A second Republican member of the Electoral College has said he won’t be casting his vote for Donald Trump as president, according to an opinion piece published in the New York Times on Monday.
Christopher Suprun, a paramedic from Dallas, wrote in the Times that Trump is not qualified for the office, citing stridently worded tweets the president-elect has recently made on issues as inconsequential as an actor’s portrayal of him on “Saturday Night Live.”
Such priorities in Trump’s tweeted missives even after securing the presidency disqualify him from, he wrote.
Just tried watching Saturday Night Live – unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can't get any worse. Sad
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2016
Suprun referenced an attack at Ohio State Universityduring which a man taking umbrage at the treatment of Muslims went on a stabbing rampage on campus before being killed by police. Trump often takes to Twitter to lambaste his critics, including SNL — ironically a show for which he served as host during his presidential campaign. Within an hour of the last SNL broadcast during which Alec Baldwin offered a reprise of his Trump impersonation, Trump commandeered his Twitter account to slam the performance.
Baldwin later replied via tweet saying he’d stop impersonating him if the president-elect were to release his income tax returns, which he never did during the run-up to the election in spite of mounting pressure for him to do so.
But Suprun’s opposition to Trump isn’t limited to the president-elect’s penchant for tweeting. In his opposition to Trump, Suprun also invoked 9-11, a terror attack to which he was dispatched in rendering medical aid to victims as a paramedic.
“Fifteen years ago, as a firefighter, I was part of the response to the Sept. 11 attacks against our nation,” Suprun wrote. “That attack and this year’s election may seem unrelated, but for me the relationship becomes clearer every day.”
Calling former President George W. Bush an “imperfect man,” he nonetheless lauded the leadership he displayed during the worst attack on U.S. soil since Pearl Harbor.
“That was also the last time I remember the nation united,” Suprun wrote. “I watch Mr. Trump fail to unite America and drive a wedge between us. Mr. Trump shows us again and again that he does not meet these standards. Given his own public statements, it isn’t clear how the Electoral College can ignore these issues, and so it should reject him.”
If you tweet to lobby me to vote one way or the other in #ElectoralCollege I will not engage everyone, but I likely am reading it.
— (((Chris Suprun))) (@TheChrisSuprun) December 1, 2016
Suprun is one of 538 electors scheduled to officially cast their Electoral College ballots on Dec. 19. Trump became president-elect by virtue of his majority of Electoral College votes even as his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, won the popular vote by well more than 2 million votes.
Despite being a lifelong Republican, the paramedic said he will be unable to cast a ballot for Trump come Dec. 19: “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.”
In addition to Trump’s troubling tweets, Suprun wrote that the president-elect lacks the most fundamental characteristics required of the leader of the free world.
“Mr. Trump lacks the foreign policy experience and demeanor needed to be commander in chief,” the elector wrote. “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.”
In his op/ed piece, Suprun appealed to his fellow members of the Electoral College to vote their conscience later this month.
“The election of the next president is not yet a done deal,” he wrote. “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.”
Suprun is the second Texas Republican member of the Electoral College to voice an aversion at the prospect of voting for Trump. Late last month, Art Sisneros of Dayton, Texas, quit his position as a member of the Electoral College to avoid having to cast a ballot for Trump. In a subsequent blog post, Sisneros said casting his ballot for Trump “…would bring dishonor to God.”
Trump won Texas and its 38 Electoral College votes in the Nov. 8 general election. The remaining members of the Electoral College will choose Sisneros’ replacement when they convene Dec. 19 in state capitals across the country, as well as formally casting their ballots for president.