Reckless media hacks have all but coronated Donald Trump as the Republican nominee. Fortunately, the selection is not up to Bill O’Reilly or Eric Bolling. Nor is it up to the angry, ill-informed, and easily manipulated mob that cable news has been exploiting for ratings.
Like the federal government established by the Constitution, the process of selecting a nominee is republican, not democratic. Informed representatives are elected to make the decisions. This safety measure prevents a profoundly unsuitable candidate from being chosen who would wreak havoc on the party and, if God forbid he were actually elected, the entire nation.
Even if the media soon whoops that Trump has the magic number of 1,237 delegates, this will only mean he has won the nomination if delegates who are aware that Trump is absolutely unacceptable prove to be weak, cowardly, and irresponsible. From an interesting piece by Kimberley Strassel:
The GOP is a collection of 50 state parties. Each gets a voice in choosing who the national party nominates for president. In long-standing deference to states’ rights (a concept conservatives are supposed to revere), the state parties have total control over how they pick delegates to the national convention.
Some states, like Colorado, still do this purely the old-fashioned way. Republicans meet at the precinct level, at the district level, and at the state level, and vote for delegates who will speak for them. This isn’t a “rigged” system, but representative democracy.
Other states think it useful to canvas wider views. They hold what the media call primaries, but what are technically “presidential preference polls.” (Note those words.) In many states, the results of these polls are supposed to bind “delegates” to candidates at the national convention.
Only here’s the rub: Even states with primaries still go through an independent process to elect the actual people who will serve as delegates. The Republicans at these events can still choose whomever they want. And they aren’t electing delegates who personally support Mr. Trump.
Numerous traits make it likely that Ted Cruz would be an excellent president; he is hard working, politically sophisticated, organized, prone to play chess while his opponents play checkers, able to delegate crucial responsibilities to other highly competent people, and most importantly, indisputably committed to conservative principles. All of these characteristics have been on graphic display as Cruz runs circles around the lazy, ignorant, unprincipled, and inept Trump regarding the ground game that may in the end determine who gets the support of the delegates.
Conventions around the country have been selecting delegates who favor Cruz.
While some attendees at these events are “the establishment”—party officials and operatives—many more are intensely committed GOP activists. These are the people who brought you the tea party, the rebels in the U.S. House, and the cheers for government shutdown.
They are not people who want the nominee to be a liberal temporarily masquerading as a tasteless caricature of a right-winger in order to hijack the GOP for his own self-aggrandizing purposes.
They are into principle and ideology—and that is Mr. Trump’s problem. Sources suggest to me that of the 950 “Trump” delegates, as many as half despise the former reality-TV star. Meaning that of the 2,472 delegates slated for Cleveland, maybe one-quarter currently want him as the nominee.
But aren’t his delegates “pledged” to vote for him on the first ballot, regardless? A vocal—and growing—faction of delegates is saying they are not. A ringleader is Curly Haugland, an unbound delegate from North Dakota, and a longtime member of the GOP’s rules committee. In an open letter in March, he argued that there was only one convention in history (1976) in which GOP delegates were “bound,” and that this requirement was rescinded in 1980. He says delegates can vote their conscience.
That spells bad news for the Donald, which is why he keeps trying to undermine the process by yelping about the system being “rigged,” and why his Trumpaloompas continue to threaten delegates with violence.
With razor-tight margins, it wouldn’t take much to upturn the convention—even if Mr. Trump does get 1,237 “pledged” delegates. All it would take is a small (potentially very small) bloc of Trump delegates to defect—or simply abstain—that first round. The outrage from Trump supporters would be huge. Then again, many delegates have concluded that outrage from one side or another is inevitable. So pick your poison.
Trump and his henchman Roger Stone have characteristically resorted to intimidation by effectively calling for riots if he doesn’t prevail in Cleveland. Let the Trumpsters throw their tantrum. That will reveal Trumpism for what it is: a herd of cud-chewing cattle stampeded by fascist thugs.
The America defined in the Constitution did not last this long by rolling over for thugs.
The police have months to prepare. If we could defend Europe from Nazis, we can defend Cleveland.
Conservatives will stop this clown.
On tips from Kevin R and Torcer.