Elec­toral Col­lege stamps Trump’s his­toric vic­tory

Protests con­tinue over de­ci­sive vote

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY STEPHEN DINAN AND VALERIE RICHARD­SON

The Elec­toral Col­lege of­fi­cially voted to se­lect Don­ald Trump as the 45th pres­i­dent as noisy anti-Trump protests across the coun­try fiz­zled, and Democrats ended up with an even worse black eye in the re­sults.

Mr. Trump de­fied pre­dic­tions that he would lose “dozens” of GOP elec­tors in a his­toric show of dis­con­tent. In­stead, only two Repub­li­cans de­fected — fewer than the four who aban­doned Demo­cratic can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton.

The pres­i­dent-elect called his 304 votes — sig­nif­i­cantly more than the 270 needed for vic­tory — “a his­toric elec­toral land­slide,” said it was big­ger than any­one in the me­dia ex­pected and again vowed to be a uni­fy­ing force in the White House.

“This elec­tion rep­re­sents a move­ment that mil­lions of hard work­ing men and women all across the coun­try stood be­hind and made pos­si­ble,” he said in a state­ment. “I will work hard to unite our coun­try and be the Pres­i­dent of all Amer­i­cans.”

His as­sur­ances, how­ever, have done lit­tle to quell un­rest among his op­po­nents, un­der­scor­ing both the fears he him­self stoked dur­ing his un­ortho­dox cam­paign and the ef­forts Democrats are al­ready mak­ing to try to dent his le­git­i­macy as pres­i­dent.

In the im­me­di­ate af­ter­math of the Nov. 8 vote, ac­tivists de­manded re­counts in states where the mar­gin of vic­tory was close. When that failed, ac­tivists launched a cam­paign to pres­sure elec­tors, de­mand­ing they aban­don their can­di­date and ei­ther back Mrs. Clin­ton or vote for a third per­son, throw­ing the elec­tion to the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives to decide next year.

They were less than gra­cious in their de­feat Mon­day.

“You just sold us out of this world,” screamed one woman protest­ing against the elec­tors in Wis­con­sin. “We’re all go­ing to go to war and die be­cause of you peo­ple. You have no right.”

“Ev­ery one of you, you’re pa­thetic,” another Wis­con­sin pro­tester shouted, as of­fi­cers hus­tled her out of the room where the vote was held. “This is not Amer­ica.”

The com­plaints were fed by the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, which says Rus­sian-backed hack­ers at­tempted to sway the elec­tion against Mrs. Clin­ton by re­leas­ing em­bar­rass­ing emails in the weeks ahead of the elec­tion.

Anti-Trump ac­tivists seized on that news, beg­ging for the elec­toral vote to be de­layed un­til all the de­tails were made pub­lic. They hoped Rus­sian in­flu­ence would scare some elec­tors into de­fect­ing from Mr. Trump in the vote.

“Our democ­racy is founded on the prin­ci­ple that these elec­tions are fair elec­tions. When that ideal is threat­ened, whether through in­ten­tional voter sup­pres­sion or by di­rect in­ter­fer­ence from for­eign ac­tors … our en­tire na­tion suf­fers,” said Lau­ren Beth Gash, an elec­tor in Illi­nois who voted for Mrs. Clin­ton.

Mr. Trump, in a Twit­ter post ahead of the vote, said the in­tense op­po­si­tion to his vic­tory has been un­seemly — and hyp­o­crit­i­cal.

“If my many sup­port­ers acted and threat­ened peo­ple like those who lost the elec­tion are do­ing, they would be scorned & called ter­ri­ble names!” he said.

Mrs. Clin­ton won the na­tional pop­u­lar vote by some 2.6 mil­lion votes but lost the Elec­toral Col­lege by a sig­nif­i­cant mar­gin. Her back­ers were un­bowed in de­feat.

“We stood on the right side of his­tory,” in­sisted Su­san John­ston Row­land, one of Mrs. Clin­ton’s elec­tors in Vir­ginia, which the for­mer first lady car­ried.

In Min­nesota an elec­tor tried to vote for Sen. Bernard San­ders, but state law pro­hibits de­fec­tors. He was re­placed by an al­ter­nate, ac­cord­ing to the Min­neapo­lis Star-Tri­bune, and all 10 of the state’s votes went to Mrs. Clin­ton.

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