An Open Letter to Electors

Democrats

Dear 2016 Electors,

I know. When you took this job, you figured it was just a matter of doing what was right for your party. You’re a long-time Republican and you wanted to do something really cool to show your party how much you love it. I truly get that.

However, this election is different. Very different. While, in most elections, your job as an elector would be routine, this time you are fulfilling the Constitutional purpose for which your position was intended. The Founders didn’t trust direct democracy, so they created the Electoral College as a safety valve, to prevent malfeasance. The purpose of the electoral college was always to make sure that, if the electorate did something stupid, it could be rectified by good, sober Americans who care more about their country than anything else. The reason there is an electoral college is to prevent something like what is happening now. It is your turn to get out there and do the right thing. There are so many reasons.

For example, Donald Trump isn’t really a Republican. He isn’t really anything in particular, except a classic narcissist. You Republican electors are in that position because you love the Republican Party and what it stands for. If you vote for Donald Trump, you are actually not voting traditional Republican values. Trump’s campaign was aided and abetted by white supremacists and other haters. Is that what you stand for? As for more contemporary Republican values, Trump was pro-choice until this election. He has alternated between the Democratic and Republican Parties for decades, so it’s hard to make a case that he is at one with you, ideologically speaking. For all of his talk about immigration and job creation, he has a habit of hiring immigrants for jobs at his resorts, even when Americans are available for the jobs. In fact, a little over a week ago, it was reported that he planned to hire dozens of foreign workers at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, while local workers go wanting. (Source) Given that a keystone of his run for the presidency was to “return jobs to America,” how can you trust him to do anything else he has promised?

If you vote for Donald Trump because you’re “supposed to,” you will be electing the biggest liar in the history of American politics, as well as someone with extremely questionable ties to a foreign country, Russia. I know, you heard 20 years ago that Russia was now a democratic nation, but Vladimir Putin has repeatedly challenged that notion with some of his actions. Now, he’s interfered with the American presidential election, and who knows how many statewide elections. We can’t do a lot about the state elections, but you as a member of the electoral college can change the outcome. You have a unique opportunity and a solemn responsibility to tell the Russians and others who may have “fixed” the election that what they did was unacceptable. And lest you think it’s not really clear, consider that 17 intelligence agencies, who rarely agree on anything, agree that Russia had a hand in the election results and may have influenced it enough to push Trump over the top. (Source) Even many from your own party, including veterans like John McCain and Lindsey Graham, have agreed that it is something that needs to be investigated.

Of course, if you folks all vote for Donald Trump on Monday, that investigation will never happen. Trump, who again is a pathological liar, is refusing to entertain the possibility that his friends the Russians had anything to do with hacking the election. Instead, he blames it on Hillary Clinton. (Source) He’s even claimed that no concernsabout Russia were ever discussed before the election, even though it was discussed for several minutes by he and Secretary Clinton in the third debate. I’m sure you remember his statement, “Puppet. No puppet. You puppet.” (Source) In other words, Hillary Clinton was afraid that he would be a Putin puppet as president and he denied it. Yet, look at his appointments for Cabinet positions. To replace the venerable John Kerry at the State Department, he chose a man who has zero diplomatic experience and who has worked closely with Putin for many years. Of course, in addition to happiness with the appointment of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, Russia has also expressed glee in many other Trump choices, as well as Trump’s advocacy for “warmer” relations with Putin’s dictatorship. (Source) Given Putin’s tendency to royally screw any country that doesn’t do his bidding, is this really a good position for the United States over the near or long term? It sure doesn’t seem like it.

Donald Trump is the most corrupt man in history to even win the Republican nomination. He has never had to tell us anything about himself. He’s never released tax returns of any kind. He has never submitted a detailed financial report and stories about of his thousands of conflicts of interest. He isn’t even president yet and his conflicts have already had a negative effect on the country. (Source) It is almost a foregone conclusion that Trump will be impeached at some point because it will be nearly impossible for him to avoid the appearance of corruption. Do you want another successful impeachment/removal on the Republican record? You can avoid that. Vote for Clinton.

And there are so many questions about the election itself, it’s time to question your responsibility to do the right thing for the country. I understand that many of you do not like Hillary Clinton, but there is nothing in her background that looks even a little bit like Trump’s record. How do you feel about a Republican nominee who had to settle a fraud lawsuit just after the election? (Source) You are faced with a decision. Do you vote for a man who has never done anything selfless in his life and who only seems to say what you want to hear because it will get him what he wants? Or do you vote for a women with whom you disagree, but who has always worked selflessly for others?

And let’s be clear; Trump wanted to win; he did not want to be president. He’s planning on only living and working in the White House part time, which doesn’t work in our complicated society of 320 million. He is already refusing to engage in daily intelligence briefings. He says it’s because they’re too repetitive, (source) but it’s probably because he has a phenomenally short attention span. (Source) We really can’t afford someone who doesn’t pay attention to intelligence. The last time a president ignored intelligence briefings, 19 men wth Saudi passports and affiliated with Osama Bin Laden flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Virginia and a field in Pennsylvania. Remember that one? The president that time ignored a daily briefing that said “Bin Laden Determined to Attack the United States.” (Source) Can we take that risk again, with a “president” who openly rejects such intelligence briefings because he thinks he’s “too smart”?

Thankfully, electors, you can prevent something tragic from happening, or at least know that the person in the White House cares about stopping it. Only one candidate in this year’s election is qualified to be president of the United States. That candidate won the popular vote by nearly 3 million, and her loss in at least a half dozen states was so close as to necessitate a recount. Even if you are not a fan of Hillary Clinton, you know she would never purposely do harm to the United States and there is nothing “indifferent” about the woman. On the other hand, Trump knows far less than any member of your party, possibly in history. You should rightfully be embarrassed that he won the nomination of your party; I know I would. I’m a lifelong Democrat, but if someone that awful won the Democratic nomination, I could never vote for them. It’s happened in several races in the past, and I voted for the Republican in that case. In fact, my first mentor in politics, when I was a teenager, was a Republican. Your party has a grand tradition. But if you allow Trump to become president, there is no way your party will ever be able to preserve even a veneer of credibility. We all know that large parts of your party have become crazy, and we all know that it’s just a matter of tie before it swings back to respectability. But that will never happen if you allow Trump to occupy the White House, even part time. It will be a disaster, and we all know it.

Do this for your country. Vote for Hillary Clinton and prepare to replace her in 2020. Your country needs you to do the right thing.

Your Fellow American,

Milt

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