The emotional outbursts of the Trump loyalists has been glorious. They are angry and they want the whole world to know it. They’re so angry at the sitting Washington GOP establishment for doing little to combat Obama’s significant governmental overreach, that they’re prepared to vote for a big government, Manhattan elitist, because he really understands them, or something.
Supporters of Ted Cruz are slightly better. At the very least, they have a rational basis for why they feel Cruz is the better equipped candidate. He has a grasp of the daunting issues ahead of our nation, and when he speaks, he’s ordered and in control. You don’t get the disembodied feeling of having stepped inside the fun house mirror chamber of some deranged carnival barker.
Where the disconnect comes is when the Trumpkins or Cruzahs insist that their candidate is the only candidate who can fix our nation, and if we’re faced with a brokered convention, or the so-called establishment tries to overthrow the “will of the people” by creating a third party, there will be Hell to pay… HELL they say! They’ve had enough of the lifelong politicians and crony insiders ruining our nation! What we need is an outsider! This is the will of the people!
I’ll spare you the examples of nasty, quite often, barely literate communications some are receiving from the rage crew. I’d like to, instead, point out some misconceptions, and maybe bring a bit of sunlight in, in order to disinfect the ugly wound this campaign season has left on our nation.
Let’s start with the concept that voters are individuals and may have very different ideas of how to fix this nation. It’s the reason we have elections, to begin with. To insist that a particular candidate is the only candidate that can fix our nation’s problems is irresponsible, on its face. There have been many well-qualified, conservative candidates to come through this season’s process. We had the best bench of talent in many years. One by one, however, we saw experience and positive records of leadership rejected, in favor of angry idealism and the notion of supporting an “outsider.” I’m not happy about it, but this is what our system has dictated.
Having started with that, let’s address where we are today and the issue of brokered convention vs. a third party run.
Number 1: The election is NOT being stolen! Remember that word: system? A brokered convention is a part of our system. It hasn’t been used often, and definitely not recently, because it has been many years since it was necessary. I can’t begin to decipher the mindset of all the candidates who chose to enter the race on the GOP side this time out. You would think that after the first 5 to 10 who announced, at some point, the others would have considered what a tricky proposition it would be to ask voters to wade through those numbers, in search of the right candidate. The support was fractured into 17 parts (maybe less, if you discount the negative percentages for candidates like Gilmore and Graham). That being said, we’re entering Spring, with three active candidates left, no clear winner, and no guarantee that either of them will have the requisite number of delegates (1,237) by the time the primary process is over.
If it goes to a brokered convention, delegates will go through the process of deciding who to bring forward as nominee. This is where we’re hearing the biggest cries regarding the so-called will of the people, candidate of the people, yada… yada… yada… While this doesn’t seem to be a big issue with the Kasich people (I have to assume there are actually Kasich people, though I think they all reside in Ohio), the Trump and Cruz clans seem to be most up in arms over the notion. Here’s what they so conveniently disregard: If Trump is drawing, on average, around 30% of the vote, nationwide, that still leaves 70% of the people who don’t want him. That’s more than double the amount of those who support him and given that logic, he’s apparently not in line with the will of the majority of voters. Cruz has less, though I expect his numbers to see an uptick, now that the field has been winnowed down.
Therefore, if we reach the end of the primary season with no consensus as to who is to represent us in November, then a brokered convention is necessary to move us forward. It’s not what we want to see happen in an election. It’s rare, but it’s a way to settle the matter.
A third party alternative, again, is an option available in our system of government that citizens can avail themselves of, should the choices given be so egregious, that those citizens cannot see themselves supporting that candidate. That is the issue many have with Trump. While most would be willing to stand by Ted Cruz in the general, Donald Trump and his angry minions do not represent the principles of those who would suggest a third party, if he were to get the nomination. We are not beholden to the Republican party, nor to a particular candidate, if, as individuals and free citizens, that candidate and the party cease to represent our principles. We are Americans, and it is not just our right, but our duty to take action when petty and despotic men become a threat to our freedoms.
Number 2: Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are not “outsiders,” so the idea that some shadowy, government cabal is trying to keep them down is ludicrous. I’m sure it makes for a good stump speech, in order to rile up the faithful, but when you look at it with impartiality, you see it for the bunk it is.
It pains me to have to point this out, but Ted Cruz is a United States Senator! He’s involved with the political system, and has been since working as George W. Bush’s domestic policy advisor, for the 2000 presidential campaign. He’s been a member of the US Senate since 2012. The fact that he’s a junior senator who has butted heads with his colleagues over some rather substantial issues doesn’t make him any less an “insider” in the business of politics. That only speaks to his style, not his status.
I’m not even suggesting that’s a bad thing. In fact, it’s not! When I need a tooth fixed, I don’t call a plumber. I call the dentist, because to get the job done right, you look for someone with some level of experience. That being said, Cruz’s own assertions of his “outsider” status can be rightly seen as a bit disingenuous.
Trump, on the other hand, has never held public office. He has run a business, not nearly as successfully as he claims, but he’s at least ran something. Even with that, he’s not exactly an outsider to politics. By his own admission, he has spent a small fortune in “greasing the rails” by paying off politicians – mostly liberal Democrats – in order to curry favor. In fact, some of the very ones who have worked tirelessly to break our nation down with destructive liberal policies were beneficiaries of Trump’s generosity. People like Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and Hillary Clinton were propped up with Trump contributions, so that they could go on and win reelection. He is close enough to the Clintons that they were guests at his last wedding, and Bill Clinton called him a month before he announced his candidacy, to suggest he get “more involved” in this election. He is not an outsider. He’s a provocateur, but little more. He has exploited public anger and marketed himself as an everyman candidate, when he’s never worked a regular job or had to deal with middle class issues in his life.
Now, here we are. We have three candidates, two of which stand a reasonable chance of winning the nomination. A brokered convention only happens in the event that neither of them get the required delegate count. A third party run may only happen if enough people balk at the eventual nominee, and even then, that’s only going to happen in the event of a Trump nomination. Either way, there is no theft of the election. There is only the process and the right of the people to seek representation elsewhere.
Now go, and be angry no more.