Be Prepared for a Brokered Convention?

Republican ElephantI am only discussing it because it was brought up about a week ago.  Personally, I find it strange to talk about a brokered convention (or open convention for that matter) before the Iowa Caucuses are underway.  Let the primary and nominating process go its course first and see how we stand after candidates drop out and how the delegates are ultimately divided.  If any one candidate achieves 1,236 delegates (50% + 1), he (or she) is in like Flynn and there is nothing anyone opposed can do about it.  Second, it is not something you prepare for, per say.  If it happens it happens.  If no one candidate has that magic number 1,236 on ballot #1, delegates are released from their committed candidate and may the best man (or woman) win.  There is nothing more to it.

There is popular belief that Reince Priebus and a handful of morally upstanding Republicans, mainly the Republican establishment, want to instigate a brokered convention to get rid of Donald Trump in the event that he can achieve the delegation requirement before July 18th in Cleveland due to his inflammatory remarks against all Muslins and his little regard for the Constitution.  Granted, in 1980, the DNC at New York’s Madison Square Garden attempted to open the convention and oust President Jimmy Carter due to his brother Billy’s involvement with the Libyan government.  The difference is they did not disrupt the primary process; they waited until the convention was underway and the DNC took a roll-call vote among all the states to vote aye or nay.  The nays had it and the Carter-committed delegation prevailed.  As much as I see a Trump candidacy being a huge mistake on the part of the Republican Party, an attempt to pre-empt the primary system is a low blow to registered Republicans like myself who cherish our right to vote in primaries just as much as our right to vote in general elections.

The last Republican nominated by a brokered convention was Thomas E. Dewey in 1948.  Not only Generation X, but even late Baby Boomers like myself (a Baby Boomer by definition is anyone born between 1946 and 1965; I was born in 1962) have never seen it.  It would be an interesting political mechanism to study, as it were.  But that does not mean one should root for it.  I did not see the Holocaust either and I pray to God I never see one in my lifetime.

In addition, using a tool like a brokered convention (should it come to that) to dump Trump is an exercise in futility.  He has the financial wherewithal and he will run as a third party (pledges mean nothing to him) and he will help Hillary Clinton win by splitting the Republican vote among Trump and the establishment nominee creating the Teddy Roosevelt Bull-Moose effect. 

I pray with you that [our] party does not nominate Donald Trump.  But do let the nomination process (primaries and caucuses) run its course and see what happens.  Trump can still run as a third party independent if another Republican is nominated; but at least then he is not the people’s [party’s] first choice and he is more likely to go the way of John Anderson (1980) and H. Ross Perot (1992).  Let’s be education on how a brokered convention works, but let’s not instigate such an event; not now.


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