By Joseph Gunderson
Let me be clear. If the Republican Party heads toward a contested presidential convention in July, get used to saying Madam President Hillary Clinton until 2021, or God forbid, 2025. “Well, at least she’s better than someone like Donald Trump,” you might say. Think again. It’s been a common campaign message for all of the former and current 2016 candidates to tout the importance of this election. We’ve heard rhetoric ranging from “making America whole again” to the importance of establishing a “New American Century,” yet despite the common tendency to typify every election as “the most important one in our lifetimes,” the 2016 Presidential election risks spilling a large powder keg over our vulnerable Constitution that dangles over a raging fire. Such a blow to the document that started it all with its ratification in 1787 would more than validate what the candidates have been warning us about: the United States of America risks permanent damage if voters don’t get smart quickly. With as many as two Supreme Court justice appointments to be made, and the fight against Islamic terrorism, the protection of Israel’s right to exist, and the defense of the 2nd Amendment to oversee, the election of the 45th President of the United States gives us an opportunity to cast a safety net to save what’s left of our freedom; misfire is not an option.
Does a contested convention certainly set the Republicans up for a loss? In principle, a contested convention occurs when no one candidate secures enough delegates to clinch the nomination after all states have voted. Should this occur, delegates who were pledged to a candidate would be released to vote for who they want to at the convention; until one candidate gets at least 1237 delegates, more pledged delegates are released. At face value, this doesn’t sound so bad, but considering that the last primary election is held in June 7, the Republican candidates would lose over a month and a half of time to go after the Democratic presumptive nominee while they convince unpledged delegates to vote for them, leaving the entire Republican party vulnerable while the Democrats get a head start. Also, with regard to the voters’ willingness to vote, many don’t find the contested convention a fair method of determining a nominee, since party leverage can favor one candidate over another. Sadly to say, that is exactly what is happening as states are voting.
With 743 delegates, Donald Trump is the undeniable frontrunner for the nomination, sporting millions of more popular votes than Cruz and Kasich, who stand with 517 and 143 pledged delegates respectively. Given that only around 760 delegates remain up-for-grabs in the remaining primary contests, Ted Cruz, even after his decisive victory in the Wisconsin primary, needs over eighty percent of the remaining delegates to mathematically win the nomination before the convention. Kasich needs over one hundred and twenty percent to win, knowingly staying in the race to intentionally divide up the vote to bring the Republicans to Cleveland in July without a nominee in mind.
Now say you like Ted Cruz, that’s great, but once again, it is nearly mathematically impossible for him to win. For somebody who claims to be anti-establishment, Cruz is a hero among many Tea Party conservatives, but stands only to further the establishment’s goal of stopping the candidate they know they are least able to control under the guise of running as the “more conservative” candidate. Even Mitt Romney, the 2012 nominee who is most widely remembered for his failure to stop Barack Obama’s reelection, had the willingness to drop out of the race when he ran in 2008 when it was evident that McCain was on course to clinch the nomination. If Ted Cruz really knew what was good for the Republican Party, and if he truly was the anti-establishment candidate he says he is, he would acknowledge that his candidacy only serves to further cripple Trump as he goes against the Democratic nominee in November. As long as Trump and Cruz continue to fight it out, the party will remain divided, and that divide needs as much time to mend as possible if the Republicans are to win the White House.
The mainstream media paints Trump as vulnerable after a rough week on the campaign trail and a loss to Cruz in the Wisconsin Primary. Bear in mind that the media narrative was similar when Trump lost Iowa to Cruz and nearly finished third behind a surging Rubio. With the media narrative in Rubio’s favor, the establishment rallied behind him, yet his disappointing finish in New Hampshire the following week showed just how accurate that narrative was. Trump is far from flaming out, and as an inexperienced politician, he has slipped up on the campaign trail, but a vote for Trump in the upcoming New York primary is a vote to bring unison to the Republican Party that is desperately needed if we want to win the Presidency and stop Hillary Clinton. Should Trump win over 50% of the vote in the closed Republican primary, he will carry all 95 pledged delegates awarded. While this is significant to propel away the possibility of a contested convention, it will also make it mathematically impossible for Cruz to reach 1237 before the convention. To ensure that the fragility of what is at stake this election is transferred to an administration we can trust, the Republican voters of New York need to think about the opportunity they are passing up. Even if Cruz was nominated at a contested convention, Cruz is viewed very unfavorably by the establishment as well. Mark my words, if this election heads to a brokered convention, neither Trump nor Cruz will be nominated, and the Republicans will lose terribly in November. For those who have a problem with Trump, my last word is this. Without any condescending atmosphere to slant your view of the billionaire businessman, would you really dislike him as much as you do? Remember that the only way we protect our freedom is to elect someone we can trust. A contested convention will lead third Obama term, two new liberal justices, and the loss of our Second Amendment. A vote for Cruz would be a vote for very conservative principles in a different election, but right now it’s a vote for a divided party. We need to vote Trump, so he can close this deal as soon as possible so this party goes into the general election as united as can be.