Hostile Takeover: Ron Paul Delegates Barred From Voting at the Republican National Convention
The farce known as the American electoral process has proven, yet again, that the voice of the American people is to be heard only if it speaks in lockstep with the status quo.
Republican National Committee officials essentially reshuffled the makeup of Maine’s delegation to the convention after determining that the state’s delegate-selection process in May was riddled with illegal votes and parliamentary violations.
As a compromise intended to satisfy the Romney and Paul camps, RNC officials replaced 10 of the 20 Paul delegates with 10 Romney supporters.
The switch gave Romney a 14-10 delegate edge in Maine, including the state’s four undeclared delegates, all of whom support Romney.
After exhausting all other appeals, Maine’s pro-Paul contingent plans to ask the full convention Tuesday to reject the RNC’s revised list of delegates and re-seat the slate of 20 Paul supporters who were elected during the state convention in May.
The move to bar duly elected Paul delegates from voting led contingents from Maine and Texas to erupt in anger and walk out of the convention, perhaps foreshadowing what Mitt Romney can expect from Paul supporters come election day.
In any reasonably legitimate democratic system of voting, what transpired Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention would be considered election fraud. In America, it’s politics as usual.
Coming from a Party that claims to be of higher ethical and moral standards, and one that is supposed to respect the rule of law, the last-minute rule change implemented at the RNC is indicative of our current political culture – win at any cost, fairness and equality be damned.
“It’s a disgusting, disgusting display of a hostile takeover from the top down,” said Maine delegate Ashley Ryan, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times. “It’s an embarrassment,” she’s quoted as saying.
The move to disenfranchise a significant voice of the American people demonstrates yet again that unless you tow the Party line, your vote really doesn’t matter and what you have to say is irrelevant to the establishment.
While Governor Romney may have thought it was a good idea to re-appropriate legitimate votes from Ron Paul for the benefit of his own campaign, it shows that the Republican Presidential candidate is just more of the same and willing to silence the voices of millions of Americans in the process.
In February of 2012 we noted that this election will come down to non-Party line voters:
It seems that Ron Paul’s often marginalized supporters will be the ones responsible for determining who the next President of the United States will be.
Primary results and the latest polling suggest that Paul will not be the republican nominee this year, which means either Romney, Santorum or Gingrich will be going head to head with Obama.
In that situation, at the eleventh hour, will Paul supporters remain steadfastly opposed to voting for another candidate, and by doing so handing the election to Obama? Or, will the prospect of four more years of a President who has lived up to at least one campaign promise – that he will fundamentally change America – be enough to drive them to the polls in support of any republican with a heartbeat?
The answer to this question will be the single determining factor in this year’s Presidential election.
Make no mistake. The Republican Party has made a gross miscalculation by continuing to marginalize the concerns of third-party voters.
This is very bad news for Mitt Romney.
Ron Paul voters, fed up with being treated liked second-hand citizens and extremists by both major political parties, may very well just stay home on November 6th and they’ll take a huge chunk of the popular and electoral vote with them.
The only saving grace Mitt Romney has is that Libertarian and third-party voters absolutely abhor the policies of Barack Obama. Whether this is a powerful enough motivator to get Paul supporters to shift their support to Romney remains to be seen.
We’ll find out in a couple months.