An il­le­git­i­mate ef­fort to un­der­mine Trump’s win

Ef­forts afoot to un­der­mine the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump as the 45th pres­i­dent are not only fu­tile, they are harmful to the demo­cratic process and le­git­i­mate op­po­si­tion to a Pres­i­dent Trump that might need to rise up later.

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - OPINION -

We share in the skep­ti­cism that Trump will serve the U.S. well in the next four years, but he won and now he gets the chance to prove us and other doubters wrong.

Micheal Baca, a Den­ver Demo­crat who is a vot­ing mem­ber of Colorado’s Elec­toral Col­lege del­e­ga­tion, is push­ing for other del­e­gates to not sup­port Trump, de­spite be­ing bound to him by the elec­tion re­sults in their home states, and to in­stead sup­port some­one, any­one, else. (Hil­lary Clin­ton gets to claim Colorado’s nine Elec­toral Col­lege votes.)

Baca’s idea is an im­prob­a­ble ef­fort, and ter­ri­ble pol­i­tics. But let’s con­sider for a mo­ment what would hap­pen if it did work. It would be a slap in the face to the nearly 60 mil­lion Amer­i­cans who voted for Trump. It would ir­re­vo­ca­bly cast a shadow on our elec­toral process. Elec­tion re­sults would cease to carry the weight of fi­nal­ity and re­sults would drag out like they do in so many other coun­tries where democ­racy is ei­ther still de­vel­op­ing or cor­rupted.

Given those po­ten­tial impacts to the bedrock of our na­tion, we can think of lit­tle that would jus­tify such a dras­tic step.

Colorado’s Demo­cratic Party chair­man, Rick Pala­cio, said he sup­ports Baca’s right to ex­press a con­sci­en­tious op­po­si­tion to Trump’s pres­i­dency. Pala­cio says many peo­ple are in deep agony over Trump’s win and are re­spond­ing any way they can. He told Den­ver Post re­porters John Frank and Brian Ea­son that “there are many who are try­ing to fig­ure out ways to pre­vent Trump from tak­ing of­fice. I ap­plaud Micheal for do­ing his part.” Hold your ap­plause, please. We were dis­mayed when Trump in­toned in the fi­nal pres­i­den­tial de­bate that he would chal­lenge the le­git­i­macy of a Clin­ton win be­cause the sys­tem is “rigged.” Now Baca’s idea rekin­dles that false no­tion. Bet­ter for his op­po­nents and crit­ics to rise above the low that Trump hit on the cam­paign trail and in­stead re­fo­cus on re­build­ing the na­tion’s trust.

Yes, Clin­ton’s lead with the pop­u­lar vote con­tin­ues to rise and a week af­ter the elec­tion it stands at roughly 1 mil­lion votes. But that is not how pres­i­dents are elected, nor has it ever been. We take heart in the fact that so many peo­ple sup­ported Clin­ton, but it doesn’t un­der­mine the le­git­i­macy of Trump’s vic­tory.

The Elec­toral Col­lege, as we said in Novem­ber 2012, en­sures that smaller states have a voice in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion and that swing states like Colorado get out­sized at­ten­tion from can­di­dates. A switch to the pop­u­lar vote would leave the de­ci­sion in the hands of ma­jor pop­u­la­tion cen­ters on the coasts at the ex­pense of is­sues that are crit­i­cal to the sprawl­ing mid­dle of the coun­try.

Geo­graphic rep­re­sen­ta­tion is a hall­mark of our elec­tion sys­tems, from the White House to Congress, all the way down to our school boards and city coun­cils. If the Elec­toral Col­lege be­comes ha­bit­u­ally out of whack with what the ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans want, per­haps the sys­tem would need to be re­vis­ited.

But for Trump’s elec­tion in 2016, the re­sults should stand un­con­tested.

Yes, Clin­ton’s lead with the pop­u­lar vote con­tin­ues to rise and a week af­ter the elec­tion it stands at roughly 1 mil­lion votes. But that is not how pres­i­dents are elected.

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