[guest post by Dana]
Today is the day that the duty-bound 538 members of the Electoral College convene in their state capitols to cast their votes for their home state’s presidential vote winner. As you are aware, there has been a widespread push by Democrats for Electoral College members to break their pledge to represent their state’s will, and instead cast their vote for anyone but Trump.
What is conveniently being ignored by the president, Big Media and the DNC is the harassment, doxing, veiled threats, and even death threats directed at electors.
This from Michigan elector Michael Banerian:
“I’ve had death wishes, people just saying ‘I hope you die. Do society a favor, throw yourself in front of a bus.’ And just recently, I was reading a blog about me, and unfortunately these people not only called for the burning of myself, but my family, which is completely out of line.”
Electoral College member Ashley McMillan Hutchinson of Kansas described what it has been like for her in the period between Trump’s election victory to today’s vote:
Election Night left me in awe. There were many reasons to be pleased. Those blue-collar, fly-over, working-class voters who showed up in droves and put Mr. Trump over the edge in several swing states? Those are my people. They weren’t motivated by hate or race. They were disappointed in the current administration and lack of economic progress. The assumptions about this group of voters by the media and ivory-tower elite only motivated them to victory.
I was excited because I was an Electoral College member and I was casting my vote for the winner in a historic election. Then things got a little strange.
It started with a couple of emails three days after the election. Since Hillary Clinton had won the popular vote, former electors warned me that I would probably receive hundreds of emails urging me to change my vote to prevent Mr. Trump from getting to the White House. I answered the first few back and had some polite—and some not-so-polite—exchanges with folks urging me to vote for Mrs. Clinton. Grassroots groups such as Ask the Electors had found my work email and spread it to their email lists. They also published my work address, home address, cell phone and work phone.
I had intended on answering everyone who emailed me. Then the flood started. At its peak, I was receiving 500 emails an hour. At least 20 letters arrived at my office daily, and the calls came in 24 hours a day.
The majority of the notes called for the elimination of the Electoral College because it was undemocratic. As an elector, I can’t do anything about this, but I still don’t buy the argument. There are many provisions in our constitutional republic that allow for a departure from direct democracy. The Electoral College ensures that Americans from throughout the country can be represented.
Others told me to act as a faithless elector and vote my conscience to stop Mr. Trump from taking the presidency. Only 157 electors in history have broken their pledge and voted for an alternate candidate or abstained from voting, according to FairVote. There is a reason this tactic has never been successful: It assumes the worst of Americans. These letter writers are asking me to disavow my own people, because they are supposedly racist and easily fooled. I don’t buy it. I won’t violate the will of the people of Kansas simply because coastal elites think Mr. Trump tweets too much.
Electors in Pennsylvania have now been given police protection as a result of the increasing threats:
Thousands of emails land in their inboxes every day. Copies of the Federalist Papers and other books urging political courage are being mailed to their homes. They are even getting phone calls in the middle of the night.
Such has been the life of Pennsylvania’s 20 electors for President-elect Donald Trump since the Nov. 8 election.
One elector, Ash Khare, said he and each of the 19 others have been assigned a plainclothes state police trooper for protection.
“I’m a big boy,” said Khare, an India-born engineer and a longtime Republican from Warren County, who estimates he receives 3,000 to 5,000 emails, letters, and phone calls a day from as far away as France, Germany, and Australia. “But this is stupid. Nobody is standing up and telling these people, ‘Enough, knock it off.’ “
Mary Barket, an elector in Pennsylvania said that “she had avoided engaging with risk by refusing to open most of the letters, but she conceded that she feels “very uncomfortable in my environment”.” She also said that she is concerned with the impact of this on her family.
And proving that a promise to “report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor” is meaningless claptrap, there has been a shameful silence from The New York Times regarding the death threats and harassment.
Further, in a display of rank hypocrisy, and in what must be seen as tacit encouragement and support by the Democratic leadership, there has been no effort from President Obama to condemn members of his party for this egregious and unacceptable behavior against fellow Americans charged with fulfilling a pledged duty on behalf of their states. And as far as we know, no calls for have been made for the FBI to get involved with regard to death threats. Why not?? Remember, this is the same president who made a point to publicly warn Trump about the “dangerous rhetoric” of not accepting election results (when he believed Hillary was going to win):
That is not a joking matter. No, no, no. I want everyone to pay attention here. That is dangerous.
[W]hen you try to sow the seeds of doubt in people’s minds about the legitimacy of our elections, that undermines our democracy.
Well, how much more dangerous and unacceptable are threats of physical violence to Americans intent on fulfilling their patriotic duty, and how much more do these threats undermine our democracy, President Obama? Are we to assume that death threats are now subjectively judged by whom they target??
Hillary Clinton has remained silent as well. The same Clinton who famously berated Trump , saying that challenging election results was a “horrifying” thing, as well as being a “threat to our democracy.” Obviously, if the woman who expected to become the next president truly cared about any threats to our democracy and had any recognition of what the public sees as horrifying, she would immediately hold a press conference and call off the attack dogs.
Electorate Hutchinson of Kansas sharply summed up the situation:
I noticed another theme in the thousands of missives I’ve received. They don’t seek to understand or persuade—only to insist. Most of these people want it their way and they want it now. As a mother of two small children, I know how to handle that.
Yet, while Hutchinson and other electorates will follow through with their duties, it does not negate the responsibility of the President of the United States to, at the very least, publicly draw a red line in the Democratic party, condemning this completely unacceptable behavior, and warning that if it continues, there will be “unspecified consequences”. Sadly, though, as we’ve seen many times over, conviction of his words and a demonstrable follow-through has never been this president’s strong suit.