Monday, April 11, 2016

If God is a Republican, then it is time for Him to intervene

There has been a lot of speculation about what happens if Donald Trump wins a plurality, but not a majority, of the nominating delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio in July. If that happens there will be a contested convention that is likely to go to multiple voting rounds. Delegates from many states are only bound to vote according to the primary outcome in the first ballot and after that all bets are off.

Some claim that the party could nominate someone who hasn't even contested the primaries, like House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, while others think John Kasich, who has won only one state in the primary race, could be the compromise candidate. Current rules prevent anyone who has not won at least eight states from contesting the nomination at the convention (rules that were brought in to prevent libertarian candidate Ron Paul from contesting the nomination in 2012) but the rules could be changed by a party committee immediately prior to the convention. The most likely outcome, as Jonah Goldberg writes in National Review, is that delegates will switch from Trump to second-placed Ted Cruz. It might take several ballots but in this way Cruz could end up with the nomination.

Ted Cruz wouldn't be a bad candidate in my opinion. He is liberal on economic and civil liberties issues, non-interventionist on foreign policy and a sceptic on climate change. He believes in trade liberalisation, a low flat tax, and balanced budgets. On the other hand, he is conservative on social issues such as abortion and gay marriage. So he's about half-right, but that makes him better than most Republican candidates by half.

The thing most against Cruz in winning the nomination is that the Republican Party establishment hates him even more than Trump. This is because Cruz has been willing to defy the Republican leadership to vote against his party in the Senate, even going so far as to call Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a liar in a debate last year. But while it may stick in the craw of the Republican establishment to support Cruz, they may fall into line if he is the only alternative to Trump.

The outcome of a Cruz switcheroo is anyone's guess. Trump himself has talked about possible riots if he is unfairly denied the nomination. At the very least it is likely to cause infighting in the Republican Party that would damage its candidate's chances in the November election.

There is still a small chance that Cruz could get enough votes in the remaining primaries to overtake Trump as he is less than 200 delegates behind and there are more than 850 delegates still to be decided, but Trump is ahead in the polls in the remaining big states of New York and California, so that outcome seems pretty unlikely.

However, miracles do happen and if God is a Republican (as so many of the GOP's supporters seem to believe), then it is time for Him to intervene.

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