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.
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.