A brokered Republican Convention is increasingly likely. OK. Can we just be done with all the posts saying that it will be “undemocratic” if the candidate with the plurality of the votes doesn’t get the Republican nomination? Seriously? Two thirds of the voters have said they want someone else. Many of them want anyone else. The only reason the current frontrunner has even a plurality is that it took that two thirds of the party rather too long to decide whom they wanted instead of him. So the only “undemocratic” result would be if the convention nominated the current frontrunner!
The threat of riots if the Convention doesn’t nominate him is just one more reason why it should not do so. What is democratic about threats and intimidation? If no one wins a majority of the delegates, the democratically elected delegates will then have to get together and decide whom to nominate through deals and deliberation. In other words, they will have to do the jobs they were elected to do. I hate to break it to you, but this is not undemocratic; it is democracy at work.
We can also dispense with two further arguments. Some argue that denying the nomination to the current frontrunner will “fracture the party.” Others argue that giving it to him will “fracture the party.” News Flash: The party is already fractured.
The old coalition of Capitalists, Social Conservatives (mostly from the Religious Right), and Libertarians was required for a Republican victory, but it was never very stable, and, contrary to Carl Rove, was doomed to be temporary, because it gave none of those constituencies the things they most cared about. It has been fracturing for a long time, as the last two presidential elections attest. The current frontrunner has simply finished pulling it apart and knocking it over. So, whether he or someone else is nominated, either result will simply reveal this already existing reality in an inescapable way. Conservatives and Constitutionalists will then have to pick up the pieces as best they can and try to build a new consensus through the hard work of convincing more people that they are right. They cannot avoid this task by whom they nominate. They will have to do it in order to win even if they pick a good candidate.
Support the candidate you most believe in, and try rationally to persuade us why he or she is best. But do it rationally. That means doing it without these specious arguments. Thank you.
About The Author
Donald T. Williams (BA Taylor University, MDiv Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, PhD University of Georgia) is R. A. Forrest Scholar and Professor of English at Toccoa Falls College in the Hills of NE Georgia. A dual citizen of Narnia and Middle Earth, he is a border dweller, permanently camped out on the borders between serious scholarship and pastoral ministry, theology and literature, preaching and teaching, Christianity and culture. He is best known as an Inklings scholar and Christian apologist. He is the author of nine books and many articles and would love to come to your church or school to preach or conduct an apologetics or Inklings seminar. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.