Hillary Clinton’s popular-vote margin continues to be a compelling news story for some, including Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, who believes that the Electoral College should vote next month for Clinton because she was “the people’s choice.” (He also considers Hillary “the most qualified candidate for president in more than a generation.”)
Even though The Washington Monthly’s Martin Longman thinks Lessig’s view is “nonsense” and that Donald Trump’s loss of the PV is trivial under our current rules, he also wants the Electoral College to choose Clinton. “What Lessig should have argued,” wrote Longman in a Friday post, “is that the Electors should plainly judge Trump a menacing incompetent and reject him with extreme prejudice.”
As Longman acknowledged, “This is not a slam-dunk case because it would cause immense civil unrest. It takes a certain arrogance and perhaps some unwarranted self-assurance to insist that you know that a Trump presidency will be worse than the problems that denying him the presidency would cause…At the end of the day though, it’s a judgment call. And the Electors exist for precisely this reason, to make this kind of judgment.”
It’s clear, Longman claimed, that
Trump is already demonstrating his unfitness for office in many ways. He’s using unsecured phones, dabbling in nepotism, soliciting bribes, brazenly seeking to profit off his office, taking conflicts of interest to places we’ve never seen before, ignoring his intelligence briefings, settling lawsuits for defrauding people, making an anti-Semitic white nationalist his chief strategist and a raving Islamophobe his national security advisor, and his election was orchestrated in large part by Russian interference…
…Maybe we want to do away with the Electoral College altogether. But that’s a matter for the future. Right now, we have Electors. And those Electors still have a choice to make on December 19th when they convene and vote.
I am sure that Trump will be their choice.
Based on what Alexander Hamilton intended, I am not at all sure that Trump should be their choice.