Let the Convention Do Its Job

What are political conventions for? Jonah Goldberg explains:

The current debate about the GOP nominating process (It’s rigged! It’s undemocratic!) is largely hogwash. If it’s rigged, it’s rigged in favor of the front-runner, which is why Trump’s share of delegates is higher than his share of votes.

The nominating system was set up not as some reality-show contest to see who can get the most delegates. It was set up to see who can unify the party. The primary system was introduced to give voters the first whack at that task. (But they didn’t always have the final say: Robert A. Taft got more votes than Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, but Ike got the nomination.)

If Trump fails to get 1,237 delegates – still the most likely outcome – that will mean the voters collectively failed to find a unifier.

That failure is the alarm that calls the firefighters – i.e., delegates — to duty. Whether they pick Cruz or Kasich or someone else, it will not be some undemocratic “theft.” It will be their effort to do their job: unify the party. I wish them luck.

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What are elections for?

Some sage advice for Republican voters from Thomas Sowell, as voting begins soon in early primaries. Read the whole thing, of course.

That ultimate question is in the hands of Republicans who will soon begin voting in the primaries.

Their anger may be justified, but anger is not a sufficient reason for choosing a candidate in a desperate time for the future of this nation. And there is such a thing as a point of no return.

Voters need to consider what elections are for. Elections are not held to allow voters to vent their emotions. They are held to choose who shall hold in their hands the fate of hundreds of millions of Americans today and of generations yet unborn.

Too many nations, in desperate times, especially after the established authorities have discredited themselves and forfeited the trust of the people, have turned to some new and charismatic leader, who ended up turning a dire situation into an utter catastrophe.

The history of the 20th century provides all too many examples, whether on a small scale that led to the massacre in Jonestown in 1978 or the earlier succession of totalitarian movements that took power in Russia in 1917, Italy in 1922, and Germany a decade later.

Eric Hoffer’s shrewd insight into the success of charismatic leaders was that the “quality of ideas seems to play a minor role.” What matters, he pointed out, “is the arrogant gesture, the complete disregard of the opinion of others, the singlehanded defiance of the world.”

Is that the emotional release that Republican voters will be seeking when they begin voting in the primaries? If so, Donald Trump will be their man. But if the sobering realities of life and the need for mature and wise leadership in dangerous times is uppermost in their minds, they will have to look elsewhere.

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