In Search of the Faithless Elector

Background: Since the election, the idea of the faithless election has been gaining traction. There have been organized efforts to convince Republican electors to not vote for Trump when the Electoral College casts its ballots on December 19. As of December 8th, eight electors have said that they are willing to vote for a moderate Republican instead of either presidential candidate, and an online petition at change.org asking electors to vote for Clinton instead of Trump has amassed over 4.8 million signatures.

in-search-of-the-faithless-elector

Antonia Walker studied illustration and anthropology at The New School in New York. She worked as a professional illustrator before dedicating herself to painting. She is a realist painter and has shown her work in the United States and Spain. A series of grants and residencies took her to Spain for two years where she learned Spanish, and then back to New York where she began an artistic collaboration with artist Thalia Chantziara. Antonia loves nature and cooking and is passionate about domestic politics and women’s rights. She is currently living in Redding.

Thalia Chantziara is an artist currently living in Redding, CA. Her work has been exhibited in New York City and across the United States. Lately she has spent extensive time painting on grants and residencies. She is actively interested in domestic politics related to equality and justice and occasionally illustrates graphic op-eds. She holds a B.A. in Linguistics from Harvard University and a M.Sc. in Finance from the University of Piraeus and has studied art at Grand Central Academy and Janus Collaborative in New York.

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33 Responses

  1. Frank Treadway says:

    Antonia and Thalia are just a few of the New Progressive and extremely conscious and talented persons to move to the North State.  Great to see such political chuztpah from those in the land of diminishing Red.

  2. A. Jacoby says:

    I LOOOOVED THE FIGURE YOU USED FOR “CREATED!” . . . . even I could understand the message.

    Thank you for addressing such a serious topic with a modicum of humor . .  . as in the proverbial “spoonful of sugar.”

  3. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    Does anyone else worry that the electoral college electing anyone but Trump could result in a civil war? (Though the reason for the electoral college was to keep the selection of the POTUS one step removed from the unwashed masses, who couldn’t be trusted not to do something stupid.)

  4. cheyenne says:

    In Colorado, Steve I’m sure you know, a judge has ordered the state’s electors to vote for anybody but Trump.  What gets me about some of the liberals calling for electors to do the Moral Thing and vote for Clinton.  Like the Moral Thing is more important than what the Constitution has stated.  The Constitution is the final say, unless it is changed, no matter whether one is someone who lost the election because of the Electoral College or a county clerk who won’t preform gay marriages because they have a moral issue with the Constitution saying all men, and I would assume it means women, are equal.  Enough with the Moral Thing let’s go by the constitution or change it.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Colorado state law binds its electors to vote for the person who won the popular vote—that would be Clinton.  The judge’s ruling is not that they vote for “anyone but Trump,” but that they vote specifically for Clinton, per the law.  The ruling prevents Colorado’s electors from joining a movement to vote for an alternative Republican (Romney seems to be the leading candidate) during the electoral college vote, in order to thwart Trump.  The judge’s ruling is, in effect, pro-Trump.  The judge made the ruling at the request of Colorado’s Sect. of State—a Republican and BYU grad who might have been expected to go the other way and support an insurgency to elect Romney.  But in Colorado, he’s known as a “let’s all get along” guy.

      Twenty eight states, including California, have similar laws binding electors to the popular vote for those states.  The constitutionality of these laws is questionable, as they subvert the clear intent of the writers of the Constitution.  If all of the blue states who are supposed to vote for Clinton were to switch to Romney, things would get very interesting.  Let’s say the blue-state votes went to Romney, plus enough red-state votes give the most votes to Romney.  The Trump camp would appeal to the SCOTUS.  In order to reverse the Electoral College vote, the SCOTUS would have to vote to overturn it.  My understanding is that a 4-4 tie (likely) means that whatever decision that came before the SCOTUS stands.  That’s when the riots would start.

      Those who contest those laws are called “faithless electors” or “Hamilton electors.”  I prefer the latter, as Hamilton was the Founder who took the point-of-the-spear role in making sure that the election of the POTUS and US Senators* would not be direct decisions based on the popular vote.  He didn’t trust the uneducated riffraff.

      *Overturned by the 17th Amendment.

      • Kathryn McDonald says:

        Thank you, Steve.  This is an excellent explanation of how the electoral college is supposed to work and how I hope it will work on December 19.

      • K. Beck says:

        “uneducated riffraff” is that the same as a “basket of deplorables”…Clinton should have done a better head count!

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          Hamilton didn’t say “uneducated riffraff.”  But pretty close.

          “All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are rich and well born; the other, the mass of the people. The voice of the people has been said to be the voice of God; and however generally this maxim has been quoted and believed, it is not true in fact. The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in the government.”  — Alexander Hamilton

          AH was all about having a ruling plutocracy.  He’d probably be delighted with today’s state of affairs.

      • cheyenne says:

        I wrote in Romney and I know I’m not the only one.  Michael Moore, who reluctantly predicted Trump would win, now predicts Trump will resign before he is sworn in.  That could really thicken the plot.

        • K. Beck says:

          Trump is all about winning. He just wanted to prove he could win. I think he never cared about actually doing the job. A job he has absolutely no background to do! I hope he does resign, either before being sworn in or after. Doesn’t matter to me as long as he does it. We would then get Pence, as bad as he is, at least he knows how government is supposed to work, even though it misses the mark most of the time.

          I cannot imagine Trump will put his money in a blind trust. His whole ego is connected to his “business empire.” That is who he is. Psychologists out there please respond!

  5. Matt Grigsby says:

    This is a brilliant message, perfectly stated.  I’m glad you’re both a part of this community!

  6. R.V. Scheide says:

    Since the election people have been talking about the five stages of grief but so far I’ve only seen one.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Really?  I’m sure you’re referring to “denial,” but I saw the above as “bargaining.”

      I know loads of people who have moved all the way to “depression.”

  7. royt says:

    lol

    [1] thought not found in that word salad

    >>>>> you  lost <<<<<

    let the big boys take a turn

    The states have chosen the electors to be

    reliable and responsible to their respective counties.

     

    • Rod says:

      royt,  excellent call of what happens next!

      The overabundance of pants wetters can’t control themselves.  I love it.  America at it’s best!

       

  8. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    The (Colorado) lawsuit “threatens to undermine the many laws in other states that sensibly bind their electors’ votes to represent the will of the citizens, undermining the electoral college in the process.” — Trump campaign lawyer in a request to participate in the Colorado case.

    “The will of the citizens,” says the lawyer of the candidate who got fewer votes, and who clearly doesn’t understand why the electoral college exists in the first place.

    Even if the Colorado lawsuit fails, you’re not going to get 37 red-state electors to vote for Clinton.  The only way the “faithless voter” thing works:  All blue-state electors agree to switch their votes from Clinton to Romney, and persuade 37 red-state electors to do the same.

  9. cheyenne says:

    According to a WaPo article, 1.7 million voters who voted didn’t vote for a presidential candidate, they left it blank.  470,000 of them were in California.  That is a pretty big block of voters even in California.  I think 1.7 million just shows how disgusted the voters were with both candidates.

    And if Trump loses the nomination there will be a number of new groups.

    DLM-Deplorables lives matter

    RRLM-Riff Raff lives matter

    47%LM-which is my favorite

     

  10. Karen says:

    But, back to the art work of these two talented people we have in Redding.  It’s original and has a message, like all good art.  Hope we see more from these two.

    • For a real treat, to see and appreciate the scope of these women’s work, click on the links embedded in each of their names to see samples of their artwork.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Speaking of artistry containing messages, the HBO series “Westworld” recently introduced me (in the voice of Anthony Hopkins) to the theory that Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” fresco on the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling held a subversive secret message: God is a creation of the brain.

      • Rod says:

        subversive secret message?  maybe to you.

        To me it’s an ancient depiction of humanities ignorance.  It’s about the “daddy” figure extending a finger to help son.  Ridiculous rambling of long dead thoughts.

        “Fake news” anyone?

        “God is a creation of the human brain”  Absolutely correct.  Prove me wrong….anybody.

         

  11. Carrie says:

    Loved this article! As I like all of them and never miss reading. “I feel the love” and a donation to News Cafe is on the way!  Merry Christmas to all, and of course, a Happy New Year!

    • Carrie, we received your generous donation. Thank you so much for showing your appreciation with a tangible gift of support. It’s people like you who help make what we do possible. On behalf of myself and everyone at A News Cafe.com, thank you, and merry Christmas to you!

  12. kirsten says:

    I am going with Matt. SSSOOOOOOO glad, you are here, if only for a while.

  13. Thalia and Antonia says:

    Thanks for the kind words 🙂

    We actually emailed this letter to as many electors as we could, hoping that its graphic format would get their attention and its humorous tone would not offend them. The message seemed to be delivered to most. Some electors have blocked their email addresses. And a couple have set up automated replies.

    One, from TX, was almost gentle, but firm in his resolution. Among other things, he wrote

    “Yes, I agree with Hamilton in Federalist 68. No, I do not believe that the election of Donald Trump rises to that level”; and “… for every person who feels you have elected the worst person to ever hold the office, there is another who would have felt exactly the same that [sic] had we elected HRC: that she is unfit for office and her husband has committed multiple sexual assaults”.

    Never mind that (a) no, it’s not 1 for 1 because there are actually 2.7MM more people who think the former, and (b) the candidate whose husband has committed sexual assaults gets punished for it, but the candidate who has committed sexual assaults himself does not. Just shows you that the narrative follows the hypothesis.

    The other elector who sent an automated reply, from WY, was almost nasty. She ends with

    “I do not agree that Clinton won the “popular vote” because there was no national popular election. […] Finally, I believe Donald Trump and Mike Pence are the right choice to lead America for the next 8 years, and all of the political maneuvering, out-of-context quotes, and fear-mongering by people who do not accept the results of a legal, constitutionally guided election will do nothing to change my mind”.

    First, lobbying an elector is hardly maneuvering or fear-mongering. Second, what a nerve for a Republican to complain of political maneuvering and refusal to accept the law (KY and NC come to mind).

    We already knew that the Electoral College approach was more of a symbolic gesture, but it is interesting to see how these electors think and how impossible it would be to move them even to the slightest, even within the Republican universe.

    • Beverly Stafford says:

      “Finally, I believe Donald Trump and Mike Pence are the right choice to lead America for the next 8 years”   Eight years?  They haven’t even been sworn in yet, but she already has them winning a second term?

  14. RON says:

    Mr. Trump the PEOUS just gained 3 from the Faithless.
    The turned ones left Madam Secertary. WHOOPS
    and then theres this,
    OMG the sevens are screeming out here.
    304 EC votes 3+4
    Mr. Trump 70 years of age
    the difference in EC votes between Secertary Clinton And Donald 77
    Wow Lets hope and pray that our new President governs with clarity and grace
    and that he stops using that TWITTER thing.
    🙂