Electoral College

So, I’ve been a little quiet here lately. I had been overwhelmed by this toxic election cycle, and in the end, I did cast a vote for Hillary… not that it mattered much, since California always goes blue. I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter retweeting messages better phrased than mine, considering all the voices that are shouting right now. I am terrified of where this country can go under the leadership of Trump. A man who is surrounding himself with assholes who are racist, sexist, and generally hateful individuals with no respect for anyone but people like themselves: rich white cis het men.

People talk about wanting to get out of here, hell, I’d heard that the Canadian emigration page was crashed on election night as more and more of the middle states went solidly red. I don’t even know if that story is true, but it doesn’t really matter in the end… anyone who thinks they can just leave the country and escape this hasn’t been paying attention to the world lately. That’s easy to do, with how much the US media has been failing us, but that could easily be a whole post of its own and I’m not ready to rant on that. I came here to share.

Someone has built a website called #AskTheElectors, where they’ve collected as much contact information as they could about how to contact the actual people who are going to cast their votes in the electoral college come December 19th, specifically the ones who do not have any sort of legal binding to vote the way their state elections went. Because our schools fail so badly, a lot of people don’t fully understand how our election process works and don’t understand why the electoral college exists, nor do they realize that they’re not actually voting directly for a presidential candidate, but instead a person who has pledged they’ll vote for your candidate of choice. The constitution outlines this electoral college process, but it leaves it up to the states to handle how to allocate their electors. It’s also left up to the states what, if any, penalties an elector will suffer if they vote differently than they pledged, and as mentioned above, some of them will suffer no legal penalties at all (I don’t say they won’t suffer no penalties, because these days the electors are selected by a party often to reward loyalty and service, and turning against the expressed will of the party will have consequences).

While I am not holding my breath that this effort will work, as I fully expect loyalty to their party will continue to do what has happened since this election cycle made it clear that Trump had enough of the population behind him to become the Republican nominee, I took the time to use the information on #AskTheElectors to compose an email of my own to make my plea for them to change their votes. Knowing that the chances were slim that the email would even be read, especially since it was likely to become a tide of people participating in this long reach, I’ve decided to share it here too, though I will leave out my personal information.

Dear Elector,

My name is Amy [=====], from [=====], CA.

Since the results of the election back on the 8th became apparent, I have become more and more afraid of where this country is headed. Watching the hateful actions that are the result of racists feeling legitimized by Trumps win strikes fear into my heart, and the whole world holds their breath as they watch where we go from here. Countries that have long been known to show no regard for the rights and safety of their citizens are cheering for Trump’s win, Russia’s even admitted to making efforts to sway the election results.

Donald Trump has spent his whole campaign telling the American people that he’s a racist sexist man who has nothing but his own self interest at heart. He has spread one bald face lie after another, supporting and encouraging hatred and fear wherever he goes, and showing that he has nothing but disrespect for what our country stands for. On top of his personal conduct being appalling, his choice to surround himself with racists, homophobes, and sexists reflects poorly upon our country.

The popular vote has far and away shown that the American people who did vote wanted Clinton to be our next president. On top of that, this was the first election in 50 years that did not benefit from the full protection of the Voting Rights Act. There were many states that either reduced early voting or enacted strict voter ID laws. Both have been shown to disproportionately affect those who are low income and of a minority background, both groups that have been statistically shown to vote largely Democrat.

Part of the role you play as an elector in the electoral college is to represent the best interest of the people. Even though the average person thinks they’re voting directly for a presidential candidate, they are actually voting for you to represent them. In a normal election year, where the popular vote and the electoral vote agree with each other, it’s a pretty easy process… but when the popular vote and the electoral vote disagree, you owe it to the people you represent to take the time to really consider why that is. Sometimes it’s just because it was a close election, but the conduct of the two candidates this election year, as well as their history and actions, are like night and day and show that this isn’t just a close race.

It is your duty to look beyond party loyalty, and ask yourself: Which candidate is best prepared for the job? Which candidate will put America’s best face forward? Trump claims to want to ‘Make America Great Again’, but what makes America great is the diversity that he is clearly against, what makes America great is that we learn and grow as the world changes, but Trump wants to take us back to the past that we’ve outgrown.

Please, change your vote to support Hillary Clinton. Help us more forward instead of back.

Thank you for your time and consideration, I appreciate and respect the role you serve in our electoral process.

Sincerely,
Amy [=====]

     “Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.”
     -George Bernard Shaw

Even as I reread it before publishing, I find things I could have adjusted, punctuation and grammar I might have handled better… but I knew if I did what I normally do in writing, I never would have sent the email. So what I am publishing here is exactly what I sent out.

Be respectful in the comments (not that I expect any, as I’ve not received any here before) and be aware that I have no qualms about using the ban hammer. While I feel strongly that the first amendment is a very important right, and feel that part of what got us to this point is the popular trend to hide from political conversation, I will not suffer hate speech and I will not tolerate or feed trolls spreading straw men and fallacy.