Yet another electoral college voter from Texas has declared his intention to become a “faithless elector” and not cast his vote for Donald Trump on December 19th. In a moving op-ed for the New York Times, Christopher Suprun of Dallas declared that he cannot vote for a man who is not qualified to be the President of the United States.
Fifteen years ago, as a firefighter, I was part of the response to the Sept. 11 attacks against our nation. That attack and this year’s election may seem unrelated, but for me the relationship becomes clearer every day.
George W. Bush is an imperfect man, but he led us through the tragic days following the attacks. His leadership showed that America was a great nation. That was also the last time I remember the nation united. I watch Mr. Trump fail to unite America and drive a wedge between us.
Mr. Trump goes out of his way to attack the cast of “Saturday Night Live” for bias. He tweets day and night, but waited two days to offer sympathy to the Ohio State community after an attack there. He does not encourage civil discourse, but chooses to stoke fear and create outrage.
This is unacceptable. For me, America is that shining city on a hill that Ronald Reagan envisioned. It has problems. It has challenges. These can be met and overcome just as our nation overcame Sept. 11.
The United States was set up as a republic. Alexander Hamilton provided a blueprint for states’ votes. Federalist 68 argued that an Electoral College should determine if candidates are qualified, not engaged in demagogy, and independent from foreign influence. Mr. Trump shows us again and again that he does not meet these standards. Given his own public statements, it isn’t clear how the Electoral College can ignore these issues, and so it should reject him.
Citing Donald Trump’s demagoguery, his foreign policy inexperience, the conflicts of interest between his businesses and the presidency, and his general refusal to take the job seriously, Suprun declares Trump an enemy of the Republic and vows to oppose him when the time comes.
The election of the next president is not yet a done deal. Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience. I believe electors should unify behind a Republican alternative, an honorable and qualified man or woman such as Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. I pray my fellow electors will do their job and join with me in discovering who that person should be.
Fifteen years ago, I swore an oath to defend my country and Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. On Dec. 19, I will do it again.
He does not, however, indicate who he will be extending his support to. A number of electoral college voters, calling themselves the “Hamilton electors,” are organizing a rebellion against Donald Trump. 37 defectors would be required to change the results of the election; eight have publicly declared their intention to do so.
But when the moment finally comes, we can only pray that the electors will recognize the danger that Trump represents to America and do the right thing.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.