As is well known by now the Republican Establishment has no love for the man who appears to be the sure-fire Republican candidate for president in November. Rumors have been flying for months about ways to dump the man at the convention this Summer and find someone who is more popular with the mainstream Republicans and, more to the point, someone who can defeat Hillary Clinton. The polls show increasingly that Trump cannot beat Hillary despite the fact that many Sanders supporters are totally disenchanted by the political system that has bypassed their man and nearly half of them say they will not vote for Hillary. This disenchantment has helped boost the candidacy of Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, who is in disfavor with both the Republicans and Democrats who, she thinks, are too mainstream and unwilling to take the country where it needs to go — away from war and toward a greener future. Many of the Sanders supporters would appear to be likely to switch allegiance to Stein rather than Hillary. Despite these problems on the political left, Trump has problems of his own. The point was made rather succinctly in a recent story about the move to dump Trump which is gaining momentum on the political right:
Members of the GOP Convention Rules committee are planning to consider an amendment to allow delegates a way out of voting for Trump on the first ballot—an effort that in an extreme could be used to deny him the nomination.
Under the proposal, delegates could be granted conscientious objector status, thereby freeing them from their pledge to vote as they are bound as the result of primaries and caucuses. The measure, first put forward by Colorado delegate Kendal Unruh, would undo the strict ‘faithless-delegate’ rule enacted at the GOP convention in 2012 and allow a “vote of conscience, whether personal or religious” by delegates.
“Allowable personal reasons shall include the public disclosure of one or more grievous acts of personal conduct by a nominee candidate, including but not limited to, criminally actionable acts, acts of moral turpitude or extreme prejudice, and/or notorious public statements of support for positions that clearly oppose or contradict the policies embodied in the Republican Party’s platform as established at the national convention,” the amendment says.
Interesting concept: political conscientious objection — as if the term “political conscience” weren’t an oxymoron! Those deligates seemingly committed to voting for Donald Trump on the first ballot can switch allegiance on the grounds — solid to be sure — that he has engaged in “acts of moral turpitude or extreme prejudice, and/or notorious statements of support for positions that clearly oppose or contradict the policies, etc. etc.” This assumes, of course, that enough of those delegates understand what moral turpitude is and do honestly object to the way Trump has run his campaign, thus seeing him as a palpably unfit candidate for the highest office in the land. I see it clearly, as do so many others. But whether those who attend the Republican convention this Summer will see this and vote their “conscience” remains to be seen. And this assumes that this tactic will be adopted by the Republican party prior to the convention. If it is not, I dare say, another policy will surface, because the Republican Establishment clearly does not want this man to carry their banner in the Fall.
So, the Democrats need to keep an eye on Jill Stein while the Republicans need to keep their eye on Libertarian candidates such as Gary Johnson and William Weld who will take a few votes away from their chosen candidate, whoever that turns out to be. But one thing seems assured, and that is that Trump’s followers will not go quietly. Even if Trump decides to “go it alone,” as he has threatened, they will surely see a conspiracy and appear to be the types of people who will raise Hell if they think their man has been screwed by the political process –a process they hate with a passion.
It could prove to be a most interesting Summer. Stay tuned!