Hey, Electoral College Electors!
I think you should watch Armageddon before you get to business on Monday. It’s just a suggestion, but I think you’ll like it—especially if you are a Republican.
It’s a film from 1998. You probably know the premise even if you haven’t seen it: A big asteroid the size of Texas is heading toward Earth. Everyone and everything is going to die unless a ragtag band of misfits can stop it. You see where I’m going with this.
Who are these heroes? They’re Republicans. The film doesn’t say this, but it’s obvious.
First of all, they’re oil industry folks. Bruce Willis plays Harry Stamper, a guy who can drill a well anywhere. “Whenever they said it couldn’t be drilled, this guy drilled it,” says Dan Truman, a NASA project director played by Billy Bob Thorton.
This asteroid-stopping business can’t be left to normal NASA astronauts. What NASA determines that they need is people who can boldly drill where no man has drilled before—to put a nuclear bomb deep inside the asteroid.
When we first see Harry, he is assaulting Greenpeace protesters by driving golf balls off a drilling platform. How many Republican cred points is that worth?
After that, we see Harry using a big gun while attempting to rein in the sexuality of his adult daughter, Grace (Liv Tyler). More Republican cred points.
There’s even a brief scene with an inordinate number of police are pursuing an unarmed black man named Bear (Michael Clarke Duncan).
And even when this crew is assembled; even when the choice is to let everyone die or to try to not let everyone die, the crew bargains for lower taxes —actually, for no taxes—just for them.
You, Electors, are this crew of heroic astronauts. You have have been pulled out of Constitutional obscurity for your unique ability to prevent a catastrophe — the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency of the United States of America.
You know this will be a catastrophe if you don’t use your Constitutional authority to stop it. You will have to go where Electors have never gone before in the history of this country.
Trump the flamboyantly toxic candidate, and Trump the irresponsible President Elect, have already caused chaos and harm to the quality and reputation of democracy in America—like the hail of asteroid fragments in the beginning of Armageddon that tear up parts of New York City. These fragments were the size of “basketballs and Volkswagens.”
I know you’ve been Hamiltoned to the point of nausea, but your job is to ensure that “the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.”
In asteroid terms, your job is to ensure that the Texas-sized asteroid of a Trump presidency does not make it past what the the film called “the zero barrier,” the last possible moment for the hero to act.
Of course there’s a countdown clock involved. That last possible moment is on Monday.
I wouldn’t want to spoil the ending, but you know the ending. This is not your first Hollywood movie. Things go wrong. In classic cliffhanger style, the heroes do some hectic improvising in the last minutes of the countdown.
I don’t know what you will need to improvise to make this happen, to stop Trump from becoming president. I only know you have to.
Vote for Hillary Clinton? Vote for a compromise Republican candidate? Abstain from voting so that the decision gets kicked to the House of Representatives? I don’t know what you will have to do in that tense final countdown. I just know you need to do it. You know this too.
But when you do, you will walk out of your respective state capitol buildings like heroes and hug your respective sweethearts while a grateful nation applauds you in unison.
Seriously, though: Watch Armageddon.