This is not about that irritating John Denver song. This isn’t even about what happens to people and a Party after a State legalizes marijuana.
This is about crooked elections and non-elections. The facts have been all over the news last week and this weekend.
It does not interest me that the same thing is going on in the Democrat Party. There is no point in calling them The Democratic Party; they’ve stopped being democratic in the traditional American sense; they’ve been and they are now, especially this year, “democratic” in the marxist sense — a dictatorship of the proletariat, or at least by the proletarian stooges and other hand-picked clowns lurking in the shadows.
What interests me is that the same M.O. is being practiced in the GOP, by much the same kind of stooges and clowns.
Rather than rant and rave (any further…), let’s review the facts.
- Yes, political parties are private clubs.
- Yes, they can and do set the rules of their organization and operation.
Yes, they are free to decide whom they admit as members, whom they choose as their officers, whom they choose to represent local chapters in higher level meetings such as conventions.
- Yes, there are a minimum of State laws that set basic minimum rules of operation and representation.
- Yes, each State sets its own rules. For example, here in Nevada, a local major party’s central committee consists of one member per 50 registered voters. The requirement for the number of registered voters goes up from there for their representation by delegates to the county, State and national conventions.
- Yes, a CAUCUS is a private event, and a major Party can do whatever they want; that is, whatever the membership approves.
HOWEVER, a primary election is an event sponsored and funded by the STATE. And there are State laws that set the rules for the operation for a primary election. And again, each State sets its own rules. And, because primaries are a vote by the public that is run by the State and local governments, there are also federal voting laws that apply.
The problem, illustrated by the news stories from State after State, is that the two operating processes — party operations and expressing the people’s will in a popular vote — they are inevitably mingled in people’s minds and mangled by the people running the events.
Let’s look at Nevada (because that’s where I live and participate in these events from the inside).
In Nevada we have a caucus and presidential preference poll (PPP) in February — First In The West!!! — and then we have a primary for all offices below President in June. The dates of the caucus and the primary are set by State law.
The caucus is closed; all that means is that you have to be a registered as a voter and declare your party affiliation at least two weeks before. (You can change it back anytime afterwards.) So on the day of the caucus, you show up and eventually vote in the PPP. At this same event the people who show up also select from among themselves the delegates to the county convention. Each precinct is entitled by law to a number of county convention delegates based on the number of registered voters in that precinct.
Remember, the caucus is a private function, even though it is open to the public. Membership in this club is not very stringent; you simply declare your membership when you register to vote. You are not required to be a member of the central committee to vote in the PPP. And no one forces you show up or not show up.
The next private function is the county convention. It is open to the delegates who were selected at the caucus, and it is also open to non-voting guests. Again, no one forces you show up or not show up, or set conditions for showing up. You pay a small entrance fee and you are in. No one asks you how you voted in the PPP or which candidate you support as a delegate in order to attend and participate in the county convention.
One of the functions of the county convention is the selection of delegates to the State convention. Each county is entitled by law to a number of State convention delegates based on the number of registered voters in that county. In my county’s convention, the chairman who presided over the convention announced the total number of State delegates that we are entitled to, and how that number was apportioned among the presidential candidates BASED ON THE POPULAR VOTE IN THE PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE POLL. That was the only restriction that was enforced. The chairman explained that the state delegates are bound to the candidate they declare for only on the first ballot. Then, for people who wanted to go to the State convention as delegates, he pointed to places around the room and told them to meet there briefly, in separate groups according to the presidential candidates they are supporting, and select from among themselves the individuals who will go to the State convention as delegates and alternates.
Now, theoretically it is possible (as was the case in 2012 when “those Ron Paul people” showed up in huge numbers) that more delegates want to go to the State convention for a delegate than the vote for that candidate in the PPP entitles them to. And it is possible that other presidential candidates lost their appeal and not enough county convention delegates want to stay with them at the State convention. In that case the chairman may allow (and usually does) delegates from one candidate’s “caucus” to switch to another. And thereby be bound to vote for that candidate on the first ballot.
(That was in my county. In a neighboring county the process was a total fiasco.)
In 2012 a similar process played out in the State convention. The “Ron Paul people” showed up in huge numbers, wanted nobody but Ron Paul, and wanted to take over the convention, but were not allowed to because we stayed with honoring the results of the popular vote in the PPP. We’ll see how it will play out in the 2016 State convention.
Back to Rocky Mountain… Low.
In Colorado as in other states, whether they held a caucus or a primary, and whether Trump won or not, the Cruz campaign has been engaging in delegate stealing. Never mind how the PEOPLE voted in their presidential preference caucuses or primaries, the delegates will go to Cruz. Whether it is legal or not, or even if the delegates are bound on the first ballot, on the second, on the second ballot they will go to Cruz.
You can make the case that such delegate stealing is legal if the presidential preference poll was in a caucus, because the caucus is a private function and the Party sets the rules for what to do with that vote. Colorado and other States are obviously throwing the popular vote into the trash.
You can NOT make THAT case when the people’s preference for a presidential candidate was expressed in a primary. That is a State function. The Party does not make the rules for a State-run primary.
Either way, whether the presidential preference was in the context of a private or public function, if a Party decides to allow the theft of delegates from the candidate that was the people’s choice, then the theft is deeply immoral. It violates the very fiber of the foundations of our Republic.
If Cruz really were the champion and defender of the Constitution, if he really were true to his faith, and if he really were the fundamentally decent and moral man he’d like us to believe he is, then he’s be the FIRST to denounce the theft of delegates even if –especially because — he is the beneficiary of that theft. But…. obviously he is NOT.
The joke may still be on him. The GOP establishment does not want him any more than they want Trump, and are eager to pick their own stooge at a rigged national convention.
But here is the problem that Cruz and establishment seem hell-bent on ignoring.
If delegate stealing and convention rigging are allowed to stand, let alone proceed further, then at some point you the voter, constantly being harangued about voter apathy, will eventually have to retort, WHY BOTHER TO VOTE AT ALL?
The only remaining remedy in a democracy may be that absolutely nobody goes to vote on election day. Let’s see who dares to claim victory with zero votes in his favor.
Or we might as well end the charade. Announce the ignominious end to the American Experiment, declare a dictatorship by the oligarchy, propped up by the “47%” proletariat dependent on government hand-outs, and anoint Hillary as Emperor, Bernie as her Court Jester, Cruz as her Cardinal Richelieu, and 0bama as her Lord High Executioner. Fitting roles for all of them, don’t you think?
Of course neither scenario will play out that way. We’ll just piddle along one more time, as we’ve been doing since forever. A government of, by and for the people? Bah. A government of and by the donor class and for the well-connected and entitled classes with their hands in your pocket.
WHEN will you be sick enough of this crap and do something to reclaim your birthright and heritage?