With members of the electoral college exercising their constitutional duty to vote and their constitutional prerogative of voting for any candidate their conscience tells them to, those hinting that they may not vote for Trump are being branded as “Faithless.”
Resurrecting a ploy from their election playbook where they effectively ridiculed “Little Marco” and near slandered “Crooked Hillary,” let’s look at just how powerful this latest name is.
Faithless appeals to the base of church-going folk who may be tolerant of other religions but are arguably intolerant of any one without faith of any kind.
It resonates with the others in his constituency who bought the rigged election story. The revised narrative goes like this: just when you started to believe in the system, just when you have renewed faith in America, in democracy, in the election process, the Faithless undermine you yet again.
Secondarily, it is repellant to everybody else. Even Clinton supporters are hard pressed to get behind Faithless people. Compare Faithless to say, something less evocative but more accurate, Conscientious Objectors. Anybody can understand someone following their conscience even if they don't support them but they may be hard pressed to explain away some one who is a heathen.
No descriptive term will ever carry the weight of an emotional one. And maybe here, captured in a single in a word, is the explanation of why the (far) right is ascending and the left and center is on the defensive. Emotion trumps rationality almost every time.