by Susan Millar DuMars
I’m about to speak harshly to four and a half million of my fellow Americans.
Change.org, who should know better, are circulating a petition to implore the Electoral College to reverse the election results by following the popular vote and electing Hillary Clinton president. This would be an unprecedented move by the Electoral College, members of which are expected to vote for whoever won the state they represent. Four and a half million of you have signed this petition. This is deeply irresponsible behavior.
Within the country, a reversal of the election results will lead to riots. Riots that will make the last wave of riots look like the Teddy Bear’s Picnic. Months of them. Your little point-and-click will lead to people getting hurt. Businesses damaged. Children scared. It may not happen near you; but it will happen, and it will be your fault.
The rift within the country will deepen, perhaps to an unbridgeable gap.
A president elected in such a way will not be able to govern. Even if Clinton had won in November, she was going to face gridlock in Washington due to recalcitrant Republicans. What will she face if she attains office because the rules got changed after the game was played?
Do you really want our first woman president to enter the White House through a back door you are hurriedly constructing?
Internationally, this would be read as a coup. Anti-democratic bodies to the left and right will use it as a recruitment tool. Clinton would not enjoy the automatic legitimacy American presidents have up till now. America’s stature would be damaged (FYI, our stature has already been damaged by the election itself). The export of which we are proudest – an orderly Democratic transfer of power – finished. If this petition is successful it will do harm to an already destabilized world.
What angers me most is that I’ll bet many of you who have signed are the same people who ignored the polarization of voters, post-banking-crisis, that has occurred in Austria, Ireland, France, Great Britain, Greece and Italy. You actually believed that a centrist, Establishment-as-all-hell candidate with clear ties to the banking sector was a shoe-in, in 2016, despite abundant evidence to the contrary. When it became known that the DNC had cheated on Clinton’s behalf, you were angry – at the Russians, at Trump, at Sanders supporters for having the bad taste to mention it. Anyone but the DNC itself. You have already proven that you don’t mind a little cheating as long as you get the result you want. I will not be the only person who will remember this.
If you believe the Electoral College should be scrapped, by all means work towards that. In time for the next election. In the meantime, you are going to have to try to join the rest of us out here in the real world. There are ways you can help your fellow countrymen and women at this time. There are ways you can help the world. There are ways you can resist Trump. Building a time machine is not one of those ways.
We aren’t going to solve this with a point and a click.