On December 5, this guy named Christopher Suprun announced that as a Republican Texas elector “following his conscience”, he was going to steal my ballot out of my hands, get an eraser, and change my vote for Donald Trump to a vote for Mister Silly String John Kasich.
That is so presumptuous. So dishonorable. So low. I have no recourse whatsoever, no way of getting justice, or of letting my voice as a citizen be heard. There’s no way this guy wasn’t bought off or blackmailed, or maybe he was a Trojan Horse all along. Either way, he is a thief and a liar, and I’m calling him out as such.
Wrong About Federalist 68
Curiously, Suprun does not point to the Constitution but to the Federalist Papers to justify himself, and incorrectly at that. Federalist 68 argues why the president should not be elected:
- directly by popular vote: because smaller states would be essentially unrepresented,
- nor by Congress: the president would owe allegiance not to the people but to powerful politicians,
- nor by state legislatures: also too indirect; the people’s voice would not be heard.
The framers arrived at an intermediate choice: a one-time-only slate of citizen representatives from every state: the Electoral College a body of electors created specifically for the purpose of selecting a president and then immediately disbanded.
Hamilton justifies this choice by promising that the process itself would safeguard us from electing a President lacking qualification, because the electors themselves would be chosen as people of honor and judgement by citizens of each state. Their status as non-elected citizens would render them incorruptible by normal political forces.
Suprun wrongly argues that according to Federalist 68, it falls upon the elector himself to determine suitability of the presidential candidate. Not so. Their job is specifically to express the will of voters who elected them as electors.
They have not made the appointment of the President to depend on any preexisting bodies of men, who might be tampered with beforehand to prostitute their votes; but they have referred it in the first instance to an immediate act of the people of America, to be exerted in the choice of persons for the temporary and sole purpose of making the appointment.
I would add that even if Federalist 68 did urge electors to “vote their conscience” (which it does not), that’s still no justification to lie to your constituents and change your vote. Federalist 68 is not the Constitution nor is it law: it is the independent and unvoted-on musings of Alexander Hamilton. It is useful in determining the meanings and motives of the Framers of the Constitution.
In fact, and by 228 years of tradition, the job of an elector is to vote according to what the citizens of the state demand. An elector is not elected to vote his conscience. He is a faithful proxy for the citizens who voted.
Lame Case for Triggering This Act
Suprun claimed that Donald Trump showed himself unworthy because…
Mr. Trump goes out of his way to attack the cast of “Saturday Night Live” for bias. He tweets day and night, but waited two days to offer sympathy to the Ohio State community after an attack there. He does not encourage civil discourse, but chooses to stoke fear and create outrage.
This is unacceptable.
Really? Trump tweets? Trump fights back against slander in the media? And he didn’t respond to the Ohio State terrorism attack fast enough to suit this guy?
That is what makes him unfit in his eyes?
For God’s sake, has Suprun spent one minute reflecting on the constant dishonorable behavior of the current president? He’s a textbook demagogue. So why now is Chris the new arbiter of what makes a man qualified to be president? Why does this new requirement start now, and not in 2008? Or 1914?
There’s No Way Suprun Didn’t Lie
There is no way to become a member of the slate of Texas electors for the Republican candidate if you have not been closely vetted; if you have not demonstrated considerable loyalty to the party; if you have not been asked directly and repeatedly if you would ever change your vote in defiance of the popular vote in your state.
That means Christopher Suprun lied repeatedly. He told big fat whoppers about where his loyalties were. He broke faith. He betrayed the voters.
By the way, why is he, a Republican elector, hanging out with Van Jones? And how is it that something Mike Pence said on Sunday was the final straw for him, and his Op-Ed is published in the New York Times on Monday?
Sounds pre-planned to me. It has a certain Trojan Horse quality about it, as if he were always secretly a Never-Trumper. I would love Chris to explain exactly to me how this “conscience” thing works for him when it comes to his own lies and betrayals. Love to hear that one.
Where is My Vote?
Donald Trump was the candidate. I voted for Trump. I did not vote for John Kasich. How do I as a citizen express my will if some elector changes the proxy vote he swore to make?
It would be different if the electors ran. Chris Suprun appeared on no ballot that I ever saw. I never heard him campaign for the privilege of being an elector on the basis that he would vote his conscience. If he did, I would have voted against him. That is for certain.
Chris, where is my vote?
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