This Faithless Elector Made A Huge Statement That He Wants All Electors To Follow In 2016
With the convening of the Electoral College swiftly approaching, all eyes are on the electors themselves — more specifically, on possible "faithless electors," whose states Donald Trump won but who will refuse to cast their votes for the president-elect. One is Christopher Suprun, a Texas Republican elector who believes Trump is not fit for the nation's highest job. On Monday, this faithless elector made a huge statement about breaking with his party, showing that even in this terrifying political climate, there are still people on the right who fear what Trump may do to the United States.
In an op-ed for The New York Times published on Dec. 5, a mere two weeks before electors around the country convene on Dec. 19, Suprun passionately wrote about the myriad reasons he is breaking with his party's line and refusing to cast his vote for Trump:
I have poured countless hours into serving the party of Lincoln and electing its candidates. I will pour many more into being more faithful to my party than some in its leadership. But I owe no debt to a party. I owe a debt to my children to leave them a nation they can trust.
Using simple but moving language, Suprun's editorial acts less as a call for other electors to follow suit (though he does, of course, implore them to vote their conscience against Trump) and more as a confessional. It provides a fascinating look into the post-election mind of a #NeverTrump Republican who served as a firefighter in New York during the 9/11 attacks in 2001. It's clear that he feels more duty to his country's safety than to his party — a party that allowed a candidate it didn't originally like to rise to power in the first place.
In his op-ed, Suprun cited a number of reasons for his rejection of Trump, including Trump's slow timing in his response to the Ohio State shootings in light of his itchy Twitter finger, his lack of foreign policy experience, and his murky understanding of the Constitution, among others. What lies underneath the surface of the piece, however, is the will and determination of someone who has watched his party go mad, who has watched and continues to watch members of his party turn their backs on their own platform of patriotism out of fear or political self-interest.
In the article, Suprun invoked the ideals of Alexander Hamilton in his defense of his choice to break with his state's Electoral College vote:
Alexander Hamilton provided a blueprint for states' votes. Federalist 68 argued that an Electoral College should determine if candidates are qualified, not engaged in demagogy, and independent from foreign influence. Mr. Trump shows us again and again that he does not meet these standards.
Suprun has long threatened the possibility of being a faithless elector, and has drawn the ire of the piranha-like Trump supporters of Twitter, but it's doubtful that he cares.
Suprun's poignant piece is not only the first time I've agreed with a Republican in a long, long time — it also excellently illustrates that there remains members of the GOP who are willing to stand up against Trump despite his win. It's doubly brave that there are still Republicans willing to speak up about their #NeverTrump positions.