Editor’s note: The following column originally appeared in The Resurgent.
Donald Trump is again complaining about the delegate rules of the Republican Party — delegate rules that have existed in various forms for 156 years. In fact, the present delegate rules have not really changed in decades, requiring that the nominee of the party get a majority of the delegates of the party to be the party’s nominee.
Donald Trump entered the race knowing he would need 1,237 delegates. But the man who claims he surrounds himself with experts and top men to advise him on things surrounded himself with advisors who told him not to worry about the delegates. Now Trump is having to bring in new people to play the delegate game, which is an acknowledgement that the rule for a majority will not be waived.
But along the way, both Trump and his supporters have taken to whining incessantly about the majority requirement. Publicly they think it should be changed to a plurality, though neither the delegate rules nor the Electoral College rules will be changed from majority to plurality.
Just because Donald Trump has the most delegates does not mean he has a majority of delegates. The rules matter.
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That Trump has, for this long, surrounded himself with people who clearly failed to accurately advise him on the delegate rules is troubling. We know that Trump’s foreign affairs advisors are not really top men and, frankly, some are staggeringly unqualified. Likewise, we know Trump has barely met with them.
But these are the people he’d take advice from on foreign policy. Trump, though, says he has a very smart brain and he consults with himself. On “Meet the Press” Sunday, his campaign surrogate said it was Trump himself running the campaign — a campaign that ignored 156 years of needing delegates.
If Donald Trump cracks over a 156 year tradition of requiring a majority of delegates for the Republican nomination how is he going to understand the demands of the presidency? If Trump claims he surrounds himself with top men and those top men advised him so poorly on the delegate issue, how can we be reassured he won’t make the same mistakes in a presidential administration?
Thankfully that is unlikely to happen.