Progressive groups are planning a wave of nationwide demonstrations and protests to convince Electoral College to dump Donald Trump. At worst, the groups hope to highlight the that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote and that Trump’s victory was made possible by massive voter suppression.
When the 538 individuals who make up the Electoral College descend on the 50 state capitals to formalize the results of the presidential election on Dec. 19, it won’t be without fanfare: They’ll be greeted by a national wave of protests organized and supported by progressive groups.
We go into this with sober expectations. Barring an extraordinary event, the Electoral College will likely elect Donald Trump as president. However, we can achieve two concrete things with these protests even if Trump wins the vote,” writes PCCC co-founder Adam Green in a letter to the group’s members, which will circulate on Wednesday.
“First, by generating media attention to the idea that Electors who support the popular vote winner, we can make it a source of mockery when Trump claims a ‘mandate’ for an authoritarian, anti-worker, right-wing agenda. And when establishment Republicans in Congress claim a ‘mandate’ to ram millions of dollars of corporate giveaways through Congress,” Green writes. “Second, these events will force the media to report that Trump’s razor thin victories in battleground states were made possible in part by massive voter suppression.”
For progressive and liberal activists the protest of the Electoral College is part of a broader strategy to expand the grassroots left to mobilize against the Trump agenda. For eight years activists on the left have been able to shape their efforts around the Obama White House.
On issues where the base stood with the President, they became the tip of the grassroots spear. On issues where they differed with Obama, they could target their protest efforts around the singular entity of his presidency. In the Trump years, the left is going to need to regroup and expand their efforts, because there will be pressure required on the Republican-controlled House, Senate, and White House on top the issue-based grassroots efforts that will be needed on everything from women’s rights to civil rights to voting rights to protecting the ACA and Social Security.
The activist left is going to be very busy, so it is a smart move to use the Electoral College to showcase the important issue of voter suppression.
Green was correct. Flipping the Electoral College is the longest of long shots, but the fact there are going to be unprecedented nationwide protests and demonstrations suggests that Donald Trump will never be the man to bring the nation back together. Instead, he has inspired a popular resistance that will haunt his entire presidency.