By the time you read this article, election day will probably have passed and hopefully you will know who won the popular vote in the U.S. presidential election. If Donald Trump has won the popular vote, don’t read another word of this article, RUN. However, if the polls are to be believed, Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris will have won the popular vote. They will be the president and vice president elect, unless they have the misfortune to lose as candidates have lost five other times in United States History, after winning the popular vote. Those five times were when Andrew Jackson lost in 1824 to John Quincy Adams; Samuel Tilden lost in 1876 to Rutherford B. Hayes; Grover Cleveland lost in 1888 to Benjamin Harrison; Al Gore lost in 2000 to George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 to Donald J. Trump. If the 2020 presidential election is the Blue landslide everybody is predicting, probably no one will even be talking about the electoral college. Black people may be dancing in the street like on V.J. day or V.O.J. day and the Proud boys will probably have lost a beer hall putsch or have hopefully stood down, with better sense than to take on a military soon to be under the Commander in Chief-elect Joseph Biden. Wake Up! No matter what the numbers say, the real election hasn’t even occurred yet. It won’t occur until December 14, 2020 when the 538 members of the Electoral College Vote. If state vote totals are not resolved by six days prior to that date, December 8th under the 1887 Electoral Account Act Congress can get involved.
THE LACK OF EVIDENCE OF THINGS UNSEEN
Although the Electoral college is based on the electors in each state voting for the candidate that won the popular vote in their state, it doesn’t always work out that way. There exists what is called faithless electors. These are electors that do not honor their pledge to vote the way the popular vote went in their states. Historically there have been dozens of faithless electors ( between 157 and 167 total), however, between 1948 and 2012 there were never more than 1 faithless elector per election. As with everything presidential that pattern changed when Donald Trump ran in 2016. There were 7 to 10 faithless elector votes in 2016 but state rules nullified a few of them during that election. It gave some people a scare but didn’t really matter the way it did in 1876 when Rutherford B. Hayes won by 1 electoral vote after the supreme court ordered that the electoral votes of Louisiana, South Carolina and Florida be awarded to him despite those states having issued certificates of elections to both he and his opponent in that race.
HEARTACHES BY THE NUMBERS
The fact of the matter, is that faithless electors could still throw the election into the Congress because of the constitutional provision which calls for the House of Representatives to choose the President and for the Senate to choose the Vice president when no candidate has a clear majority of electoral votes. Some strange mixture such as Biden and Pence could end up the winners. One reason this can happen, is because up to 18 states have no laws preventing faithless electors. Some of those states that do, have punishments as trivial as a $1000 dollar fine. For Stakes as high as the U.S. presidency, 1000 dollars for a trump card as valuable as an elector, is nothing (pun intended). But what could cause something so unusual to happen. Historically when white folks broke all the rules in the past some matter related to race was involved.
THIS GIVES A WHOLE NEW MEANING TO THE EXPRESSION VICE PRESIDENTIAL RACE
Race was certainly the issue when the electoral college was ratified into existence in 1804 (the 3/5ths compromise). However, the race issue most resembling that of this 2020 race was the race issue of the vice presidential race of 1836. That issue was interracial marriage. It threw that vice presidential race into the Senate despite the Vice presidential candidate Richard Mentor Johnson having won a clear popular victory and a clear majority of pledged electors from the Electoral College. Mentor had a majority of pledged electors as did his running mate Martin Van Buren who won the presidential race. However, Johnson was greatly disliked because of his interracial marriage. He had 2 children by a Black woman named Chinn and his marriage to her was Common law because laws at the time did not permit them to legally marry. The fact that he was tactless enough not to deny his woman or his children as Thomas Jefferson did, was considered scandalous at the time, so he was hated. Even though his Common law wife was dead by the time of the 1836 election, feelings about the relationship caused 23 of Virginia's electors pledged to Johnson to vote for William Smith of Alabama. This threw the vice-presidential race into the U.S. Senate. The Senate voted to nullify the treachery of the faithless electors and put Johnson rightfully into the Vice President's seat. True to the old saying Johnson never went back and eventually enjoyed the companionship of two other Black women.
HEAVEN MUST BE LIKE THIS
However, the same happy ending might not occur for Kamala. Imagine a senate such as the one that refused to remove the impeached guilty as hell Donald Trump from office. If called to select a Vice President, do you think they would choose Kamala over Pence. Nope. Joe would be the president and Pence would be placed into office by the Senate. Trump would of course by then be on Airforce One headed to Slovenia ostensibly to visit his in-laws. From there he could take a train, a limousine or the first thing smoking to Russia with Melania but “No Hookers.” (Is that even Possible.) Mike Pence, ever the fundamentalist Christian would probably be praying for the 78 year old ruptured brain aneurysm survivor, Joe Biden, to go bye bye, to heaven of course, ASAP.
By James C. McIntosh, M.D.