Bill Greene had gone dark on social media a few days after the Presidential election. He was also hard to reach by phone or email in the weeks after November 8. His silence caused uneasiness among the faithful Trump supporters, who had helped appoint him to the position of elector.
Left-wing media was constantly spewing out allegations of Trump’s collusion with Russia, and explaining in great detail the different grounds on which Trump could and ultimately would be impeached. Media outlets like The Guardian, the Independent, Huffington Post, CNN, and USA Today, released items explaining the possibility of Trump’s win being overturned by the Electoral College to the salivating lefties.
Some went as far as to name electors who might be vulnerable to swapping from Trump to Clinton. Some articles even read like an instruction manual on how to convince your republican elector to vote for Clinton. Bill Greene’s email was at capacity. He read a few of the letters at the beginning but there was no way he could keep up, and ultimately felt that it was an unproductive use of his time.
He did save the over 90,000 emails he received and plans to release an academic paper on the subject after thorough examination.
Around December 20, two days after the Electoral College vote, news outlets had figured out who the faithless elector and Ron Paul supporter was. When Bill Greene finally did show up again on social media, after Christmas, it was with a photo of himself and the great Dr. Paul, both smiling, with a caption that read: “Go Rogue.”
The name Bill Greene made a mark on the hearts and spirit of the liberty community. It was obvious that Ron Paul was never going to be president but this echo, this vestige of peace and prosperity, struck a powerful chord with a large number of Americans and people from all around the globe. It was a powerful reminder of where we, as advocates for liberty, came from and it put all the chaos and malice of the 2016 U.S. presidential election into stark perspective.
I remember hearing from my American friends the warmth they felt and the calm, easy smiles that appeared on their faces when they heard that Ron Paul had finally won an Electoral College vote. Perhaps it wasn’t over yet. Maybe all of that sweat, those calloused hands, and the occasional bloodied lower lip weren’t just the means of defeat. A faithless Electoral College vote is a heavy blow to establishment politics, especially for the phoney, anti-establishment establishment types.
There were features written in all of the libertarian heavy outlets. Ron Paul himself interviewed Professor Greene on the Liberty Report. From a distance, however, it seemed the mainstream media lumped Bill’s rogue vote with other faithless electors and then moved on to something else. It was strangely reminiscent of 2008 and 2012, when the media blatantly ignored a burgeoning movement, a r[evoL]ution.
In a conversation with Bill, he had explained to me that most of the reaction was positive, even from some of the extreme Trump cultist types; “Well Bill” they would say, “I’m glad it didn’t change the outcome, but what you did was pretty cool.”
Given Ron Paul’s decades of popularity in political office, if some sort of straw vote were organized in Texas between Donald Trump and Ron Paul the outcome would be no one-sided victory for Trump. It may not be a victory at all.
Although the majority of the reaction to Bill’s vote was positive, it did come with consequence. In March 2018 at the Hidalgo County GOP Precinct Convention a man read the names of delegates for the State convention. There was room for thirty-seven delegates and thirty-seven alternates, sixteen of which were in attendance. Neither Bill Greene’s name, nor his wife’s were mentioned. To that, one woman commented “I didn’t hear the names that I was expecting to hear.” She named Mr. and Mrs. Greene and stated that she “would like to see their names added to the list, if there are no objections and even if there are objections.” There were plenty of spaces available, not even half of the delegate seats had been filled; there were objections.
The precinct chair was a large, cumbersome skinhead with a duster-style moustache. His khaki pants matched the bullet proof vest which he was wearing over a pink golf shirt. He was prepared for the inquiry but not in a way that required him to remain cordial. This overcompensating gorilla man, a few years earlier, had explained to a professor of political science, how things work when it comes to being an elector for the GOP.
He began looming over the gentleman who had been reading the names of the delegates. He leaned in with his huge hands on the back of the reader’s chair.
The reader might have been able to feel the hot breath of the big skinhead in his left ear, when he heard him ask “Can you state your reasons for not having them on?” The reader seemed surprised by the question and by the time he had turned to face the big skinhead, he had sauntered back to his laptop.
“Uhhh… based on the past performance” he began cautiously, “of the last election cycle and it was brought to… uh… our attention they were a faithless elector?” He looked around for approval, “and… may not be deserving of … going … this year”.
Mrs. Greene wasn’t a faithless elector. When the motion to add her as a delegate was opened up to the floor for discussion there were a few people that spoke in favor of her going and a few people who seemed confused as to what the conversation was about.
I like Bill Greene but the bastard hadn’t even told his wife that he had no intention of giving his Electoral College vote to Trump. Even those who could have guessed that he wasn’t giving his vote to Trump didn’t know for sure what he would do.
Professor Greene is usually a very articulate and well spoken man. When he got up to speak in defense of his wife, it was the only time you’d ever hear the slightest hint of regret about the vote he had cast for Ron Paul. It was slight and it wasn’t even about the vote itself. The idea that his faithless vote could have any impact on his wife was something so foreign, that I think he had failed to process the possibility of this ramification. There was obvious emotion in his voice. “My wife… always voted republican, always voted the primaries and everything.”
Bill’s trepidation didn’t last long. Once he began to talk about the principles of liberty and the American Constitution, his face lit up with inspiration.
The rules for becoming a delegate to the state convention are simple: you either vote in the primary or you sign the affidavit of affiliation, which of course Mrs. Greene had done and so they had no good reason to deny her being a delegate. The vote was 7 for and 3 against.
The Republican Party has long defined itself as the protector of individual freedom, but as the great Dr. Paul has been quoted to say many times “I think the Republican Party has lost its way.” At what point did the GOP, even at the local level, revert to such base tribalism?
They wanted to punish Mrs. Greene for the actions of her husband, actions that were completely in line with the electoral structure that America’s founders had envisioned.
Being active for 30-35 years in the Republican Party has left Bill with a thorough understanding of the inner workings of his party’s politics. “The idea that [this is] setting a dangerous precedent for the growth of the Republican Party is 100% spot on! You start taking people out that believe strongly in the principles of the Republican Party, like my wife and I do, you are completely limiting growth.”
Bill Greene will be attending the Republican State convention as Mrs. Greene’s plus one.
Bill had never intended to return as an elector. He says quite plainly that he doesn’t think electors should hold the position more than once. But being removed as a delegate to the State convention, on a non-election year, when not even half the seats were filled, is a clear indication that the ‘Grand Old Party’ ain’t so grand anymore.
When the floor was opened up for discussion about Bill being a potential delegate, a few argued in favor. This time those who were against were very clear on why, and very clear on who should be punished.
When the big skinhead got up to speak against Bill, he had in his hand an article that Bill had written.
He paced back and forth in his primitive, lumbering bulk, explaining how Mr. Greene was only out for himself. According to him this was Bill’s “Hey look at me” moment, his “last hoorah.”
At one point, he struck the article with his huge, meaty finger so hard that it was surprising when he didn’t put it right through the paper. According to him “Bill Greene was out for Bill Greene, look at me.” He did his best effeminate impersonation of the professor. He then pointed at and called out Mrs. Greene on how to learn to fall in line before being reminded to keep it professional. As he went to sit down he compared Bills vote for Ron Paul to communism and mentioned the US federal debt as people looked around in confusion.
In response, Bill also encouraged the crowd to read his article, saying “I teach political science. I teach the Constitution. I teach the Electoral College and I am a strict constitutionalist. What I did was simply because I love the Constitution. I love this country. I love freedom and liberty. Thank you”.
2016 was a terrible year for American politics. The whole world watched as decent Americans were forced to endure a torturous circus. With sadness and horror they waited to hear the news that one of the two of the worst candidates for President in the history of their republic had won enough of the popular vote to win the Electoral College.
The members of the Electoral College are bound to an oath. In Texas it is the standard oath of office taken by state officials and it reads: “I, _______, do solemnly swear (or affirm), that I will faithfully execute the duties of the office of ____________ of the State of Texas, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State, so help me God.”
If someone had claimed to have captured a North American Wood Ape, or Sasquatch to us northerners, and shaved the thing bald, put it in a pink shirt and bullet proof vest, and installed the beast as the precinct chair for Hidalgo County, you could only expect the primate to have a limited understanding of the American Constitution, Texas’ oath of office, and the principles of which the republican party claims to stand for; principles like those espoused by Dr. Ron Paul.
The Wood Ape, sweating with fear, might think that if an elector didn’t vote for Trump, that America would fall into socialism. Someone like Hillary Clinton would sign endless executive orders, exercise dictatorial powers, wage immoral wars and ram through a 1.3 trillion dollar omnibus bill with the hopes of keeping the country running until when…November, maybe?
Professor Greene’s faithless vote made no difference in the outcome of the election. Had Hillary Clinton won the presidency because of Bill Greene’s faithless vote it still would have made no difference in the outcome of the election.
And again, why would a Canadian care, or any other non-American for that matter? On April 13, in a remote northern work camp on the Alaskan highway, called Sasquatch Crossing, I received a notification from Bloomberg that Trump had ordered air strikes in Syria. I turned to social media to find rumours of fighter jets over the north coast of British Columbia, presumably headed to Alaska and beyond. I saw a picture; I can’t confirm what it was, but passenger jets don’t fly in formation like that. Next, I saw a tweet from Prime Minister Trudeau where he claimed that Canadians support these actions. We don’t.
After that, I saw a Facebook post from Professor Bill Greene which read “I told you so.”
* Darcy Gerow is a family man and tradesman. He is a national board member for the Libertarian Party of Canada and the co-founder of @TheHardTruthsBookClub, an organization committed to causing greatness in working age me through brotherhood and literature.
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