There are a few things associated with this media-driven Electoral College spectacle that really intrigue me.
First, the electors who vote today in their respective states have been verbally harassed and, in some cases, even threatened with bodily harm.
Imagine if electoral fortunes were reversed and Hillary had won under identical circumstances – an Electoral College victory but a popular vote deficit. Likewise, imagine that red state Americans were engaging in the same sort of angry behavior, bombarding electors with harassing e-mails and even threatening physical harm. The Obama Administration, characterizing all this outlandish behavior as a full-blown crisis, would have fully mobilized all of the resources of the Justice Department.
Within this electoral reality, however, the President has focused solely on the specter of Russian interference in the presidential election, which remains more speculation than hard fact, while entirely ignoring what, in constitutional terms, should be his first priority: to ensure a safe environment for the 538 individuals charged with undertaking one of this country’s most critical constitutional tasks.
Second, who among thoughtful conservatives isn’t amused by the newfound affinity of Hollywood for the Founding Fathers and the hallowed institution of the Electoral College.
Ponder this irony for a moment: The Electoral College was conceived roughly a quarter millennium ago by these reactionary white-privileged WASPS to thwart the unbridled democratic impulses – the very impulses to which the vast majority of glitterati have paid such perfervid lip service for generations, certainly since the advent of FDR’s New Deal.
Talk about elite political discourse turning on a dime!
Third, I’m shocked that mainstream media are actually indulging talk of incipient revolution – a popular uprising that could topple Trump, much the same way that Ukrainians deposed ex-President Viktor Yanukovych.
Red state Americans raised similar concerns about what could follow a Hillary Clinton presidency throughout the election cycle, and many of their arguments were valid. Clinton Foundation shenanigans, the underhanded dealings of the Democratic National Committee to throw the nomination in favor of Hillary, and the Obama Administration’s politicization of the Justice Department and intelligence gathering apparatus really pointed to a regime resembling far more a Latin American banana republic than the historic Anglo-American republic bound by an ironclad commitment to the rule of law.
Yet, imagine the outrage within the mainstream media that would follow if the the specter of an popular insurgency were raised by right-leaning news sources and opinionators in the aftermath of a Hillary victory. And to add an extra layer of irony to all of this: These are the same people who are devoting serious discussion to the topic secession, now that West Coast progressives have evinced an interest in the topic.
Fourth and finally, I am no less intrigued by the lengths to which the New York Times and other elite media have underscored the smallness of the Trump win. Quite conveniently, as as the Electoral College meets today in state capitals throughout the country, the New York Times posted an article with considerable graphic enhancement illustrating that Trump’s electoral victory ranks 46th among 58 presidential elections. The Times stresses that among presidential victors Trump edges out only the rock-bottomed ranked Rutherford B. Hayes and John Quincy Adams in his popular vote share.
Yet, there is really nothing small at all about this election outcome when one considers it within the wider context of American political history. The biggest political maverick among all presidential contenders, minimized, scorned and denigrated by elites as the mouthpiece of the most socially and culturally marginalized segment of the electorate – Flyover Americans – overcame a series of what were considered at the time mortal blows to win what will likely be recalled by historians as the biggest political upset in American history.
In that respect, Trump’s victory was not a small one, not by a long shot.
The only other presidential maverick/victor who comes anywhere close to this electoral upset is Andrew Jackson. And almost two centuries since Jackson’s victory, we still recall how he completely re-sifted the American political and cultural landscape.
Donald Trump presents an immediate, perhaps even mortal, threat to the interests of the American ruling class. And I believe it’s this existential threat that accounts for all this talk within Establishment media of Electoral College coups and popular uprisings.