Here’s what someone I know wrote today to the electors. She’s happy for you you to borrow, edit, or use her words:
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing to ask you to save America.
As a member of the Electoral College, you stand as the last defense between our beloved country and a man who has shown himself to be dangerously unfit for office. In some ways, that’s unfair to you; you probably didn’t ask for this burden when, attempting to fulfill your civic duty as an involved citizen, you volunteered to serve as an Elector. But I’ve been thinking these past few days, around the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, of my father who, graduating as a teenager from high school in Boulder, Colorado — a town he’d left only once or twice to travel to the big city of Denver — joined the United States Navy and went off to defend America in the Pacific. I’ve been thinking, too, of my dad’s cousin, his best friend growing up, who died in the Batan Death March. Maybe it’s never fair to ask anyone — teenager or adult — to assume such a heavy burden, but I am asking, with my whole heart and soul, for you to do what my father and his cousin did and to take the risk to save America.
In 1787, citizens gathered outside of Independence Hall where our Founders were meeting to deliberate the Constitution. When Benjamin Franklin stepped outside, a member of the crowd asked him, “Well, Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?” Benjamin Frankling replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” And for 229 years, through wars, economic depressions and recessions, civil unrest, droughts and earthquakes, floods and fires, massive cultural upheaval and vast technological changes, through good times and bad, under members of one party and another, and in the face of enormous odds, we, the American people, have “kept it.” Today, we stand in very serious danger of losing our Republic and, now, only you can stand up and say, “No, I think we’ll keep our Republic a while longer.”
The Electoral College meets several weeks after the general election, and this allows the Electors to observe how the winner of the general election comports himself. Just since the election, Donald Trump has shown that he is neither willing nor capable to serve as President. There are many reasons why it is vitally important that you not to turn our United States over to Donald Trump. Please let me offer you just a few of them.
First, even ignoring the many warning signs that he exhibited during the primaries and the election, Donald Trump has, from November 8th until today, shown that he cannot be allowed to become President. He refuses to even attend national security briefings. America’s security must be any President’s first concern, and that is especially true in these times of terrorist attacks and international unrest. It is not enough to say, “Well, Mr. Pence attends the briefings.” Mr. Pence is not the President. Donald Trump phones world leaders, on unsecure phone lines, and discusses international issues with them and he does so without having gotten the necessary intelligence briefings or having discussed matters with the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, or the CIA. He clearly does not care about America’s security. Just since November 8th he has created serious tension with China and India, both nuclear powers and both important economic players. We do not know what dangers the next four years may bring, but we do know that they will require a President who is willing to do the hard work to learn about and understand the challenges. Donald Trump has already shown us that he cannot and will not do that work.
Perhaps even more damaging to our Republic, Donald Trump has shown that he, like the most venal and embarrassing Banana Republic dictator, is willing to use the office of the Presidency to enrich himself and his family and he has made very clear that he will not meaningfully separate himself from his business. In fact, he even intends to continue as executive producer of his “reality” tv show — while being President. How much more could anyone do to disrespect the Office? Being President is more than a full-time job. One need only look at the “before and after” photographs of every modern president to see how it ages them. But the need for someone who is actually willing to give the job the effort that it demands is not the only reason to select someone other than Donald Trump.
America simply cannot have a President whose decision-making is influenced by what would be best for his own pecuniary investments — foreign and domestic. This is why all modern Presidents have revealed their assets by releasing their tax returns and have put their assets into a blind trust. But Donald Trump is unwilling to liquidate his assets and put them in a blind trust. And it is unrealistic to assume that he can ignore the fact that he owns hotels in a certain country or owes debts to bankers in another when he makes Presidential decisions. He has shown himself uninterested in and unwilling to doing so. Already we are seeing foreign countries using his Washington, D.C. hotel in an attempt to influence him. Already we are seeing him call foreign governments and ask for favors for his hotels and golf courses. His many properties around the world stand as stark targets for terrorists. What will happen when one of them is attacked? Donald Trump is a vindictive man who has asked over and over why we possess nuclear weapons if we don’t intend to use them. There are no checks between a President’s order to launch nuclear weapons and the moment when one of our young service members is obligated to push the button. What will stop Donald Trump from starting a nuclear war over an attack in the lobby of one of his hotels? Nothing. Are our young men and women in uniform to be sent to fight and die in order to protect Trump assets and the Trump ego?
Donald Trump has shown himself unable to stop impulsively Tweeting attacks. Just this week, he tanked the stock of a major United States corporation because he perceived a slight in something the corporation said. Just this week, he attacked the president of a union representing blue-collar, working class Americans and sat idly back while that man received death threats. Our President must understand the gravity of his every action and must not use his office to attack private corporations and citizens.
Finally, I will note that northern and southern states contended long and hard over where our government should be located. Washington, D.C. was chosen as a place in between the North and the South. We provide the White House, a home for the President and his family, in Washington, D.C. for a reason. Every Presidential family since John and Abigail Adams has moved to the White House. But Donald Trump has no intention of living in the White House. He has effectively moved the capitol of our country north into New York City. We should be concerned about this and the precedent it sets. Can the next President move our government to San Francisco, Hawaii, or Massachusetts?
I could go on and on. But I want to give one final reason why I beseech you not to vote for Donald Trump. Writing in the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton said that the final selection of a President should be left to the Electors because they would be “most capable of analyzing the qualities” needed in a President. Yet, he also believed that it was important for the Electors to pay attention to the “sense of the people.” Under almost any normal circumstances, I believe that the Electors should be reluctant to overturn the will of the American people. But if you were to vote against Donald Trump you would be doing the will of the American people. Americans voted against Donald Trump by a margin of over two percent. More than 2.6 million Americans voted against him, even though many of them had reservations about his opponent. Newspapers that had NEVER endorsed a Democratic candidate endorsed Donald Trump’s opponent. Donald Trump “won” the Electoral College (he actually hasn’t won until you vote) by razor-thin margins in a few states. There is now clear proof, accepted by, among others, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham and Representative Michael McCaul, that Russia did everything that it could (and is likely to blame for those razor-thin margins) to influence and hack our election in favor of Donald Trump. Why? What does Russia know about Donald Trump that we don’t? Having grown up during the Cold War, and remembering all of the young men of my generation who lost their lives in Korea and Viet Nam because we wanted to stop countries such as Russia and China from gaining global control, I do not believe that we should cede control over our military to Russia and its KBG-controlled president. Were all of those lives lost in vain? You, as an Elector, should feel comfortable doing your duty to deny Vladimir Putin his choice of American President. This issue is bigger than Republican vs. Democrat. This is about whether we allow foreign countries to interfere in our elections. Please stand up against that.
I would prefer to see you validate the votes of the majority of American citizens and select Hillary Clinton for President. You may not agree with her policies, but, with a Republican House and Senate, she’s unlikely to steer the country very far to the left. However, if you cannot vote for her, please vote for someone else. Tim Kaine is a committed Catholic who, as Governor of Richmond and a Senator from the purple state of Virginia, has shown himself to be capable of governing from the center. John Kasich, from Ohio, is not beholden to Russia. Evan McMullin is a former CIA officer who served as chief policy director for the House Republican Conference in Congress and a senior adviser on national security issues for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. You can vote your conscience and vote against Donald Trump.
You would not be alone. Other Electors have already committed to voting against Donald Trump: http://www.nytimes.com/…/why-i-will-not-cast-my-electoral-v…. No less a Constitutional scholar than Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Tribe has volunteered to represent, pro bono, electors who vote their conscience. More lawyers willing to, pro bono, represent Electors are listed here: http://www.electorstrust.org
I know that you don’t know me. I’m just an old woman who has loved, every day of her life, the promise of America. As a young mother, I raised my son in the light of that promise. As a school teacher, I taught high school students to read the words of that promise. As a lawyer and member of the Supreme Court bar, I swore that I would “conduct myself uprightly and according to the law, and that I will support the Constitution of the United States.” As a grandmother, cheering at my grandson’s baseball games, reading my grandson the glories of English literature, tucking my grandson safe into bed at night in my little cottage in the Commonwealth, I do not have any more fervent prayer than that he might grow up in a country that, to borrow Benjamin Franklin’s words, had managed to “keep” our Republic. And, so, I am petitioning you to keep it for him.
Very much like you, our Founders discovered themselves in difficult times. They could not be certain that their efforts would bear fruit. But they pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Can we do less? You might ask whether what you do will matter. Can your vote really change history? I believe that it can, but I will recommend to you the words of Wendell Berry, the great American farmer/writer from Kentucky, who said, “We don’t have a right to ask whether we’re going to succeed or not. The only question we have a right to ask is what’s the right thing to do? What does this earth require of us if we want to continue to live on it?”
If you can find it in your heart to defend our Republic against Donald Trump, I promise that I will pray for you and yours every day that is left to me. I will tell your names to the blue jays and squirrels in my yard and to the Potomac River that I drive past every morning. I will teach my grandson to honor you as American heroes. Please show Mr. Franklin that we’re able to keep faith with those patriots of 1787. Please vote for someone other that Donald Trump and please keep our Republic.
With gratitude for your service to America, I remain your fellow American,
Hecate etc.,etc., etc.
Picture found here.