The Hijacking of the RNC is in Progress
Reasonable Americans who understand that in a democracy we cannot all get exactly what we want all the time, make every effort to remain open to all possibilities, as long as justice and fairness are served and players play by the rules.
In this spirit, many conservatives, including this one, have remained open to the possibility that the previously liberal, progressive, Hillary-loving Donald has had a change of heart/conversion experience, and is now poised to lead America into greatness by embracing traditional conservative American values. Albeit nervously, we have refrained from joining the NeverTrump movement.
The previous article here acknowledged recent positive steps taken by the Trump campaign, supporting the conservative Republican Platform, and the concomitant surge in support that Donald Trump enjoyed following that. This apparent commitment to conservative values was further supported by Trump’s choice last week of a conservative pro-life, pro-traditional marriage Mike Pence as his running mate/Vice President. We optimistic fair conservatives imagined that the previously progressive Mr. Trump was cutting a deal, agreeing to support Republican
social moral values in exchange for support of his economic and homeland security agenda. Only fair, after all, that Donald not hijack the Republican Party, discard its decades old conservative values, and use it to run as a progressive against another progressive.
Has Trump Actually Duped Us?
As we nervously watch the development of events at the Republican Convention which began yesterday, however, and continue to evaluate the sincerity of Donald Trump’s apparent late life conversion at age 70, things are beginning to look bad for conservatism, for democracy, and for the Republican Party.
The Floor Fight of July 18, 2016
Yesterday, RNC Rules and procedures were blatantly violated by both the RNC officials and by Trump representatives, in a clearly illegitimate effort to squash conservative input into the nomination process.
The crooked effort included a false call on a voice vote, an attempt to dismiss consideration of a proposed Rules Committee conservative rules package, an outright lie by the acting chair Steve Womack on an absence of dissent, the turning off of microphones of dissenting delegates, the dismissal of a Rules change petition signed by a majority of delegates from 10 States, the walking off stage of the acting chair, the ignoring of calls for points of order, and the drowning out of democratic proceedings which Trump supporters did not like with repeated chants of USA, USA… by Trump supporters.
Combined with the accusation that Mrs. Melania Trump’s convention speech yesterday contained verbatim plagiarism of Michelle Obama’s convention speech, these events bring into question whether the Donald Trump campaign, or the segment of Republicans who are supporting him, are actually hijacking the Republican Party.
Who IS Donald Trump?
Is Donald Trump actually a progressive candidate, and intending to strong-arm America into whatever agenda Donald Trump favors, just as Trump supporters yesterday strong-arming the entire convention, broke the rules, and bulldozed legitimate process and legitimate opposition?
The process is terrifyingly reminiscent both of Mitt Romney’s underhanded hijacking of the Republican nomination four years ago, and of Barack Obama’s vague yet hopeful campaign promises which were rapidly discarded as soon as the nomination and election became events of the past.
Who’s Rigging What?
Donald Trump’s frequent past accusations of rigging at the Republican Party were fallacious to begin with. They were simply a campaign ploy designed to garner sympathy for Donald Trump.
A political party has the legal and moral right to uphold it’s values, and not to put them up for hijacking by non-Republican voters in primaries, or by non-Republican candidates like Trump who want to hijack a convenient national election apparatus.
Donald Trump never obtained the support of the majority of Republicans, and even if he had obtained it, it has been the decades long policy of the Republican Party to require the rubber stamping that presumptive nomination at the convention.
This procedure, protected by the Rules of the Republican Party, and driven by the consciences of delegates recently elected in each State all over America, allows the dismissal of rogue candidates who refuse to buy into decades old Party Platform values, or who disgrace themselves in some way during the six months between primaries and the convention.
The convention provides a final vetting of a candidate before nomination.
Donald Trump has been calling this age-old sifting process “rigged,” and now, apparently, is not prepared to subject himself to the age-old process. He has organized his own supporters into “rigging” the convention to ensure Donald Trump’s favored outcome, by hook or by crook, even if that entails drowning out legitimate procedural business and turning off of microphones.
The Change of Rules
The issue that was drowned out is the same Rules issue that Mitt Romney used to steal the nomination four years ago.
What the Rules committee could not agree on several days ago, was whether to keep Romney’s crooked 2012 Rules which were designed to defeat conservative Ron Paul in 2012, and which also worked to defeat 16 conservatives in this present Republican nomination process.
The Rules committee was also trying to determine whether a clearer conscience clause needed to be adopted, allowing delegates to vote their conscience, rather than feeling bound by the results of the primaries. The previous rules were not sufficiently clear on the point of free conscience, and there has been conflict on that issue in the RNC for decades.
Simply stated, a return to the decades old reasonable rules of 2008, before Romney supporters strong-armed a change, as well as a clarification of the conscience clause, would have allowed more than one candidate into the present convention, and would have required a confirmation of Donald Trump’s support within the Republican Party. Not support of “establishment” Washington Republicans, but support of man-in-the-street Republicans elected just a few months ago as delegates to the convention.
The Rules committee could not find agreement several days ago on these issues. The stringent 2012 Romney rules remained in place, and no clarification of the conscience language occurred. An effort to continue deliberations on the Rule issues was squashed by Trump supporters in the Rules committee meeting. By extending discussion for 15 hours and refusing to reschedule a continuation of discussion, the reconsideration of Rules was squashed.
The legitimate way for supporters of Rule Change to address the blocking was to collect signatures from the majority of delegates from 10 States, which would allow the Rule question to be reconsidered on the floor of the convention yesterday, and the result to be determined by a roll call vote on the convention floor.
Shutting Down the Democratic Process
This is the legitimate democratic valid procedural option that was shut down yesterday by false calls and walking off the stage by the chair, by turning off of microphones of delegates demanding valid procedural votes, and by Trump supporters yelling to drown out demands for justice from delegates.
The crooked subjugation of a valid democratic process that occurred yesterday was shameful, and it illustrated the complete subversion, beyond Donald’s accusations of “rigging,” of the democratic process – by Trump supporters, and by those in the RNC who have signed on with him.
Hijacking Assisted by Media Misportrayal
Most of the media underemphasized and underreported the significance of yesterday’s floor fight.
Those who reported cast the Rules Change people as Never Trumpers, which is not at all correct. Although some of them were Never Trumpers, there have been Rules Change advocates for DECADES. These are the conservative supporters of keeping non-Republican voters out of Republican primaries (DUH!), and of allowing delegates to use their conscience, as electors in the Presidential General Election are allowed to do, to rubber stamp any potential candidate selection that occurred in the primaries. The convention has always been, in BOTH parties, the final place where the suitability of a candidate is finalized.
What’s a Delegate to Do?
Well, if I was a delegate on the floor of the Republican Convention yesterday and today, there are two things I would realize.
I would realize that the tactics utilized by Trumpers yesterday- bulldozing the democratic process and plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s speech – betray the values the Republican Party represent. I would question the honesty and integrity of Donald Trump and of his supporters.
I would also realize that the conscience language of the Rules of the Republican Party was put there decades ago precisely for this kind of situation- to give honest delegates who are faithful to the values represented in the Republican Party Platform – to give these delegates a last minute opportunity to reconsider which candidate represents the direction true conservatives what to take this nation. In the absence of Rules clarification, the situation still stands that reasonable Republicans still interpret Roberts Rules of Order and the Rules of the Republican Party as allowing delegates, and even requiring moral patriots, to exercise their conscience in choosing the next President to lead the United States of America.
VOTE YOUR CONSCIENCE
PUSH FOR A FLOOR FIGHT AGAIN TODAY
GIVE AMERICA THE BROKERED CONVENTION IT DESERVES