Gather ye hope from the "Faithless Electors!" Though there has long been a case for eliminating the disproportional power of Electoral College, their power could still pivot the 2016 election, indeed, exactly as the framers intended should the populace elect an unfit candidate.
A new Change.org petition urges the 538 electors to invoke their right to break loyalty with their states and vote according to personal conscience. The petition gathered over 2,000,000 signatures at a rate of 30,000 per minute by the end of its first day and now approaches 4,000,000 signatures.
Throughout American history, 157 electors have invoked this right, (71 because the candidate died; but 86 for personal conscience.) Although a long-shot, a break by as little as 10 electors voting according to their party pledge could yet salvage what seems an untenable situation. If as many as 42 faithless electors emerged for Mrs. Clinton, the process would be further shortened. It could be messy, as state laws have their own rules surrounding faithless electors. Some could face fines of $1,000. Nonetheless, the opportunity for faithless electors to vote their conscience offers a crucial crack through which shines hope for millions of Americans.
Although the Electoral College is largely seen as an antiquated constitutional construct, the framers designed it specifically to balance the will of the people with the critical need for an intellectually and morally fit president. The New York Times notes: "[I]n an era that predated mass media and even political parties, they were concerned that average Americans would lack enough information about the candidates to make intelligent choices. So informed 'electors' would stand in for them."
Never has there been a greater imbalance. Never has the Electoral College been called upon to use their superpowers as they are now. Shamelessly manipulated by political propaganda and decaying media integrity (fringe, mass, and social), cognitive dissonance is at an all-time high, and Americans now face a cataclysmic future should the situation be solidified by the Electoral College.
By virtue of her exceptional qualifications, Hillary Clinton holds the popular vote of the people by a 337,636 lead at the writing of this article. Allegations of wrongdoing have been debunked through years of investigation and tens of millions of dollars have only resulted in exoneration after exoneration. Facts seem to have no place among the conspiracy theories. In stark contrast, video evidence of shameful behavior, intellectual deficiencies, countless unresolved lawsuits, multiple business bankruptcies, child-rape allegations and threats, murky international financial ties, and a host of concerns demonstrate that Trump's intellectual and moral bankruptcies threaten America with a woefully unfit administration.
Americans wanted change. Left only with a choice between change that drives our Constitution off the proverbial cliff or a perceived status quo, they chose the cliff. The problem is that hitting the "rock bottom" of the cliff would effectively splat the healthiest values of an already ailing America. The framers intended the Electoral College to serve as a safety net to such a cliff.
Although at first depicted as a futile Hail Mary, the Change.org petition and letter asking the electors to vote their conscience now offers fragile hope for millions of Americans who, for four full days, have hit their knees in a prayer for deliverance from the catastrophic November 8th election of Donald Trump.
Hail Mary passes have been known to work. As a constitutionally legal procedure, both parties would be obligated to honor the outcome, just as the 2000 Supreme Court Bush v. Gore decision was honored. In an already ailing America, a close call would become a wake-up call of epic proportions perhaps sufficient to rattle the status quo.
It's a long shot, but America may yet snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, a timeworn phrase which suddenly brightens the hopeful heart for American dignity.
Please, add your name to the petition: Electoral College: Make Hillary Clinton President on December 19, and SHARE with all your might! Your comments and insights to this article are welcome.