Link: Robert Reich

Robert Reich

Several of you have asked me how you can reach Electors, who will decide a week from today whether Trump should be our next president. See below for how to contact them.

There are three major reasons why the framers of the Constitution established the Electoral College, to reject the popular vote:

1. To stop a demagogue from becoming president. At the Constitutional Convention, arguing in support of the Electoral College, Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts said he was “against a popular election” for president because the people would be “misled by a few designing men.” In Federalist No. 68, Alexander Hamilton wrote that the electors would prevent those with “Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity” from becoming president. They would also stop anyone who would “convulse the community with any extraordinary or violent movements.” Check 1 against Trump.

2. To stop foreign interference in an election. Check 2 against Trump. The CIA has provided incontrovertible evidence that Russia interfered in the presidential election in order to help Donald Trump. Meanwhile, Trump has business entanglements in Russia and other foreign countries, the extent to which are unknown because Trump has not released his tax returns.

3. To prevent poor administration of government. In Federalist No. 68. Hamilton wrote that “the true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration,” and for that reason, he said, the electors should be “able to estimate the share which the executive in every government must necessarily have in its good or ill administration.”

Check three against Trump, who has no government experience and whose character and temperament – as revealed both from his personal history and his campaign – are arguably inconsistent with good government. The chief ethics officers of the George W. Bush administration and the Obama administrations say electors shouldn’t choose Trump because he won’t put his assets into a blind trust.

Modern-day conservatives favor so-called “originalist” understandings of the Constitution, looking to history and to the original texts of our founding documents for guidance. On this basis, electors have every ground for refusing to make Donald Trump president of the United States.

What do you think?