INTEGRITY MATTERS: ‘Faithless Electors’ Are Not ‘HEROS’

Written by Karen Serna on December 7, 2016

As I was browsing the news this week, I came across the story of Christopher Suprun, who is one of the Texas electors, in the Electoral College. He has made it clear that he will not be casting his vote for Donald Trump despite the will of the people in his state. He has decided that Donald Trump is not presidential enough, too violent, and does not understand the Constitution. As my children would say, “DUH!” Didn’t we all already know that even before he became the Republican Candidate? Did Mr. Suprun expect President Elect Trump to magically change into something he is not overnight just because he won the election? Mr. Suprun is claiming that Mr. Trump is already breaking campaign promises and thus should not receive his vote. How is that different from any other candidate we’ve ever elected?

Forgive my cynicism in all this, but at what point did a man’s word mean nothing in this country? At what point did a commitment become fluid and empty? At what point did men stop spitting in their hands and clasping them together to indicate that they’d rather die than not follow through with a promise? Even my seven-year-old knows that you don’t break promises and that if you make a commitment that you follow through even if you don’t like it.

Maybe I’m naïve, but I grew up in a home where if my father borrowed a penny from you then he returned that penny. I grew up in a world where my parents kept their word even to their own hurt at times. I grew up in a home where if my parents said it, then I could count on it as if God himself had spoken. Their impeccable reputation was beyond question. They may not have been perfect, but no one could ever question their unwavering commitment to follow through.

So for me, when a person takes on the important task of electing our next president and if he signs an agreement that says he will vote the will of the people as Mr. Suprun did, then he is obligated to do so even if he is under no legal edict to do so. And before anyone says that this is the will of the founding fathers, let me just say that Mr. Suprun is indeed within his right to vote for whomever he pleases given the Electoral College structure. I will not argue that point in the least. He also has good company in making this decision as electors throughout history, even recent history, have plotted the same course. Mr. Suprun certainly makes an excellent argument for his right and his desire to vote for a candidate of his choice. However, had he wanted to deviate from the will of the people, then he should not have signed a good faith promise to honor the democratic vote of Texas.

So while, Mr. Suprun is well within his right to make this decision, tomorrow morning we’ll be having both a history lesson and a moral lesson at my house. We love history, and we love heroes and the bravery they display when they go against the grain to do what is right. Despite the fact that President Elect Trump was not my candidate of choice, Mr. Suprun won’t make the cut for heroes in this house. He isn’t keeping his word, and my young children will be the first to recognize that fact. They will also be learning a new term, “faithless elector”.

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Karen Serna is a wife and homeschooling mom with two children. She holds a degree in Chemistry with a minor in Math from Angelo State University. In addition, she is a certified secondary educator. Prior to having children, Karen worked for Texas State University-San Marcos as an analytical chemist and industrial hygienist for over twelve years. Her passion lies in seeing a generation of Americans once again embrace true freedom.