Each year on April Fools’ Day I intersperse some false but plausible news stories among the real ones on my Election Law Blog. Last year, I got a number of prominent election-law attorneys and activists to believe a false report that a federal court, relying on the Supreme Court’s controversial campaign finance decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, held that the First Amendment protects the right to literally bribe candidates. This year, among false posts, was one in which I had Donald Trump declaring that he would not abide by the results of the Electoral College vote if he was the popular vote winner. The made-up story had him plotting with his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to seize power in the event of a popular vote/electoral vote conflict. Many people believed the post, and it even made aWashington Post list of debunked April Fools’ stories that people fell for. It’s not a surprise. Trump railed against what he perceived as the unfairness of the Electoral College when President Obama won re-election in 2012. And he has consistently whined about what he perceives as unfairness in the electoral process. Combine that with his inflammatory rhetoric, and the idea of a Trump coup is not so crazy.
Trump’s latest complaint is that the Republican National Committee has set up “corrupt” rules to allow Ted Cruz or other to “steal” the election. His main complaint is that the parties have Byzantine rules for choosing delegates for national party conventions, who in turn choose the party’s presidential ticket. The rules may even be changed at the convention itself, by delegates who need not follow the voters’ will.
As a candidate, Trump’s complaints are laughable. If Trump is so disorganized as a candidate that he can’t even assemble the team to master the delegate and convention rules, how is he going to manage to run the massive federal bureaucracy, not to mention to defeat ISIS or build a multibillion dollar wall between the United States and Mexico?
But Trump’s grousing serves an important purpose in educating our democracy. Does it still make sense today to use party delegates and conventions as mediating entities for choosing presidential candidates? Or would it be better to have a system in which each party’s presidential nominee is the person who gets the most votes of members of the party?
Full Article: Is Trump right about ‘rigged’ nomination? – CNN.com.