05.02.2016 2

Breaking the primaries

3rdPartyNRD 600

By Rick Manning

Wall Street Journal columnist Kim Strassel explained in no uncertain terms how the primary elections in America are really just suggestions and there is a growing movement inside the GOP political class to find a way to disregard those results — and disenfranchise millions of voters.

I voted for Ted Cruz.  I urged others to vote for him in my private life.  Let me be clear, what Strassel is advocating for is wrong.

There is a difference between selecting delegates who would support another candidate in the second or third ballot and actively seeking to unbind delegates from the first ballot wishes of the primary and caucus voters.  The former is the normal delegate selection process, the latter demolishes the notion that will of the voters even matters.

Let’s be clear.  If Trump fails to get a majority of delegates on the first ballot in Cleveland, all bets are off.  His neophyte campaign left themselves open to attack based upon a lack of understanding of the rules of political engagement in the delegate selection process.  The other contenders, including Cruz, cannot be blamed because they actually read and followed the rules on the back of the box regarding the delegate selection process.

However, those delegates who chose to become delegates knowing that they were bound to a particular candidate have a deep responsibility to follow those rules as well and vote for the candidate who the voters chose under their state rules, and not look for ways to weasel out of this commitment.  Just as Trump’s campaign should have done a better job of understanding and participating in the delegate selection process, the other campaigns should have done a better job of convincing the voters that they were the right candidate for president in the first place.

The delegate selection process is important for a number of reasons, including setting up the rules of the convention, the political party platform and selecting who should lead the party.  What they should not do is subvert the will of the primary voters, destroying the legitimacy of the entire presidential candidate selection process.

In every primary election there is a certain percentage of voters and political activists who are disappointed in the results.  The traditional call is for everyone to come together and focus resources on defeating the opposing party’s nominee.

For the GOP the opponent is Hillary Clinton, and the debate is over the socialist agenda that she and the Democratic Party embraces.  There is no excuse for sore losers to permanently ensconce President Obama’s radical big government agenda because they don’t like the choice who emerges from the primary.  The stakes for our nation are too big to throw away by playing legal games designed to deny a nominee who legitimately earned a first ballot victory.

Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

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