Republican electors have begun a campaign to deny Donald Trump the presidency and defy the will of the people in order to elect an establishment figure they describe as a “qualified Republican” instead.
The group, calling themselves Hamilton Electors, have begun backroom discussions to convince the 37 Republican electors they need to overthrow the Trump presidency.
“A message for all Republican electors. You have the power of discretion bestowed upon you by the United States constitution,” they say in a video released to drum up support for the movement. “You cannot be required to vote against your conscience. State laws and penalties requiring you to vote a certain way would be deemed unconstitutional when challenged in court.“
They quote the Wisconsin Law Review in an attempt to provide legal, if not moral, justification for electors to vote against the will of the people in their state:
“A state law that would thwart a federal elector’s discretion at an extraordinary time when it reasonably must be exercised would clearly violate Article II and the Twelfth Amendment.”
Alexander Hamilton wrote of the elector’s purpose in the Federalist papers: “The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of president will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.”
Hamilton Electors use this single paragraph to attempt to justify a few dozen electors overriding the will of tens of millions of Americans.
“On December 19th you will cast your vote for the President of the United States. Is Donald Trump in an eminant degree endowed with the requisite qualifications?
“If your answer is no, then your constitutional duties allow you to become a faithless elector and vote your conscience. Electors can opt for a qualified Republican.”
They then explain how their plan to deny Trump the presidency will work:
“If 37 Republican electors exercise this option, the election if the President would move to the House of Representatives in January 2017. In the House there are reportedly more than 40 Republicans who also do not believe Donald Trump is fit for office.
“It is feasible a Republican endowed with the requisite qualifications could be elected.”
Even if this last-ditch attempt at denying Trump the presidency fails, Hamilton Electors claim that faithless electors will have fulfilled their constitutional duties and succeeded in sending a “no confidence message” to the Trump administration.
“Your actions would be a loud rebuke to his racist, misogynistic, and xenophobic rhetoric. You would be sending a blunt message to all the emboldened hate groups of America that their reprehensible ideology will not be tolerated in a pluralistic America.”
But wait for it, because they saved the key line for last:
“You will be educating the public about our indirect democracy and the original purpose of the electoral college.”
There’s the rub.
Hamilton Electors are urging electors to remind the peasants that they live in an indirect democracy – essentially a state where the oligarchy can overrule the people’s democratic choice by claiming it is for our own good.
In other words, electors have the chance to “educate” the peasants about their real place in society. If you vote against the establishment, the establishment will disregard your vote and install their own President.
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