When Extraordinary Circumstances Call For Extraordinary Measures

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With anti-Trump hopes increasingly pinned on the electoral college to save us - and the number of anti-Trump Republican electors reportedly on the rise - a new bipartisan coalition has upped the ante by launching a national effort to directly lobby "conscientious electors" to do what's right. The group of Electors, scholars, political officials and concerned citizens  is running full-page ads in a slew of major papers in the form of a fiery open letter to our "Esteemed Electors." "This petition is unprecedented," they concede, "but Donald Trump is an unprecedented danger to the Constitution."

Outlining the countless reasons Trump is unfit to serve, the letter urges electors to "vote your conscience" to "protect the Constitution" from him. "There are times in the life of a nation when extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures," they write. "Now is such a time, and your courage and leadership are required." They note Alexander Hamilton advocated that electors "investigate and deliberate" before choosing a leader because he was worried someone unfit but with a talent for "low intrigue and the little arts of popularity” could gain the office. Trump "is the kind of president our Founding Fathers warned us about."

A project of Democracy and Progress PAC and the Electoral College Petition, the ads ran Wednesday in the Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Austin American Statesman, Salt Lake City Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. They run Thursday in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Wisconsin State Journal. They link to a petition arguing that "the real election takes place December19" and urging "conscientious electors" to support the national popular vote winner. It has almost five million signatures and counting.

The lobbying letter joins several other efforts targeting the Electoral College, where so many hopes now lie. Along with a recent call by some electors to investigate Russian interference have come campaigns by Unite For America and a group of so-called Hamilton Electors urging the election of either Clinton or "a Responsible Republican candidate" for the good of the nation, citing "Alexander Hamilton’s vision that the Electoral College should, when necessary, act as a Constitutional failsafe against those lacking the qualifications from becoming President." They conclude, "It's not too late to stop Trump." The final irony of these frantic, hopeful measures: Using "the most undemocratic of our institutions to ensure a democratic result." Because at this point, God knows, we'll take what we can get.


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