[embedit snippet=”nebraska-ppp”]Andrew L. Sullivan is a guest writer on Leavenworth St.
Every four years, there is a presidential election and millions of Americans have to figure out how the US Federal Republic works. Too often, the media fail to explain just how presidents are elected, what the Electoral College is, and why delegates choose a president. About 20 percent of voters fall prey to conspiracy theories and absurd expectations of what a President can do. Much of the news media allow presidential candidates to make promises they cannot possibly keep which adds to the problem. Perhaps schools have cut back too much on American History and Government classes. The problem of ignorance appears to be growing.
The US Federal system uses delegates to prevent the flaws of a direct democracy. The Founders understood the passions of crowds in crisis and set up a system to force people to be more contemplative in their actions and votes. The indirect democracy of the Federal Government forces many issues to be addressed at the local and state level. Many people fail to appreciate this guard against Federal power.
Right now, Donald Trump is complaining about how Ted Cruz is picking up delegates. Trump thinks if he gets the plurality of votes that he should get the nomination. Sorry, but the whole purpose of having delegates is to build a majority consensus and Trump has never figured this out. His whole approach to using free media to propel his campaign merely lead to the various media outlets to exploit him for ratings while eventually overexposing Trump for the flake that he is. You simply cannot expand your lead with voters by using insults. Trump never figured out how to expand his lead and he is suffering the consequences. If he thinks the Republican Party is being unfair, wait until he discovers the Electoral College.
Yet, much of the news media, including Fox News, Breitbart.com and Drudge Report failed to pick up the problems with Trump and blindly accepted the nonsense being stoked by the likes of Roger Stone, a Trump associate. Council of Foreign Relations, Bilderberg, Koch and Soros and many more conspiracy theories are spun as well as “birther” issues and “9/11 truthers”. Such fear mongering paranoid theories propel themselves when people feel distressed and out of control of their daily lives, but given time, people can see the flaws in such things. After all, we know we will have a new president next year, but whom? It is a big deal. The news media never appears to account for its role in feeding such paranoia and seldom adequately explains the delegate system.
So where are we at? US Senator Ben Sasse has proclaimed #NeverTrump to the anger of many Republicans but his critics fail to grasp that Sasse is doing a great tactical service to the Republican Party by putting out a loud warning about the Presidential campaign being a long fight. You see, if Trump and Cruz were average Republicans, Cruz would have probably dropped out by now and endorsed Trump, but that is not happening, and Republicans need to confront this fact and why.
Trump has gained on the immigration issue simply because President Obama used an Executive Order for DACA which resulted in foreign children being dumped at the border. Trump does well in the media making statements on immigration. Sasse already knows the issue. Sasse has already challenged Obama on Executive over-reach and is directly challenging ICE to respond to concerns of how the government agency performs. Yet, many Republicans failed to grasp the problems with DACA and failed to challenge Obama on such measures. You would think Republicans would understand the gravity of the issue when an unknown and largely unfunded candidate known as David Brat defeats Congressman Eric Cantor, but apparently they do not. Sasse did pick up on the immigration issue and it is key to why he challenged Trump, yet it is lost on most media outlets.
Trump also brings on his own baggage. He does not understand free trade and does not understand the US Federal Reserve. He accuses China of manipulating its currency but the US Federal Reserve has been doing the same thing. He attacks the Trans-Pacific Partnership while failing to understand the Partnership would be a block against China. I could go on this matter further.
At this point, many will assume this writing is merely anti-Trump. That is not so. Trump has done a lot of good in combating political correctness and raising attention to serious issues. The problem is, he is just not good enough to be president. He is what I call a crater candidate. He only rises because he takes other candidates down and cannot expand his lead and effectiveness. This is why a delegate system exists. Minnesota voted for Rubio but he dropped out of the race. If no candidate gets the majority of delegates for nomination, Minnesota delegates will have the right to assert the concerns of their constituents for the best candidate possible. This is American Republican representative democracy as work and we should all be proud of it.
In the end, Cruz will end up with the largest plurality of votes and at convention will likely get many unbound candidates to vote for him on the first ballot to make him the nominee of the Republican Party. But the future has yet to reveal itself.