How Republican State Legislatures Can Reelect Trump

It is time for the Republican state legislatures to go nuclear.  

Where there is a will, there is a way. If the Republican Party is willing to fight, Donald Trump can win a second term without needing to win a single recount or court case.

Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution states that “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress . . . ” (Emphasis added.)

The manner of appointing electors is left entirely to the state legislatures. The constitutional text could not be any clearer.

Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia all have Republican-controlled legislatures. If these bodies so wished, they could appoint new slates of electors that would elect Donald Trump in the vote of the Electoral College. 

In 2000, in the midst of the legal fight over the Florida election results, the Florida legislature signaled its intent to send a slate of electors in favor of George W. Bush should the issue come to a head. In 2020, the swing states narrowly “won” by Joe Biden must do the same. 

With the Coronavirus lockdowns, mask mandates, and the instantiation of the new biomedical security state, the American political Left and the Democratic Party have already crossed the Rubicon. It is time the Right did the same. 

Joe Biden is a corrupt gerontocrat. He spent five decades in Washington shilling for the credit card industry, the Iraq War, and the Chinese Communist Party. If elected he will work to undo the right of Americans to own and bear arms. The neoliberal world order that Joe Biden represents is fundamentally opposed to the way of life of tens of millions of Americans. Biden and his ilk, if returned to power, will continue the destruction of America’s heartland communities. Off-shoring and mass immigration have eroded the wages of middle America for generations. A return to the pre-2016 bipartisan consensus under Biden would only accelerate that process.

Rejected out of hand by our elite class, the older American way of life remains intact only in the hearts and minds of everyday people far from the centers of power. This faction may not, in the end, constitute a majority. But it does not matter. No election can legitimize the destruction of the rights and liberties of the people.

Donald Trump is an avatar of that older way of life. He shattered the dominion of the post-World War II neoliberal view by insisting on tariffs, protection for workers, and a close to our endless wars. 

The media and institutional backlash against his presidency began immediately after he was elected with the unsubstantiated Russian collusion allegations. The coronavirus response represents simply the latest and most aggressive attempt to re-instantiate the dominance of America’s elite class. The coronavirus response was a coup. It ushered in a new regime—the biomedical security state

This new regime treats every citizen like a potential plague carrier much in the same way the post-9/11 security state treats every American like a potential terrorist. This new regime has the power to suspend any and all rights in the name of security and safety. Joe Biden openly embraces and represents this reign of “science” and “expertise” in the stead of the consent of the governed. 

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris described this election as a “battle for the soul of the country.” They were right. What sort of nation will we have? Are we a nation of critical race theorists—divided along lines of oppressor and oppressed organized by gender, race, and sexuality? Or are we a nation of strong families and citizens endowed with sacred rights? Are we a nation of laws? Or are we a nation of edicts and mandates? Are we a republic? Or are we an empire?

The difference between Donald Trump and Joe Biden is stark. It is existential. The country is deeply divided. “Healing” is not possible without the victory of one faction over the other. We can have the republican order or the neoliberal order. We cannot have both.

The Republican Party has a chance to live up to its name. It has a chance to win a critical victory against the American Left while defending the republican principles that made America what it is. Overturning the popular elections for presidential electors is a bold strategy. But the threat of a Biden presidency and the abnormality of this election with mass mail-in voting, the allegations of election irregularities, the changes to election procedure and law by state courts and executives, all point to a need for the state legislatures to intervene.

Reason magazine recently argued that a legislature attempting to settle an ongoing election dispute by imposing its own partisan solution “would not only undermine the legitimacy of the particular presidential candidate the legislature was trying to help” but “would be subversive of American faith in democratic elections generally.”

And? There is nothing legitimate about a candidate for president who believes in endless states of emergency, mask mandates, lockdowns, and gun registries while being propped up by a massive propaganda machine. The American people have lived through months of Coronavirus hysteria—all designed to suppress their rights and liberties. Without this media-generated panic, Joe Biden would have had no chance at the presidency.  

Moreover, the elections for president are not and have never been purely democratic. They are republican. That is why the Constitution gives to an intermediary institution—the state legislature—the power to decide the manner of appointing delegates to the Electoral College. 

Republican state legislatures must therefore act to preserve the rights of the people. They have the power to do so. Exerting that power may cause a constitutional crisis, but we are already living in the midst of such a crisis. Letting the American media and their corporate backers decide this election through mass propaganda and unprecedented alterations to our electoral processes is unacceptable.

From the moment that bureaucrats and governors shuttered churches, businesses, and private gatherings in the spring, the Rubicon had been crossed. The American people must resist. They must prod their representatives to use every legal means by which the travesty of the biomedical security state may be undone. The elevation of Donald Trump to a second term is critical to this end. 

Republican state legislatures have the power. Now they must find the will to use it. 

About Josiah Lippincott

Josiah Lippincott is a former Marine officer and current Master's student at the Van Andel School of Statesmanship at Hillsdale College.

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

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