Our nation is based on the idea of “consent of the governed.” When the people vote, they expect those votes will be respected and counted, not ignored.
There is an effort today to toss aside the will of the millions of voters in the Republican primaries to stop Donald Trump from becoming the Republican nominee for president. This effort is truly offensive to those who treasure democracy. If successful, it would guarantee that Hillary Clinton will be sworn into office next January. Even though some very smart people are leading the anti-Trump movement, this idea is very dumb.
Voters showed up in unprecedented numbers to vote for Donald Trump to be the Republican nominee. He received over 13 million votes – the most ever for a Republican candidate. He ended up with 1,542 delegates, almost one thousand delegates more than his closest competitor. Trump drew in scores of new voters to the party, resulting in about two million more people voting in the Republican primaries than the Democratic.
Yet, some in the Republican Party toss aside those numbers because they wet the bed every time a head to head poll has Hillary ahead of Trump. These nervous Republicans need to chill and take a look at the calendar: it is June. The only metrics that matter are what people do on Election Day and Trump’s record during the Republican primaries was one for the books.
Sedition by some lifelong Republicans is afoot. The Washington Post reported on June 17, 2016 that a handful of trouble-making delegates are plotting to sabotage the Republican nominee at the convention next month:
Dozens of Republican convention delegates are hatching a new plan to block Donald Trump at this summer’s party meetings, in what has become the most organized effort so far to stop the businessman from becoming the GOP presidential nominee.
The plan is to secure a vote of “no confidence” in the expected Republican nominee Donald Trump, then to push for another candidate to take the nomination.
David French at National Review Online and Amanda Carpenter at Conservative Review have made the public case for a vote of “no confidence”—for delegates to ignore the will of Republican voters at the convention. I have great respect for Carpenter, but I do have to disagree with her analysis.
Carpenter argues at CR:
The convention’s Rules Committee should allow for a vote of “no confidence” in the GOP nominee. Should Trump not receive a supermajority vote then the delegates should be officially “unbound” and free to vote for the nominee of their choice, ideally a list limited only to those persons who ran for president in 2016.
Carpenter is arguing that after the delegates reach a vote of “no confidence,” they should move to a fight over which failed nominee should replace Trump. The problem is that this will completely destroy any chances Republicans have of winning this fall. The 13 plus million voters who cast a vote for Trump would feel like they have been ignored and disrespected.
David French argues at NRO that not one delegate is legally bound to vote for the candidate they are being sent to Cleveland to vote for:
As a matter of law and history, there is not a single “bound” delegate to the Republican National Convention. Not one delegate is required to vote for Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or any other individual who “won” votes in the primary process. Each delegate will have to make his or her own choice. They — and they alone — will choose the Republican nominee.
Really? So the delegates are an elite team that can overturn the will of Republican voters? As a political argument, this is folly because all of the Trump voters would be so angry that they would do everything possible to secure defeat for the illegitimate nominee the elites put up. As a legal argument, this is of questionable analysis, because French is saying that the state laws binding delegates are somehow unconstitutional because of the First Amendment. This is one of those legal arguments that will probably never be resolved, because the French wing of the Republican Party will probably lose that fight and the argument will be rendered moot.
But if French is correct, the same can be said of the presidential election. The Electoral College was set up as an indirect way to elect a president. How would French feel if John McCain had won the 2008 election, yet the Electoral College decided that Barack Obama would make a better president? I bet he would have had a different opinion of the faithless delegate/elector had that happened.
Donald Trump won fair and square. Delegates need to suck it up and vote for him. It would be immoral and an undemocratic power grab by the elites if they were to overturn the will of 13 million plus Republican primary voters so they can get revenge against Donald Trump. And it would lead to the three words that should instill fear in any self-respecting Republican: President Hillary Clinton. (For more from the author of “Could the GOP Convention Put Democracy at Risk?” please click HERE)