When you see videos of Hollywood celebrities — like the latest with Martin Sheen, Debra Messing and Bob Odenkirk — earnestly telling Americans how to live up to their brand of liberal politics by rejecting the GOP, the first question you have to ask yourself is: Why? I still ask myself that after watching the latest pitch under the Orwellian hashtags #UniteForAmerica (the ad hoc group’s disingenuous name) and #SupportTheElectors. A montage of stars sotto voce urges “Republican members of the Electoral College” to vote their conscience — that is, against their own fellow citizens’ considered election choice.
American history has seen occasional “faithless” electors turn against their states’ popular vote, but the “faithless” have never changed an election’s outcome. Unite For America wants to change that by urging “faithless” electors to go blockbuster. If when they vote on Dec. 19, 37 Republicans were to turn against their own to deny Trump the 270 votes needed to win the White House, the celebrities apparently believe the about-face would unite the country. You know, because Trump voters take rejection as gently as lambs.
Perhaps the — all bow — acting community really is that clueless. The actors urge GOP electors to be “brave.” It’s a nice good-cop appeal even as other Democratic partisans are playing ruthless hardball to intimidate GOP electors before they vote on Dec. 19. Websites have released the emails and addresses of GOP electors who have been deluged with well-meaning exhortations, as well as name-calling and lurid death threats. Michigan GOP elector Michael Banerian told The New York Post, “Somebody threatened to put a bullet in the back of my mouth.”
While one website urged correspondents to write nice letters on paper to appeal to electors’ better nature, there is no removing the other message behind the letters: We know where you live.
I understand the frustration Democrats must feel in winning the popular vote. That said, the Constitution is a set of rules, including the Electoral College.
As so frequently happens, critics become what they once opposed. Now the Hollywood left wants to trample and misrepresent the purpose of the Electoral College. (Note to Sheen and company: The framers were less worried about their fellow white landowners electing an “unfit” candidate than the prospect of high-population states imposing their will on small states.)
Also, anti-Trumpers charged The Donald cared more about himself than what is good for the country. Yet as Trump has been reaching out to supporters and critics, the Hollywood left is pushing for an outcome that would divide America even further. They must know it won’t work, but they don’t care, because in the end, it’s only preening.
Email Debra J. Saunders at firstname.lastname@example.org.