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18 April 2016

Opinion: GOP Delegate Selection Rules May Be Legal, But They Fail Basic Standards of Ethics

Let's be clear.

There is a vast difference between legal and ethical.

The Republican Party is a private organization. As a private organization, it is absolutely legal for the Republican Party to choose their presidential nominee as they see fit.

But is it ethical? Is it ethical for Republicans to invite the American people to participate in a delegate selection process that, eve the most ardent Republicans admit, is a 50-state charade designed to trick the average American into believing their votes actually count?

The average American voter was raised on the basic concept that whomever has the most votes is the winner. This is how their high school class elections were conducted. This is how their homeowners' association elections are conducted. And, according to the Washington Post, most states choose their governors and Members of Congress by plurality; which is just a fancy way of saying whomever has the most votes wins. These are the basic ethics of the average America voter. This is what they were taught from the first day they entered a classroom.

Imagine how the average American voter must feel to learn that their basic electoral ethics doesn't mean diddly to those in charge.

Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Preibus and RNC member Curly Haugland have both said Republican National Convention delegates pick the nominee, not the voters.

Try explaining to the average U.S. citizen that rule 6, section 12, subsection c says the popular vote doesn't count, just the votes of the delegates, and you'll get a confused look, followed by a few choice words that begin with "you're full of" and ends with an expletive that rhymes with "it."

The chasm between Republican Party loyalists and the average American voter is on full display right now. And we should tell the truth about it all.

Republican Party activists are a weird bunch of people. They are oddballs. They're the ones who, instead of going fishing or sleeping in on Saturday, attended political party meetings; learning Robert's Rules of Order and the Rules of the Republican Party.

That's not normal, and it breeds distrust.

Lecturing the average American voter about the various rules of the Republican Party, when the average voter was taught something totally different helps foster the feeling that the system is set against them. It contributes heavily to the notion that there are two sets of rules -- one for the average American and another for the privileged few.

The Republican Party's delegate selection process may be legal. But to the average American, it no longer feels right. It no longer feels ethical. And it helps explain why confidence in traditional institutions are at all-time lows.