How Trump Has Brought Us Closer to the Death of Democracy

“Trump’s campaign is openly floating the notion of trying to get friendly state legislatures to appoint electors who would overturn the will of the voters.”

Let that sink in for a moment. This isn’t reporting from some whacko left-wing publication This is from U.S. News – about as reliable a centrist magazine that exists. And they’re reporting Trump has now moved to trying to disenfranchise millions of voters.

And he’s started with Michigan. Trump Has invited two key MI legislators – State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield – to the White House.

According to multiple sources, his message will be to decertify the election and send a slate of pro-Trump electors to Washington.

If this “Hail Mary” play worked in just a handful of key states, we could wind up with another four years of Donald Trump.

So, what are the chances? Should we kiss Democracy good-bye?

The Good News Out of Michigan… Maybe

Majority Leader Shirkey has a reassuring message. “Michigan law does not include a provision for the Legislature to directly select electors,” Shirkey’s spokesperson said, “or to award electors to anyone other than the person who received the most votes.”

And a Nov. 6 tweet from Chatfield said: “Whoever gets the most votes will win Michigan! Period. End of story. Then we move on.”

Both politicians seem to be solidly behind the state’s voters. Then why would they agree to meet with Trump?

Perhaps because they feel they have to mollify Trump’s base in order to keep their jobs. But it appears clear they have no legal recourse to undo the results of the election.

Meanwhile Donald Trump called the two Republican members of Wayne County’s Board of Canvassers.

On Tuesday, the Board was split on certifying the results of the election. So they held a public meeting via Zoom.

For nearly three hours, the Board listened to angry Wayne County voters who objected to being disenfranchised. In the end, the two Republican members of the Board voted with the two Democrats to certify the results.

Then both Republicans received calls from Donald Trump. The following morning, they attempted to rescind their votes. But a spokesperson for the MI Secretary of State noted, “There is no legal mechanism for them to rescind their vote.”

Bottom line: Joe Biden won by more than 150,000 votes… there’s no evidence of voter fraud… and Michigan’s electoral votes should go to Joe Biden.

And it appears they will.

But don’t get complacent.

Trump Still Has a Long Shot

According to Reuters, federal law allows a state legislature to name Electors “if voters failed to make a choice.” This would require determining there were so many “irregularities,” that a clear winner couldn’t be decided.

In reality, no state meets that standard. But Trump’s allies are apparently trying to convince Republican-led legislatures to make that determination. Which would allow them to name a full pro-Trump slate of Electors.

Reuters quotes Georgetown professor Paul Smith as saying, “There’s a lot of reasons to think that’s illegal and improper and politically infeasible. But some people are talking about it for sure.”

Considering how far the GOP has gone at this point, it doesn’t feel out of the question. This could lead to several scenarios – including “dueling slates” of Electors vying to cast their votes.

We can’t take a chance on this. Let your state and Federal legislators know: If they don’t follow the will of the people, they can expect to be swept from office in their next election. Because that’s the only language some of them understand.

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White, E., et al, “Trump Summons Michigan GOP Leaders for Extraordinary Meeting,” Associated Press, via U.S. News. Nov 19, 2020.

Hals, T., “Explainer: Can Trump override the popular vote?” Reuters. Nov 20, 2020.