Tell the 2016 Republican National Convention’s Rules Committee to Unbind the Delegates!

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Dear RNC Rules Committee Member:

In advance of the opening of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, I implore you to do the right and best thing for the Republican Party and the United States of America and support any and all measures presented to you that would enable the Convention to proceed as an open convention, in which each and every delegate is unbound with regard to the presidential nomination.

Thanks to a federal court ruling on Monday, July 11, we now know that states cannot bind delegates, and this could affect as many as 20 states. However, in order to have an open, transparent convention that adheres to core national values like freedom of conscience, freedom of expression and freedom of association, more than this court decision is required: You personally need to vote to unbind your fellow delegates. It is imperative that you do so, not just to carry forth and enshrine these values, but also to stop the disaster that awaits the Republican Party— and possibly the nation at-large— should the 2016 Convention nominate Mr. Trump.

Throughout his time dabbling in politics, Mr. Trump has exhibited a shocking disregard not just for core principles and values held by the overwhelming majority of Republicans, but a revulsion to the concept of checks and balances in government, fundamental, constitutionally-protected liberties, limitations on the power of the President, and the idea of three co-equal branches of government as opposed to an overwhelmingly powerful executive branch whose bidding is done by a neutered Congress and Judiciary. He has signaled his intent to use the levers of government to target his political and business opponents. He has a disturbing fondness for anti-democratic dictators who want to see America weaker and more divided— an effect, as it happens, of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign, which routinely partakes of “us versus them” rhetoric and advocates “us versus them” policies, with regard to Americans ourselves.

Mr. Trump regularly, knowingly and deliberately dabbles in racist, sexist, anti-veteran and otherwise bigoted rhetoric. His campaign routinely boosts and panders to actual white supremacists. He has been endorsed by David Duke and Ku Klux Klan organizations and when given the opportunity to condemn those endorsements, he has refused to do so.

Virtually every Republican, everywhere, has hoped—publicly, or privately— that Trump would change, and rein it in, whether for basic moral or political reasons.

Yet he has not, he cannot, and he will not: All of this objectionable behavior is a core feature of Mr. Trump’s candidacy, and that has been confirmed at every available opportunity. There are many reasons why his unfavorable ratings are astonishingly and historically high, and why even when running against the worst, most unethical, and most objectionable Democratic candidate in recent memory, he is still polling significantly behind her; these are among them. They are among the very strongest reasons why the Republican Party simply cannot allow its reputation to be further tarnished, let alone America’s system of government and core liberties to be imperiled, by actually running this man.

To be clear: Trump is overwhelmingly likely to lose, and to lose badly— and in the process, those who allowed this to happen by stifling a free vote of the delegates and doing Mr. Trump’s bidding, or merely sitting by passively and failing to speak out, will be hammering a nail in the coffin of the GOP’s political prospects for at least the immediate future. They will also ensure that going forward, they are viewed by the vast majority of the American people with both distrust and disgust.

Make no mistake, delegates who vote to “unbind” their colleagues will be attacked by Mr. Trump and his supporters, as well as Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, as “undemocratic.”

Yet unfortunately for Mr. Trump and the woman whose campaigns he has supported for years with financial and in-kind contributions, this charge will ring false. Americans understand that in order to have a functioning democracy, restraints on government power must be respected and core liberties must be protected. We also understand very well that Mr. Trump has no interest in either one of these things, and that a vote for him is a vote to burn American democracy, as established by the Constitution, to the ground. The Republican Party, and you personally, simply must not be complicit in doing this.

It has been said that the rise of Mr. Trump evidences a failure in American institutions. Whether it is the Veterans Administration failing our wounded warriors, schools failing to teach basic principles and concepts that our children need to grow, thrive and prosper, communities disintegrating, too many of our political leaders prioritizing re-election over getting things done to help those who elected them, or our economy failing to work for as many people as we all want, this rings true.

I implore you: Do not let the Republican National Convention, and the Republican Party, become the final institution to fail by forcing Mr. Trump on the GOP, which still significantly opposes him, and the American electorate, which does, too.

Please support an open and transparent convention, one in which delegates are entirely free to vote for whomever they want to become our Party’s nominee. We can do better than Mr. Trump, he knows it, and that’s why he wants delegates handcuffed and silenced.

Respectfully,

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