Friday, April 08, 2016

The GOP and their Shenanigans

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A "contested convention" seems to be the universal goal of the GOP---and some are asking whether even Hillary herself will be "contested" come convention time for the Democrats.

However, the GOP stands (or stumbles) in chaos.

After Tuesday night's Wisconsin primary election returns, the pundits beat their chest and declared April 5 as the "turning point" in the presidential race.

This is the 8th documented time the "experts" have anointed a certain day as "the turning point."

This election is about much more than political "turning points" and politics as usual.

Have there been so-called contested political conventions before? What happened?

And what's the solution to the current GOP problem that is tearing at the fabric of the GOP, the Christian community, and even families?

Forget the candidates for a moment---I'll come back to them.

Yes, there have been contested political conventions in the past.

Here are 5 conventions that were "brokered" as they say, and the candidate with the most votes didn't get the nomination.

1. 1860 Republican Convention

The nation was deeply divided over slavery, and the GOP was neither "old" nor "grand."

Going into the convention, William Seward had the most delegates, but not enough to secure the nomination.

After 3 ballots, the convention opted for Illinois Senator Abraham Lincoln.

William Seward became President Lincoln's Secretary of State.

2. 1880 Republican Convention

With the Civil War and reconstruction ended, the GOP faced an internal struggle over their identity as a political movement.

Going into the convention, former US President Ulysses S. Grant was seen as the favorite and had the most delegates of the 3 candidates.

However, the GOP chose a "compromise" candidate and nominated James Garfield, who was not even a candidate---like Paul Ryan, for example.

3. 1924 Democratic Convention

Many say this was the most divisive political convention in the history of American politics, because the Democrats found themselves deeply divided over issues like whether or not to denounce the KKK.

Going into the convention, William G. McAdoo, a member of Wilson's administration, whose ticket was supported by the KKK, was the front-runner, however, he didn't have the necessary majority of delegates and was opposed by anti-Klan Catholic politician Al Smith.

After 103 ballots were cast over 16 days, the Democrats decided to go with a compromise candidate, John Davis, a corporate lawyer and diplomat, whom nobody wanted.

Democrats were angry. Davis lost. It was a landslide won by Republican Calvin Coolidge.

4. 1940 Republican National Convention

On the eve of World War II and during the Great Depression, the Republicans held a "brokered convention."

Going in, New York District Attorney Tom Dewey had the most delegates, but not enough---there were 2 other candidates. After multiple ballots, the GOP settled on Wendell Wilke. He lost substantially to Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Four years later, the GOP went back and declared Tom Dewey their candidate in a brokered convention. Dewey lost the presidency to Harry Truman.

5. 1952 Democratic Convention

Going into the convention, Senator Estes Kefauver had a commanding lead over the dozen candidates who had also run for the Democratic nomination.

Adlai Stevenson was in a distant 2nd place, however, over the course of 3 ballots, Stevenson picked up a large number of delegates because former President Harry Truman and others lobbied on his behalf.

Stevenson lost to Republican Dwight Eisenhower that year.

The next year the Democratic Party convinced itself Stevenson was still their man and nominated him again. He lost again to Ike.

With the exception of Abraham Lincoln, this brief overview reveals that political parties---at their conventions, usually do not reflect or even understand their members---the voters---for whatever reason.

Republicans have been told recently and repeatedly that "voters do not decide the candidate."

In 2016, the electorate is angry---especially the Republicans.

Greg Orman, an Independent Kansas businessman, has written a new book titled, "A Declaration of Independents," which will be released May 1.

He wrote an article yesterday for Real Clear Politics that is an overview of the book. It is informative. He documents how politicians, not the voters, have created the anger and political chaos we see today.

He says, "You can thank the pampered political class for 2016's angry electorate."

Most all of us are aware of the problem---even Fox News is said to be imploding because of infighting over the candidates.

There are, I believe, 2 solutions to the current anger and disagreement that is tearing at the very fabric of both the political process in our country---and even the Christian church. Particularly among Republicans.

I am absolutely certain as to the one, and most important solution---the other? Well there are a lot of suggestions---some educated by time and experience---some not so much.

One educated suggestion came from Patrick Buchanan this week.

Buchanan has been around a long time---grew up working for Reagan---even ran for president once.

In a conversation with Fox's Sean Hannity, he is advocating Trump and Cruz figure out a way to unite against the GOP or both will, barring Trump getting the magic 1237 majority delegate count, be discarded by the Party, because the GOP hates them both---politically speaking---and will use one against the other to introduce a third "compromise" candidate.

John Kasich thinks it will be him. Marco Rubio may still think that as well, or Jeb Bush.

Or Bob Dole. I'm kidding.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has said 7 times in the past 45 days that he "is not running for the presidency."

Sean Hannity said this about the possibility of GOP establishment shenanigans:"Yes. Listen, I hear what you’re saying. All right, Pat Buchanan, I will say this. If they don’t unite against the establishment and the establishment is able to pull off some shenanigans, I would argue that you’re going to see a lot of people pack up and walk for good. They’re not coming back."

I agree with some of that.

America stands at a critical crossroad. The future of our children and grandchildren are in the balance, humanly speaking.

However, the true solution is found here:

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (II Chronicles 7:14).

And here:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths" (Proverbs 3: 5,6).

And this is why we must humble ourselves, pray, turn from sin, seek God's face and not lean on our own understanding. This issue, as with many, exceeds human ability to solve properly .

The Psalmist knew that standing in simplicity, before God, in the light of His Word, is the solution.

Ps. 119:130, "The entrance of Your Words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple."

Be Informed. Be Humble. Be Prayerful. Be Right.