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Trump easily passes the test of Federalist 68, but Suprun's relied upon authorities do not
Texas Elector does not understand his role
Christopher Suprun has declared to the world in the New York Times that he will not vote for Trump despite his constituency voting for Trump. His argument for disenfranchising those who he represents is childishly simple and petty.
He does not understand Federalist 68 and actually appeals to the moral authority of those who advocate reckless globalization of the American economy and military, something that violates the very standards Federalist 68 erects. Suprun should resign because he does not understand his role.
A brief review of Federalist Paper No. 68
Hamilton is believed to have written Federalist No. 68, the paper often viewed as something akin to the legislative history of a portion of Article II Section I of the constitution, that part which lays out the electoral college. Federalist 68 essentially argues that the popular vote should play an important role in the selection of a president but an electoral college should have the final word so as to avoid the evils of corruption, foreign influence and lack of national consensus.
Hamilton thought that those with power to elect must have the opportunity to deliberate. He thought they must meet in their own states and not in a single national group so as to avoid heated decisions brought on by emotional incitement. He sought the avoidance of cabals and corruption, most notably from lurking and influential foreign powers.
Hamilton seemed to view the electors as trustees of their respective constituencies popular will except in circumstances of manifest corruption and foreign intrusion. He reasoned that the president should not be dependent on any established governmental group but the people themselves to avoid temptations toward corruption, and he saw the electors as a means of ensuring that outcome. He largely equated, therefore, electors and the popular vote with some narrow exceptions.
Where a majority cannot form, Hamilton wanted the House to elect the President as the only body capable delivering a majority consensus the people could accept. So he viewed the role of the elector as very limited with the moral authority to thwart the popular will only where corruption, foreign intrusion or lack of a national consensus clearly emerge, none of which are present in the case of Trump.
Hamilton did fear that a person who is skilled at dealing with only local issues of one state and gaining the popular support of only those in close proximity would not have have the ability to serve as president. This seems to hearken back to governing philosophy of those around Hamilton who formed the Tammany Society in 1786 and later Tammany Hall. Living in New York, Hamilton no doubt understood the deep tendency toward corruption of such individuals.
Mr. Suprun refers to the proscriptions of Federalist 68 as warnings against demagogy, electing someone who is unqualified and free of foreign influence. He broadly states that Trump fails to meet those standards without actually articulating them as I have, preferring to rely on some close approximation of the broad statement of the standards in the first sentence of this paragraph.
If anyone deserves the label here, Mr. Suprun is the demagogue. Alexander Hamilton likely would have been appalled at the simplistic application of his reasoning for the electoral college employed by Suprun.
After reading 68 closely one understands that it imagines three main evils, corruption, foreign influence and the election to president of one possessing qualifications insufficient to convince a considerable portion of the Union of his ability to succeed in that office, someone like a Tammany Hall boss.
Suprun glosses over the specifics of Federalist 68, relying on vague notions of what is warned of so that he can recite his specific objections to Trump without exposing their superficiality and outright error. Suprun cites objections seemingly lifted from the OccupyDemocrats website. His editorial is laughable when juxtaposing its intended grandiosity with its evident nothingness.
Trump's inability to unite America prior to taking the oath is the key objection
Suprun cites Trump's inability to unite America as his key objection to Trump. He cites his Tweet about SNL and claims Trump stokes fears. This violates Suprun's concept of the US as a shining city on a hill.
He then notes that Federalist 68 gives electors the task of determining if candidates are qualified, apparently in the broadest sense of the word with no guidance as to what renders one qualified. He employs his own subjective standard, stating that a lack of foreign policy experience and the requisite demeanor of a president disqualify Trump. Neither standard comes from 68. He notes the letter written by fifty globalist oriented Republicans stating that he would be a "dangerous president," ignoring the fact that these were almost all Bush loyalists.
Faithless elector Suprun ignores the fact that both Cheney and Rumsfeld support Trump, as well as fairly significant number of former NeverTrumpers. None other than Mitt Romney has praised the transition and stated that he can see Trump as the man to lead our nation into a brighter future. Also, many of the signers of that letter advocated and executed our invasion of Iraq and the mess following.
Would Hamilton have heralded the judgment of such strong advocates for decades long forays into deeply questionable foreign interventions? Of course not. Hamilton would have likely viewed advocates for such globalization with suspicion and potentially as unworthy of an elector's vote under Federalist 68, yet Suprun cites them in support. Nonsense.
Last Suprun alleges that Trump's business dealings in foreign nations implicitly renders him in violation of the proscription against presidents receiving foreign payments. He ignores the fact that Trump has announced plans to pass all of his business interests to his children.
Ultimately Suprun's objections are trifling and transparently motivated by politics. He is a Bushy, obviously, and like those he cites in his letter is just unable to accept Trump who is the personification of a firm rejection of Bushism. Bush was a mega-globalist. Federalist 68 stands in opposition to the kind of corrupt globalism we have seen, where multinational corporations and even foreign governments in the case of Hillary Clinton, have direct impact on our politics.
Trump stands in opposition to this very thing, advocating a strong nationalism, something Hamilton would have embraced. Trump passes the test in 68 because he strongly opposes corruption, unrestrained globalization and has clearly united a considerable portion of the nation behind him sufficient to succeed nationally.
Trump is a rejection of corrupt establishment politics, the kind politics Boss Tweed was famous for. Trump is not the danger the electors were established to avoid. If anything, he's the opposite.
Suprun's simplistic moralization based on preposterously vague electoral standards equates to the temper-tantrum of a Bushy. Because Suprun so fundamentally misses the mark in the fulfillment of his duties, he should resign and let someone who does not allow his or her political sentimentalities to govern his current judgment do the job.
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