The 2016 elections are already shaping up to be one of the most divisive in modern history. It’s getting to the point the Crips and the Bloods might need to hold an intervention for the Republicans and Democrats, and considering both major parties wear the colors of said gangs, it might be pretty easy to figure out which one is going to side with which.
Either way, the Republican nomination process is under fire by…the current Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump. As the states start picking delegates, Trump’s campaign is starting to see there’s more to winning a state than winning the popular vote. It’s also important to make sure your people are in place at the state level so they can represent you at the national convention. And what we’ve seen in Iowa, Louisiana, Colorado, North Carolina, and possibly other states, the Trump campaign has been left flatflooted as the Ted Cruz campaign has racked up additional delegates simply by…following the rules.
I know! That bastard! How dare Ted Cruz play by the rules!
Seriously, though, the Cruz campaign is being accused of using “Gestapo tactics” because they’re playing the long game. In politics, like in war, you cannot just win a battle and claim victory for the entire war. As conditions change, strategy must adapt to ensure more victories can lead to winning the war. Like it or not, Cruz’s approach focusing on winning delegates is strategically wise because it shows knowledge of the current process. Is it a perfect process? Heck no! But it is the process all the candidates agreed upon as they decided to run.
At the risk of getting flamed worse than the Hindenburg, the Trump campaign is trying to change the rules in the middle of the game. Instead of learning from the mistakes made in the aforementioned states and adjusting to reduce the likelihood of mistakes in future contests, the Trump campaign is…salting the ground by trying to delegitimize the process. Although this may work in the short term, it can only end badly in the long term.
Let’s say Trump does better than expected and wins 1237 or more delegates at the Republican National Convention. Will he accept the nomination, or will he reject it? If he does the former, it makes it look like he’s buying into the very process he’s attacking right now. If he rejects it, it makes him look like a quitter and not a serious candidate.
That leads to another question: what will happen with the Trump voters? In the former scenario, it doesn’t hurt Trump very much, but it does hurt in the credibility department, and you know Hillary Clinton will not hesitate to use something like that should she overcome Bernie Sanders and gets her party’s coronation…I mean nomination. In the latter scenario, Trump and the GOP gets crushed as Trump voters may not be motivated to vote in the general election. It would rip the heart and soul out of a lot of people, people who could cause candidates further down the ballot to lose.
This is why the long game is important. Ted Cruz may not be your cup of Earl Grey, but he’s not to blame for the Trump delegate situation. Cruz is playing the long game, and playing it well. Trump’s team needs to take a look at itself closely and readjust their strategy in dealing with the delegate issue in a constructive rather than destructive way.