Diary

The Samson Option: Dump Trump at the convention

“Then Samson called to the LORD and said, “O Lord GOD, please remember me and please strengthen me just this time, O God
that I may at once be avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.”  Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested,
and braced himself against them, the one with his right hand and the other with his left.  And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!”
And he bent with all his might so that the house fell on the lords and all the people who were in it.” – Judges 16:28-30.

The only #neverTrump position that doesn’t end in the tears of a YUGE Hillary landslide is one that actually stops Trump from becoming the Republican nominee.  We must dump Trump at the Cleveland Convention. Here is why:

I. Trump is unfit to be President

Trump is unfit based on character, integrity, knowledge and temperment to be a decent President. The examples of his behavior  is legion – his mocking of a disabled reporter; his personal attacks on literally hundreds of people over the years; his consistent pattern of attacking personally anyone who dares to criticize him; his personal attacks on many Republicans. With his attacks on a hispanic-American judge, it entered the realm of ethnic bigotry.

Trump has repeated bumper-sticker level ‘policies’ that are neither coherent nor honest, and when probed on actual policy, Trump has shown neither the depth nor the intention to educate himself sufficient to the task. On issue after issue, Trump is a cipher, a big risk, a ‘wildcard’. It’s not even a matter of being a policy wonk, but ignorance of basic civics, like his misunderstandings over the proper role of the Supreme Court, the powers of the President, assertions that fly in the face of proper separation of powers, and more.

Trump has shown he lacks the curiousity to get more informed, lacks the grace to avoid abuse towards others, lacks the temperment to limit his erratic statements. And with a lack of a core – in particular his lack of conservative convictions in his core – Trump has readily flip-flopped to liberal positions for no good reason except that he shares liberal views.

II. Trump is unelectable

The latest polls of Trump vs Hillary have Trump down double digits. Trump is disliked by 70% of voters; 55% of voters who will not vote for him; his ratings with young voters, women voters, minority voters are all terrible. Trump is losing by double digits even though Hillary herself is unpopular and disliked. It’s simply that Trump is disliked more. The gap has allowed third party candidates like LP candidate Gary Johnson to poll close to 10%, a much higher level than normal for a Libertarian.

 

III. Trump’s campaign is already failing.

We hear the retort, in defiance of the many data points against Trump in polls: “You can’t say he is unelectable in June. Just wait to October.”

Thinking “He will get better in the general election campaign” is wrong. He hasn’t. He won’t. The wheels are  coming off the campaign. It will get worse. not better.

Trump is a terrible, unelectable candidate who is branding the party in a way that is toxic to the party. Because of Trump’s controversial positions, statements, actions, and past, many Republicans will not support him, hobbling not just Trump’s campaign, but many down-ballot races as well.  Trump’s extreme and erratic statements and positions make it impossible to unify the party. So we have a hobbled campaign, not just for Trump for for GOP candidates downballot.

Trump will not win, does not know how to win a general election, and has no care at all how to run a proper campaign. Trump is lazy at campaigning; he has nothing in the way of real advertising that works; he is clueless and naive about how and where to focus effort. He is ignoring the basic principles of outreach, unifying and building coalitions that win. Trump has disdained GOTV, ignores data-based campaigning, has been lackluster at fundraising while also stingy with his own money.
In many ways, Trump doesn’t even have a campaign. It’s a joke.

“I agree that Trump can’t be supported, so let’s get behind a third party one”

IV. There is no hope in a third party candidate.

Many people who cannot support Trump and Hillary will vote for a third party candidate. But despite 3rd party candidates running in every election, and in some years being popular, they never win. In 2016, a 3-way split of the vote will just be a repeat of how Bill Clinton won in 1992 and 1992. Hillary’s job is much easier winning with a strong plurality.

We have seen this before. In Missouri Senate race, Todd Akin made one statement, itself less controversial than perhaps a dozen of the toxic things Trump has said. People called for him to drop out. He didn’t. He lost by a 10 point margin in a race other candidates could have won. In Colorado 2012, The GOP nominated a weak
underdog candidate who after the nomination turned out to have a checkered resume; Tom Tancredo attempted to salvage things with a third party run; he lost, the Democrat Hickenlooper won and became Governor. As the adage goes, united we stand, divided we fall.

LP candidate Gary Johnson may indeed do better than any LP candidate before him. But he won’t crack double digits. Right now, he is running at 9% in the polls, which is remarkable and significant of how unpopular Trump is, but his election day result will be less than that, as 3rd party candidates tend to fade as voters focus on the ‘winnable’ choices to influence outcome. He won’t win over most Republicans, and for every 3 votes he gains, at least 2 will come at the expense of Trump, only ensuring Hillary’s victory. It won’t be a victory for liberty or LP positions to have Hillary become President.

At the same time, those who care about the “Trump issues” of trade, immigration, and security need to understand that they will not get their issues addressed by backing a candidate who loses in a landslide. Their cause is hurt with a Trump candidacy. But they will not vote for any other candidate who doesn’t share those beliefs.

 

V. CONCLUSION: THE ONLY WAY TO STOP HILLARY AND SAVE DOWN-BALLOT REPUBLICANS IS TO DUMP TRUMP AT THE CLEVELAND CONVENTION

“But look, all this loose talk cannot help us when we need to focus on beating Hillary.”

Yes, we need to focus on defeating Hillary. These are the options:
1. Support Trump and hope for the best.
– Hope is not a strategy and the last month proves Trump’s campaign is a mess and his loss is certain. Hillary wins.
2. Support a third party candidate.
– The Trump GOP and third party candidates split the anti-Hillary vote. Hillary wins.
3. Dump Trump at the GOP convention and put forth a more electable candidate, who can unite the party and put
forth an articulate message.
– We have a fighting chance, or more. Polls will change once the weight of Trump is off, and the party will rally. Hillary
IS beatable, just not by Trump.

“But it’s a done deal. Trump is the nominee. He has the delegates and he cannot be stopped.”

VI. Yes, Trump can be stopped, with enough committed delegates.

Rule #1 of political conventions – A MAJORITY OF DELEGATES CAN MAKE ANYTHING – LITERALLY ANYTHING – HAPPEN.
1237 delegates have the power to unmake the whole nomination, stop Trump, and nominate a replacement.
ALL DELEGATES HAVE TO DO IS ACT – PASS RULES TO ENABLE THEMSELVES TO DO IT.

VII. How to dump Trump at the national convention

This is how delegates can stop Trump. get 1237 of them to agree to these rules and actions:

#1. Pass a “conscience rule” that allows delegates to vote their conscience, or at minimum not be forced to vote for
a candidate they have determined lacks the qualifications or fitness to be President.
– If the delegate has deemed the candidate they are bound for to be unfit to be candidate or unqualified based on a serious deficiency,
then the delegate may choose to withdraw their vote or abstain on the first ballot; on 2nd or subsequent ballots they may vote for another
candidate.
– “Notwithstanding chosen delegates being bound to candidates through the result of primary election, no delegate may be required to vote for a candidate for President they determine to be unfit or unqualified for office; if bound for a candidate they deem unfit, they may choose to abstain on the first ballot, and on 2nd or subsequent ballots they may vote for another candidate.”

#2. Pass a “real Republican rule” that allows nominating only real Republicans as candidates. For example, The GOP nominee must be:
– a registered Republican for the past 8 years
– a GOP primary voter in at least 2 GOP primaries in the past 10 years
– not under criminal indictment or conviction, or subject to civil fraud charges
Maybe it’s best to keep the rule simple:
– “To be nominated for President of the United States, the candidate must show proof of having been a Republican for the eight years prior to being nominated. No candidate who was registered to another party during the eight years prior to the nomination may be considered for nomination.”

#3. Enforce Rule 40(b) such that bound delegates may not be compelled to sign a 40(b) petition based on being bound delegates. As such, we may get to the point where if we convince enough delegates – even ones bound to Trump – to NOT sign the Trump petition, then we can prevent Trump from getting the 8 states he needs to be put into nomination.

#4. There is one more thing that a committed group of delegates, even if numbering only about 200 or so, much less than a majority, can do to stop Trump, even if the ‘conscience rule’ is not passed. Delegations could LEAVE the convention floor. Walk out. If one small group did it, it’s a protest. If a whole STATE does it, it changes the vote count. If several states TOGETHER stage a walk-out, then they can shut down a nomination.

If an entire state delegate that has people bound for Trump decides to up and LEAVE THE CONVENTION FLOOR on the first ballot and NOT VOTE, then their vote cannot be counted. Imagine a roll call and not having some states respond, or leaving one delegate to represent to respond “In protest to the unfitness and unelectability of candidate Trump, and with a desire for the convention to be unbound from this tragic choice and choose a more suitable nominee, Texas abstains”. If enough delegations do this, then the convention cannot vote for the candidate, as the candidate will not have 1237 votes on the first ballot. The delegations might return but only after the first ballot is concluded. Delegations that could do this and help lower the Trump threshold include Oregon, California, Washington, South Carolina, Arizona, Virginia, Delaware, Florida, Missouri, Georgia, Connecticutt, Maryland. Maybe others.

#5. Individual delegates who are bound to Trump may refuse to vote. There may be some legal ‘binding’ which may bar a vote for someone else, but they cannot compel you to vote for Trump if you don’t want to, even if it is an act of civil disobendience! In order to do this and have it actually count, it may require assent from state delegation leaders. They might simply ignore delegates and ‘vote’ based on bound delegate requirements and not poll the delegations. So it may require several things on the part of delegates. First, a demand to poll delegates; second, delegates may need to stage a walk-out so their votes are not able to be counted; third, it may require agreement by a majority of a state delegation so the ‘dissenters’ aren’t ignored.

“I am a delegate and I want to stop Trump, but I’m bound for Trump. What do I do?”

WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT VOTE FOR TRUMP ON THE FIRST BALLOT OR ANY BALLOT. Fight for rules to make it happen. Do not worry about being bound, fight for rules that make explicit your right of ‘conscience’ to abstain from supporting a candidate who is unfit or unqualified for the nomination. Even if there is a state law ‘requiring’ you, nobody has ever been charged with being a faithless delegate. It’s the breaking of an oath, but it is being done on the basis of severe duress. In times of natural disaster, Force Majeur is called. This is such a situation.

Second, join forces with others on the above strategies to stop the Trump nomination. A movement is afoot, and it’s time for patriots to change the course of history and salvage America from the certainty of Hillary winning in November.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/dozens-of-gop-delegates-launch-new-push-to-halt-donald-trump/2016/06/17/e8dcf74e-3491-11e6-8758-d58e76e11b12_story.html