I agree with Donald Trump.
It isn’t often I get to say that so I wanted to make sure I did. When Trump calls the presidential primary system for both major parties in this country a rigged system, he is exactly right. Of course, the fact that he is only discovering it after Colorado had no real votes cast before awarding all of its delegates to Ted Cruz is — to use one of the GOP front-runner’s favorite words — sad.
“They’re going absolutely crazy,” Trump said of Colorado Republicans in one of his ubiquitous call-in interviews with FOX News. “Because they weren’t given a vote. This was given by politicians. It’s a crooked deal. And I see it.”
The problem is, he didn’t see it until the delegates were lost. Trump has ridden a tsunami of free press and bombast into the lead. But when it comes to the technical side of the election, Mr. “I’m going to negotiate so well” is playing checkers while the professional politicians are playing chess.
That is because the man who claims he will hire all of these wonderful people as advisors and cabinet members has surrounded himself with dilettantes who have never won an election.
His campaign manager Corey Lewandowski lost elections in two states before taking over Trump’s campaign and manhandling reporters who were actually friendly to the campaign’s cause. His campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson is a woman who ran her own failed congressional campaign after working to get Ted Cruz elected as a senator in Texas. She is also famous for wearing a necklace made of ammunition during a television appearance for the campaign and asking why there were never any “pure breeds” running for President – because President Barack Obama’s father was from Nigeria and Mitt Romney’s father was born in Mexico. Pierson excused that last statement by saying she was the product of mixed race parents as well. That’s nice.
Trump has invested in rallies and television appearances and he loves owning the stage with childish chest thumping at debates. He hasn’t invested in people who can help him run a real campaign. He is winning votes when he can reach people personally. He is losing states where organization and preparation count like caucus states or states, like Colorado, that have the parties award delegates to candidates.
America is the greatest country in the world but we use some pretty messed up methods to elect our commander in chief.
The Electoral College makes votes in less populated states worth more than those in states with greater population. A person’s vote in Wyoming is worth about 20 times more than one in California when it comes to affecting an electoral vote.
Before the Electoral College ruins voting equity, the states make a mockery of democracy with many methods of awarding delegates to help choose a candidate from each party.
Every state seems to have a different method. Some are straight votes and delegates are awarded proportionally. Some are votes with a winner-take-all method. Some don’t use votes at all and have the state party control delegates. Some use primaries while others use caucuses. Of course both parties have some delegates that are completely unrelated to any voting whatsoever.
This is no different than if every football team in the NFL used different rules for home games. Nothing in the primary process makes sense. It is ridiculous that we let Iowa and New Hampshire go first.
Trump should know better and the fact that he is losing these silly contests shows that his campaign isn’t sophisticated or organized. However, he is correct that this process is flawed and pretty well rigged.
Ask Bernie Sanders how it feels to win an election by 12 percent of the popular vote and lose delegates to your opponent.
It is time for Congress to step in and set the timeline and method state will use to award delegates. Presidential campaigns are too important to be played like a board game late on a Friday night.
— Kent Bush is publisher of Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.