I will admit, following politics as much as I do, practically nothing surprises me anymore. From unbelievably ridiculous campaign ads to comments that seem straight out of a Saturday Night Live sketch, often our political process is just one big circus.
That being said, every once in a while something does come along that surprises me – which is exactly what happened when I came across this story. It seems the South Carolina Republican Party has put in place a policy that states they won’t allow a candidate on their primary ballot unless they sign a pledge not to run as a third-party candidate and promise to support whichever candidate ultimately wins the nomination.
It’s a policy that other states are apparently contemplating as well.
Clearly this is aimed at Donald Trump and his refusal to rule out the possibility that he’ll run as a third-party candidate, a move that would absolutely crush any chance Republicans have during next year’s elections.
I don’t care if this is aimed at taking down a sleazeball like Trump, this is still a blatant slap to the face of democracy. The South Carolina Republican Party has implemented a policy that might leave the current leading Republican candidate for president off their ballot unless he succumbs to what’s essentially blackmail.
Not only that, but isn’t democracy supposed to be about what the voters want? To me this is essentially the South Carolina Republican Party trying to rig the election by either leaving Trump off the ballot (because let’s face it, the RNC does not want him as their party’s nominee) or forcing him to sign some pledge that might be in stark contrast to what millions of conservatives want – which would be for Trump to run as an independent if he doesn’t win the party’s nomination.
Honestly, there’s absolutely no chance that this won’t end in disaster. If Trump doesn’t sign this pledge and he’s left off the primary ballot in South Carolina (or any number of other states thinking of doing the very same thing), you’re going to see more write-in votes for a candidate than at any time in this nation’s history.
Not only that, but I can’t see Trump supporters taking this lying down. You want to see total and complete chaos break out? Tell millions of conservatives across this country that the Republican candidate they want as their nominee might not be on their state’s ballot. I can promise you that’s not going to go well for any state that tries to do that.
Besides, there’s a glaring flaw in this idiotic plan to begin with: If South Carolina sticks to this policy, and other states follow their lead – leaving Trump off the Republican ballot – that would almost guarantee he would run as a third-party candidate. You know, the exact thing they were trying to prevent in the first place.
I really have to wonder how this is even legal. How can a leading candidate for a political party be left off a ballot because they refuse to sign a pledge that’s not at all binding to the Constitution of the United States or our election laws? Then, say Trump were to sign something as absurd as this pledge, would that legally prevent him from running as a third party candidate? I can’t imagine it would.
In my opinion, this is nothing but the Republican Party’s attempt to get conservatives turning against Trump by pointing out he won’t sign the pledge or they know that it’s very unlikely he would ever sign such a ridiculous thing. In other words, they’re trying to rig the party’s nomination to block him from being their candidate for president.
Either way, this move is absolutely ludicrous and if I were a conservative, I would be irate. What South Carolina did, and what other states are thinking of doing as well, is a blatant affront to democracy and what elections are supposed to be about.
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