Like many of you, I celebrated Biden’s win. Blasting Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah from my balcony expressed my emotions in that moment. It was my way of taking back the song from Trump, who played Hallelujah at the RNC convention in August 2020, against the wishes of Cohen’s estate.
Always grabbing what they want, regardless of the consequences to others is emblematic of everything wrong with Trump and his GOP enablers.
Democracy Under Attack
Sadly, we’ve seen Trump’s attempts to subvert the will of the American people in broad daylight. Trump’s legal team counted on loyal Republicans in battleground states to either stop certifying the election results or to install electors loyal to Trump. In a blatantly racist move, GOP canvassers wanted to throw out votes from Detroit, an overwhelmingly black area, thereby delaying the certification process.
“This is an attempt to disenfranchise the African American vote and to give the election to Donald Trump…One of the canvassers indicated that perhaps we should just count all the votes in the other areas and not certify the votes that comes from Detroit.“
“This is a strategy that we see around the country: Philadelphia, Atlanta, Detroit. All of these areas are major urban centers of Black folk. The suburban communities around Detroit, in some cases they had issues much greater than Detroit. They did not say we should not certify them. They said, “Let’s not certify Detroit.” That’s tantamount to “Let’s not certify the Black vote.” – Rev. Wendell Anthony, pastor and head of the Detroit branch of the NAACP
Summoning Republican Michigan lawmakers to the White House was another attempt to pressure state legislators to overturn the election results.
Fortunately for democracy, Trump was unsuccessful this time.
However, as Chris Hayes points out in the video below, Trump’s silent GOP enablers are complicit in a coup attempt. Their silence speaks volumes and lends legitimacy to Trump’s fraudulent claims. “So, Republican politicians — Josh Hawley, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz — are you okay with holding an American election, and then just ignoring and overturning the results?” asks Chris Hayes.
Author and columnist, Will Bunch puts it best when he wrote:
“The president, the Republican Party, and some of its key elected officials crossed a line when they went from frivolous courtroom challenges and insistent recount demands — annoying and antidemocratic, but legal — to demanding that election canvassers and state legislatures ignore legal vote counts, untainted by any evidence of fraud, and simply award unearned electors to Trump.
What Team Trump and the Republican National Committee are demanding is not a joke. It’s a crime. And there ought to be consequences — for Trump and his enablers, and to ensure this never happens again.”
The electors will vote on Dec 14 and until the electoral college has voted, America’s future hangs in the balance. While unlikely, there is still a chance that faithless electors could vote for Trump and change the election.
In 2016 for instance, 10 electors from six states cast their vote for someone other than the candidate who won the popular vote in their state. The electors’ actions in 2016 had no effect on the outcome. However, the fact that your vote could be nullified by rogue electors is unnerving.
What You Can Do To Protect Our Democracy.
The Electoral College system is antidemocratic and allows for the possibility of coups.
“State winner-take-all laws have enabled five of our 45 Presidents to come into office without winning the most popular votes nationwide. The 2000 and 2016 elections are the most recent examples of elections in which a second-place candidate won the White House.” – National Popular Vote website
Due to the 48 state winner-take-all laws, presidential candidates have no reason to campaign in all 50 states. In 2016 two-thirds of campaign events (273 of 399) were in just 6 states (OH, FL, VA, NC, PA, MI).
Safe blue states such as NY and California are completely ignored, since presidential candidates have no reason to campaign in states where the outcome is a foregone conclusion.
Personally, I think it would be best to abolish the Electoral College. But, that would require repealing the 12th Amendment, which is difficult. Consequently, it may be easier to get states to sign on to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact[NPV], a multi-state agreement ensuring the candidate who wins the popular vote wins the election.
Under the NPV system, each state awards its electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote rather than to the winner of the popular vote in that state.
Because NPV gives every vote equal weight, campaigns are motivated to engage with voters in every state.
So far, the agreement has been enacted into law by 16 states and DC with 196 electoral votes. It needs an additional 74 electoral votes to go into effect.
Below are a few tips on how you can support the movement.
If you live in a state where the National Popular Vote bill has not been enacted yet, please contact your legislators asking them to support the legislation. You can contact them here: https://www.nationalpopularvote.com/write
You may want to write a letter-to-the-editor to various newspapers in your state. Here is a link to the various publications in each state: https://www.nationalpopularvote.com/send-letter-editor-newspapers-your-state