Sunday, April 17, 2016

Thomas Sowell Op-ed: Presidential Primaries And The ‘Voice Of The People’ Fallacy

We hear many fallacies in election years. The fallacy that seems to be most popular this year is that, if Donald Trump comes close to getting the 1,237 delegates required to become the Republican nominee, and that nomination goes instead to someone else, then the convention will have ignored “the voice of the people.”
Supposedly Republican voters would be outraged, many would stay home on Election Day, and some might even vote for the Democrats’ nominee, whether Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
Mr. Trump has more than once made the veiled threat that he would run as a third-party candidate if the Republicans failed to “respect” him. And of course Trump would himself decide what “respect” means.
Insofar as the voting public believes the fallacy that choosing someone other than Trump is ignoring “the voice of the people,” when Trump has the most delegates, his threat carries weight.
In reality, Trump has never gotten a majority of the votes in any of the Republican primaries. In other words, “the voice of the people” has been consistently against nominating Trump.
In a poll of Republican voters in Wisconsin, 20% of them said that they would be “concerned” if Trump became President of the United States, and 35% said that they would be “scared.”
‘Voice Of The People’ Says ‘No’ To Trump
If “the voice of the people” has spoken, whether in Wisconsin or nationally, what it has said repeatedly is “no” to Donald Trump. The illusion of Trump’s overwhelming appeal to the Republican voters has been maintained by the fragmenting of Republican votes because so many candidates were running as conservatives that Trump won primaries without ever getting a majority of the votes.
This would not be the first time that the conservative majority’s votes in a Republican primary season have been split so many ways that someone who is not a conservative ends up with the nomination.
That is how the Republicans ended up with Mitt Romney in 2012 and lost the election. That is also how the Republicans can end up with Donald Trump and lose this year’s election. Worse yet, from the standpoint of the country, that is how Donald Trump might end up in the White House.
The Republicans in Wisconsin who were scared of the possibility of Trump as President were onto something. We should all be scared.
Read the rest of Sowell's op-ed HERE.

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