Morning Chai: Pluto’s Heavy Heart, No So Fast in Gambia, Alaska via Emirates to Australia and More

On my mind: Australia was refreshing. Some days there was no more than one Trump story in the local papers, at least the ones that devote massive sections to horse racing.

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  • Dan

    Why can’t you just accecpt the election result? Why do you keep stirring water? Do you really think one electoral vote will change the result? NYT is totally losing its reputation. How many are really moving to Canada as they said?Get a grip!

  • I didn’t say I do not accept the election result. I believe the result has even more legitimacy than some of the comments of the president-elect seems to imply that he does, and he does not need my help to stir the water. Why should the NYT not publish a cogent and relevant editorial by an elector and citizen? An elector taking that decision is news. As I noted, the comments to the piece on all sides of the issue are worth study. It is part of our duty as citizens to understand the electoral college. If it gives you some relief, though too much of worldwide media is devoted to Trump, I am informally trying to have not more than one piece in any post be related to him. While we have to reckon with him as president-elect, giving him the attention he adores and the respect that is accorded a (presumptive) holder of that office, it is not a service I am willing to perform until I see that he earns it.

  • KanExplore

    Some say that if he cannot vote for Trump out of conscience he should take the honorable step of resigning as elector, rather than going against the will of his state. It’s a valid point, but I disagree with it. Trump supporters note his election is legitimate under the Constitution, something that cannot really be disputed, but the same Constitution that establishes the Electoral College also declines to insist that electors follow their state’s plurality choice. The latter is simply a tradition that the Constitution does not establish. The gentleman is well within his rights to cast his vote for someone else, and I doubt he will be the only one.

    Reform of the Electoral College should be on the agenda, but it seems hard to achieve given the fact the status quo in the Constitution clearly benefits small states and was part of the negotiations the Framers engaged in to secure their ratification of it. About the only change that seems plausible near term to me is that certain other states might be intrigued by the attention Maine and Nebraska get by potentially splitting their electoral votes, and might follow their lead.

  • Thank you for the thoughtful comment. It is hard for many to take the emotion out of the issue, however because the Electoral College exists, it is incumbent on us as citizens to understand its origin and evolution. Though I am not personally happy with the election result, the mechanism of the Electoral College as it is predicted to vote has played what may be a valuable role in geographic balance as the population and economy cleave off into very different Americas. One study I should showed that those few area Clinton won account for 65% of economic output of the country. There are risks (and we saw, perhaps, a reaction) to such segregation of wealth.