Word on the street is that billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump may very well make the big announcement about his choice for running mate on Tuesday, rumored to be Indiana Governor and one-time high ranking congressional caucus official Mike Pence.
But that’s not the announcement The Donald should be making.
Officially Trump possesses the required delegates to becoming the party nominee, having earned them by winning over 13 million votes and over thirty primaries.
Political insiders have engaged in some maneuvering to “free the delegates” by allowing them to vote their conscience, thus overturning the results of democratic contests.
Their reasons range from the disproportional (and thus unfair) media advantage that Trump enjoyed over his combined opposition throughout the primary season, that non-Republicans tilted some of those wins where voters can cast a ballot in the party primary of their choice, and that Trump will go down to a spectacular defeat this November.
All of these points are true but are not valid arguments to deny Trump something he won at the polling station.
Four years ago I saw supporters of a candidate who received 6% in what was then a record-setting Louisiana primary voter try to steal practically all of the delegates that were won by the candidate who ran first with 49%.
I strenuously opposed this “delegate theft”, which dragged out all the way to the 2012 Republican National Convention.
My question for those party leaders who are delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention from states that Trump carried but are declaring that their principles won’t allow them to “do the deed” on the first round is this: why did you sign up to be a delegate in the first place knowing that you would be bound to Trump?
It’s like applying for and accepting a job at Waffle House as a cook, and then telling the manager that your religious faith does not permit you to handle bacon.
If these #NeverTrump “conscience delegates” are unable to honor the results of their state primary and vote for Trump, then they should vacate their spot and allow an alternate delegate to step in to do the job the delegate refuses. That’s why the national party conventions have alternate delegates in the first place.
As for the push to “free the delegates”, that motion should be rejected out of respect for the democratic process.
If the primaries and caucuses are essentially meaningless, then why the hell did a dozen plus Republican presidential aspirants bother trudging through Iowa and New Hampshire in January if everything was a meaningless “beauty contest”?
If you don’t like Trump and you’re not an official delegate bound for Trump, you don’t have to vote for him whenever the roll call is conducted.
While their barrage of fizzling schemes to deny Trump the nomination have backfired like the coyote’s Acme gadgets in the Road Runner cartoons, the #NeverTrump are correct to challenge his electability.
Think about it a moment: Hillary Clinton just had the worst week of her political life, and yet Trump is trailing the scandal-plauged former first lady in practically every poll that matters.
Trump only leads Clinton in one head-to-head poll, and his plurality of 43% is hardly anything to spike the football over. Trump’s numbers mainly fall in the high thirties-low forties against an opponent that many Democrats neither like nor trust.
Had the Republicans put up almost anyone else (sorry Jeb, you’re not included) there’s a good chance the Democrats would have to do some hard thinking when they gather for their own convention in Philadelphia in a few weeks.
In Trump’s signature book The Art of the Deal, the business mogul argues a good negotiator should be willing to walk away from a bad deal. Trump himself has argued this on the campaign trail about the nuclear treaty the Obama Administration reached with Iran.
By Trump’s own words, the election of “Crooked Hillary” would be a disaster for the country.
Trump should heed his own advice, withdraw from the race, and encourage the nomination of a candidate who will follow through on the core aspects of his message, including securing the border, adopting a tougher posture on the fight against radical Islamic terrorism, and reworking trade deals that fasttrack jobs out of America.
In fact, Trump would have the leverage to name the entire ticket if he wanted.
A “hostile takeover” would not only concede the election to Clinton but would destroy the GOP.
If Trump is not the nominee come next Thursday, it would have to be on his own volition.