Wake-up call: Epps on ‘sentimental Electoral College twaddle’

Professor Garrett Epps has a message for anyone who hopes that electors pledged to President-elect Donald Trump will change their minds: Snap out of it.

The Electoral College “remains the dishonorable, botched, terrifyingly fragile lash-up it has always been,” Epps wrote in a Dec. 12 column for The Atlantic, “What Would You Do If You Were a Presidential Elector?”

Thus, Epps says, Dec. 19 — the day electors vote — will most likely be “the biggest anti-climax since Y2K, with Trump’s electors meekly voting the expressed will of their state’s voters, giving him the majority he needs.”

Epps says such realpolitik does not go over well with many: “My attempts to push back against the flood of sentimental Electoral College twaddle have made some people on the left so angry that they’ve actually complained to my employers.”

While saying that vote-shopping by electors after an election would be dangerous, Epps makes clear that each elector must search his or her conscience before casting a vote.

Writes Epps: “Don’t look at the popular-vote tracker. Don’t look at the ‘Founding Fathers.’ This is a new problem, and the only place to look is your own conscience.

“What would you do?”

BBC News picked up a section of Epps’s column for a Dec. 12 story, “Could the electoral college dump Trump?”

Learn more about Professor Epps.

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