Documentary filmmaker and author Michael Moore was a regular in the news during 2016, especially last July when he predicted a Trump win, despite all odds. Turns out he was right. Well, old Michael is back with, not quite a prediction, but some thoughts on what might happen in the next six weeks. Last Wednesday (12/07), Moore was a guest on Seth Meyers’ Late Night show:
“He’s not president till noon on January 20th of 2017. . . . That’s more than six weeks away. Would you not agree, regardless of which side of the political fence you’re on, this has been the craziest election year? Nothing anyone predicted has happened; the opposite has happened. So is it possible, just possible, that in these next six weeks, something else might happen — something crazy, something we’re not expecting?”
Well, I do know that Mike got the Trump win prediction right … and the reasons why:
“I believe Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the rustbelt of the upper Great Lakes — Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Trump is going to hammer Clinton on . . . her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states.”
And he was right. However, that does not make him Nostradamus, and I still think the odds are slim that anything will keep Trump from being inaugurated on January 20th. Even Mr. Moore is hedging his bets, as he is planning to “be there helping lead the national protest and non-violently disrupting the inauguration of a man no one other than the electoral college elected — and I’ll also be doing my own thing as a private citizen (activities I won’t disclose now).”
At any rate, Moore opens the door for the possibility that something might stop Trump from ever actually reaching the White House. I mentioned last week that there are two possibilities, both very slim in my opinion. However the two possibilities are merging in at least one sense, and while I still believe the odds are slim, stranger things have happened in the past year.
The first, of course is the Electoral College. A few electors began a movement to try to sway other electors to vote for someone other than Trump. A name was chosen: John Kasich, Governor of Ohio. If they could sway 37 electors in states where Trump won, then it would reduce Trump’s electoral vote below the 270 required for him to win the electoral vote and it would then be up to the House of Representatives to make the decision. In that case, I believe it is more than likely, almost a certainty, that the House would decide in favour of Trump.
However, the second thing that may have an effect is that last week President Obama called for a full review of the possibility of Russian interference in the 2016 election, which many of us are hoping will lead to the information being compiled by numerous security agencies being declassified and made public. If any evidence can be found that Trump either had a role in the hacking or even was aware of it in advance, that would constitute treason and he would not, at least in my opinion, be allowed to take office. Though the information is not yet complete, there is said to be quite a bit of evidence that the Russians were involved, but I do not know more than that. Many have gotten behind the push for transparency in this issue, including one that surprised me: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. A Republican. An outspoken Republican. McConnell says he believes Russian involvement in the U.S. election needs to be investigated. He added, “I have the highest confidence in the intelligence community, and especially the Central Intelligence Agency.”
Now these two possible hurdles to Trump being inaugurated come together, as the electors, who are to meet in their home states’ capitals on December 19th, just six days from now, have sent a letter to James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence that reads, in part:
“The Electors require to know from the intelligence community whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election, the scope of those investigations, how far those investigations may have reached, and who was involved in those investigations,” they wrote. “We further require a briefing on all investigative findings, as these matters directly impact the core factors in our deliberations of whether Mr. Trump is fit to serve as President of the United States.”
One purpose of the Electoral College, as stated in the Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, is to “weed out” any candidate that might capture the public’s interest enough to get elected by the process but who do not have the requisite qualities necessary for the office of Presidency of the United States, therefore not being fit to become the commander in chief of the United States. Has there ever been a more appropriate time in the history of our nation for the Electoral College to serve in this capacity?