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Posts Tagged ‘2016 presidential election’

If Hillary electors really cared about national reconciliation…

Posted by nouspraktikon on December 19, 2016

…they would break their pledge and make Mr. Trump’s election unanimous

The electoral college critics have a weighty argument on their side.  Electors were not intended by the Founders to be puppets of their states’ voting majorities.  The entire idea of the Electoral College is to serve as a bulwark against the system called “direct democracy” a.k.a. mob rule.  Democracy only works well in the market, where consumers can vote their preferences on a wide variety competing but not conflicting goods.  The fact that I like sweet tea and you like lemonade doesn’t put your life, liberty, or property on the line…it just means that if the sweet tea party wins the market vote, you and your fellow holdouts for squeezed lemon will have to travel farther to find a lemonade stand.  Public choice is different from market choice, since it is a vote to see which majority gets to hold a gun to the head of which minority.

This makes democratic elections a dangerous thing.  The left has suddenly realized this and is now promoting what the Founders always envisioned, a body of citizens selected by the people of their states, free to wrestle with their consciences on the merits of the various candidates.  This is the true, prelapsarian, doctrine of the American republic, a political society in which principles of democracy and monarchy were blended to produce an aristocracy of merit and virtue…or something to that effect.  In fact, we inhabit a postlapsarian America, fallen from the philosophical pinnacle of the Founders’ thought and into the purgatory of party politics.  Today we accept that the electors can be trusted to tow the party line as mandated by the popular vote in their respective states.  In effect the majority-by-state principle is a compromise between the aristocracy of virtue and a national referendum.  It is not a scrupulously constitutional way of proceeding but, as the saying goes, close enough for government work.

Now the rump of the Clinton campaign, faced with the certainty of a Trump administration, has undergone a death-bed conversion to the aristocratic ideals of the early republic.  Like all conversions, it is both to be welcomed and its motives questioned.  But let us not impugn the fine ideals of these newly decked out counts and countesses of the commentariat.   Let us assume that their sensibilities and sensitivities are in earnest, and address them with all the reverence due a moral aristocracy.  O you who are about to vote, take not into consideration the clamor of the vulgar mob, but only the political virtue of the two most likely candidates.

Keep in mind that the duty of the electors is to consider the political virtue of the candidates to the exclusion of any other moral characteristics.   Thus we need not consider any of those flaws in Mr. Trump’s character which would have so justly offended the Reverends Wesley or Witfield…rather we ought to consider who, by the standards of Hamilton, Madison, Jefferson, and Jay, would have been considered a danger to the state, and altogether unworthy of nomination, let alone election, to high office.

In fact there is one such dangerous person under consideration, and the list of her alleged failings is too long and too murkey to be mentioned here, yet these might include

…entangling the United States in unnecessary and unprofitable conflicts abroad, resulting in the shedding of much American blood,

…putting American envoys in mortal danger in one such foreign conflict,

…running a foundation to accrue private gain and public power under the pretext of charity,

…being influenced by foreign agents on her staff while engaging in government business,

…shielding her spouse from prosecution on moral grounds,

…and the list could be prolonged practically without limit.  The point is that whether any or all of these suspicious activities can be substantiated in either Congress or a court of law, the mere suspicion should  completely disqualify such a candidate from receiving even a single electoral vote.  Of course I am not speaking of the worthy Mr. Trump, who’s private pecadillos will surely give way to both pastoral rebuke and the waxing wisdom of mature years.  His electors can all vote with great zeal and good faith.

However the electors pledged to Mrs. Clinton face an exacting moral dilemma.   Can they safely ignore such weighty allegations without perjuring their conscience?  Since Mr. Trump is bound to win anyway, should they leave a stain on this nation’s history by endowing Mrs. Clinton with some scrap of moral legitimacy?  Would it not be a noble gesture for them to cast their votes for Mr. Trump, giving him, not just the majority, but the unanimity, of the Electoral College?

I for one would like to see national reconciliation, and would delight in seeing blue states such as New York, Illinois…and yes, even California, return to the fold of sane, albeit imperfect, governance.  And dear Clinton electors, consider one more fact before you vote.  Those Clinton strongholds might actually be red states if we had accurate recounts in all of them.  You can salve your democratic consciences with that as you vote for Trump!


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