Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Ironic, Trump defends Electoral College that was created to keep him from being President.

Trump's "rigged election" threat and criticism of the Jill Stein recount have sent a chill into the entire electoral process. It will probably result in Trump becoming president.

The electoral college was designed to specifically keep guys like Trump out. But with Trump's backing, and endless threats against anyone calling into question his electoral college win, will the electoral college be afraid to do its job? You bet.

Vox had a great piece on this, with the featured section below that spelled out why the electoral college should reject Trump outright. Compare the reasons why the founding fathers created the electoral college, and the three ploys used by Trump that require the college stop him:
Constitutional history makes clear that the founders had three main purposes in designing the Electoral College.
The first was 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.

The second goal was to stop foreign interference in election. In the founding period, the framers were extremely concerned about infiltration by rivals including Great Britain. In Federalist No. 68, Hamilton wrote that one major purpose of the Electoral College was to stop the “desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.” He said that the college would “Guard against all danger of this sort … with the most provident and judicious attention” from the electors.

The third goal was to prevent poor administration of government. This is a less well-known purpose of the Electoral College, but it is again expressly discussed 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.”
This election has three aspects that have brought the Electoral College back to relevance.
First, Donald Trump is the first unquestioned demagogue to become a major-party nominee in our country’s history. On his quest to the general election, he stoked prejudices and passions to flout fundamental constitutional norms, such as our freedoms of the press, religion, and peaceful assembly. 

Second, there’s incontrovertible evidence that Russia interfered in the campaign, by hacking the email accounts of top Democratic officials and cooperating with WikiLeaks’ parallel campaign to undermine Hillary Clinton campaign. 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.

And third, his opponent, Hillary Clinton, is on track to win the popular vote now by over 2 million votes — over four times Al Gore’s narrow margin over George W. Bush in 2000 — a factor electors ought to be able to weigh, whether or not they think it is conclusive.
The Electoral College was designed precisely for such extraordinary instances. As Jeffrey Tulis, Sanford Levinson, and Jeremi Suri (respectively professors of political science, law, and history) recently argued in the New York Daily News, “Our Founding Fathers created what we now call the Electoral College to protect our country against the precise danger we now face: a demagogue who has manipulated and bullied voters, exploited fears and now threatens the very foundation of our republic.”

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