There isn’t a New York Times best seller that will be able to compete with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report with its conclusions about Trump and company, pre- and post-2016 election, when it is finally complete. The phrase, “you couldn’t write this stuff” will most certainly ring true.
With the investigation pushing hard through the final phase, we are given some pieces of the puzzle. More indictments are sure to come with, perhaps, focus on "trisexual" Roger Stone and Donald Jr., and maybe even son-in-law Jared Kushner. As Mueller closes in, we see Trump grow more frantic. We wait for the Congressional Republicans to remember that protecting democracy is indeed their job. As a nation we watch our standing in the world fall even further, recession fears are discussed, climate fears are fast becoming devasting reality, the Republicans go to ugly lengths to protect their stranglehold in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and North Carolina and division is stoked by our president to protect himself from his day of reckoning. Such is the state of this very troubled union.
Thanks to Flynn, Cohen, and to some degree Manafort, we have learned much about what really went on in 2016. We know that Trump had dealings with the Russians to build Trump Tower in Moscow up until his nomination on July 19, 2016 (if not after). We know that we, the voters, were lied to about this. We know that Trump directed efforts to hide his extramarital affairs, committing felonies under campaign finance laws in order to affect the presidential election. We know that Trump committed fraud to gain the presidency and questioning his very legitimacy as president is warranted. We know there is much more to come. Now we face questions surrounding the remedy when the final blows to Trump and company come. Is impeachment warranted? Well, yes if you care at all about our democracy. Can a sitting president be indicted? Add the word illegitimate to that and ask again. Should we wait until the 2020 election and let the voters decide? No, our congressmembers should honor their oath to the Constitution and save the punting for the NFL.
In all that happened in the presidential election of 2016, the fraud, the Russian involvement, the campaign finance law violations, the Comey letter of October 28, 2016, whatever role the NRA played, in all of it, Trump lost the election. It was the will of the people by about 3 million votes that Hillary Clinton become the 45th President of the United States. The last straw was the Electoral College. It made a winner out of a loser by 79,000 votes in three states. The voters weren’t fooled by Donald Trump. If the Electoral College hadn’t been there, the will of the people would have been done and the world would look very different (read: better) today.
The Electoral College keeps the majority of voters in this country hostage to the minority in presidential politics. The election of 2016 is just the beginning as population shifts continue. Created by Article 2, Section 1, Clause 3 of the Constitution and the 12th Amendment, the Electoral College is the albatross that has given us President Donald J. Trump and damaged our country and our institutions for decades.
Thank the Electoral College as our courts become so conservative as to be out of touch with the majority of Americans. In order to amend the Electoral College out of existence a proposed amendment to the Constitution must pass Congress with a two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate. After that, three-fourths of the state legislatures must affirm the proposed amendment. With Republicans in control of both houses in 30 states after the 2018 midterms, this isn’t going to happen. There are other methods to amend the Constitution, but they are even more cumbersome.
However, there is a way to avoid the Electoral College from doing its alchemy and making an overwhelming loser in the popular election the winner ever again. Keep the Electoral College, but through legislation our Congress, with its implied powers under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 18 of the Constitution, could pass a law negating the results in the Electoral College if the outcome would change the result of the popular vote in cases of large discrepancies. Known as the “Necessary and Proper Clause,” the above-refenced portion of the Constitution gives the Congress the elasticity to address the needs of the people as they arise. If ever something was necessary and proper the domination of the minority over the majority in presidential elections to come must be curtailed if we are to remain a democracy. It’s a bold remedy and Constitutional scholars would yell from atop their ivory towers — but sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.