Americans have heard it more than once: “I’ll bet he is turning over in his grave,” when a matter occurs that we know would greatly upset a certain deceased person.
I think of Alexander Hamilton when I think of a person from the past who’d likely be rolling over in his grave if such an event ever happens. What would do it to him? The outcome of the nation’s Electoral College meeting and vote.
From the founding of our republic, members of the Electoral College have had a constitutional responsibility to vote for a qualified person to be the president of our nation. At the urging of Hamilton, the Electoral College was made a part of the Constitution to make certain that every president—including the 45th, now waiting in the wings for January 20—must be competent and capable to perform the duties of the office.
Hamilton and the other founding fathers were cautious in their faith of voters to be good judges but had the foresight to realize that sometime in the future, voters might not select a candidate with the right stuff sufficient to be president. It has been argued of late, in no uncertain terms, that Donald J. Trump lacks the temperament and ability, causing him to be unfit for America’s most important political job.
They met in Washington, D.C. on December 19 and gave their votes in sufficient number to elect Trump. Millions of Americans are disappointed in them. I am one of the disappointed and thereby fear for our future. My reason, in brief, is a deep and abiding anxiousness for the fate of my nation in shoot-from-the-hip hands. Further, my view of the Electoral College is that it’s a dismal failure and should now be abolished in future in favor of the popular vote.
A selective list of concerns about Trump includes the following: he listens only to himself, his children and son-in-law + he’s not accountable or transparent + he’s committed to making money first and foremost + he’s not been able to elaborate on his program and policy changes and will allow the most backward-looking to rule the nation + he’s selected mainly super-wealthy persons and military warhawks to his cabinet + several of his appointments will dismantle federal departments that help Main Street Americans + he promises to end, by substituting something “wonderful,” the Affordable Care Act now insuring former uninsured millions of Americans + he promises to do away with regulations on business and industry that protect the environment for all and keep American workers safe + he lacks a sense of propriety + and he has all the makings of an American president who neither respects nor believes in democratic principles and practices = Angst.
(Gene H. McIntyre’s column appears weekly in the Keizertimes.)