Convention Delegates' Duty To Republicans And America
by Larry Perrault on May 25, 2016 at 8:29 AM
Let me try to get to the essential point at the top, so everyone who will can do what is necessary. If you want more detail, you should read all of this, which I can shrink no more. A lot of terms are now used in a lot of ways. Donald Trump’s supporters call people like me “establishment” because I’m very opposed to Trump. They say other candidates are “bought and paid for.” They are right that an establishment is the problem, and that money is its main issue in this campaign.
But let me tell you what that money issue is. The establishment didn’t prefer Donald Trump, but now he is the result of the money machine that did prefer Trump. That bonanza of billions of dollars to the establishment and the media is the primary election process. But the primary process does not elect the Republican nominee, unless the delegates are cowed by party establishment and media pressure.
The party is a private organization. There are different parties because they have different principles. Any registered Republican who votes in a Republican primary or caucus can attend the precinct convention after the polls close. There they can persuade the convention to elect them to the county or district convention, and likewise there persuade that convention to send them to state. And the same from there to the national convention.
These are serious people who travel to these conventions to deliberate over party principles and craft the party platform. That’s why you can see a difference in the parties. Down to the precinct convention, that entire process involves the millions of people who actually took time to craft the party’s sentiments and platform. If popular vote rules, they are all now irrelevant. Why bother voting for a party platform?
The delegates who finally reach the national convention nominate the presidential candidates. The primary winner is usually not impossibly objectionable. But this year he certainly is. The candidate is chosen to represent the party’s principles. Simply put, this year the delegates disfavor Trump, who does not. To preserve the money machine, media and party establishment will bluster the delegates that the primary process and state rules deprive them of their due as elected delegates of the convention process, even though national convention rules make them free as elected delegates, and always have except when President Ford’s forces succeeded in getting the 1976 convention rules committee to bind its delegates to primary results. That rule was rescinded in 1980.
Imagine if you had to let a public vote determine how your church or other private organization operates? That essentially means that organization is over. Why would the faithful continue to work in the organization and staff campaigns when there are no agreed upon standards? A few states still don’t have a primary; only the voluntary convention process, which is one more thing media-man Trump whined about.
But we must spread the word far and wide and have the public support the delegates in exercising their right according to the rules, no matter what media and the party establishment say. They need to feel the people behind them. We hear and see that conservative Republicans are distressed by the prospect of two liberal options in the election: Donald Trump who is also a muddled lout, or Hillary Clinton. A new poll shows 20% of the public want an Independent option. But the delegates can claim the convention that is rightly theirs, and spare us the calamity. We need to raise an Internet and public flood of support for them.
A longtime party and convention rules member prepares a book to prove to delegates that national rules say they are free to vote as they choose. Here is a video of one of his appearances. Haugland also says that Reince Priebus has said that if delegates don’t vote as the state party rules say they are bound, the votes will be read accordingly, regardless of how they are cast. Haugland says this is not only contrary to longstanding national convention rules, but it is also supposed to be a secret ballot. If the convention presiding officials are just going to award votes as they will, why are the delegates even there? They should vigorously protest such an action, and refuse to cooperate further.
George F. Will, Thomas Sowell. Ben Shapiro, National Review, The Federalist, RedState, Conservative Review and The Resurgent just for starters have written many articles about the unsuitability of Donald Trump to be the Republican nominee. Here is an Internet petition calling for National Convention delegates to deny Donald Trump the nomination that is their obligation to steward, mostly based on a simple listing his manifest character unsuitability.
You can go on about his chaotic and/or heretical policy positions. Here Erick Erickson quickly states the fact that the delegates who own and control the convention can also force a vote to simply invalidate any state binding rules if they feel it necessary, though it really isn’t.
The rest is fuller discussion if you question what I have said.
Others such as I cited have cataloged Donald Trump’s personal and practical disqualifications. He is utterly unacceptable in both respects to be president or the Republican nominee, and should be rejected by the delegates at the Republican National Convention, even if a majority are “bound” by state rules, and certainly if a majority is not. I will focus more on the Republican delegates’ ability and their duty, to the party and the country. But he is repellent in most every respect as a prospective Republican standard-bearer.
I’ve never been an establishment Republican. I voted for Reagan in the primaries of 1976 and 1980 when they opposed him, supported their nemesis Ted Cruz this year, and in between have never supported an establishment favorite in a presidential primary. They now rely on Trump to preserve their power and privilege. But call me old-fashioned. Up until now, no political party would even consider an unprincipled patent low-life as their nominee for President Of The United States. Silly me! Seems if you bring enough money, people will twist themselves into pretzels to justify otherwise disqualifying traits. And it isn’t just the absence of character.
If a plurality of voters is captured by an unapologetically bellicose and vulgar disposition, a lot of Republicans will set aside the very principles upon which the party is constructed. Seemingly grasping for anything justifying their compromise with the infidel, many will remark that his children are loyal to their father. The Westboro Baptist Church’s Fred Phelps’ daughters were loyal to him, so what of it?
If Donald Trump was a structure, he would be a gold-fixtured outhouse, which is a particularly apt metaphor. At once it suggests his ornamented tackiness, the motivation of those needing him, and the element that he is full of. Trump as the Republican nominee is horrible. And I don’t mean horrible as in Miley Cyrus at the Grammy Awards. I mean horrible as in a freeway scene of hulks of twisted metal next to bloody sheets stretched over dead bodies. And the dead would be the party’s defining principles and if he actually won, what’s left of the American ideal that quickly created the most innovative, prosperous, productive, powerful and generous nation in human history.
But the delegates who own the convention should use their privilege to save both party and country. This is not mere preference, but is essential. Hopefully, delegates who have labored in the party fields will have more courage than the anxious Washington Leadership who tremble in the shadow of mass-media. That Leadership has lost faith in the virtue and shelter of truth above a calculation of mass-media benevolence, even forlorn as such calculation is for a conservative party.
The delegates’ obligation is to the Republican Party faithful who have worked in the multi-level convention process to establish its platform, and it is also to The United States. The party is a private voluntary organization of agreed upon principles, not a public concern up for revision of non-participating voters. Whether in ignorance or indifference, oblivious voters ought not be permitted to commandeer that private association that is The Republican Party, and its principles that Republicans have invested time and resources in.
State rules notwithstanding, once credentialed and seated, delegates to the national convention are free to express their conviction as they always have been except for when the rule was added for the convention in 1976, and then rescinded in 1980. I have been a state delegate that declined to stand for election to national conventions to coronate candidates about whom I was little enthused. But I would have been this year because as a delegate I would have been enthusiastic to vote against Donald Trump; for him not to be the Republican nominee under any circumstances. He will be the weakest frontrunner at least in memory.
Liberals unsurprisingly, but most Republican voices also are overlooking something very important that is happening in this bizarre Trump drama. I'm listening to a lot of very high-profile Republicans including formerly ardently Trump critical conservatives, who are conceding that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee, and we must figure how to unify the party behind him. But no one is talking about the vital issue at stake.
Liberals, media and Trump supporters speak of an establishment “taking” the nomination away from Trump; that voter popularity numbers are preeminent. First, you can’t take something that is not possessed. And Republicans elected by Republican activists in the states are not “the establishment.” They have only passing or usually no relation or allegiance to the Washington D.C. Republican Leadership. If people want Trump elected by popular vote, they should run him as Independent or in a third party which themselves would have to nominate Trump, and the best known ones wouldn’t.
If a party infidel is made the Republican nominee, it is The Republican Party that has been stolen. I’m not Catholic, but consider The Roman Catholic Church. Catholic tradition and doctrine emanate from and are maintained in Rome. Like party hijacking voters, every time there is a change of Catholic Popes, superficial and ignorant media fantasize about a new Pope who will liberalize Catholic Church doctrine.; particularly on so-called social issues. The college of Cardinals do not select heretics, and neither do Republican activists. The Convention should hold true.
It's understandable that liberals and populists exalt the supposed sanctity of the leader with voters because liberals by nature have no clue about what conservatives should understand as a vital matter. Liberals also want to run against Trump as an eminently vulnerable candidate. I’m not even certain that he really intends to seriously contest Democrats who would maul him with his record of words and deeds.
And Trump’s supporters think he was born in a manger. Actually it probably was a slop trough. They are strangers to consistent principle, as demonstrated when they taunt the NeverTrumpers that they will be supporting Hillary Clinton, while at the same time they say they will support no one but Trump. They probably don’t even see the clear contradiction. But soliciting and appeasing popularity has always been a Democratic priority, not a Republican one.
Democrats favored slavery and Jim Crow while it was politically advantageous. Republicans advocated for the principle that eventually ended them. Democrats recognized marriage conventionally as between a man and a woman until the popular culture had produced an environment where it was safe not to, and changing laws became a cause. Republicans held to what was natural locally while the thoughtful recognized that marriage policy was constitutionally the province of states. Do we even need remark that such constitutional principle is irrelevant to Democrats?
Trump supporters generally share Democrat oblivion to a structure of coherent principle. It is utterly un-Republican to embrace such philosophical vacuity and a proponent of it like Trump. State-elected Republican delegates have a duty of custodianship of the faith of the millions of Republicans who through the Republican convention process have entrusted them to represent them.
The delegates should outwardly and unequivocally refuse Donald Trump the nomination because of his manifest character issues, his social gracelessness, and especially his indifference to fundamental Republican dogma as reflected in the party platform. And all of that is not to mention the extent of his political radioactivity. That is so glowing that even a fair chunk of Republicans will have no part of him. Count me in that large number. And also count the large majority of the delegates who crafted the platform that Trump spurns, and with whom turnout is usually near 100%.
The great majority of delegates, even of those “bound” to Trump according to rules of their state are unsupportive of Trump. How do I know that? At state conventions, thousands like me are faithful to most of the principles of the platform. In near totality, these are not the Trump voters.
The only reason that most of these delegates would cast any nominating vote for Trump including those supposedly “bound” to him, is concession to the mass-culture tsunami of pressure that the voting requires it. Indeed, I can imagine the on-air hair-pulling and histrionics at television networks if the delegates rebuffed Trump. And that’s not to mention the threats of mayhem from Trump and his goons. Befitting the man himself this is and threatens a convention that is just tawdry.
Yes, Trump has collected a record number of votes for this point in the process, though new voters are not as large a number as is suggested. And also, a record number turned out to vote against Trump. A large number were Democrat voters in open primaries intended to “moderate” the choice. Of course this vote went heavily for the liberal Trump. Without it, others would still be campaigning. But the delegates would surely be confronted to justify a different nominee. Their dilemma is not personal ambivalence, but external intimidation.
It is a major Irony that timidity in face of the wall of media bluster is the sort of Washington establishment Republican inclination that provoked this Trump reaction in the first place. National convention delegates will face turmoil either at the convention if they do their duty or when principled Republicans also lose faith in the party. It would likely then veer into calamity in the general election and in the nation’s future, and a collapse of party philosophy and identification.