Your vote is supposed to be sacred, right? I can understand voting strategically in a general election – the stakes are high and you typically only have one of two party choices. Makeup of the Supreme Court, for example, would be a great reason to vote strategically for Republicans in November. However, voting strategically in your own state’s primary, to block another candidate’s chance of winning, is just cra’ cra’. It’s a wasted vote. You violate your conscience and help the establishment in an “anti-establishment” year all at the same time.
With the exception of Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” in 2008, where he overtly encouraged Republican voters to cross over and vote in democratic primaries, in hopes of prolonging the race between Hillary and Obama, “strategic voting” is an establishment trap. Operation Chaos was brilliant at the time. Who doesn’t like disrupting Democratic primaries? But now, we seem to want to apply Operation Chaos on ourselves. Weird. Particularly, in this presidential election cycle. The establishment wants some concessions at the convention in case Donald Trump or Ted Cruz wins the nomination. They may even want to block their nominations altogether. That’s why you’re hearing all the current talk about strategic voting in the media.
John Kasich and Marco Rubio are asking voters that aren’t Trump supporters to abandon their candidate so they can win in their respective states, with the purpose being to usher in an open convention. But an open convention for the GOP isn’t necessary and may not even be healthy if the party wants to salvage its brand for future elections. Why? Because there’s an alternative. Ted Cruz is one candidate in the GOP field that could conceivably beat Donald Trump fairly. Why would the GOP want to risk disenfranchising a third of their voters? Why would you want to risk it? This is a two-man race, contrary to pundit opinion. It’s time we act like it.
If your only goal is to defeat Donald Trump, the answer isn’t to continually split delegates amongst candidates who have no mathematical path to the nomination, but rather to consolidate behind the only other candidate besides Trump that can actually win. Although, there’s been less resistance and denial by all the campaigns that an open convention is likely if no one reaches the magical number of 1,237 delegates, in an “outsider” year, this could ruin the Republican Party if there are antics played that disfavor Trump’s or Cruz’s campaign – Trump’s especially. Many of his supporters are sycophants that won’t tolerate any perceived methods of cheating or favoritism by the RNC toward Rubio or Kasich. If they do, I’m certain many would stay home for the election in November.
Earlier last week, I heard several Ted Cruz supporters call in to well-known conservative radio talk shows to announce that they were considering voting for Gov. Kasich in Michigan and Ohio and Rubio in Florida, to stave off a Donald Trump nomination. I don’t get it. We’ve gone mad! I would suspect this low-information activity from Democrats, but constitutionalists?
Listen, I’m no Trump fan. If he wins the White House, I believe he’ll be our LBJ. But I prefer fair and honest elections, so that everyone’s voice is heard. In times of constitutional peril, I assumed voters would flock to Cruz. Some have; many have not. It doesn’t mean we should burn the house down. What it means is we’ve got more teaching to do on what it means to be a constitutional conservative. Our fight will take a generation, but I’m down. I hope you are, too.