After the unexpected outcome of this election, I’ve been deeply moved by all the efforts already underway to resist something we know in our hearts is wrong.
While these efforts are admirable, they might also be premature. With the Electoral College vote just one week away, we may have a chance to stop this train wreck before the train even leaves the station. In fact, there are still (at least) five things we can do to help put an end to what is perhaps the greatest scam in American history: installing a demagogue, narcissist and con man into our highest office.
Larry Lessig — a constitutional law scholar, Harvard (and former Stanford) law professor and steadfast activist for copyleft, net neutrality and campaign finance reform — has teamed up with the law firm Durie Tangri, LLP to provide free legal counsel to any elector willing to vote with his or her conscience (potentially in violation of state law). Electors’ information will be kept strictly confidential, with The Trust revealing only how many electors plan to vote against Trump, but not which ones.
We can help by donating money or telling people about this service. More importantly, we need to tell the electors themselves. So how are we supposed to reach the electors?
A dedicated bunch of volunteers created this simple tool to help us craft a respectful-yet-firm email and send it to all the electors with known email addresses. One elector’s auto-responder said that he had already received 75,000 emails as of Friday of last week. Let’s slap another zero on there by emailing them and asking everyone we know to do the same. Bonus points for including a link to electorstrust.org in the emails.
Email is quick and easy to send. But it’s also quick and easy to delete. This site contains templates and instructions for printing physical letters and mailing labels for 273 electors. This is at least a two-hour effort requiring manual labor, ink, paper, envelopes and $128.31 of postage. We should do it anyway because it seems like a small price to pay for a shot at saving this country from the orange plutocrat who right now is busy filling his cabinet with warmongers, neo-Nazis and climate change deniers.
From my reading of Federalist 68 — while Alexander Hamilton mentioned the possibility of demagogues, agents of foreign states or otherwise corrupted individuals assuming this office — he didn’t seem terribly concerned that something like this would ever happen. Even still, in his vision of the Electoral College, he describes a check-and-balance whereby the citizens entrusted with the election of the President could follow their consciences and vote against the will of their districts. This has never happened in the history of this country. But our country has never faced a threat quite like this.
We can support the effort by donating, signing up to volunteer or signing up to attend one of the candlelight vigils on December 19th, when the Electoral College votes for our next president.
5. Sign a Petition (or 1,854 of them)
Change.org has an entire “movement” page devoted to resisting The Donald. Sign one or more. It can’t hurt.
We know how depressing the election results have been for those who have relied on Obamacare, Roe v. Wade, marriage equality; those who believe in a global economy, diplomacy, environmental responsibility; those who value a free press and freedom of religion, and so on. All I can say is: let’s keep our heads up. Let’s not lose hope. If we don’t succeed, it’s still going to take a mammoth effort to undo the progress we’ve made over the past fifty years.
That being said, we need to keep our heads down, too. Let’s follow what we know is right in our hearts and resist every bullshit reactionary change they try to make. Read, write, share. Repeat. Send those emails; send those letters. Like our vote, actions like these may seem insignificant, but taken in aggregate, they can shake this country to her core.
And right now there’s a whole lotta shakin’ going on.