Time for a brokered convention?

by Chana Cox

Back to back they faced each other
Drew their swords and shot each other

It looks like Republicans will be left with the last man who happens to be standing in a shoot out at the OK Coral.  Is this a rational way of picking a president of the United States?

Could any decent candidate have survived the combined assault of the mainstream media and talk radio? This year’s Republican primary process is a failure.  During the debates we have learned a great deal about the direction the Republican Party needs to take, but a strong candidate has not emerged. Over the longer term we need to fix the system, but over the shorter term, what can we, as responsible voters, do to prevent catastrophe?

We need a strong candidate.  I propose that we start a movement to force a brokered convention.  At my age I can still remember brokered conventions and I know they can be risky, but, at the moment, the alternatives are worse.  In the past, brokered conventions have made it possible to draft strong last minute candidates.  There are at least three or four such potential candidates out there.

In order to have a brokered convention, we must make certain that no candidate comes to the convention with a clear majority.  As long as there are only two candidates in the running at any one time, there will be a majority candidate.  One way of making certain there is no clear majority is to have primary voters in each state elect a “favored son” candidate – some Republican who the people in his or her state trust to make a good judgment working with the state’s delegates at the convention.  The survivors of the debates and the other primaries would be in the running, but the conventions would also be alive with voting blocks and in that atmosphere real negotiations are possible and a previously unannounced candidate might be drafted to run.

While there are dangers in brokered conventions, there is always a chance that a good viable candidate will emerge.  At the moment no such candidate is emerging out of the primaries.  They have all been fatally weakened by the process and the press.  The actual presidential campaign would be short, but these candidates are already well known.  In recent years the conventions have all become pro forma.  This convention would be a cliff hanger.   What have we got to lose?

We have become accustomed to voting for the lesser of two evils but neither the Democrats nor the Republicans currently have a candidate that a majority of the people even in their own parties will vote for with anything like real enthusiasm.  If I were a Democrat, I would be proposing the same strategy.

We should not ask the favored son or daughter to stand for election in the primary.  In many cases that would be tantamount to political suicide.  Instead, we should use the social media to organize a write-in candidate.

I propose that here in Oregon, Republicans vote for Greg Waldon as our presidential candidate.