Republicans panic about 2020 primary challenge to Trump


Republicans might change their nominating rules just to protect an unpopular Trump.

Trump is so universally loathed that one prominent Republican wants to protect Trump from 2020 challenges from within his own party. And to do it, he wants to rig the Republican primary.

One Republican National Committee (RNC) delegate sent a panicked email to 167 other delegates expressing concern over "calculated political treachery" on behalf of some Republicans who are intent on "destroying our party and denying President Trump re-election."

The delegate, Jevon O.A. Williams from the U.S. Virgin Islands, desperately wants to change the rules Republicans use to nominate their 2020 candidate in order to protect an obviously damaged Trump from other Republicans.

Williams worries that loopholes in the RNC's rules "are enabling these so-called Republicans to flirt with the possibility of contested primaries and caucuses," according to a copy of his email published by the Daily Mail. What Williams calls "loopholes" others may call "democracy in action."

Williams' panic was ignited by Sen.-elect Mitt Romney's op-ed in the Washington Post. Romney — who lost the 2012 election to President Barack Obama after gleefully accepting Trump's endorsement — criticized Trump for failing to unite the country.

Williams worries that Romney and other so-called critics of Trump, such as Ohio Gov. John Kasich and retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), could mount a challenge to Trump in a contested 2020 primary. Such a challenge would be expensive and "would only help Democrats," according to Williams.

So rather than embrace a fully transparent and democratic nominating process, Williams wants to change the rules to rig the primary for Trump. He wants the RNC to immediately endorse Trump for 2020, before any states have even held primaries where voters' voices can be heard. Williams also wants the RNC to declare Trump the "presumptive nominee."

He's not the only Republican who fears Trump's weakness in 2020. South Carolina Republicans are thinking about canceling their 2020 primary out of fears the results could embarrass Trump.

Republicans have a long, sordid history of voter suppression efforts, which are usually aimed at Democratic voters. But now, Republican animosity toward democratic norms is so full-blown that the RNC is considering suppressing their own voters.

That's not how democracy is supposed to work. Maybe instead of changing the rules, Republicans should stop supporting lying, narcissistic, racist sexual predators for elected office. Seems like a much easier solution than rigging elections.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.