After Donald Trump won the election despite losing the popular vote, Hillary Clinton’s supporters demanded the electoral college be laid to rest. They took to the streets, signed petitions - Senator Barbara Boxer even introduced a bill to Congress. Still, the system stands, which is why Mark Weston came up with a new plan.
In an article for TIME Magazine, Weston explains how Democrats can end the “antiquated,” unfair system put in place by our Founding Fathers: stop paying taxes.
“The approximately 65 million Democrats who voted for Hillary Clinton should pledge that in the future if a Republican wins the presidency with fewer votes than a Democrat for the third time in our era, we won’t pay taxes to the federal government,” he writes. “No taxation without representation!”
According to Weston, “Appeals to fairness have not persuaded them [Republicans] of the need to amend the Constitution to establish direct presidential elections…Democrats must, therefore, pester Republicans where it hurts: the pocketbook.”
Here’s how his plan would work:
First, an online group such as MoveOn.org, Change.org or both, should circulate a petition.
Second, the pledge should only apply to federal taxes…This is a protest against our 229-year-old system of electoral votes, not against taxation in general.
Third…we should still pay what we owe in federal taxes—just not to the IRS. Instead, people would compute their federal taxes, file a Form 1040 and write a check to a national escrow account, preferably in a well-established Canadian or British bank that is beyond the reach of the U.S. Justice Department, because whoever opens this account probably will be in violation of U.S. law. In the check’s memo line, people should write, “Funds to be transferred to the IRS as soon as America resumes being a democracy.”
Then, when 38 state legislatures have ratified an acceptable Constitutional amendment, the escrow officer could cheerfully transfer the account’s trillions of dollars to the IRS.
According to Weston, the real “beauty” in his plan is that those who sign the pledge “almost certainly” wouldn't have to follow through on their promise - the mere threat will be enough to scare our government into change.
That’s a pretty big bet to take. Weston better hope his pledgers don't back out when the government calls their bluff.