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Hollywood stars' video begs Electoral College to snub Trump

Commentary: In a video designed to stir emotions, Martin Sheen, Debra Messing and other stars appeal to a sense of history.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Will this persuade anyone?

Unite For America/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

If at first you don't succeed, do the same thing that didn't succeed the first time.

This is a motto to which many are beholden.

It explains, for example, Hollywood sequels of bad movies. Some might think it also explains a YouTube video in which a handful of Hollywood stars -- not all quite A-list -- beg the Electoral College to prevent President-elect Donald Trump from becoming president.

During her campaign, Hillary Clinton surrounded herself with the great and the famous of entertainment. Oddly, this didn't sway enough voters in certain parts of Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Yet here we have more stars asking members of the Electoral College to consider making, if not movies, then history upon which subsequent movies might be made -- without the Electoral College members getting royalties.

The video, posted Wednesday, has snagged around 700,000 views and roosts among the top 10 trending videos on YouTube. The Electoral College's vote is set for Monday.

The video begins with Martin Sheen, who was president himself in "West Wing."

He explains that the Electoral College exists to "safeguard the American people from the dangers of a demagogue." He suggests that Trump simply doesn't have the qualifications for the job.

Then Debra Messing, James Cromwell, BD Wong, Noah Wyle, Moby and more insert their own stanzas into this poetic appeal. They insist they're not asking for the electors to vote for Hillary Clinton.

Instead, as Richard Schiff, also a "West Wing" veteran, explains: "By voting your conscience, you and other brave Republican electors can give the House of Representatives the option to select a qualified candidate."

Some might find it a touch rich that these actors, who might regard many Republican electors as not especially intelligent, now appeal to their intelligence.

Messing even suggests that there's something mentally wrong with Trump. "He lacks the necessary stability," she says.

It all ends with an appeal to heroism. You, oh Electoral College voter, can change the course of history, by doing what we ask.

The Trump transition team didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

And to think those poor Electoral College voters thought they were just heading to a party.