Shea Dobson: A Plague on Both Your Houses

So day one of the Republican National Convention is in the books and it is not without controversy. The Republican establishment completely ignored the will of the grassroots and forced through unwanted rules. Of course many Trump supporters have claimed this was just a group of rogue delegates who only wanted to deny him the nomination. In reality the rules would have decentralized power from the party bosses and strengthened the power of the grassroots, something I assumed Trump supporters would be in favor of.

Even if the rules were something that Trump supporters would have supported, what the actual fight on the floor was about was a roll call vote on the rules. This means that instead of having a huge convention center full of people, delegates and non-delegates, scream at the top of their lungs “AYE” or “NO,” they will go through and actually have all the states individually record their vote. According to the RNC rules the majority of delegates from seven states must call for a roll call vote and hours before the vote enough states submitted a petition doing just that. This allows further, open debate among the delegates to consider the rules they are voting for instead of it being done by a well-connected committee. What ultimately happened however was the Chair calling for a vote and then claiming that the “ayes” have it, then after being showered with a chorus of boos and chants, claiming that numerous states didn’t meet the required amount of signatures and ultimately passing the resolution.

If you think this is just a product of Donald Trump being the nominee think again. The RNC pulled this type of stunt at the 2012 convention and scripted a voice vote against the will of the people. In 2012 controversial Rule 16 was set to be voted on which was in direct response to the Ron Paul faction flooding state conventions, taking over parties, and electing their own delegates. Part of this rule gave power to the state party and the candidates to disavow any delegate they wish and replace them. What took place was the presiding chair, John Boehner, reading from a teleprompter which displayed “In the opinion of the Chair, the ‘ayes’ have it” well before the voice vote was even completed and possible to determine who actually won. It was a power grab away from the grassroots and into the party establishment and it was completely scripted.

It’s not just the Republicans who have had this issue at their conventions either. At the 2012 Democrat convention an amendment to the party platform which would insert language affirming God and Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was introduced from the floor and the presiding chair called for a voice vote. When it was clear that the “ayes” didn’t have the majority, much less the two-thirds majority as required, the chair says “in the opinion of the…. Let me do that again.” He then calls for another voice vote which has the same result. He then starts looking around dumbfounded saying “I um… I guess…” At this point a lady, presumably from the DNC, walks to the stage and tells him to procced as planned. He then calls for a third voice vote which of course ends with the same result yet he states “in the opinion of the chair two-thirds have voted in the affirmative, the motion is adopted..”

These are the people who have hijacked and perverted our electoral system. Both of the major parties are determined to stifle out grassroots and act as monarchs. The warring Republican and Democratic establishments have lost sight of the real world and they are ripping apart our society without consideration for the average American citizen. I’m reminded of the tragedy written by William Shakespeare. The Montagues and Capulets maintained a childish feud which led to the death of many people who became wrapped up in their drama, just as good, decent people are being pitted against each other over divisive and corrupt politics. Romeo and Juliet was just a play while the actions of Republicans and Democrats are actually killing this nation. In the famous words of Mercutio- a plague on both your houses.

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