There’s an easy way for Trump to guarantee that he walks away from the convention with the nomination: Win 50% +1 delegates. It’s actually that simple. As the rules are written, that’s what a candidate needs to secure the nomination. It’s said that close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades… and a plurality may be close, but it’s not 50% +1.
If the point is to give the nomination to the guy with the most votes, then why didn’t the rules committee make that the rule? They could have, but they didn’t. So what we have is a scenario where someone could walk into the convention with 49% of the vote and not walk away with the nomination. “Gee, that’s not fair…” So let’s just give it to him! OK, well, then, let’s say instead of 49% he had 36%… do we do the same? How about 29%? Or how about this… we anoint the guy with 26% of the vote over two other guys have 25% each and where 74% of the voters want someone else?
There are endless scenarios that can play out if we simply toss the rules, but the fact of the matter is, the whole point of the multiple ballots at the convention is to create a framework for choosing the nominee when there is no clear winner. That involves horse trading, deal making and different candidates jockeying for position. That might not be as pristine as the newly driven snow, but things rarely are.
This of course creates an opportunity for the despicable GOP establishment to take advantage of the situation and try and foist some failed candidate like Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush on us, but it’s their right to try. It’s just up to the delegates to not let them. If that were to happen there would no doubt be a revolution, but sometimes you can’t save a party from itself any more than you can a person.
The bottom line is, those making this argument are making the argument that Al Gore should have been sworn in as President in 2001 because he won a majority of the votes. “It’s only fair…” But that didn’t happen because that’s not how the rules were written. Indeed, if we are going to throw out the rules and go with what’s “fair” then we might as well not have rules in the first place. That’s the difference between rule of law and the rule of man. One gives participants a clear understanding of how the rules work and motivates them to work within that framework for particular goals clearly understanding the possible outcomes and potential consequences for their decisions. The other provides none of that clarity as rules change as the powerful manipulate outcomes favorable to them, giving everyone the motivation to curry favor with the powerful and take advantage of the weak. One fosters freedom and prosperity while the other fosters duplicity, obsequiousness and treachery.
We already have one president who has decided that the limitations of the Constitution don’t apply to him… let’s not start the next one down that same path by the party telling him that the rules only apply when they work to his advantage.