Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) gave a speech on his Twitter account tonight from “an undisclosed location” regarding the riots in Washington DC that culminated in Republican rioters breaking into the Capitol while congressmen were in the Electoral College vote certification session.
The main concern he wanted to highlight was provoking negative alteration of the paradigm of the Republic’s political-electoral tradition. “I was planning to say that I fear the chaos of setting a precedent that Congress may overturn elections,” he began.
“Boy, was I right,” he asserted that chaos and anarchy reigned, which he described as wrong and un-American.
Later, Paul proceeded to explain the context of the vote that was about to take place. “The vote we are about to cast is important. The question is: Should Congress override the certified results from the states and nullify the states’ right to conduct elections?”
“If Congress had the power to reverse state elections … how terrible the chaos would ensue.”
“Today’s vote is not a protest; the vote today is literally to overturn the election,” the senator argued, showing concern about the lightness with which many were dealing with the issue. Forcing Trump’s victory via Congress would be a break with the democratic methods that had been practiced since the beginning of the Republic.
Voting to overturn state-certified elections, Paul argues in the thread, would be the opposite of the states’ rights that Republicans have always defended. “This would doom the electoral college forever (…) It was never intended by our founders that Congress have the power to overturn state-certified elections.” For the Republican, to vote against the election result would be a direct affront to the origins of the American republic.
And having made that ruling, he stressed that his oath to the Constitution does not allow him to disobey the law. “I cannot vote to overturn the verdict of the states,” he announced.
Insisting on the appeal to American origins and to what the founding fathers envisioned for the country’s political system, the Kentucky senator said that “such a vote would be to overturn everything held dear by those of us who support the rights of states in this great system of federalism bequeathed to us by our founders.”
He went on to explain that the Electoral College was created to return the power to select presidential electors to the states. “The electoral college is, without question, an inseparable friend to those who believe that every American across our vast country deserves to be heard.”
Paul added that if opinions are to be politically respected and heard, the Electoral College must be protected.
“Imagine the furor against the electoral college if Congress becomes a forum to overturn states’ electoral college slates.”
It is one thing to be angry, he said, but it is another to approach one’s anger in a constructive way. That hasn’t happened today, to say the least. “We simply cannot destroy the Constitution, our laws, and the electoral college in the process.”
The senator ends with hopes of improving the country institutionally and appealing to America’s reputation.
“I hope as the nation’s anger cools, we can channel that energy into essential electoral reforms in every state. America is admired around the world for our free elections,” he concluded. “We must, we absolutely must, fix this mess and restore confidence and integrity to our elections.”