“Will of the people,” scream the horde who supported Donald Trump. These are the same people who have, along with the rest of the GOP, opposed Barack Obama since 2009, despite the will of the American people electing him President. The “will of the people” after 2009 demanded Obamacare, but the GOP opposed it. Should we have given it up?
The “will of the people” means little in picking a party nominee. Donald Trump got a smaller percentage of the vote than any Republican nominee since Richard Nixon. While Trump’s supporters claim he got a record number of votes, his supporters ignore that even without Trump the GOP experienced record high turnout and the non-Trump vote exceeded Trump’s. In fact, Trump could not get above a third of the primary vote until every candidate dropped out and then still could not cross 44%.
If we are to go with the “will of the people,” a majority of the GOP rejected Trump and even now in public opinion polling more than half the GOP want someone else.
But to hell with the “will of the people.” The people got us Barack Obama and now a minority of vocal people want Donald Trump. Did I mention they are a minority of both the GOP and voters as a whole? Even if they were a majority, it has been clear since the beginning of May that Donald Trump’s campaign operates more as a surrogate to the Clinton campaign than as a Republican campaign.
Republican delegates need to stand up for what is right. What is right is to find a Republican to represent the Republican Party, not a Hillary Clinton donor who is going to lose to her, intentionally or not, in November.
If Republican delegates go to Cleveland and stick with Trump, they will be bringing electoral disaster to the GOP. They will lose the White House, the Senate, possibly the House, and most certainly the Supreme Court. That is what the GOP gets with Trump.
At least by ditching Trump the GOP has a fighting chance against Clinton, which is something they do not have with Trump.
Republican delegates need to do four things.
First, those delegates on the Rules Committee need to vote to free the delegates and allow them to vote their conscience. This must be done. It appears there are now 29 committed delegates to this strategy, which is one more than necessary, but they should continue to work for a majority of the Rules Committee.
Second, delegates should forcefully boo Donald Trump at the start of the convention. They should set the psychological tone of the convention by starting it off in direct opposition to Trump. A large enough crowd of delegates booing references to Trump on the opening night of the convention will send psychological reassurances throughout the delegates that the numbers are there to oppose him. This must be done and must be forceful. It will also send a strong message to Donald Trump. In fact, several people tell me his campaign fears this will happen and it absolutely should.
Third, delegates have no obligation to honor Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick and should reject it no matter who it is. No vice presidential pick made it through a primary process so there is not even the alleged “will of the people” to consider. The delegates should reject Trump’s vice presidential pick to send a signal that they are in charge.
Fourth, delegates should refrain from casting a vote for Trump. There is no obligation under Rule 16(a) of the rules of the convention for delegates to cast a vote. Delegates can not only abstain from voting, but they can also demand a roll call vote. According to Rule 37, “if exception is taken by any delegate from that state to the correctness of such announcement by the chairman of that delegation, the chairman of the convention shall direct the roll of members of such delegation to be called.” This means the delegates can object to their state’s vote total.
There are great details here.
Typically, the chairman of each state’s delegation announces how many delegates each candidate won in his state. But according to Rule 37, “if exception is taken by any delegate from that state to the correctness of such announcement by the chairman of that delegation, the chairman of the convention shall direct the roll of members of such delegation to be called.” In other words, if a delegate bound to Trump wants to abstain, he can object to his state’s tally — and force the “chairman of the convention” (i.e., Ryan) to conduct a recount.
If there are enough of these abstentions in Cleveland — and enough of these recounts — Trump could lose.
“Delegates have the right to object and challenge the authenticity of their state’s announcement of votes cast for the possible nominee,” Waters of Delegates Unbound tells Yahoo News. “There are a significant number of states where delegates have made clear their intent to challenge the number of votes announced if they have been stopped from exercising their right to vote their conscience.”
Delegates to the Republican National Convention need to stand up for common sense and stand up for their party. Keeping Donald Trump as the nominee of the party will lead to Hillary Clinton’s election. We must stop that at all costs, which means the delegates must go to Cleveland and prepare to fight against Trump at all costs. They must demand a vote for conscience on the Rules Committee, reject his vice presidential nominee, loudly boo references to Trump, and abstain from casting their vote for Trump.
The only way to explain Donald Trump’s behavior since May is to view him as intentionally trying to help Hillary Clinton get elected. And we must not let that happen.