The Electoral College May Have Some Bad News For Trump — Maybe
In an Op-ed for The New York Times, Christopher Suprun, a paramedic in Texas, writes that Trump “shows daily he is not qualified for office.”
In the op-ed, which was published Monday, Suprun, who was also a first responder to the Pentagon on Sept. 11, cited a laundry list of concerns about Trump. He is asking fellow electors to “do their job” and get behind an “honorable and qualified” alternative — citing Ohio Gov. John Kasich in particular.
I was with Suprun all the way up until he mentioned Kasich, who might be “qualified” but is definitely not “honorable.” Yes, he might be better than Trump, but let’s remember that Kasich blocked funding for Planned Parenthood because he is “pro-life,” and has never been a friend to the women’s rights movement.
But despite this, Suprun’s concerns about Trump are bang-on.
Citing The Federalist Papers, Suprun writes that they argue it’s the job of the Electoral College to ensure candidates are “qualified, not engaged in demagogy, and independent from foreign influence.” Trump, Suprun notes, doesn’t meet these standards and should not be allowed to become president.
“Mr. Trump lacks the foreign policy experience and demeanor needed to be commander in chief … Mr. Trump urged violence against protesters at his rallies during the campaign,” he writes. “He speaks of retribution against his critics.”
Suprun said he has “poured countless hours” into serving the Republican Party, and plans to keep doing so.
“But I owe no debt to a party,” he writes. “I owe a debt to my children to leave them a nation they can trust.”
This pledge makes Suprun the Republican Party’s first potential “faithless elector” for this presidential election, according to The Guardian. Prior to this, seven of the nation’s 538 electors — Democrats from states where Hillary Clinton won — all voiced intentions to break their pledges.
Another elector out of Texas, Art Sisneros, resigned from the state’s electoral college delegation in November, contending that Trump doesn’t meet his religious and moral principles. Suprun is going a step further, saying he plans to show up on December 19 and cast his ballot against Trump by writing in Kasich.
He’s been considering this move for some time, telling Politico in August that Trump’s candidacy was worrisome enough to prompt him to do this.
Related: The Obsolete Electoral College Could Still Save Us All From A Trump Presidency
And Suprun and Sisneros may not be the only Republican electors to jump on this bus.
Larry Lessig, a prominent Harvard University law professor is teaming with a law firm based in California in order to provide legal support for any members of the Electoral College who oppose Trump in violation of state law, Politico notes.
Lessig calls this new effort “The Electors Trust,” and it will provide free counsel to electors. Counsel will be offered by the firm Durie Tangri.
The Trust will offer a platform where electors can anonymously strategize about keeping Trump out of the White House. This platform could help electors coordinate in order to determine if they have gathered sufficient support to stop Trump from winning the presidency.
“It makes no sense to be elector number five who comes out against Trump,” Lessig said. “But it might make sense to be elector 38.”
The Huffington Post reports that Trump is expected to receive 306 electoral votes when the college convenes in December. So this means that an additional 36 GOP electors would have to jump ship in order for Trump to fall below the 270 electoral votes that are necessary to win the presidency.
Sure it’s a long shot, but Suprun believes it’s a worthwhile one.
“The election of the next president is not yet a done deal,” he writes. “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.
“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.”
All I can say is stay tuned.
You can listen to Suprun’s reasons in the video below.