Donald Trump and his surrogates and his spokespeople and his supporters and his fans and his, I don’t know … his dog, they are all, everyone aboard the Trump train, professing a fear or an outrage that the election is being “stolen” from Trump. This fear/outrage is based on two things: 1) Some people haven’t yet knelt before their god-king, which is very unacceptable to cult members and 2) Trump is failing to secure enough delegates to walk in as the winner in Cleveland. These are, course, dumb reasons.
The point of contention is obviously the second one: the delegates. If Trump doesn’t arrive in Cleveland with a majority, ie. 1,237 delegates, then on the first ballot he won’t get the nomination. There will be a second ballot. And that is what is (theoretically) causing the Trump fans to spasm into fits of apoplexy and issue threats of storming delegate hotel rooms in anger.
Right off the bat that raises a question. Why are they so sure that Trump won’t get votes on the second ballot? I mean, that’s what they are conceding isn’t it? That once not bound, the elected delegates, chosen from among the people to represent the people, will absolutely not back Trump. That’s what they are saying. Trump’s supporters are saying that. They are so sure that delegates will turn on Trump that they are threatening riots and hotel attacks. What happened to Trump the deal-maker? Trump the inevitable? Trump, the man the people want? It’s like his supporters think that there is no clear mandate from the primaries to nominate Trump!
Which, I’ll be darned, there isn’t! But it’s amazing they are so willing to concede that. He can’t even make it through a second ballot? Amazing I say.
The remedy – and this is where it gets really awesome – the remedy Trump’s fan base wants for his apparent inability to persuade people, is that they want instead to just hand the whole shebang to him. They don’t care about the need for a majority. His supporters claim not only that he doesn’t need 1237, the majority, but they already think he’s proved his case and the rest of the primary doesn’t even matter. Go ahead, ask them. They’ll tell you this. Trump has already won, he’s already shown the will of the people, everyone needs to just accept it. They want to bypass the rules, and the vote, and just go ahead and call it done. They argue that if he has a plurality when he arrives in Cleveland, then he should win on the first ballot. Seriously, go ask them.
Did you ask them?
Of course, that particular sect of Trumpers are not making the same argument that more experienced Trump people like Roger Stone are making. It’s the grassroots supporters who say it. It matters, though, because these are the very people that Trump’s talking heads are trying to froth to frenzy with their talk of “stolen” elections. They have already promised “riots”, have already demanded Trump followers “march on Cleveland” and confront delegates in their hotel rooms, and even promised, I kid you not, Armageddon. This insanely inflamed rhetoric is pretty standard talk now from Trump partisans on cable news and on Trump websites. They’re trying to use a very real threat of force to get their way, and the force they wish to use is Trump’s crazed fan base. A base of followers who don’t know how the convention or indeed a primary election works at all. Also, they don’t care. Like I said, they believe he has already demonstrated that he’s won.
So we’ve established that the grassroots Trump supporters want to break the rules to have him nominated. What that means is that they are the ones who actually wish to steal it. And the people who know better, the Trump supporters who know that a contested convention is not unprecedented, who know Reagan was at a contested convention, well those folks aren’t willing to follow the rules either. Roger Stone has already admitted multiple times that Trump’s organization failed to prepare and hasn’t done any of the necessary legwork to win at the convention. So they would rather use the threat of an enraged rabid fan base to intimidate delegates into voting for Trump.
In other words they, too, would rather steal it. And if they can’t do it by intimidating the party into changing the rules under threat of violence, then they’ll do it by intimidating individual delegates.
Trump’s fans and surrogates and spokespeople and dog aren’t afraid the election will be stolen. They know that Trump is going to lose it by his own incompetence. What they are afraid of is that they won’t be able to steal it for him anyway. That’s the panic you see. That’s the edge in their voice. (I mean the new edge, as opposed to the already existing “I’m barely tethered to reality” edge more commonly found in Trump fans.)
If anyone needs to watch out for illegal activity and theft, it is those who oppose Trump. It’s the oldest trick in the book. Do a bad thing while accusing the other team of doing that exact thing. Lie while calling Ted a liar. Cheat while calling the GOP cheaters. And they aren’t even hiding it.