declaring support. Holocaust survivors have denounced this act and his supporters are emboldened by it.
10. He has insulted POWs in the military which he would be expected to lead. The former director of the NSA has also stated that the military would refuse to act if given illegal orders (i.e. his calls for torture and murdering ISIS family members).
Simply, the list is still growing, but Mr. Trump’s anti-Muslim (and frankly Anti-American) rhetoric will hurt our interests overseas, which includes our ability to operate forward in the Middle East (ask yourself which countries, other than Israel, would allow us to operate with our Commander in Chief insulting them). He will damage our relationships abroad, demonize minority communities, foster prejudice and violence, injure our economy, and, worse than anything else, betray the very values which make us American.
Mr. Trump and his supporters qualify as a faction. If he reaches a General Election, which he almost assuredly will, and if the GOP doesn’t derail him, or Mrs. Clinton/Senator Sanders loses the popular vote in a General Election, the Electoral College MUST act.
We are a Republic for this reason. The Electoral College exists because of Donald J. Trump.