The Election Chronicles, Volume 29: Don, If You Want To Run the Country, Here Are the Things You Need to KnowSunday, April 17th, 2016
I’m writing you this letter in the hopes that you will learn. I write sincerely hoping you will read this in humility. The Presidency requires some basic understanding of how our nation runs and it’s clear that you’re behind the curve.
Last June you announced your intent to run for President as a Republican even though your party affiliation is questionable. I wrote about this here but let’s face it: Your credibility as a Republican is suspect at best.
Given that, it’s not surprising that your complaining of the process of choosing a candidate is unfounded.
You see, you’re complaint boils down to this: The process of choosing a nominee cheats you and your supporters.
But it really doesn’t. The process is complicated and Byzantine but it’s ultimately intended to put forth a candidate who has the best chance to win the general election.
But more to the point, your remarks point to your ongoing refusal to pay attention to the process of how candidates are chosen. You complain that “this is not a democracy.”
In fairness, you’re right: we are not a democracy. We’re a republic. I know this is complicated, but I’ll make it as easy as I can.
In a democracy voters make all the decisions: all legislation is voted on by all the voters. A republic, on the other hand, elects people (members of congress) who represent us, and they vote on legislation. This makes sense on a few levels. Even back in the 1700s it would have been arduous for every voter to vote on every piece of legislation. But it would be impossible now. Since January of 2015 the 114th Congress has passed 143 laws (out of 9,095 proposed).
But that’s not the only reason. In 1787 and 1788, James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton wrote a series of essays we now call the Federalist Papers. They were written under the pen name “Publius.”
The Federalist Paper, Number 10 was written by James Madison and he spoke to this issue. He wrote about the danger of factions and Don, I think you should look closely at this.
James was afraid that a faction would gain enough votes to push this new nation into a bad direction; he recognized that, even before social media, we could get caught up in this “dangerous vice.” He felt that electing representatives (congress) would prevent this.
Don, I’m writing this because you clearly haven’t done your homework on how our nation runs. This has become evident in the last few days when you’ve argued that the delegate selection is rigged.
But, and I say this with all due respect, it isn’t rigged. All political parties make their own rules on how they choose their nominee. When it comes to the Republican Party everyone else running has done their homework and you haven’t. Now that this has been found out, you can’t blame the teacher, you can’t blame the principal, and you can’t blame the school board. You have only yourself to blame.
I pray you don’t become our next President, but if you do, you need to do your homework. You’ll be called to negotiate complex multinational treaties. You’ll be called to meet with other world leaders who have done their homework who will expect that you’ll be able speak with some intelligence and competence. And you’ll be called to make hard decisions where there just isn’t time to “bring you up to speed.”
I know this isn’t easy for you to hear, but you need to stop being lazy. You’ve run your campaign without doing the hard work of learning how to be President. You’ve filled halls with people who like you and you’ve made certain that nobody with hard questions gets anywhere near you. Of the few times where you’ve actually taken questions you haven’t done well (do you really believe that women who have abortions need to be punished?).
We choose a President every four years and we do so with great expectations. We expect a President who will keep us safe but we also want more. We expect a President who has a vision of who we are and where we are going. We don’t want a President who speaks to our worst fears and governs by exclusion.
Don, get to work.