Discussion continues to swirl around the idea of a delegate revolt at the Republican National convention in Cleveland this July, rejecting Donald Trump as the party’s presidential nominee and instead choosing a candidate with integrity and a commitment to the Constitution. The major media seem to think such an event unlikely. CNN recently called it a “far-fetched idea,” citing prominent Republicans who gave it little chance of success.
What I say is: If you’re a delegate to the Republican National Convention, and you love America and believe in the Constitution, are there any good reasons not to derail Trump’s nomination? Is there any reason simply to allow him to be nominated?
How about we look at a few potential reasons and see if they hold up to scrutiny?
- “It would be unethical to change the rules.” Not really. The rule is that the convention makes the rules. The convention is allowed to change the rules when and how it sees fit. Of course it wouldn’t be a good idea to do so constantly. Such changes should be rare, but if the threat of having Donald Trump as the Republican nominee is not justification for one, I can’t imagine what would be.
- “It would oppose the will of the people.” Hogwash. Little more than 40% of Republican primary voters chose Trump, and that total probably included a number of Democrat crossover voters. Almost 60% of the Republican primary electorate voted against Trump. If the majority matters, Trump should not be the nominee.
- “It would split the Republican Party and guarantee the election of Hillary Clinton.” And having Trump as the nominee would not do that? Of course it would! Trump is an electoral disaster, the most unpopular person in American politics. Polls have overwhelmingly showed him losing to Hillary in the fall election, and his campaign is reported to be running out of money (so much for his being self-funded and not beholden to the donor class). In all probability, Trump will go down to ignominious defeat in November and take many good, down-ballot Republicans with him.
- “But won’t the Trump supporters then refuse to vote for the Republican nominee?” Well, from what I’ve heard, many of them seem to embrace the idea that we should vote according to a candidate’s party affiliation rather than his principles. You should hear (maybe you have heard) the names they call people who won’t vote for the Republican nominee no matter who it is or how he won the nomination. Now, I disagree with them about that. I always vote according to principle, but since I’m sure (cough, cough) they’re not hypocrites, I have to assume they’ll live up to what they’ve said and vote for the Republican nominee. But if they do stay home or vote for someone else, that can’t be helped. If Trump’s the nominee, Republicans probably lose. If Trump should somehow win, conservatives definitely lose.
So, Republican delegates, with our country, our freedom, and our children’s future all possibly being affected by this decision, why not try? Why not dump Trump and give us a nominee we can support?
About The Author
Steven E. Woodworth received his Ph.D. in 1987 from Rice University in Houston, Texas. After teaching at small colleges in Oklahoma and Georgia, he came to Texas Christian University in 1997 and is now a professor of history there. Over the years he has authored, co-authored, or edited thirty-two books, including Manifest Destinies: America's Westward Expansion and the Road to Civil War (2010), Nothing but Victory: The Army of the Tennessee, 1861-1865 (2006), While God Is Marching On: The Religious World of Civil War Soldiers (2001), and Jefferson Davis and His Generals: The Failure of Confederate Command in the West (1990).