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If you are a regular reader here at Republican Reader, then you probably noticed that we see the upcoming 2016 Republican National Convention as one of the most important events this election year. But why exactly is it so important and what do we think might happen from July 18 to July 21 in Cleveland, Ohio?
One of the first things that one can observe about the 2016 GOP Convention is that, unlike in 2012, the Party decided to hold it relatively early, before the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The reason why the GOP leaders decided to do so is to avoid a prolonged primary war which hurt us at the 2012 general election.
As we all know, this almost happened anyway as both Ted Cruz and John Kasich refused to give up for a long time, even though it had become obvious that their campaigns were going nowhere. Ever since they withdrew from the race, the Party has been trying to mend itself, with Donald Trump doing everything in his power to bring everyone together and create a united front against the Democratic Party presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton.
The primary function of the convention is to officially name the Republican Party nominee for the Presidency of the United States of America and this year, it is going to be Donald Trump. This will be the first time since President Eisenhower that one of the two major parties will nominate someone without any previous experience in politics.
Since Cruz and Kasich dropped out of the race, this part of the Convention has been set in stone, with Donald Trump only awaiting official confirmation that he is the candidate.
However, the GOP National Convention is much more than just naming the candidate.
Namely, at these conventions, much of the Party’s rules, statutes and other guidelines are determined. In short, these conventions are where the future of the GOP is determined, sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly.
The GOP National Convention will be particularly heated this year as Ted Cruz continues his charge on the very top of the party. He may have dropped out of the race for the presidential candidacy, but he definitely did not drop out of the race for the leadership of the party.
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More precisely, Cruz will be coming to the convention backed by hundreds of delegates who will vote for Trump because they have to, but who otherwise actually support the Senator from Texas. Cruz will be depending on their backing to try and introduce a number of novelties to the way the party is governed. In addition to this, he will be looking to make his mark on the official policy platform of the party, something that will also be discussed at the Convention.
One of the things that Cruz will definitely be pushing (supported by many a super conservative member of the party) is to make all of the future Republican primaries closed, i.e. allowing only registered members of the Republican Party to vote. This, he believes, will take the party further to the right, more towards the conservative side in the GOP. One one hand, this gives a clearer picture of who the Republican voters support, but it also minimizes the chances of attracting new people to the party.
Another thing that we might hear about from Cruz and GOP members who rally around him is the conscience clause where delegates might choose not to support the candidate their voters voted for if he or she holds views that are dramatically opposed to what they believe. If you ask us, this is pure nonsense because it is totally arbitrary and presents breeding ground for all kinds of backroom deals.
There are also signs that certain GOP members might be looking to once again limit the authority that the Republican National Committee has obtained in 2012 when the Convention Rules Committee gave the RNC the power to revise certain rules between two conventions. Some experts are also talking about some more extreme Republican members trying to reinterpret GOP rules concerning delegate binding.
All in all, it is going to be an exciting GOP National Convention this year and we will just have to wait and see what will happen.
The most important thing is that Donald Trump will finally be officially announced as the GOP nominee and that his march on the presidency will officially start.