Why I Will Not Cast My Electoral Vote for Donald Trump

A GOP Elector from Texas has an op-ed in the NY Times:

I have poured countless hours into serving the party of Lincoln and electing its candidates. I will pour many more into being more faithful to my party than some in its leadership. But I owe no debt to a party. I owe a debt to my children to leave them a nation they can trust.

Mr. Trump lacks the foreign policy experience and demeanor needed to be commander in chief. During the campaign more than 50 Republican former national security officials and foreign policy experts co-signed a letter opposing him. In their words, “he would be a dangerous president.” During the campaign Mr. Trump even said Russia should hack Hillary Clinton’s emails. This encouragement of an illegal act has troubled many members of Congress and troubles me.

The election of the next president is not yet a done deal. Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience. I believe electors should unify behind a Republican alternative, an honorable and qualified man or woman such as Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. I pray my fellow electors will do their job and join with me in discovering who that person should be.

Fifteen years ago, I swore an oath to defend my country and Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. On Dec. 19, I will do it again.

And, no, I don’t think that there’s much of a chance for other electors to feel the same way.

Another Conspiracy for #PizzaGate

Here’s the thing about conspiracies. You can never disprove them. No matter how little evidence that there is in a conspiracy’s favor, even the lack of evidence just shows that the coverup goes deeper. This stuff usually takes place in a corner of the internet where common sense won’t drag you anywhere near. But since we now have a President-Elect who welcomes the conspiracy theories, everything we know has just been turned upside-down:

It didn’t take long after the arrest of a gun-wielding man at a District pizza restaurant on Sunday for the usual conspiracy theory that swirls around such an incident to percolate on social media and in the nether corners of the Internet.

The gunman, claimed the baying hounds of paranoia, was part of a “false-flag” operation — that is, he was an actor in an elaborate plot designed to discredit those who have for weeks spread a bizarre story about the restaurant being the locus of a child-molestation ring run by Hillary Clinton.

There’s no evidence that the suspect, identified as Edgar Maddison Welch, was acting on anyone’s behalf other than his own when he allegedly fired an assault-style rifle in the restaurant, Comet Ping Pong. There’s also nothing to indicate that any government or political party had conspired with him so that he’d take the fall for his alleged actions.

But saying so won’t stop the burgeoning industry of “false flag” wavers from saying otherwise.

Gunman Attacks D.C. Pizzeria, Wanted to Investigate Election Conspiracy

I hadn’t heard of the whole #PizzaGate thing but probably because I spend most of my time on planet earth:

On Sunday, a 28-year-old man from Salisbury, North Carolina, fired shots inside a pizzeria in northwest Washington, D.C. Armed with an assault rifle, he later told police he wanted to “self-investigate” a fraudulent election conspiracy theory connected to Hillary Clinton.

According to the Washington Post, Edgar Maddison Welch walked into Comet Ping Pong, a favorite among locals, and aimed at an employee. After the employee dashed off to call the police, Welch began shooting. Reports indicate, however, that all patrons were able to flee and no one was injured.

The incident, while terrifying, was brief. Police arrived on the scene minutes after receiving the call, and Welch was arrested in less than an hour. Upon investigation, officers located two firearms inside the restaurant and one in Welch’s car.

During the election cycle, Comet Ping Pong found itself ensconced in one of the conspiracy theories that ran rampant over the course of the presidential campaign. The owner, its employees, and surrounding businesses have been harassed by social media attacks and even death threats as a result.

Snopes has an in-depth look at the #PizzaGate conspiracy theory.