When, in the 240 years since the birth of our country, did the vote of the Electoral College register one way or the other to most Americans? When did this vote, in most of our minds, mean anything more than a formality that was carried out as part of our national tradition?
After what past election was the whole country anxiously aware of the exact day, the exact time that the members of the Electoral College would be voting?
Who would have imagined in the history of this country that the day would come when millions of Americans would turn in fear and desperation to the members of the Electoral College to beseech them to refuse to vote for the person who was declared, according to the rules that govern our elections, President of the United States?
Who would have imagined fraught Americans pinning a Hail Mary hope-against-hope on the members of the Electoral College to save them from their future president?
But of course the Electoral College isn't going to save us from Donald Trump. It never was going to. The Electoral College is what made Donald Trump's presidency possible, not the votes of the American people, who chose his opponent over him by a margin of almost 3 million votes.
And so now the results of this election, debatable as they may well be, tainted as they may well have been by interference from a hostile foreign power, are not going to be disputed by The Electoral College but affirmed by it.
Because the job of The Electoral College is and has always been to finalize the outcome of the election process, whatever that outcome may be.
Theoretically the members of the Electoral College have the power to deny the presidency to someone who has given every indication that he will be a deleterious, possibly dangerous leader.
But few if any electors would be inclined to upset the established order, and so events will simply have to play out and history will march on, as it always does.
And we'll all see.