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I respect your fear and dislike for Trump. Please respect my disdain for HRC. It is just a difference of opinion.”
That was the first non-automated response I received from the Republican Elector. Our conversation began with that online tool that lets you write to all of the electors in one go. I drafted a heartfelt letter imploring them to use their consciences and vote for anyone other than Donald Trump. I felt exhilarated at the prospect that little me might get through to powerful them. Then I got the Elector’s auto reply.
Frankly, the political opinions of non-Texas voters mean nothing to me. I do not vote or get involved in your state, I am not sure why you are trying to interfere in mine.
I took umbrage. I wasn’t trying to interfere so much as persuade. I wrote back.
Emailing you, someone who holds power in this situation, because I fear that President Donald Trump will bring on an immense global crisis is not ‘interfering.’ It’s an appeal to you as a fellow human and US citizen.
To my surprise, he responded. That’s when he sent the “difference of opinion” line. Somehow I had engaged him, and I saw my opening. I asked him a question about Trump’s conflicts of interest. He answered the same day (“That is an issue that remains to be seen”). I asked him about Russia, and he replied two days later (“there are only rumors so far”). I kept drilling down, asking him more specific follow-up questions, until he sent this:
I only have access to the same information that you do. The Constitution does not vest any power in electors other than a single vote. I would love more information, but the electoral date can not be moved, and I have no authority other than a single vote.
I sat with it for a while. I felt sorry for him. The Elector sounded like the personification of a cog in the machine, a man whose hands are tied by a system he’s put his blind faith in. When I responded, I suggested that perhaps unprecedented situations call for unprecedented actions. I wanted him to see that he could join the electors calling for a briefing on the intelligence report about Russia. I wanted him to understand that in every situation there’s some kind of action we can take, however small, if only we can imagine it.
The Elector never wrote back. Instead, I got a new, updated automatic reply. “If you emailed me regarding Russian influence in the elections, I am open to any information that is not rumor or hearsay. So far, there is no hard, objective evidence of such.”
Twelve emails in, and he finally gave up on me. I don’t know why he ever wrote back in the first place.
The former panels, removed in 2017, featured images dedicated to Confederate Generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.
One researcher, Jürgen Schick, estimated that over half of the region’s historical artworks have been stolen.
The Morgan Library & Museum Presents Another Tradition: Drawings by Black Artists from the American South
This exhibition celebrates the Morgan’s recent acquisition of drawings by Thornton Dial, Nellie Mae Rowe, Henry Speller, Luster Willis, and Purvis Young.
The visual arts institution and educational center is located in the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world.
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