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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 6/21/16

Democrats Need a Conscience to Close Morality Gap with Republicans

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There's a morality gap between Democrats and Republicans with the Democrats lagging far behind. The Republican National Convention rules committee will consider a conscience clause allowing committed delegates to change their vote on the convention's first ballot. This could unseat the morally challenged presumed nominee Donald Trump. Democrats have no such clause to deal with the flagrant lack of morality displayed by nominee Hillary Clinton during her time as Untied States Senator and Secretary of State. (Image: Alex Gorzen)

Donald Trump received 14 million votes in Republican primaries translating to more than 1500 delegates pledged to vote for him on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention. The delegate total is 250 more than required for nomination. Trump wins, right? Maybe not.

Utah convention delegate Kendall Unruh is proposing a change in convention rules to allow delegates to change their pledged votes if that vote violates their conscience, "the guide to the rightness or wrongness of one's behavior" that constitutes morality. Her version of the rule change is clear:

"If any such delegate notifies the secretary of his or her intent to cast a vote of conscience, whether personal or religious, each such delegate shall be unbound and unconstrained by these rules on any given vote, including the first ballot." BallotPedia, June 20

Kendall Unruh's proposal would be fairly meaningless were it not for the following comments by Paul Ryan (R-WI), Speaker of the House of Representatives and Chairman of the Republican National Convention. On Meet the Press Sunday, Ryan opened the gates for a serious dump Trump strategy.

CHUCK TODD: Do you think it is that members in the House Republican conference [should] follow [their] conscience? If you don't want to support him, don't do it --

PAUL RYAN: Oh, absolutely. The last thing I would do is tell anybody to do something that's contrary to their conscience. Of course I wouldn't do that. Look, believe me, Chuck. I get that this a very strange situation. [Trump is] a very unique nominee. But I feel as a responsibility institutionally as the speaker of the House that I should not be leading some chasm in the middle of our party. Because you know what I know that'll do? That'll definitely knock us out of the White House. NBC News, June 17

Ryan tries to come off as even handed and "not to be leading some chasm in the middle of our party." That's nonsense. The chasm is about releasing delegates from their pledge to represent the expressed will of voters in their respective states. That's unprecedented in modern history for a first ballot in either party convention. Ryan endorsed the technical means of denying Trump the votes he supposedly earned by winning all of those primaries.

The Varieties of Conscience Experience

Did Paul Ryan have some sort of conscience experience when he realized that Trump violated his deep-seated morality? Could it be Trump's total disregard for the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? Maybe it's Trump's racist comments about Muslims and Mexicans that piqued the Speaker's conscience? Is there something Ryan knows that we don't (e.g., Trump paid hardly any taxes, bribed segments of the press, has a love child in every state)?

What's changed since Ryan initially offered to sit down and work with Trump as the presumed nominee?

Donald Trump Is Down-Ballot Republicans' Biggest Risk, June 17

There's a real chance that Trump, with a 70% disapproval rating, could drag down Republican incumbents in a Congress with an 80% plus disapproval rate. We're shifting from the morality of conscience to the morality of convenience.

At least the Republicans are framing issues in terms of conscience and morality.

I'm with her and she's not him -- The Democrats are far worse

It's one thing for Democrats to claim that Trump is blatantly immoral. It's entirely another to prop up Hillary Clinton as moral simply because she's not Donald Trump. This is mindless and insulting to those of us who have to hear and read such garbage.

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