Stop Trumpers at convention need to respect GOP voters
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I will participate in the Republican National Convention next week for the first time as a delegate and not as an elected official. It's not my first goat rodeo, but it will become the first in which I will directly cast a ballot for the Republican presidential nominee.


I campaigned for the position when my friend Gov. John Kasich of Ohio was still in the race and won delegates in Michigan's Republican primary. It was important that the delegates commit themselves in accordance with the outcome of the vote to ensure the integrity of the process. It becomes especially important should no candidate receive sufficient votes to win the party's nomination outright prior to the quadrennial conclave.

But that didn't happen this time.

Donald TrumpDonald TrumpWarren says Republican party 'eating itself and it is discovering that the meal is poisonous' More than 75 Asian, LGBTQ groups oppose anti-Asian crime bill McConnell says he's 'great admirer' of Liz Cheney but mum on her removal MORE won sufficient delegates through the primaries and caucuses to secure the nomination. So went the possibility of participating in the first brokered Republican convention since 1976.

Unfortunately, some folks are not happy with the result. The Stop Trump movement materialized to initiate a floor fight at the convention to unbind delegates from the candidate whom the grassroots chose — and instead follow "their conscience."

It won't be known until Monday whether they built enough support for their effort after the party rules committee struck it down this week. If a vote occurs and actually won, it could become that historic occasion envisioned a few months ago.

How would I vote if provided with the opportunity to free them to choose a different nominee?

The answer is simple: "no."

The Republican National Committee and state parties established rules for their selection and how the outcome of their contests would determine whom they would back at the convention. More voters cast ballots for Trump than any other candidate in the GOP's history. Many Republicans and independents worked on, and contributed to, the campaign they supported most. They all expected that their investment of time and resources would materialize in July.

It is unfortunate that some Republicans don't accept the conclusion of the process. I'm disappointed that they are working so feverishly to change the rules and alter the results of the long and difficult campaign in which Trump and 16 other well-qualified men and women competed.

I wonder whether they would pour so much sweat into the endeavor if their favored candidate won? How would they react to others attempting to strip the democratically decided results from them?

Convention delegates need to respect the outcome of the primaries and caucuses. The party must support the candidate who won through a fair and transparent system.

The defeated campaigns need to examine why Trump prevailed rather than continue to work against him. Perhaps he delivered a message that resonates with an electorate that despises a ruling political elite that disregards their voices and forces their own will upon them.

Republicans need to spend the next three months working to elect Trump and maintain majorities in the House and Senate. Each division of government will offer its own brand of Republicanism that will need to work together to develop an agenda that will move America forward after eight years of President Obama.

Every candidate had the opportunity to argue his or her case to the voters. Only one was left standing in the end.

Stop the infighting and focus on the general election so that we can begin the long undertaking of restoring America to greatness beginning in January 2017.

Congratulations to the GOP for running a fair and rigorous election process, and congratulations to Trump and his team for prevailing.

Now let's unite behind the nominee and propel him to victory in November!

Hoekstra represented Michigan's 2nd Congressional District from 1993 to 2011 and is the former chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee.