Another soundtrack for your reading pleasure. 😉
You might also be interested in checking out last night’s episode of Rantings & Ravings, where I discuss the absurdity that sexual orientation is defined just as much by the gender of the person “who is attracted” as the gender that is the recipient of the attraction.
Anyway. Yesterday’s results for the Republican Primary made two things exceptionally clear. First, the Democratic nomination process is over. Second, the Republican nomination process is over. As I predicted back in November (though that link is from December), the general election is going to come down to Trump versus Hillary, and Trump will win. I’m not saying that’s a good thing or bad thing, but it is what’s going to happen. The only way to prevent that is for wider America to turn away from the established parties to a third party. And, realistically, the only third party with any chance whatsoever of upsetting the balance of power is the Libertarian Party. By the way, have you seen John McAfee’s new ad?
But enough of all that.
The current Republican Primary results are:
1,237 delegates are needed to secure the party nomination before the national convention. If that number is reached, then the person who reaches that number is automatically made the nominee. If that number is not reached, then some debating and argument ensues, the delegates cast their votes again, and the process repeats until someone hits the magic number.
187 delegates will immediately be up for grabs after the first wave of delegate voting (think of delegates as elected representatives) because the people they were elected to support have dropped out of the race. This includes Marco Rubio, who holds more delegates than John Kasich, who is still in the running.
There are 502 delegates remaining that are up for grabs, meaning that both Cruz and Kasich have been mathematically eliminated from earning the Republican nomination. Even if things radically change and Cruz wins 100% of the remaining delegates, he will only reach 1069, which is only barely more than Donald Trump’s current 954. Giving Cruz the nomination when Donald Trump has been the clear frontrunner for months and consistently earned a larger share of the votes from all across the country through a large time period would result in absolute chaos in the GOP. Whether people like it or not, it is time to accept that the nomination must go to Donald Trump.
Because Cruz won’t secure the remaining 502 delegates. Already, the tendency of people to vote for the person they think likeliest to win is taking effect, and Trump will continue to gain 50% or more of the vote in the remaining states. If Trump doesn’t hit the magic number, it’s an irrelevant point, because he’ll be so close to it–within a few dozen, according to most scenarios–that doing anything else would be viewed as outright robbery and political shenanigans.
The reality is that, according to the rules, having 1,236 delegates going into the convention won’t guarantee that person will become the nominee. This is because, in a two person race, there would be two candidates with 1,236 delegates, so neither of them can be assured victory. That isn’t the case here, though–this is a 3 person race, the totals are nowhere near even, and there is a huge gap between the other two candidates and the number of delegates needed to secure the nomination. In a two person race, it absolutely would be unfair to guarantee one of the people with 1,236 the nomination. In a three person race that used to be a 12 person race, however, it’s much less unfair. In a very real way, these goons that dropped out early in the race have screwed up the entire system, and I think that should be one of the GOP’s rules going forward: you can’t drop out of the nomination process.
Just think of all the people who voted for Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Carly Fiorina. All of those people have been disenfranchised by the people they supported. When Rubio, Paul, Fiorina, Christie, and all the others announced their campaigns and then proceeded to campaign, they made a promise to the people that they would try to secure the nomination. And then they dropped out, breaking their promises to the people who supported them. How would Rand Paul be performing in this narrowed field? How would Fiorina be doing?
Yet, at the same time, I think it’s time for Cruz and Kasich to admit defeat. I’m not saying that they should drop out of the race by any means–for the same reason the others shouldn’t have been allowed to drop out; it’s weak, disingenuous, and a betrayal to their supporters who now effectively wasted their votes on people who are no longer candidates. How many people would have supported Trump as their second choice, if Rand had not basically caused the votes he received to disappear into a blackhole of political shenanigans? How many people would have supported Cruz or Kasich if Rubio had never run at all? All of these people–their votes have been reduced to nothing, and might as well never have been cast at all.
Many Americans think their vote is wasted if their candidate doesn’t win, and this is what drives people to vote for the candidate they think is likeliest to win. If people had known that Paul, Fiorina, Christie, and all the others weren’t going to see it through, and therefore would never win, they would never have voted for those people at all. And now these people who voted in their primaries for these candidates who dropped out have their voices completely and totally nullified in the delegate process. The people who voted for the delegates going to the convention in the name of Rubio, Paul, Christie, et al. no longer have a voice. Behind-the-scenes “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” political brokering has taken over, allowing candidates to influence delegates. That delegate going to the convention in Rubio’s name–he’s a Cruz supporter. That person who voted for Rubio who may absolutely hate Cruz has effectively become the reason that Cruz will win one more delegate in the second round*. Maybe that person would have selected Kasich if they’d known that Rubio wasn’t going to have the courage and spine to hang around; it doesn’t matter, their voice is nullified. That person who voted for Jeb Bush may hate Kasich and may have preferred Cruz as their second choice. But in the second round, that delegate who is a Trump supporter will vote for Trump.
It is inescapable that this process has marginalized tons of voters. One might ask, “So? If Trump hits 1,237, then all the people who supported Cruz similarly have their voices erased.” But no, that’s not the case. Losing an election (and primaries are elections) does not erase the votes for the loser–that’s the widespread belief I referred to earlier that a vote is wasted if the candidate doesn’t win. However, “Trying to the very end and losing” is not at all the same thing as basically telling people you’re going to try to the very end, and then absconding with a ton of votes.
If I told investors I need $10b to do some complicated thing that would make us all trillionaires, and then I took that money, gave up on the project, and left them standing there wondering what happened, that would be an enormously different thing from doing what I said I would do and simply failing at it. The consequences appear to be about the same, but the circumstances and details couldn’t be more unlike.
So what am I arguing, then, if not that Cruz, Kasich, and Sanders should give up and drop out of their races? I’m saying they should stop campaigning. They should remain candidates so that the voters can continue to speak, but the reality is that, contested convention or no, neither of them have a viable path to the nomination. Trump isn’t speaking in bravado when he says he thinks people will riot if he doesn’t get the nomination. People may or may not riot, but one thing is certain: they will never switch their support to the candidate who took the nomination more or less from Trump. And it doesn’t matter that “the rules say this” and “the rules say that.” The rules don’t matter, not really.
What matters is what the voters think and feel, not the rules that the Establishment has in place to go against what the voters think and feel.
They can hide behind the rules all day long and say, “No, see? We were totally allowed to ignore the fact that Trump needed only 9 more delegates and instead let Kasich have the nomination.” But their delusion has reached new levels if they think that “Well, the rules allow it” is going to appease anyone; if anything, such an explanation will only rile them further. The primary is done; it’s over. There is no way for Cruz or Kasich (or anyone else for that matter) to get the nomination without shattering the Republican Party. And no–the Trump supporters will never switch their support to a candidate who they believe unfairly took the nomination from Trump, and they do think that would be unfair.
As do I, for that matter, but I’m not a Trump supporter. I understand the rule, and I understand the process, but “Because it’s the rule” and “Because it’s fair” aren’t even related, much less the same thing.
Cruz and Kasich, however, should stop campaigning and should start attempting to bridge the animosity between themselves and Donald Trump. Yes, it’s their responsibility now to bridge those gaps–they are the losers, and they are the ones who must now accommodate Trump and his positions. Trump is the clear winner, and that will continue going forward. It is time for them to put aside their differences, accept that Trump is going to get the nomination, and begin making inroads so that their supporters, when Trump secures the nomination, will support the selected GOP candidate. Continuing to drive wedges into the Republican Party will not help matters. It’s time for them to start tweeting, “You know, guys and girls, Trump isn’t really THAT bad…”
Actually, to be totally clear, it’s time for them to start focusing on Hillary and going after her. That is how they continue to be candidates while ceasing to drive wedges into the party. When Trump (who is childish) insults them, they must ignore it and counter with an insult of Hillary. There is no excuse for continuing to fracture the Republican Party all the way up to the convention, especially not since it is inescapably clear that Trump must be the nominee–because, as I’ve said, the rules are irrelevant.
Briefly, the RNC is likely to repeal their changes to Rule 40B, which requires any prospective candidate to win the majority of delegates in at least 8 states. By widespread admission of the Establishment, this rule was changed in 2012 specifically to keep Ron Paul from getting the nomination. It prompted the majority of Ron Paul supporters to walk out in disgust, and it represents the most brazen official interference of the Establishment that we’ve ever seen. Ron Paul had the 2012 nomination stolen from him in a number of ways–the media refusing to report his victories was yet another, and it was so common and blatant that even Jon Stewart called out the media on it.
I’m not a Trump supporter. Obviously–I support John McAfee, through and through. But I did support Ron Paul in 2012 when the GOP retired him and didn’t even invite him to the retirement party (seriously–that actually happened), when the Establishment passed 40B specifically to shut down Ron Paul’s chances. They should not even be allowed to repeal that rule now. Oh, by the way, there is also evidence that Rule 40B was rejected by the delegates, and there is proof that the Establishment was going to pass 40B whether people liked it or not–there were some teleprompter issues that revealed a lot more than the establishment intended.
They made this bed when they passed 40B illegally (Illegally according to their own rules, not illegally according to the state’s laws), and they should now be forced to lie in that bed. This eliminates Cruz and Kasich, and good riddance. All three of the GOP options are just bloody awful, and it’s a terrible fact that Trump sucks the least out of them. But Cruz is a constitutionalist and, despite what most people think, the Constitutionalist Party is not built solely from the Constitution; it is a Christian political party, through and through, and its own platform rejects the notion of separation of church and state.
We also need separation of state and economy. There has never been anything more critical to our freedom than to forever separate these two things. But that’s another matter. The point is that Cruz and Kasich don’t have a valid pathway to the nomination, even if it can be done without violating rules, and it’s time for them to accept that and start trying to heal the damage that their campaigns caused in their attempts to win.
On a side note, one of the reviews of V2: The Voluntary Voice read my essay “The Power Gap” and reached the conclusion that, because I talked about the Second Amendment, I must be a Constitutionalist. What an idiot. This is something I’ve always wanted to address, but have never bothered to. He also blatantly asserted that he disagrees because “he felt otherwise,” which is just more of that crap where people think their feelings are good enough to outweigh facts and reason. But anyway–the notion that I, an anarchistic atheist, am a Constitutionalist is absurd, and nothing about the essay indicates that I’m a Constitutionalist. I would urge people who think that my reverence to the U.S. Constitution and insistence that, at the very least, the state should abide its own Constitution, makes me a Constitutionalist to actually look into what a Constitutionalist is.
* This is speaking hypothetically, of course, and assumes that Trump won’t hit 1,237. If he doesn’t, then this absolutely will be more or less how it plays out.