Them’s the rules

 

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The Republican National Convention is the convention that convenes every four years, in a  presidential election year, for the GOP to formally nominate a presidential candidate for the general election as well as adopt an official platform for the campaign.  The RNC has a set of rules and guidelines that it presents at every convention, in order to properly select a nominee.  This selection process, more or less, has been the processed followed by the Republican party since 1856.

Typically, if a candidate receives the majority (50%+1) of the delegate selection prior to convention, the RNC serves merely as a formality to introduce the election year candidate to the party and line out a party platform. However, when no candidate crosses this threshold, the RNC becomes more than a formality, and the selection process for the nominee adopts specific convention rules on deciding a nominee. This is called a contested convention.

In a contested convention, there are rounds of voting by delegates nominated at the state/county/district/at-large level toward the delegate they are bound to by state rules.  If there is no consensus for a candidate in a contested convention, the RNC would move to a brokered convention. This is where the rules committee can adjust rules to fit the atmosphere, and  every candidate can broker deals with delegates in a back-room style in order to secure the majority of delegates needed and win the nomination.

What is important here to note is that, in a brokered convention, the candidate is still responsible for gaining the delegates needed to win the nomination, since they failed to in the primary season. Basically, the Convention rules allow the voters to choose the nominee by majority, and if that does not occur, then the delegates will choose the nominee at convention.  This process has been followed for years, much of it dating back to the first convention ever held in 1856.

These are the basic rules, folks, and these are the rules that the RNC will follow in 2016.

Contrary to what Trump supporters may want to believe, Donald Trump is essentially demanding that the rules be either ignored or changed to benefit him if he does not secure the nomination outright by amassing 50%+1 delegates.  That’s right. He wants to circumvent the rules and be automatically handed the nomination if he reaches a plurality, but not the majority. This is not how the RNC operates, though, and voters need to understand what Trump is demanding (now, with threats of riots )is a rule change.

Candidates cannot outright demand a rule change. Candidates, like both Trump and Cruz have stated, cannot promise a rule change at convention. These claims are simply nothing more than campaigns for themselves, in an attempt to secure a nomination before convention. They are not factual, and they are not within the control of candidates directly. Committee members can act on behalf of candidates, but this is not their decision to make outright.

The controversy that is surrounding talks of a contested or brokered convention at the 2016 Republican National Convention shouldn’t even exist, because each candidate still maintains the responsibility to secure the needed number of delegates before the actual convention – whether it be by an outright allocation of 50%+1 delegates, securing that number in a contested convention vote, or brokering deals that give them that number in a brokered convention.

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Stop Trump: Phase Two

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We live in a democracy, even if one of our Presidential candidates would like to forget that, and we still have a voice as constituents of this nation. We also have the power of the vote, both for the Presidency as well as all elected offices in the land. These people we elect are not only our representatives, but our public servants. It is their duty to perform their job based on the calls of their citizens.

With that being said, those that oppose Trump can weigh in with your elected officials in Congress and let them know that any Trump endorsement will cost them a vote in the next election. Currently, there are 24 Republican Senators up for re-election in 2016, and only an 8 member majority in the Senate. Please make the pledge to contact your elected Senator in your state and let them know that they will lose your vote if they endorse Trump.

In the House, every seat is up for re-election every year. That’s 229 Republicans on the ballots this year, with a 44 member majority in the House. Contact your House Representative to let them know the same. You will not accept Trump, and any endorsement or pledge to Trump will be a vote that they lose. For the #NeverTrump movement in California, New York, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, you already have House members that have endorsed Trump:

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Right now, if you live in these states, I urge you to contact Duncan Hunter of California, Chris Collins of New York, Tom Marino of Pennsylvania, or Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee, and let them know your disappointment in their endorsement. Let them know that they do not represent your views, and that they lost a vote in their re-election bid. Urge others to do the same in your community. Contact their opponents and let them know that the incumbent lost a supporter, and ask what their pledge is in the election.

If you’d like to be proactive and stop another endorsement, you can contact your representatives in Congress to let them know their Trump support will cost them a vote.

My sample letter (feel free to copy or use as a guide to write your own):

Good afternoon,

I want to thank you for not pledging support for, or endorsing, current Presidential candidate Donald Trump.

I do not feel that Mr. Trump is fit to serve this country as President. I feel his campaign is bringing the ugliest part of America to the stage, and it is dangerous for the Republican party, as well as our country.

I feel his domestic policy grows the federal government and shrinks state control. His economic policy will be costly, and will not serve to grow this country. The tariffs have been tried and have failed. His immigration stance is inhumane and unfeasible. His foreign policy is dangerous, and I fear it will get us into unnecessary conflict.

As a registered Republican in Texas, I vow not to support Mr. Trump in any way, shape or form. I will not vote Republican in the election if Mr. Trump receives the nomination. I will vote for the Libertarian or Democratic candidate.

Further, I will not support any of my elected officials in future elections if they pledge support for or endorse Mr. Trump in any way. That means 1 less vote in future elections.

I hope you take my opinion and the opinion of the rest of your constituency into consideration when it comes to pledging support and endorsing a Presidential candidate for 2016.

Thank you.

We’ll next examine local officials who have pledged support and/or endorsement for Trump. We’ll get to that tomorrow, however, because the work needs to be done on the national level first. Please commit to contacting every Congressional representative in your state and jurisdisction that is up for re-election in the 2016 election cycle. Please let them know that you do not support Trump in any way, shape or form, and use your vote to get them to pledge the same.

This is the power we have, so let’s use it!

Stop Trump: Next Steps

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The Super Tuesday, part Two primaries (or, rather, the Ides of March primaries) gave almost a landslide victory of delegates to Trump’s campaign – primarily due to winner-take-all and winner-take-most primaries held in Florida, Illinois, and Missouri, while still hovering around the 35% popular vote. Last night’s loss in Florida also caused Marco Rubio to suspend his campaign and effectively drop out of the race. And then there were three. John Kasich earned his first state victory, with his home-state winner-take all primary in Ohio. This move was the move that most pundits thought would all-but-secure a brokered convention. It still may, but that they failed to recognize was the damage to be done by the winner-take-most states of Illinois and Missouri.

This year’s election really calls for some scrutiny in winner-take-all primary contests. Perhaps a few states need to re-examine their delegate selections for the future. Perhaps the GOP needs to examine the primary schedule and delegate allottment. Forget immigration reform, the new top platform of the GOP should be election reform. A candidate with a simple plurality of popular vote shouldn’t be the one winning it all – especially if the candidate is not part of the ideology of the party. But, that’s neither here nor there. Moving forward, anyone against Trump winning the nomination needs to start committing to that cause.

Why? For a very simple reason: Donald Trump is a Fascist, at least as close to the very definition that democracy can afford. This is not hyperbole, folks. Fascism is an authoritarian and nationalistic far-right system of government that pushes militarization of its country and citizens. Donald Trump utilizes strict control and suppression of dissent at all his rallies, banishing opponents who speak out against him, denying certain members of the press who are critical of him when reporting. He favors suppression of the free press by threatening to open libel laws to make it easier for Government to sue journalists and news media. He demands protesters be arrested at his rallies for protesting.

Additionally, he touts and pushes the agenda of nationalism by creating opponents and dissenters as the enemy to his followers. He creates an almost militaristic society of citizens behind him when he demands they get tough, and that America gets tough. He doesn’t outright demand a nationalistic, militaristic society, but his rhetoric echoes the sentiment with very sharp and poignant undertones. He’s actively creating a divide of good versus evil based on minority and race affiliation, when he supports mass-deportation, calls that ethicity a group of criminals, rapists and murderers, then turns around and threatens bans on entire religions. He pushes the racial divide by talking about the good old days, where protesters could be oppressed with violence.

And his latest threat? Warning the Republicans that there will be riots if he is not chosen at convention.  Trump’s plan to unite the Republican party and move forward in the election is to threaten violence if he’s not chosen. This isn’t a warning. This is a threat. He’s speaking to his audience, his followers and supporters, when he makes this statement. He’s suggesting what to do if he’s blocked from nomination. Speaking out like that in a public interview – that’s him speaking to America. That’s him telling us what will happen if we reject his nomination. This isn’t democracy he’s playing anymore, he’s clearly crossing the line.

That’s Fascism. And that’s leading the Republican party right now.

So what can stop this? People need to start speaking up, and demand that the GOP take action. We need to contact our elected officials at EVERY level and voice our concerns. We need to contact our GOP officials at the country, district, state, and national level to insist this Fascist be stopped. We can’t have a candidate that uses threats of violence to bully his way into the candidacy. This has reached a fever pitch, and it’s time to start demanding someone stop this. First steps: contact your officials. Demand a pledge to block his nomination. Demand an investigation by the FBI on his warnings of violence if he’s not elected. I can’t see how this is being ignored. Demand the RNC take these threats seriously.

Contact the media, as well. The media (primarily, NBC, ABC, CBS, as well as Fox, MSNBC, and CNN) has failed to report and document the seriousness of Trump’s campaign of violence and hateful rhetoric. If they don’t report these threats by their obligation, then they will continue to fail us. Contact your newspapers. Contact your local media. Urge that they responsibly cover the violent and hateful rhetoric that Trump’s campaign is expending to the public. Responsible reporting and coverage of Trump’s campaign is necessary. No more opinion. No more judgement. No more of anything but direct coverage and direct broadcast of what Trump is saying and the danger behind it.

Next? If you are among the states that still have yet to hold a primary, please do your research on polling for each candidate. If Cruz polls better in your state, vote for Cruz and campaign for Cruz. If Kasich polls better in your state, vote and campaign for Kasich. We’re at a point that saving the election from Trump is more important than voting for our favorite candidate. And for the love of God, please stop voting for candidates that have dropped out, and please urge others to do the same. There is a time and place for making a symbolic statement, and now is not that time or place. Now is the time to unite behind one of the two candidates that polls the best in your state to oppose the Trump vote.

Democrats and Independents, we need your help now more than ever. A record number of your representation voted in Tuesday’s Ohio Primary to give Kasich the edge over Trump. This is the bipartisan effort this country needs to stop Trump from nomination. Currently, Hillary Clinton leads Sanders almost 2-1 in the delegate count. Clinton currently needs a mere 34% of the remaining delegates to win the nomination. Watch the polling for your primary, and if it’s a victory for Clinton or well above 33%, considering voting for the top polling Republican that can take votes away from Trump. If Clinton secures the nomination in the next month, please strongly consider voting against Trump if your state Primary is open.

Many Democrats may be relishing in this current battle being fought by Republicans, but there are reasons you shouldn’t. The first reason being that this country should be represented by the best, no matter what. This country should support nominees who are the best in their respective fields. This means actual alignment in the party of their affiliation. This country needs representatives from both sides in order to keep democracy alive. And right now we’re talking about a Fascist who doesn’t even have close to majority popular vote backing. This should worry each and every one of you, regardless of how strong you believe the Democratic candidate will be, because most states in the election are winner-take-all, and the election is decided by electoral votes, not popular vote.

Trump is taking over the Republican party right now with around 35% of the popular vote. Think about that one. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t even register a single vote in blue states, if he can garner the majority vote in Red and swing states. If he can take the Republican party by force and threat, with just 35% of the vote, what do you think he’ll employ to forcibly take the national election? Tactical voting for Trump in order to have him run against Hillary or Bernie is not a smart move. He needs to be stopped before it gets to that point. So, if you are a Democrat or Independent voting tactically, please don’t underestimate the force of a Fascist candidate.

 

 

The real issue with Trump protest rhetoric

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Donald Trump has called protesters at his event disruptive, troublemakers, bad people, violent. He’s called them jobless, taunted them for being a minority, accused them of being bullies, and other harsh words. He calls them this not because they are really disruptive, or troublemakers, or anything else, but simply because they disagree with him. Because they don’t want him to run for President, or be the Republican nominee.

We’ve seen enough videos of Trump rallies to see the atmosphere. It’s energized, loud, people yelling and screaming, holding up signs, and chanting during his speeches. It’s not uncommon for supporters to yell out and scream in support of Trump while he’s talking. Peole get fired up. It’s not a quiet tea party, where or a movie theater where everyone is cautioned to be quiet while he speaks. So, really, a protester yelling or holding a sign is doing nothing different from his supporters. They are not being disruptive in their actions.

In the first few months of the Republican Presidential primary race, this is what the protesters did. They did not organize numbers; they appeared individually, or in small handfuls – just as the Trump supporters did. They brought signs and worse shirts that showed their dissent, just as supporters brought signs and wore shirts (and hats) of support. There is not one single action that any protesters took part in that wasn’t done by supporters. They were just saying something a little different than the crowd.

How is that a disruption? How is someone yelling at a crowd full of people yelling? Someone holding a sign in a crowd of people holding signs? How is it any different from protesters that do the same at other Primary rallies for other candidates? The message. The dissent. The showing that this citizen disagrees with what you have to say. There’s nothing more to it. There’s nothing bigger, on the protesters side. The problem is, actually, with the supporters at the Trump rallies across the nation. Here’s a quick video clip of two protesters at an event in January:

These were the protests early on in the campaign. That’s how it started. This is just one video, but there are plenty more out there to show exactly what’s shown here. A few people, randomly scattered about, holding signs. Not punching anyone. Not getting in people’s faces. Not doing anything differently than the crowd around them. And what caused the disruption in this video? The Trump supporters that sat in the crowd around these two protesters. They called them names, told them to shut up, ostracized them, and tore their signs. The supporters pointed them out and called for the removal. Because they disagreed. And in this video, they were being nice.

The issue with this is twofold – these images caused protesters to begin to organize and form groups, and the Trump rhetoric concerning those who disagreed with them grew more virulent. The first part of the issue has grown into what we see now – hundreds, if not thousands, of organized protests occurring at Trump rallies. There’s a reason for that – safety in numbers. What was once a regular showing at any political event has become threatening and violent, primarily because the supporters have no tolerance for dissent, and Trump preaches that ideology further.

The second part of that issue should make us all pause, and really listen to the things Trump says about these protesters. We’ll move beyond the issue of free speech and right to protest. Instead, we’ll focus on the needs, and utter sense of urgency to remove any and all aspects of dissent at Trump rallies in this campaign, who those protesters represent, and why Trump’s rhetoric to his adoring fanbase (let’s face it, these are people more star struck with the celebrity and the brand than the politician) should offend us all.

First of all, the amount of intolerance that Trump and his supporters have for dissent is troubling. There’s no discussion or discourse of why you should give me a chance by Trump, or why Trump is the better candidate by his fans. There’s simply intolerance for anyone that disagrees. It’s not the protesters – it’s the message that is so intolerable to Trump and his fanbase. The absolute refusal to think there is another way, or another idea outside of what comes out of Trump’s mouth. Trump’s created this isolation free from dissent that creates a general intolerance and disbelief for anything negative associated with Trump – both inside and out of the rallies.

The reason why this is disturbing, and the reason why this should worry us all is that the protesters at these rallies are a symbol of every person that doesn’t feel Trump is fit to hold the high office. We’ve seen the early protests – it wasn’t because they were acting up or being disruptive. They weren’t. Their simple existence at the rally is what causes the disturbance and disruption at the rallies. There’s a zero-tolerance for any dissent zone within those boundaries. Any one of us could head off to one of these events, and run the risk of being ostracized and shoved out, or even assaulted, if we dare speak our mind.

This is the culture Trump is creating. When he states the protesters are disruptive, are trouble makers, are bad people and not what makes this country – not a part of the culture that built this country, he is speaking that about all of us who disagree with him. He’s calling us all names. He’s saying we’re all what is wrong with America , because we disagree with him. He’s creating a veritable lynch mob out of his fans, who feel every bit entitled to not just disagree with anyone that doesn’t support Trump, but to call those people names, harrass them, and disparage them out in society.

We’ve seen it – on message boards, in public, and certainly at the Trump rallies. Trump has created an army whose motto is us against them. And that them is the rest of the population that disagrees. Trump is attacking the general population with these words and with these calls to get rough, and to treat others as the enemy – friends, family, community members, all of them the enemy because of dissent. How will that ever work out on the national scale?

And really, let’s break down the numbers. For the voting population so far, there have been almost 21 million voters that have taken part in the Primary elections thus far, all parties combined, and we’re just hitting the halfway point. Out of these almost 21 million voters in this country, less than 21% of the entire voting population has shown up to vote for him. That’s over 79% that chose someone else. Now, maybe you are thinking that measuring it this way is a little unfair, since the primaries are split by party, but it’ really reflective of the actual support Trump has.

If we want to take a look at the Republican numbers, it’s not head over heels better, and it’s certainly not close to any overwhelming majority. out of the almost 13 million voters who have shown up to vote in the Republican primary, that number is less than 35% total support, as opposed to more than 65% opposition. The delegate count, based on numerous factors other than a proportional split, tell a different story, but the actual support hasn’t really grown over the past several weeks. It won’t grow, either. Not by percentage of the popular vote.

So we have an overwhelming majority of Americans and Republicans that have said, no thank you to Trump at the booth, yet he continues to spew this divisive and hateful rhetoric against dissent. All of us, guys, not just the protesters. The protesters are just making an appearance. Trump is creating an army of hate against anyone that disagrees with him, and we’ve all seen this in one way or another. There is no attempt to even try to unite or try to see the other side – it’s a bolsterous, bullying campaign that states my way or you’re the enemy.

That’s the troubling factor coming out of all these protests, and the way that protesters and dissenters of Trump’s platform are being treated. That is how Trump feels about those who don’t agree with his vision. That’s not democracy, it’s demagoguery. That’s the approach used by dictators and authoritarian leaders. That’s Trump tellling a small population of this country that the majority is the enemy. We need to move beyond this narrow scope of how Trump and his fanbase are specifically treating the protesters and recognize what it means for all of us. His hate isn’t geared simply toward protesters – it’s geared toward dissent.

The Problem with Third Party Members

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Throughout the history of the United States, with a few minor instances, the country has always been represented by two main parties. Third party/independent candidates usually split the vote of one major party or another, depending on the similartity or difference of campaign, and often force an issue to the table that isn’t being discussed. Often, it is rare to have a third party gain representation in all 50 states and outlying areas in a Presidential election, but it can occur.

What typically occurs when a third party member wants to run for higher office (most often at the federal level, as opposed to local and state), they align with one of the two majority parties – currently either Republican or Democrat. Usually, this works in spades. The independent party member aligns enough with the party they join, and they are able to cross over to the other party to work together when they do not align with their own party.

In essence, this is how government should work.

When government stops functioning in the capacity that it is designed, we most often see third parties, independent candidates, and other ideologies stand up to challenge the system. This is a healthy part of government – when members bring key issues that are being ignored or need more attention to the spotlight and, in effect, force primary candidates to answer to. This is democracy at work, and it’s a wonderful thing to see at times.

However, a third tactic of third party representation has emerged in our federal election process. This is the tactic of the third or independent party running as a majority party candidate, but attempting to fundamentally change the direction of the majority party they are running as.  We’ve seen this with past candidates that identify with a third or independent party. Most recently (and prior to 2016), Libertarian Ron Paul ran as a Republican and attempted this.

Ron Paul was stopped at convention, however.

This year, we have two different Presidential candidates attempting to perform a veritable coup of the respective parties they are running under. On the Republican side, we have Donald Trump. On the Democratic side, we have Bernie Sanders. Both are inserting themselves as a party that does not fit their ideology, and are taking advantage of a system with an already established voting base in order to bring drastic change.

Some may argue that Donald Trump is not a third party candidate – but they are incorrect. He favors big government, restriction of Amendment rights, and at best can be considered a populist, but even that definition does not fit him. He favors strong authorative government, and is intolerent to dissent. He holds a strong sense of nationalism, and has been outright critical of the Republican party and leaders he claims to represent. And I’ve already covered his different party affiliations over  the years.

Donald Trump has even briefly run a campaign as President under a third party.  It ended disastrously, but that brief campaign illustrates best that he is a member of a third party ideology, and not the Republican party. However, instead of opting for a third party bid, he decided to run as a Republican, and instead of aligning with the party, he’s decided he is going to take over the party. And this, guys, is precisely why the GOP establishment is rejecting him and working hard to block his nomination.

Donald Trump is taking advantage of a voter base he did not build. He is using the system to gain popularity. He is changing the definition of the party and insisting that his way is right. He isn’t working together with the party or even trying to unite the party. He’s essentially building his own base and turning that base against their own leaders in order to rise ot the top. This is why the GOP is trying to stop him. There is a process to politics that he’s ignoring. He’s taking advantage of loopholes that exist to do so.

Nobody should really be surprised by this. Trump readily admits he’s done the same in the private sector – he’s taken advantage of loopholes to gain power. He manipulates the system, usually by legal methods, to push his agenda. The same has been done in the past with third party representation in a major election. Ron Paul set out with his own platform, bucking the traditional Republican platform, in order to secure the nomination. The GOP became just as angry and set out to successfully stop it.

They’ll do the same this time, and I don’t blame them.

The reason for each party to have a convention in order to nominate a candidate for the Presidential election exists for this exact purpose, and it’s not illegal, immoral, or unethical for them to do this. It is lawful, and part of the system set up by our founding fathers. The delegates we elect, either directly or indirectly, have the final vote. If those that we choose to represent us ultimately choose a different candidate, then we must respect that.

These delegates at convention have the responsibility, essentially, to choose the most qualified candidate to represent the party. The most qualified candidate aligns with the values of the party. The most qualified candidate has the best opportunity to win a national election. The most qualified candidate has the best chance to motivate voters to support other candidates of the party in running for other offices. These are the factors that delegates must consider at convention. In that, they also must consider the popular vote by their given territory. But that’s just one of many factors.

Convention rules currently dictate that some delegates are bound in the first round of voting. However, designation of delegates can be challenged at convention. We saw this in 2012, when delegates were taken off the first vote because of a loophole that Ron Paul employed to gain a majority of delegates in Maine, despite losing the popular vote. Paul manipulated the system in his favor, and the RNC stepped up and blocked that loophole. A move that Donald Trump, at least existentially, supported by thowing his support behind Mitt Romney, the eventual nominee.

Want to see how easy it was for the RNC to make this decision? Watch.

It was just that easy to block a third party candidate from nomination. Was it legal? Yes. Was it ethical? As ethical as Ron Paul manipulating loopholes to gain delegates – yes. Did the GOP block a third party in order to maintain representation by the Republican party? Yes. Will they do it again? Of course. And they should because they have the same legal rights to do so as Trump has the legal rights to run as a candidate for a party he does not represent.

If the Party heads into a brokered convention, you can rest assured the same will happen. A brokered convention all but guarantees a Republican candidate. Donald Trump has no right to oppose this, as he essentially supported the same move, without objection, and even took part in the 2012 RNC. Surely, had Mr. Trump opposed the moves taken by the RNC to protect the integrity of their party in the national election, he would have skipped out, called for a boycott, and publicly made his opposition known. None of this happened, though.

Big mistake, Donald. Big mistake.

It’s my believe that, even if enough delegates are tentatively secured (they’re not official until the convention vote), the GOP will work to align certain delegates differently in the pre-convention, using any legal means necessary. And, in the same fashion that Trump took advantage of loopholes to run as a Republican while being representative in platform of an independent party, the GOP and RNC has every right to explore and utilize these loopholes.

Donald Trump and news media pundits both warn of the “yuge” implications and negative effects this could have on the Republican party and their national ticket, but the Republican party aligned pretty quickly and supported their choice in 2012 coming out of convention when another third party candidate was blocked. The only difference is that Donald Trump is a loudmouth that won’t let it go – so there may be something there. However, don’t look for this nomination to occur without some kind of fight.

Trump is a candidate that claims he doesn’t need money or backing from special interests or PACS. He is “self-funding” (no he’s not). He has democrat and independent support, as well as republican support, to win a national election. In essence, he’s proudly and boldly proclaiming that he doesn’t need the party. Yet, he has usurped their platform and base. Seems kind of contradictory. If this were true, he’d have every obligation to run as a third party candidate – and he should have. What he’s doing currently is nothing more than opportunistic.

In the future, third party candidates have two options: adhere to the principles and platform of the party they seek to represent, or build the third party from the bottom up. It’s not impossible. Third party candidates are gaining ground at state and local level offices, and they can be nurtured. For Donald Trump, well he should have run as a third party candidate. It would have certainly given him more credibility. Instead, he’s given the GOP a good reason to kick him out. And they should.

 

Trump’s Wallace Campaign Revamp

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“If any demonstrator ever lays down in front of my car, it’ll be the last car he’ll ever lay down in front of.”

-George Wallace, during a Presidential campaign rally speech, 1968

“In the good old days this doesn’t happen because they used to treat them very very rough, and when they protested once, you know, they would not do it again so easily.” 

-Donald Trump, during a Presidential campaign rally speech, 2016

After being introduced, like the rest of the country, to the footage at various Donald Trump Presidential campaign rallies across the state, a few themes of Trump rallies became rather clear. The first would be Trumps enthusiasm toward pushing a tougher, more violent America. He has urged supporters to punch protesters, has promised legal protection and representation, and calls the violence and anger exciting. He has been traveling the nation, inciting already angry masses, to the point of violence toward protesters on several occasions. He’s used strong rhetoric to push this anger to a breaking point, and makes zero apologies.

Currently, at least one Trump supporter has been arrested for violence against protesters, and his own campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, is under investigation for assault of a reporter. Trump has barely acknowledged the supporter incident, while turning around and calling the allegedly assaulted reporter a liar who was making a story up. Never before has a campaign reacted so repugnantly toward accusations against their camp as the Trump campaign has, not only denying the allegations, but set out to launch a massive online assault on the alleged victim in the hours following the allegation. Not even hours after the story broke, before charges were even filed, the Trump campaign went to work to destroy a young female reporter.

All of this anger, protest, and criminal activity in the form of assault is scary enough to be occurring in a Presidential election, but the message coming out of Trump’s rallies should be downright scary and disturbing to people. He paints protest and protesters as the enemy, both of the supporters and the country. He makes statements to clearly divide the protesters from the rest of the country, and labels them as dangerous, low value people. He turns his supporters against protesters, but not just any protesters – a certain kind. Out of all the different quotes encouraging violence and hatred toward those who disagree with him and his campaign, a few stand out as frighteningly disturbing:

” I love the old days. You know what they used to do with guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks.”

“In the good old days this doesn’t happen because they used to treat them very very rough, and when they protested once, you know, they would not do it again so easily. But today they walk in and they put their hand up and they put the wrong finger up at everybody, and they get away with murder because we’ve become weak.”

“You know, part of the problem and part of the reason it takes so long is that nobody wants to hurt each other anymore, and they’re being politically correct with the way they take them out. So it takes a little bit longer. And honestly protesters, they realize it, they realize that there are  no consequences to protesting anymore. There used to be consequences, there are none anymore. So that’s it. Our country has to toughen up, folks. It has to toughen up.”

All of these quotes are taken straight from Trump’s mouth, at his speeches. All of these quotes talk about the “old days” when protesters were treated horribly and faced consequences, when protesters were beaten up and taken out on stretchers. Protesters who were practicing their 1st Amendment right, who are allowed that right just as much Trump is allowed to stand up and speak hate. But, Trump is doing more than just targeting protesters here. He’s targeting races. Think about it – think back in the “good old days,” when protesters were treated badly, and roughed up, and were faced with consequences of protesting. When, in our American history, have we seen protests that have led to punishment, poor treatment, and consequence of exercising their right to protest? You don’t have to look back far – and it was a pretty scary time in our American past.

The Civil Rights era in the 60’s had massive protests and demonstrations of African Americans taking to streets, staging sit-ins, and other non-violent forms of protests that yielded horrible treatment. Police forces turned fire hoses on them, sicced dogs on them, sometimes beat them or stood idly by while they were beaten. Opposition to Civil Rights movements kidnapped, killed, and lynched them. Yes, we had a moment in our history – back in the Trump-cited “good old days” where protesters in this country were treated horribly, often with severe consequence. These are the good old days that Trump is referencing, and he’s doing it primarily in the south, and in cities and states that have tense race relations.

In essence, Trump is inciting a race war.

This is an eerily similar platform used by 1964/68 Presidential candidate George Wallace, a strong segregationis Democrat. He used hateful rhetoric to turn his supporters against protests occurring during that time. He spoke out about severely hurting protesters – once making a threat to run over them in his car, and made zero apology about it. He pushed this strong rhetoric in the deep, segregation friendly south. And, not surprisingly, he had strong support and following in the same southern states that Trump is currently striking gold in. Here, take a look:

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I know these are strong words to compare Trump’s current campaign to a racist segregationist Democrat’s campaign in the 60’s, but you don’t have to take my word for it. You can take the word of his former staff during his Presidential campaigns, or his own family members. Here are a few comparisons:

“There are a great deal of similarities as it relates to their style and political strategies,” said Wallace’s daughter, Peggy Wallace Kennedy. “The two of them, they have adopted the notion that fear and hate are the two greatest motivators of voters. Those voters that feel alienated from the government. Those voters tend to make decisions based on an emotional level rather than intellectual.”

“They both can draw a crowd and work up a crowd,” she said. “My father was a very fiery and emotional speaker and was able to tap into the fears of the poor and working-class white people. American voters are looking for a leader who can fight first, rather fight first then seek rational solutions.”

“One of my father’s presidential campaign themes was ‘Stand up for America’, and Trump’s is ‘Make America Great Again.’ Well the message does not suggest how you do that. It just reminds us that the average Joe who thinks America is in the dumpster, which I feel it is not. But they make you think that it is,” she said.

“He’s very similar to George Wallace in a lot of ways,” said Wallace’s 1968 campaign executive director Tom Turnipseed. “Both of them use a lot of the same kind of scare tactics and fear.”

“Their style is a lot alike,” (Wallace’s wife) said. “They’re both very charismatic. Their rhetoric is really powerful, and they don’t really talk that much about solutions, but the fear and anxiety.”

“And when he was in California, a group of anarchists lay down in front of his automobile and threatened his personal safety. The president of the United States,” he said of another protester. “Well I wanna tell you, if you elect me president of the United States and I go to California, or I come to Arkansas, and some of them lie down in front of my automobile it’ll be the last one they ever want to lie down in front of.”

“I don’t know that Wallace ever had much to say what he was gonna do about things,” she continued. “Just, ‘the federal government,’ ‘the pointy headed liberals’ were trying to tell us what to do, and we were gonna stand up for ourselves and stand up for America. That kind of thing.”

“Another thing that I think is similar is that, a lot of people are saying that Trump is saying out loud what people are thinking,” she added. “They really said that about Wallace. That he articulated what people were thinking. And a lot of people are saying that’s what they like about Trump. That Trump says out loud what lots of people are thinking and don’t have enough courage to say. I’ve heard that a lot of times and that’s one of the common things that people said about Wallace.”

Ironically, his daughter could point out one stark difference between her horridly racist, segregationist father and Trump, which actually makes Trump look bad.

“I think my father had more self-restraint and respect for the institutions of government than Trump does,” she said. “I think my father understood the limitation of the executive branch of government, where I don’t think Trump does. And I think Daddy, even though he used coded language to use racial themes, he never attacked a culture based on their religion and race. He used coded language to suggest the racial themes. But he never specifically attacked a group of people based on their religion and their race. And I think Daddy had a respect for the process and the candidates. A great respect for the process and especially the process. He would have never leveled vicious attacks on the other candidates, especially those have been so personal. Daddy never would have done that.”

Mr. George Wallace, who left a terrible, hateful legacy in his political tenure, and later spoke up to apologize about the part he played in being harmful for America, was more restrained in his hatred. He respected the process of government. Two things Trump clearly has no respect for, as shown with his labeling of minorites and Muslims as terrible groups, as well as his clear disrespect for political debates and candidates. Imagine that, guys. George Wallace wasn’t as bad as Trump, in his inciteful and prejudice mannerisms. I wonder if Donald Trump has had the opportunity to read some of his comparisons to Wallace, and has seen that he’s deemed as a person with worse character than a man who left a legacy of racism.

 

Trump, Media, and Equal Time

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The Presidential election cycle has long held Federal Laws and codes to regulate air time of official candidates,  the Equal Time Act, allowing fair and equal coverage time from any broadcasting stations, whether it be radio or television. These quite archaic codes, implemented in the early 20th century, are never discussed in the modern political platform, as they’ve become vastly outdated with the advent of cable networks and internet communications. These codes, as defined in the Communications act of 1934, code 315(b), create the requirement for every political candidate to get an equal time allotment of coverage on broadcast stations if another candidate is given time.

What makes these codes of equal time for candidates on broadcast so defunct and out of date are the exclusions of the codes and how they’ve been applied to modern news networks. The full code and exclusions are as follows:

(a)Equal opportunities requirement; censorship prohibition; allowance of station use; news appearances exception; public interest; public issues discussion opportunitiesIf any licensee shall permit any person who is a legally qualified candidate for any public office to use a broadcasting station, he shall afford equal opportunities to all other such candidates for that office in the use of such broadcasting station: Provided, That such licensee shall have no power of censorship over the material broadcast under the provisions of this section. No obligation is imposed under this subsection upon any licensee to allow the use of its station by any such candidate. Appearance by a legally qualified candidate on any—

(1)

bona fide newscast,
(2)

bona fide news interview,
(3)

bona fide news documentary (if the appearance of the candidate is incidental to the presentation of the subject or subjects covered by the news documentary), or
(4)

on-the-spot coverage of bona fide news events (including but not limited to political conventions and activities incidental thereto),
shall not be deemed to be use of a broadcasting station within the meaning of this subsection. Nothing in the foregoing sentence shall be construed as relieving broadcasters, in connection with the presentation of newscasts, news interviews, news documentaries, and on-the-spot coverage of news events, from the obligation imposed upon them under this chapter to operate in the public interest and to afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views on issues of public importance.
(b)Charges

(1)In generalThe charges made for the use of any broadcasting station by any person who is a legally qualified candidate for any public office in connection with his campaign for nomination for election, or election, to such office shall not exceed—

(A)

subject to paragraph (2), during the forty-five days preceding the date of a primary or primary runoff election and during the sixty days preceding the date of a general or special election in which such person is a candidate, the lowest unit charge of the station for the same class and amount of time for the same period; and
(B)

at any other time, the charges made for comparable use of such station by other users thereof.
(2)Content of broadcasts

(A)In general

In the case of a candidate for Federal office, such candidate shall not be entitled to receive the rate under paragraph (1)(A) for the use of any broadcasting station unless the candidate provides written certification to the broadcast station that the candidate (and any authorized committee of the candidate) shall not make any direct reference to another candidate for the same office, in any broadcast using the rights and conditions of access under this chapter, unless such reference meets the requirements of subparagraph (C) or (D).

(B)Limitation on charges

If a candidate for Federal office (or any authorized committee of such candidate) makes a reference described in subparagraph (A) in any broadcast that does not meet the requirements of subparagraph (C) or (D), such candidate shall not be entitled to receive the rate under paragraph (1)(A) for such broadcast or any other broadcast during any portion of the 45-day and 60-day periods described in paragraph (1)(A), that occur on or after the date of such broadcast, for election to such office.

(C)Television broadcastsA candidate meets the requirements of this subparagraph if, in the case of a television broadcast, at the end of such broadcast there appears simultaneously, for a period no less than 4 seconds—

(i)

a clearly identifiable photographic or similar image of the candidate; and
(ii)

a clearly readable printed statement, identifying the candidate and stating that the candidate has approved the broadcast and that the candidate’s authorized committee paid for the broadcast.
(D)Radio broadcasts

A candidate meets the requirements of this subparagraph if, in the case of a radio broadcast, the broadcast includes a personal audio statement by the candidate that identifies the candidate, the office the candidate is seeking, and indicates that the candidate has approved the broadcast.

(E)Certification

Certifications under this section shall be provided and certified as accurate by the candidate (or any authorized committee of the candidate) at the time of purchase.

(F)Definitions

For purposes of this paragraph, the terms “authorized committee” and “Federal office” have the meanings given such terms by section 30101 of title 52.

(c)DefinitionsFor purposes of this section—

(1)

the term “broadcasting station” includes a community antenna television system; and
(2)

the terms “licensee” and “station licensee” when used with respect to a community antenna television system mean the operator of such system.
(d)Rules and regulations

The Commission shall prescribe appropriate rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this section.

(e)Political record

(1)In generalA licensee shall maintain, and make available for public inspection, a complete record of a request to purchase broadcast time that—

(A)

is made by or on behalf of a legally qualified candidate for public office; or
(B)communicates a message relating to any political matter of national importance, including—

(i)

a legally qualified candidate;
(ii)

any election to Federal office; or
(iii)

a national legislative issue of public importance.
(2)Contents of recordA record maintained under paragraph (1) shall contain information regarding—

(A)

whether the request to purchase broadcast time is accepted or rejected by the licensee;
(B)

the rate charged for the broadcast time;
(C)

the date and time on which the communication is aired;
(D)

the class of time that is purchased;
(E)

the name of the candidate to which the communication refers and the office to which the candidate is seeking election, the election to which the communication refers, or the issue to which the communication refers (as applicable);
(F)

in the case of a request made by, or on behalf of, a candidate, the name of the candidate, the authorized committee of the candidate, and the treasurer of such committee; and
(G)in the case of any other request, the name of the person purchasing the time, the name, address, and phone number of a contact person for such person, and a list of the chief executive officers or members of the executive committee or of the board of directors of such person.
The problem with these archaic rules of equal coverage is that, in a 2011 ruling on the matter, cable television 24 hour news networks were all essentially exempted from this code, allowing them the exact right to manipulate political candidacy through coverage – which was exactly the reason this code was put in place.
So, how much does this affect the campaigning of candidates during election cycles? Well, considering the growing audience of such 24 hour news networks,  this loophole in equal time allows 38% of Americans to get unequal coverage of news events and campaign issues. In the 2016 election in particular, 24% of Americans tune into these biased news stations  in order to get their election news. And, how much extra time do these stations give to Donald Trump, versus other candidates? A lot. A vast majority, in fact. The numbers have been shown to reflect as much as 10 times the coverage of other GOP candidates, and a lion’s share of coverage versus the Democratic party.
And these, as well as social media and other online news sources, are 100% exempted from the Equal Time Act. Now, monitoring social media sites would be an impossible challenge, as well as monitoring unofficial news syndicates. However, for broadcasting networks – which is still the top supplier of news events to the public, modifications can be, and certainly should be, applied. And they should be, when a candidate is running who brags of self-funding his campaign, and claiming to need no money from “outsiders,” while receiving free press and campaigning from such news networks. I mean, how equal is that for such news media outlets to campaign for a Presidential candidate?
I feel it’s time for these news media outlets to step up their ethics and morals. They need to stop campaigning for a candidate, and stop chasing ratings. If they can’t or won’t, then perhaps better regulations need to be put in place to keep the Equal Time act from becoming completely defunct. Only one thing can be amended within this current election cycle, however, and that is the biased news coverage of one particular candidate, which has given him more publicity, support, and airtime than any other candidate not only in this race, but likely in the history of Presidential campaigns. If these  are truly credible news agencies, they need to step up and start acting the part.