What “Will of the People” Are We Talking About?

Trump supporters are very adamant that to block Trump is to block the “will of the people.”

First, what “will of the people” are we talking about? The 33 to 40% who voted for Trump or the 60% to 66% that did not vote for Trump in a Republican primary, not general election.

He has not won over 50% in any race and the best he did was in Massachusetts, a place where he won’t win the general election.

Second, the process in which he and his brand new to the process voters are engaging is a process that goes back 156 years in the Republican Party. Delegates go to a convention and they pick the nominee. We watch this on television every four years. The votes that people cast in their primaries only instruct the delegates on the first round.

The problem here is not that we are using a political bureaucracy to deny the will of the people. The problem is that Donald Trump is so much more terrible at securing delegates within that political bureaucracy than any candidate who came before him. What his supporters see as a new phenomenon is actually an old process we rarely see because usually the nominee is able to unite the party. Trump cannot.

The rules have been there 156 years in one form or another with the basic structure all the same. And part of why they are there is to secure a majority support of Republicans for their nominee, represented by 1,237 delegates from across the nation, which is something Trump has been unable to do thus far.

Trump voters claiming the nomination can be stolen are really just new to the process and ignorant about how it works.

The “will of the people” is not really the will of the people. The “will of the people” is code for a minority of voters in the smaller of the two major American political parties. That “will” is not really worth paying attention to if they cannot get a majority of delegates at the convention.

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Erick Erickson

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