I was thinking about this and I want to issue a slight correction to what I wrote in my last post:
On those Electoral College hopes: Again, I understand. Nobody in your circles wanted Trump to be president. You’re seeing some bad things spreading like wildfire all across social media, and you’re panicking. The nightmare might be coming true. Trying to convince electoral college voters to change their votes before it’s too late sounds like a great plan. But it’s illegal. It’s unethical. It’s sinister. And I’m sorry to say this, but it’s UN-AMERICAN.
After I woke up this morning, way too early, it suddenly popped into my head that what I’d written was incorrect. (These days I like to be obsessively precise in my Internet writings.) It’s okay to call or write or email the electors and ask them politely to change their votes. It’s desperate and I believe it’s an unhealthy way of thinking, but it’s not “illegal,” “unethical,” “sinister,” or “un-American.” Deepest apologies to anyone who might have read that. (Ha! I know nobody read that.)
I do believe it’s illegal, unethical, sinister, and UN-AMERICAN for the electors themselves to change their votes. So it is now incumbent upon those electors to stand up to the pressure they are facing, explain why they cannot change their votes, and proceed with their civic duty. I don’t envy them right now.
I do believe it’s irresponsible and a little bit subversive for someone to try to start a movement of people to call state electors. It’s not illegal, and I don’t believe it should be, but that someone or someones is an Internet influencer trying to influence American democracy, which is the very thing I’m now afraid of (see my remarks here). Those subversives are capitalizing on fear and the echo chamber effect to gather an army of social media pawns to do their bidding, and that’s wrong. (I actually don’t know who started it, but I’m sure whoever it was had a lot of followers.)
But I don’t blame the pawns making the phone calls. I might urge them, however, to try not to be a pawn in life. Maybe aspire to be a knight or a rook.
Incidentally, I do happen to follow one of the Virginia electors on Twitter who will be casting a vote on December 19th. I might follow others too but she’s the only one I know about. I don’t know her personally, but I’ve watched her political work in Virginia over the years and I highly respect it. I know her as a person of utmost integrity when it comes to these things. I am confident that she views her civic duty as sacred. If she is a representative sample of electors around the country (and I think she might be), they are not going to change their votes. If you put a gun to their head on the 19th and told them to change their vote, I imagine they would take their duty so seriously that they would choose death as the best option for the republic, and in this case, they would be right, and I would view them as national heroes and honor their sacrifice however I could.
(Don’t get excited, I’m not going to reveal who it is. Maybe it’s already public knowledge, I don’t know. Anyway Virginia electors are voting for Clinton anyway. I’ve found it amusing to see lists of phone numbers including Virginia when there’s no need to call Virginia. That, to me, is a measure of how panicked people are.)