Staff Editorial: Electors should place the good of the nation over the will of their states

On Nov. 8, Donald Trump shocked Americans and people worldwide when he won the presidential election. Despite his victory in electoral votes, President-Elect Trump lost the overall popular vote to Hillary Clinton. According to the Los Angeles Times, Clinton won at least 2.8 million more votes than Trump and, because of this, and the fact that a Trump presidency would be detrimental to the United States, members of the Electoral College should cast their votes for Clinton, the candidate whom the majority of American voters favored for president, on Dec. 19.

There are several reasons why the electors should take this bold and unprecedented move. First, electors have the freedom to vote against their state’s majority and their own party’s candidate. It is distinctly stated in the National Archives and Records Administration that “no Constitutional provision or Federal law […] requires Electors to vote according to the results of the popular vote in their states.”

The elector’s job is to vote for the person that his or her states chooses, however, it is also the elector’s responsibility to make sure that the candidate is fit for the job. Trump has proven, time and time again, that he not qualified to hold the position of president.

Throughout the campaign, Trump ridiculed and made threats against various groups of people, from the disabled and immigrants to military veterans and women. Trump did not denounce white supremicist groups that praised him and supported his campaign, nor did he denounce the numerous violent acts that occurred during and around his rallies. Through Trump’s campaign, statements of racism, misogyny and xenophobia seemed to become acceptable.

Worse, according to CNN, “867 cases of hateful harassment or intimidation in the United States [occurred] in the 10 days after the November 8 election [and] hate crimes spiked 6%.”

Just as frightening is the fact that while campaigning for president, Trump carelessly stated, “if we have [nuclear weapons], why can’t we use them?” in an interview with MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, clearly indicating that he does not understand the enormous potential for world destruction that these weapons wield. As president, he will be in sole command of a portion of the United States’ nuclear arsenal and will have the unilateral power to issue orders to strike at his whim. Based on the compulsive and sometimes angry tweeting that Trump has engaged in over the past year, his ability to calmly assess the need for a nuclear air strike seems doubtful at best.

Donald Trump is not fit to hold the office of president of the United States, and the Electoral College has the responsibility to “vote their consciences” to prevent him from endangering Americans.

Citizens are taking action to push this cause as well. A petition on Change.org, made to urge the Electoral College to elect Clinton as president, had gathered 4,838,263 signatures as of Dec. 12. This, in addition to the discrepancy in the popular vote and the many protests that have occurred across the country, should convince Republican electors to heed the wishes of the majority of Americans and vote faithlessly against their party to elect the president that America wants.

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