Would you support #dumpTrump? [video]
Would you support #dumpTrump? [video]
New life has been breathed into the anti-Trump movement with the polls showing Donald Trump behind, sometimes very far behind, Hillary. RNC insiders including delegates are starting to band together in small numbers to strategize how to #dumpTrump. To clarify, #dumpTrump is not the same as #NeverTrump.
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) June 17, 2016
To accomplish #dumpTrump, many are taking a stance with the underlying idea that people should “vote their conscience” (the “conscience clause”) and should ignore any rules “binding” delegates to a particular candidate.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), who is slated to chair the Republican National Convention next month in Cleveland, said in remarks released Friday that House Republicans should follow their consciences on whether to support Trump.
“The last thing I would do is tell anybody to do something that’s contrary to their conscience,” Ryan said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” that will air Sunday.
In order to do this, the rules may have to be rewritten – or, in more revolutionary fashion, a few are advocating to just do as they please without regard to the rules at all.
“This literally is an ‘Anybody but Trump’ movement,” said Kendal Unruh, a Republican delegate from Colorado who is leading the campaign. “Nobody has any idea who is going to step in and be the nominee, but we’re not worried about that. We’re just doing that job to make sure that he’s not the face of our party.”I know almost nothing about the intricacies of the formal nomination process, but let me just set forth some general observations.
If a #dumpTrump move is made, it is going to further the narrative that the system is rigged. This will be true regardless of how it is done – within the rules or outside the rules. The public will not accept it was a fair process no matter what.
Those making the #dumpTrump move must decide whether that perception is worth making this stand. I would be in the contingent that says it is not worth it.
The campaign kicked off in earnest Thursday night on a conference call with at least 30 delegates from 15 states, according to multiple participants. Unruh and Regina Thomson, another Colorado delegate, have recruited regional coordinators in Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Washington and other states.
Eric Minor, a GOP delegate from Washington state, said that he felt compelled to join Unruh’s group because “I hear a lot of people saying, ‘Why doesn’t somebody do something about this?’ Well you know what, I’m one of the people who can. There’s only 2,400 of us. I’m going to reach out to us and see if there seems to be momentum for this. And if there is, we’ll see where it goes.”
If #dumpTrump moves ahead, they must do so within the rules (whatever they are, who knows?), and they must have major support that the action is allowed – even if people don’t agree with it, they must agree on its legality. This is necessary to combat the assured perception of illegality by making the move itself.
A word about the “rules.” From everything I’ve read it appears that the actual rules of the nomination are written at the convention – which takes place after all primaries are over. I would think that the awarding of delegates through the primary process must pre-suppose what the rules are, otherwise the awarding of delegates by the states would be a complete farce. States will have awarded delegates based on their own rules that I assume are rules based on what the states understand the national nomination rules to be. In other words, the states have knowledge of national rules, and that knowledge informs their own primary process. By changing the national rules after the fact, it undermines the states’ rules. If this is an incorrect assumption, let me know.
If it is true that the national rules are written after all primaries are completed, and through which the national rules committee can actually manipulate the final outcome of the primaries, this shows that it is a rigged system. Writing the rules after the game is already played is not fair. Perhaps I just have my facts wrong, but I don’t understand why people aren’t saying more about this backwards process. If you know the reasoning for this, please share!
Unruh, Minor, Lonegan and a number of others involved in the effort are former Cruz supporters, but they insist they are not working on his behalf. Cruz has said he would not accept the presidential nomination as a result of an attempt to strip Trump of the prize.
So overall it’s my position that something like this should not be undertaken in light of the horrible perception of cronyism and elitism that will be indelibly stamped on the Republican party. However, it seems that some number of people are willing to forge ahead in order to find a nominee other than Trump. This is a noble goal to be sure, but it seems like an “ends justify the means” argument. Because I value a transparent and fair process above all else, I cannot agree with this action – even if the nominee was someone whose campaign sign I would put in my yard.
On the other hand, rules need to work in all situations, or the exceptions must be absolutely justified. Let’s say through whatever circumstances the preemptive nominee actually was Adolf Hitler, resurrected and verified to be the real guy. Wouldn’t most people (there’s always one somewhere 😉 ) agree that we should not allow Hitler be the nominee? What would be the process for removal? Some kind of ethical or moral clause (but who decides what that is?)? Perhaps criminal convictions as a disqualifier? In theory, there should be some mechanism to remove entirely repugnant candidates, but we will argue on where that line should be. Ideas of what is repugnant enough will be as varied as these United States. Perhaps the “conscience rule” already covers this?
If you are a disinterested outsider, this is fascinating to watch. Voting Americans, not so much.