Pinning Hopes on the Electoral College

I feel so many things in this post election devastation. Helpless being one of them. Sure I need to act; unsure of what to do that will matter. Angry. Struggling to reconcile what I believe with . . . this.

A friend of mine sent me an article about the electoral college, and I’m taking it as a sign. Just sent this letter I wrote off to a huge number of Electoral College Voters. If you want to encourage them to vote their conscience, too, you can find the email list for them here. They include a sample letter. Or write from your heart.

Dear Electoral College Voter,

We have gotten ourselves into a mess by not paying attention for too many years. We have allowed those who supposedly represent us to not do so, and have created the illusion that we are a greatly divided country. And now we are faced with the presidency of a man who has no political experience and who spews hatred and violence at well more than half of the people who live in our country, the vast majority of whom are citizens. Our children are frightened of the vision he is handing them. And they don’t get to vote.

We were handed a devil’s decision as far as many of us are concerned. I voted more against Trump than for Clinton, though I was starting to come around to seeing some good points about her. I seem to be geared toward looking for the best in any situation. I feel confident that many of us who cast our votes for Clinton were ambivalent about doing so, just as I feel confident that many who voted for Trump felt the same way.

That is what I am asking you to consider. I’m guessing you never thought you’d be placed in a position to have to endorse a candidate that seems hellbent on destroying our country. But here you are. You can do what you were expecting to do, what many would say you are expected to do. Or you can read between the lines of this election, stand up, and cast your vote in alignment with the will of the people. Clearly we want change. No more politics as has become usual.

There are no easy answers here. To simply choose to cast your vote for Clinton does nothing to acknowledge the deep-seated fear, anger and/or hopelessness that has brought us to this point. And I would anticipate that we will devolve into chaos just as clearly with Clinton being handed the presidency (no matter that she has won the popular vote) as we are likely to if it is handed to Trump.

Who does that leave? I don’t know. I am just as guilty as the vast majority of Americans of not paying enough attention to politics. But I feel certain that it is no one still alive who has ever put their hat in the ring in an attempt to become president or vice president already. That is exactly what most of us were voting against. What has been said–that no one who would seek this office is fit for it–seems to sum up how too many people were feeling about our choices this time around.

So here we are, and you have a unique opportunity to identify someone who fits that bill, someone that has the mindset to listen to the people; to recognize that our will as expressed so muddily in this election is important; to actually govern for the good of all the people in our country and not just the half of them who put someone into office (after all, in this instance, half didn’t put Trump there); to reach across aisles and form coalitions with those on the other side to create legislation that prospers all of us; to lead with the wisdom of the heart and the mind working together. Someone who can express with thoughtful integrity.

Does such a person exist within our current political landscape? I don’t know. But I have faith that there is someone who is a lot closer to this ideal than is Trump. And I have faith that you love our country enough to work this out, to do your part to save it from this situation we have created.

It’s a huge burden to be placed on so few. But it is yours, and you can choose to stand up and exercise the authority invested in you. This is the purpose of the Electoral College after all. Use your power for good! Please.

Sincerely,

Jamie Mayo