In most election years, Monday, December 14th would have passed without anything more than a brief observation about the quaint constitutional requirement of electors gathering in state capitals around the country to cast their electoral votes for the winner of the recent presidential election. However, in this year (2020, the year that keeps on giving – and I don’t mean that in a good way) due to the lies and disinformation falsely accepted as “fact,” there is great interest in the outcome of the Electoral College’s vote today. President-elect Joe Biden won the popular vote by over 7 Million votes – a 4.4 percent margin of victory. He won four of the six largest (most populous) states: California, Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania. For those who want to assert that California is somehow not a legitimate part of the United States, please understand that more than one of every nine U.S. citizens (328.2 million) is a Californian (39.51 million).
In every democracy but this one, receiving a plurality or majority of votes cast would be enough. But the great irony we face in the United States is that the votes of We The People are essentially advisory or secondary to this 18th century compromise inserted in the Constitution in the 1780s.
Constitutional architect (and slave owner) James Madison himself stated these words about the creation of an electoral college, “There was one difficulty of a serious nature however attending an immediate choice by the people. The right of suffrage was much more divisive in the north rather than the southern states; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes. The substitution of electors obviated this difficulty and seemed on the whole to be liable to the fewest objections.”
In a nutshell, we got stuck with the electoral college in the latter portion of the 1700s as a compromise caused by America’s “birth defect” of slavery. Now, in the 21st Century, something that should have been done away with before my great-grandmother was born, right after the Civil War, is a prime contributor to the simmering division roiling our country today. Thus, candidates with no path to victory in the popular vote rely on suppressing votes of people with whom they disagree, in order to “win” in the Electoral College. Simply put, no one but perhaps the current president and his most zealous devotees, would still be talking about an election that was decisively determined by the voters on November 3rd.
Yet, rather than calling this for what it is, a means for a small number of well-heeled individuals and corporations to force their agenda upon the nation (buttressed by five Supreme Court justices appointed by people who lost elections) the media and others still try to make this process seem “normal.” And so, many are still on “pins and needles” awaiting the outcome of the electoral college results. Both concerned citizens and some domestic terrorists and thugs are descending upon state capitals in an attempt to intimidate electors and state legislators into changing the outcome of the election and disregarding millions of votes. (In Arizona, electors met in an undisclosed location because of threats)
Yes, in our “United” States, people are essentially advocating treason (defined as: “the crime of betraying one’s country” and “attempting to overthrow its government”) because they are unhappy with the expressed will of the voters. Please note that none of them have demanded recounts in states narrowly won by the current president, such as Florida, Iowa, North Carolina or Texas. Only states where President-elect Biden was the victor have been compelled to recount the same votes over and over again.
Even more insidiously, the attacks against our voting franchise are largely focused on several cities in the U.S. where majority African American populations expressed their will through their votes so completely that allegations of “voter fraud” and “vote rigging” are bandied about with no evidence whatsoever. Indeed, the purveyors of these lies have filed specious lawsuits that have been rejected by at least 86 judges to date from state courts to the Supreme Court.
As one federal judge said, “The people have spoken.” Indeed we have!
Submitted by Rev. Stephen Tillett, Submitted by Rev. Stephen Tillett, Pastor of Asbury Broadneck United Methodist Church in Annapolis, MD, author of Stop Falling for the Okeydoke: How the Lie of “Race” Continues to Undermine Our Country, Political Analyst for “The Lavonia Perryman Show” (910 AM Superstation, Detroit, iHeart Radio), retired Air Force Chaplain