Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat is laudable. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory is lamentable. Snatching defeat from the jaws of defeat is laughable, but a few of us liberals apparently want to give it a try.
One way to do it is to urge Trump’s Presidential Electors to vote their conscience. Conscience!? Our whole campaign was based on the premise that Trump and his acolytes have no conscience. Why would they be different now, after they’ve won? (Perhaps we want to make them die laughing?)
Even if there might be a few who would forsake the darkness for the light, who’s to say that the call of conscience might not persuade as many Hillary supporters, drawn by the aroma of victory, to cross in the other direction? We liberals may think of ourselves as angels, but we shouldn’t forget that Lucifer was simply an angel who saw an attractive job-opening.
There’s something more serious in this spasm of mindlessness. One of the pillars of our opponents‘ temple is States Rights, a philosophy that, though grounded in the Constitution, has reeked of bigotry, injustice, and violence since the Civil War.
The Electoral College is, in a way, a protector of States Rights, designed originally to keep the Union intact by giving the less populous states of the South greater political weight than their raw popular vote would have warranted. In this election, States Rights states, in the South and beyond, were, by and large, Trump states.
To a liberal, for whom the Federal Government is usually a better guarantor of consistency, fairness and justice than is the theology of States Rights (remember civil rights legislation), it might seem nonsensical to favor the Electoral College over the popular vote. The alternative, however, would radicalize these angry states, drive them further to the right, and into the arms of the Voldemort also known as Texas.
Another good way to discredit our liberal principles would be to support the stated intent of some city and state political leaders not to cooperate with, possibly even to stymie, Federal immigration efforts now that Trump is to be President. It was only a couple years ago that we were blasting Arizona, and the notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio, for interfering in immigration policies which, we argued, were the prerogative of the Federal Government.
Have these policies suddenly devolved to the individual states, each with its own policy and border control? Have liberals become States Righters? Just because there are fundamental moral issues involved doesn’t mean we should change our strategic position that, over the course of time, the Federal Government is the best bet for giving moral principles the force of law.
If you lose the game, you don’t change the rules so that they favor your particular weaknesses. You remedy the weaknesses. The Cubs got a new front office, a new manager, new players, a new attitude. They didn’t pout, at least not for long.
OK, so the Presidency isn’t as important as the World Series. But pretend it is. Otherwise, it could be 108 years before we get back to the White House. That’s a long time to pout.