Conflicted Elector in a Corrupt College

Though I personally consider voting a civic duty granting assent to a hiring choice, not an exercise of religious beliefs, it was fascinating to read about the philosophical difficulties this elector is wrestling with in deciding whether or not he can in good conscience perform his duty.

The Blessed Path

When running for the Presidential Elector Nominee some six months ago, I had no idea the conflict that would ensue both from without and within. To say that it has been an “educating experience” would be an understatement. I embarked on this journey with a basic understanding of the difference between a republic and a pure democracy. I knew the Constitutional Fathers[1]  set up our government as the former and not the latter[2]. They had wisdom we lack. In my speech before the convention, I mentioned that nothing exemplified the difference between these two forms of the government more than the Electoral College. I admit, at the time, I was ignorant how deeply that held true.

Republic vs Democracy

The essence of a republic is that the authority rests in elected representatives, not in the people directly.  Noah Webster defined a republic as,

“A commonwealth; a state…

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14 responses to “Conflicted Elector in a Corrupt College

  1. Well, needless to say, I completely disagree with his reasoning. He signed a pledge, he made a commitment….and yet he didn’t understand what was likely to happen? So what now makes him qualified to go against the will of the people, as if he knows what’s best for the rest of us? Six months ago,he didn’t even know what was best for his own self.

    • He is right about the significance of the Electoral College. While Jefferson almost defines a Republic as a democracy, the writers understand anything not a monarchy to be a “republic.” We have a constitutional democracy, so that minority rights are protected from the democratic majority, and a representative rather than a direct democracy. We act indirectly, through our elected representatives, and only rarely enter into “direct action.” The constitution limits the temporary and transitory will of the people by posting in writing the more permanent or enduring will of “We the people…” If the people vote to make a certain speech, religion, etc illegal, that is too bad. They have to change the constitution to do so (as with prohibition), and for this supermajorities are required, because it is a matter of the more permanent rather than the transitory will of the people. Madison spells out the difference between a Republic and a Democracy in Federalist 10 and 51. The electors as real electors may be a relic from prior to the popular election of the president, but it would be fitting if this relic were awakened and dusted off to prevent 2017 from being the death date of American liberty.

      We participate in the Union by states, and the union is explicitly given only certain enumerated powers (and the powers implied by these). Hence, here again, it does not matter, for example, if the federal government gives itself the power to prohibit weed, it has no such power, unless interstate commerce is truly involved.

  2. Thank you Mikey! Needed this article to realize it, but this is the key, “There is no indication that Electors were ever to be directed by the population at large on how to vote.”

  3. If, between the election and the certification by the electoral college, the presumptive president elect should turn out to be an axe murderer, the Electoral College is there to save the nation from tyranny. “Faithless” electors are part of the election process.

    We encourage the electors to consider the fact, intent and capacity of Russian interference with the voters, Mr. Bright Bart and voter suppression, the fact that Facebook said they could fix an election by suppressing the vote in a few counties, the fact of blatantly false news, the repercussions for foreign policy (World War III vs.. Islam, Russia in Europe, the addition to the 400,000 Syrians killed by Assad and Russia, and the danger of the Russian direction of U. S. nuclear weapons, as well as the fact that this man simply does not know what he is doing or talking about, and for domestic policy- the entrance of Putin style fascists and those who provide a platform for the treasonous “ethno-state,” the temporary alliance with the Jews and Israel against the Muslims, the unavoidable attack on blacks, Mexicans and Muslims and the civil war that may result to Putin’s delight- and stand up to be a “faithless” elector.

    The Trumpster did not know the election was not over yet, revealed himself a bit too much in choosing his Chief of Staff, then quickly backtracked when someone explained to him the little nuance of the constitution. There is no obligation to the winner of the election, as he has not won yet. Right, 80,000 people in Michigan just forgot to vote for president, or went all the way to the polls and had no preference. Where is that ink removing laserpen of mine…

    • You seem to be forgetting the millions of people who enthusiastically voted for trump. Even if it were possible to over throw the election, you would likely instigate civil war and cause a great deal of blood shed.

      • It is first difficult to tell the difference between 46 and 51 % by looking out ones window. Second, had the Republican party not made Trump a partisan issue and given him their platform to clothe the alt-right racism of the money and power seeking Donald, it would not have been close, third the KKK has a lot of enthusiastic supporters, 4 Russian hacking is admitted to have occurred on all sides in the DNC e-mails, Fourth, Mr. Bright Bart admits internet voter suppression and was handsomely rewarded, fifth, the Russian interest in destroying America through foreign and civil war is obvious, sixth the spy-marketing system we all swallowed allows for this and for his mysterious rise in the primaries, seventh he seemed overconfident and did not spend much money, which is strange for the power- through- money-Republicans. The intent and ability usually leads to actions for tyrants. And have you studied tyranny as well as Biology? First they will say they are not allied with the KKK, then that they a right to their view, then that the kkk is ok, then that is only biology, since survival and reproduction as the assumed ends of man justify rape, murder and a Machiavellian world where thee is no justice. A million plus lives will be lost just on the argument that all Islamist are Islamofascists. But what you say is supported by Andrew McCarthy and the 3.5 million readers of Imprimis who, like ISIS, say that we ae the “Infidels” referred to by Mohammed, rather than fellow believers in the God of Abraham and the last day. The Trumpsters are the instigators of violence, and the Electoral College is part of election law. Emmett Till is not the instigator of violence, but we already had a civil war to put a stop to that. So, on the basis of biology, why is murder wrong? Give me a serious theoretical account, because we believe murder is wrong, while Trump may believe murder is ok as long as it is profitable. Civil wa, though, will occu if the police do what they did in St. Paul, or in St. Lous, where beneath his uniform he wore a confederate flag while shooting an unarmed black man dressed in red, and for no reason. They have explicitly stated the intention to spark race war..

      • And are you forgetting that 40% of Germans voted for Hitler? That is how he got his start, and he looked good to many for many of the same reasons, for about three years, in part because no one had ever seen Nazism before. We need not like the weak Wiemar Republic in order to reject Hitler, nor need we like Hillary to reject Trump. There is simply no comparison, and we are surprised this was not more obvious to Christians. Sorry to write so many words (almost!). Grace and Peace to you, and calm consideration-MM.

  4. On his website, the elector says he resigned because the Trumpster is not good for America. Stay and Vote! Do we need to start a petition?

  5. GOSH! For someone who so thoroughly understands the intent, and even more significantly, the validating reasons for that intent – the Founding Fathers, I believe being more concerned with doing the right thing if their intent was misguided – his choice is absurd.

    “The independence of the Electors is even more crucial. For the system to work, Electors must know how to choose—not be told who to choose.”

    Likewise, would a righteous GD really endorse a choice that absconded from responsibility for an original error by withdrawing, or would a righteous GD prefer an attempt, despite the commission of another sin, to right the wrong created by the first sin.

    The author clearly understands the implications of an irresponsible swearing:

    “if a person swears, speaking thoughtlessly with his lips to do evil or good, whatever it is that a man may pronounce by an oath, and he is unaware of it- when he realizes it, then he shall be guilty in any of these matters. And it shall be, when he is guilty in any of these matters, that he shall confess that he has sinned in that thing.”

    Biblical justifications notwithstanding, my conviction is that GD wants me, and everyone, to always do the best they can according to their conscience, that is to do the best we can ALWAYS! That’s what the blessing of free-will is to me.

    This person has chosen to avoid the responsibility for his mistake by running away from it – justifying his choice biblically – rather than doing full penance for his error by doing whatever necessary to repair the consequences of his error. That is to own being a “Faithless Elector,” I.e., a responsible person. I believe, that GD’s judgment for trying to make things better, would “a blessing for trying to make things better!”

    From my son who also addressed this:

    “How I wish he had a true analogue to Kol Nidrei.  Then, Sisneros could own what his conscience tells him to do, and accept his mistake before Gd, honestly, for Gd to do with as Gd’s judgement and mercy dictates.”

  6. Following up, inspired by my son’s comment:

    For me true faith would be to not prejudge what GD’s response would be, even in light of scripture, but to trust that GD would judge me for doing, in my best faith, the very best I could do to do good.

  7. Interesting post. Thanks for connecting me to it.

  8. “Well, needless to say, I completely disagree with his reasoning. He signed a pledge, he made a commitment….and yet he didn’t understand what was likely to happen? So what now makes him qualified to go against the will of the people, as if he knows what’s best for the rest of us? Six months ago,he didn’t even know what was best for his own self.”

    Well, after reading The Federalist #68 and looking it over several times to refer to it carefully and accurately in comments and blogs of my own, I now realize that the crucial question at the heart of the quotation above says it all!

    “So what now makes him qualified to go against the will of the people, as if he knows what’s best for the rest of us?”

    It’s his job and responsibility as an elector to do exactly that!!!

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