History tells us that a contested convention is more than fair

By Lauren Grimaldi

Staff Reporter

A Donald Trump nomination could absolutely destroy the Republican Party, and it is not because of his questionable hair. His dangerous rhetoric is something seen only on the far right of the GOP and it holds much of what the core members of the party fear will alienate their voter base causing them to sway further away from identifying as a Republican.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and other members of the GOP know what could be coming to their party should the real estate mogul achieve the magic number of 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination, and as the New York Times recently reported in detail, there have been rumblings that there is much being done within the GOP to stop Trump.

Of course, there are a lot of people who do not want to see a man like Donald Trump nominated to such an important position. But if it is what the people vote for, then is it really a democracy if we ignore them and let the delegates choose who to nominate?

It seems as if flouting the votes of the people may point to a deep void in our democracy, but a few quick history lessons will tell that a contested convention would in no way be a unique event, but rather a long withstanding rule that has been implemented before.

In 1924, it took 16 days for the delegates Democratic Party to come to a consensus on who to nominate for president. In fact, according to Politico, that 1924 Democratic Party has eerie similarities in terms of dividedness to the Republican Party as we know it today. At this time, the party featured two front runners: one a radical member of the KKK, and the other a more moderate version of the ideals that the party as it was at that time held dear.

While Mr. Trump is not a member of the Klan, his ideology is undoubtedly more radical than that of 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Thus, signaling the well-known deep divides that run in the GOP and perhaps what will ultimately cause its demise someday.

Now, this election will see a brokered convention this year if no candidate secures the magic number of delegates to secure the nomination. While that is indeed a possibility with Trump’s loss in Ohio to Governor John Kasich, Trump will presumably be the candidate with the most delegates at the convention regardless.

And while he argues that he should get the nomination based on this idea; there are rules and historical background that stifle it soundly. If he does not get the required number of delegates, then he has not achieved a majority of support from Republican voters across the nation.

So any claims he may stake on the nomination based on the mere fact that he has more votes than anyone should be rendered obsolete based on the historical background of other contested conventions.

Categories: op-ed, Recent Posts


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