Monday, April 4, 2016

Firewall College

                            Image result for elector

It will be interesting to watch the chaos that the Republican National Convention promises to be. With no candidate clinching victory, an open convention appears very possible. Multiple rounds of voting, back room deals, and frequent rules changes by the Republican elites trying to block the ascension of Donald Trump to the Republican nomination for President will provide much entertainment, not seen since the conventions I vaguely recall from my tender youthful years.

While I hope Trump triumphs, it won't be easy for him. While his victory in Cleveland would, I believe, seal a Republican defeat, and tear at the fabric of the Republican party for years, it does feel somewhat spooky a thought if the unthinkable were to happen and Trump winds up winning the general election. President Trump? Quelle horreur!

There would, in this fever dream of a scenario, be one last barrier to Trump assuming the Presidency. That would be the Electoral College.

The Electoral College, that vestigial constitutional appendage that no one is very happy with. As rarely relevant as it is, as recently as 2000 the Electoral College played a pivotal role in deciding the ultimate winner (along with the Supreme Court, also).

So with foresight rivaling Nostradamus, the founding fathers have provided a constitutional firewall to prevent the installation of a candidate of,  in this excerpt from Wikipedia,  "an interested and overbearing majority" and the "mischiefs of faction" in an electoral system. He (James Madison) defined a faction as "a number of citizens whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community. 

If this dramatic scenario were to play out, with a popularly elected Trump trumped by a "faithless" Electoral College, I think the next big Broadway musical would have to be "Madison".

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