The talk of asking the Electoral College to overturn the Trump win emerged like a giant firework of hope last week and lived for about as long as a real firework would. First, I don’t think it will happen. Those of us who fear a Trump presidency are legion and imagine your inbox flooded with thousands of requests to change your mind. Each individual is likely well meaning and kind, but in aggregate, it has to feel like the worst kind of bullying… more likely to dig in heels than change minds. That effort would have been better organized by one person asking for a meeting with one Elector, and then showing up with a binder full of letters or e-mails. The ship has sailed.
My guiding value is built around suffering: I don’t want to be a part of it. I don’t eat factory-farm raised meat because I don’t want to participate in a process that creates suffering, human or otherwise. Yes, I know, the creatures in question still die. But there are worse things than death.
So from the perspective of preventing suffering, I absolutely believe that the Electors should overturn the election results.
But the Machiavellian in me is certain that this must play out. It is unspeakably awful that it plays out in the form of hate crimes and children’s fear of their classmates and teachers (and if you think that is overblown, start here with the disclaimer that I am not particularly fond of the SLPC identifying Muslim critics of Islam as hatemongers). I am not afraid of authority and I won’t be silent where I can help someone on the receiving end of hatred.
But it has to play out.
Those who voted for Trump because they liked his racist dog-whistling need the light of day pointed in their direction. They need to know that, if government won’t stand up for universal human rights, the population will.
Fox news needs to live with the monster it created.
The GOP needs time to fail because it’s 20-year record of Gingrich-mentored tantrum throwing hasn’t prepared it to lead or succeed.
The Democrats need to be kicked in the teeth.
Facebook needs to decide whether it wants to be part of a long term, stable civic environment and act to deal with fake news and echo chambers appropriately.
The whole damn populace needs to wake up to the dangers of what we’ve allowed corporate media to do to us and our ability to reason for ourselves.
And the elite–not the college educated liberal arts majors who just want everyone to be happy and equal, but the people with trust funds and hedge funds and off-shore tax havens–need to be put on notice that Trump is the mis-direction, but the riot he represents is real.