Like most of you who supported and voted for Hillary Clinton, I have spent almost a week fluctuating between despair and numbness. I don’t know much anymore. I used to believe in logic, in common sense and common decency. I used to believe that my country had really moved forward. I don’t know what to think about these elections. I am shaken to my core. These feelings that I’m experiencing, that I think many of us are feeling, go beyond the usual reaction to having lost. They reflect more closely to whom we have lost. It hurts that Hillary lost. But, that she lost to Donald Trump, is inconceivable.
However, lost she did. That much I do know. I also know that as much as I would love a Hillary Clinton presidency, I do not believe that the Electoral College should elect her on December 19th. First and foremost Clinton and Trump agreed to the current election rules. Granted, this is not so clear for Trump who said that should Hillary win he would keep us in suspense as to whether or not he would accept the results, and later said that he would accept them only if he won.
Side note: Today’s anti-Trump protestors could very well use this as an argument against Trump and his supporters. If Trump wasn’t ready to accept the election results, why should they, especially when Clinton has won the popular vote? The answer is because rules must be respected if we don’t want to fall into chaos and anarchy, because we must not do as they do no matter how tempting it is or how outraged we are, and because Hillary Clinton accepts the results. Furthermore, there is no doubt that if Trump had won the popular vote and Clinton the Electoral College, we would be demanding that the rules be followed. No matter how we feel about Trump, the truth is that more people voted for him than for Hillary in too many states. We must accept the results, even if we do so in disbelief, with frayed nerves and broken hearts.
Secondly, if the Electoral College reverses the election results, this could spark unprecedented civil unrest because, ok, I’ll just come out and say it. I believe that too many Trump supporters are filled with such anger and hate, and love their guns so much, that they wouldn’t hesitate to use them, especially with Trump and his surrogates very likely stoking the fire calling the system rigged and Hillary crooked.
But, even if this would not come to pass, the GOP would certainly mount an anti-Hillary offensive the likes we have never seen before, even after their 8 years of anti-Obama obstruction. You see, that obstruction was a cold-blooded, political strategy cooked up by Mitch McConnell and flawlessly executed by Republicans. To have the Electoral College take away the White House would have the GOP up in arms. Investigations, impeachment procedures, obstruction to the nth degree, they would do that and much more and they would defend their actions with real self-righteous anger, instead of the one they’ve been pretending to have for all of Obama’s presidency. Hillary would be a lame duck from day one.
Now, all that said, I do believe that we need to get rid of the Electoral College. Twice in 16 years, a worthy Democratic candidate has won the popular vote and lost the presidency. The first time to a bad President, this time to one that could turn out to be catastrophic. We must not allow this to happen ever again. The problem is that, although four years ago our future President denounced the Electoral College:
Republicans will not want to change the system considering that this has been the only way that they have been able to win the White House in two decades. More importantly, the U.S. Census forecasts that the U.S. will be a majority-minority country around the year 2044 (which is sooner than we realize). There is no way that the GOP will give minorities, that normally vote for Democrats, more power.
Remember the proverbial, “damned if you do and damned if you don’t”? We are living it. Perhaps, the
best least-damaging thing in the short-term is to accept and move forward, even as we are already being taken back. But, then again, I really don’t know.
Update: One month after writing this post, after hearing more details about Russia’s hacking and Trump’s ties to Russia, after seeing the nominees for Cabinet posts, I have changed my mind. The Electoral College should vote for Hillary Clinton. No doubt.