Be honest. When the dirty player is on your team you tend to look past the dirty tactics. You may occasionally make a veiled attempt at objectivity, but even when you do, you do it with a mischievous grin. After all, a few fouls here and there are OK if the player has the skill to back it up. Especially if that skill translates into a victory for your team. All the discussions and debates taking place within both parties regarding the presidential nomination process are really no different. Contested convention? Just fine if you don’t want to see Trump be the Republican nominee. Super Delegates? Thank the Lord they’re out there if you’re a Hillary Clinton supporter or feeling the Bern is something you would otherwise equate with the need for penicillin.
It’s the hottest thing, everyone’s talking about it. Those would be the words Donald Trump might, and probably has used to describe the discussion taking place about the possibility of a Contested or Brokered Republican Convention. Of course as the front runner, and the candidate almost assured at going into the Convention in Cleveland with the most delegates, Trump and his supporters are already crying foul at the prospect of anything other than his coronation as the nominee. Problem is, not only is no one breaking any laws, unlike the athlete that does commit a foul, no one is even breaking the rules that exist within the private institution that is the Republican Party.
Same thing with the Democrats. Although there are many Bernie Sanders supporters getting increasingly exuberant in their argument that foul play is going on, like it or not the Super Delegates have every right to pick whomever they want as their candidate. In fact, the Democratic Party put these rules in place just for the purpose of stopping an insurgent candidate like Sanders from getting the nomination. Does it make Bernie and his people happy? No. Is it against the law or against the rules of the Democratic Party? The answer to that is also a big no.
So then the next obvious question is, is this process fair? That is when it becomes subjective. First of all, out of the 5 candidates remaining in the process, the 2 crying foul are the ones with the most to lose, so to speak. I say so to speak because to lose something you actually had to have had it in the first place. Neither Donald Trump nor Bernie Sanders have their party’s nomination at this point, so to say it would be lost in either scenario is a misnomer. The bigger question, and the one that is far more of a sensitive issue, is whether or not those who make the choice of voting for either Trump or Sanders are being disenfranchised by the process. The way I heard one commentator describe it, and I am paraphrasing, “thanks for participating, now we’ll make the decision as to which candidate we want representing our party”.
But not so fast. The point that people seem to be conveniently glossing over is that the only way either of these scenarios become relevant is if the people do not choose their candidate through the structured process, and like it or not the process is structured. If Donald Trump gets 1,237 delegates all talk of a Contested Convention will be over, and if Bernie Sanders is so far behind Hillary that he can only win with the Super Delegates, the nomination would actually be stolen if it were to be altered, just from Hillary rather than Bernie.
I guess if right now you like Trump or Sanders, it seems very unfair, but should they win, either through the process you hate so much or just by getting more delegates, all will be forgiven. The reality is that the processes are what the processes are, and regardless of who gains benefit from those processes, the organizations that set them up, otherwise known as the Republican and Democratic Party, have every legal right to see them to fruition. As long as they are willing to accept the consequences they face should many of their members feel betrayed by that process. I guess if that happens the winning candidate will have their first real test in leadership, a test that may just decide whether or not they win the general election.
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