Presidential Campaign

A contested convention means millions wasted on undemocratic elections

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After Republican presidential candidate John Kasich won his home state of Ohio and delivered his nearly sitcom-length victory speech, he and his family were buried in a deluge of confetti — we’re talking a Denver-Broncos-just-won-the-Super-Bowl quantity of confetti. There was so much confetti that it actually made headlines in major media outlets, which used words like “swallowed,” “buried” and “blizzard” to describe the scene.

{mosads}Going into the primaries overly optimistic that he would win state after state, the Kasich campaign must have called up the confetti shop and ordered enough for multiple victories. But after losing the first 29 primaries, they probably decided they’d better use it all at the Ohio victory party.

In a CNN interview, Kasich said, “I don’t want that much confetti again.” The good news for the Ohio governor is that his campaign’s confetti moments are about as rare as a Cleveland sports championship. What is Kasich doing? He’s taken a failed campaign and stretched it to April with no end in sight, leaving the media to wonder at his motives. When he was asked on “Meet the Press” about being vice president, he responded, “Under no circumstances. Are you people kidding me? I’m running for president.”

“Are you people kidding me?” He actually said that! Are you kidding us, Kasich? The man has a lot of nerve dismissing these questions in his condescending only-adult-in-the-room tone when it is mathematically impossible for him to win the nomination outright.

Reality check: Kasich is running to force a contested convention so the Republican establishment can pick the candidate, instead of the voters. Kasich is staying in the race to thwart the democratic process: all that voting, all those special trips folks made to the polls. All those “I Voted” stickers people posted pictures of on social media — they’re all for show.

If he succeeds, one man — Kasich — will have had more say in who wins the nomination than the voice of tens of millions of voters. Political parties like it this way. That’s why Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is winning a close election in the other primary. It’s all about the superdelegates. It’s like Curly Haugland of the RNC Rules Committee said, “The political parties choose their nominees, not the general public.”

Then why the hell are we paying for it?

Why are taxpayers in so many states picking up the tab for these faux elections when the results can be overruled by superdelegates or unbound delegates? Why are taxpayers funding elections where a group of political elites can change the rules as they go and manufacture whatever results they want?

Haugland, an unbound delegate from North Dakota said, “The media has created the perception that the voters will decide the nomination. That’s the conflict here.” Wrong! The media has not created that perception. That perception was created when We the People went to our jobs and earned the money that pays for so many of these elections. If the party chooses to disregard the results, then they should pay back every dime We the People wasted on their undemocratic scam.

Louisiana taxpayers will foot a $3.5 million bill for their presidential primary election, where Trump finished first after receiving about 11,000 votes more than second-place finisher Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas). Now, however, Cruz may finish with as many as 10 delegates more than Trump in Louisiana. Where did they come up with these rules, “A Beginner’s Guide to Soviet-style Elections”? Because even Srinivasa Ramanujan couldn’t come up with the math to make this democratic.

Washington state taxpayers will spend $11.5 million on their May 24 presidential primary. Will the winner there be the person who gets the most votes? Who knows?

Donald Trump has predicted “riots” if the nomination is stolen from the top vote-getter through a contested convention. I don’t know about that, but I do know that the GOP elites are flying way too close to the sun and their wings are starting to drip.

Zipperer is assistant professor of political science at Georgia Military College. 

Tags 2016 presidential campaign 2016 Republican convention 2016 Republican primary delegates Donald Trump Hillary Clinton primaries Ted Cruz

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