On Wednesday night, controversial filmmaker Michael Moore made yet another mind-numbing prediction: He strongly suggested to late-night talk show host Seth Meyers that the Electoral College would deny President-elect Donald Trump a victory prior to his January 20th, 2017 inauguration. Moore previously stunned everyone by predicting Trump’s victory at a time when the analytics — and the political-media establishment — all favored Hillary Clinton.
There is a mechanism for what Moore is suggesting, however unlikely, and it exists within the Electoral College itself in the form of a decentralized, existential bunch of wonks. And, historically speaking, they have never actually asserted their power and changed a presidential election. They’re called ‘faithless electors,’ people nominated to represent the will of the people but who may, constitutionally speaking, revoke their duties. So far, there are seven ‘faithless electors’ who have defected from voting for Trump in the Electoral College. Count ‘em, seven — out of 270. That’s not a lot, obviously, but the mind balks at how quickly momentum could swing against a candidate that garnered over 2.5 million fewer votes than his challenger in the popular vote.
As of Thursday evening, the first Republican ‘faithless elector’ declared he would not vote Trump and that the presidency “is not a done deal.”
Here are three reasons why I believe Trump could, incredibly, still lose this election:
Trump has revealed himself to be fully in support of the establishment.
With his selections for pretty much the full gamut of cabinet positions, Trump has revealed himself to be an establishment figure, which is exactly the perception he ran against. Will his voters turn against him? Mostly no (or, at least, not yet). Will the other 74.5 percent of Americans who did not support him reject his victory? Possibly. Will this alone cause Trump to end up losing the vaunted Electoral College? No. Of course not! That’s why there are two more reasons.
Hillary won the popular vote by over 2.5 million.
This is fact. The number is actually growing. It’s historic; it’s actually disgusting if one is prone to be disgusted by electoral politics. Will this alone — or in conjunction with reason one — cause Trump to lose? No. Of course not! That’s why there’s one more, important, reason.
Elections can be stolen.
This happens. It happens more than you think. Usually, it happens before the popular vote – you know, when the votes are actually coming in, in the form of vote flipping and “magic fractions.” The 2000 election was stolen for Bush, the 2004 election was stolen again for Bush, and the Obama elections probably would have been stolen except that he won by such huge margins it would have been obvious. And many, many elections have been rigged or gerrymandered in some way.
It can happen. The question is whether it can happen after the popular vote and before the inauguration, which, admittedly, is unheard of.
But here’s why I think it will happen. [And, to be clear, this is not because I support Hillary Clinton, though, frankly, she would be better for alternative media than Trump. Why? That’s for a future op-ed. Oh, it’s also because Trump is a tyrant who will likely pass more draconian laws against journalists than Bush and Obama combined.]
A scenario that could easily turn the election — and would constitute ‘stealing’ an election according to the Right (the same Right that despised Trump not two months ago) — involves the ‘faithless electors’ launching a coup. You don’t think coups happen in America? They happen a lot – you just don’t hear about them from the mainstream media that is instructed, not permitted, to neglect them.
One coup happened between 2000 and 2001, when one political party hatched a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed populist moderate candidate whose conservative establishment convinced the elites to use their embedded political operatives and hackers to electronically steal an election and then use a terrorist attack to embroil us in an endless war in the Middle East and legalize the Patriot Act.
Now it is possible the Dems and a rogue ‘faithless elector’ group are working on a similar pitch to steal this election and push through a candidate who will give us more endless war in the Middle East and legalize the TPP.
There are other ways, too, involving “false flag” assassinations and terrorist attacks on Washington that would induct COG (‘continuity of government’) schemes. But who’s got time for that…?
So, this is it, liberal America. Do you have the temerity to trigger a gun-toting Right revolution? Do you have the audacity to cajole a ‘faithless elector’ coup? Because — not that I’m endorsing it — that’s how you could steal this election.