The 2016 Primaries, Conventions, And Elections Guide: Sanders, Trump, Clinton Or Cruz

Sanders and Trump, who represent the overall dissatisfaction of the American people, have made this primary one of the most unusual presidential elections in history. In many ways, this election cycle has felt less like an election and more like a revolution.

The 2016 Primaries, Conventions, And Election Are Going To Be Unprecedented In History

At Donald Trump rallies, America saw riots and brawls. Trump appealed to the working class and enraged Black Lives Matter supporters. The two groups clashed violently on several occasions, and firearms were sometimes involved.

Bernie Sanders supporters, young, eager, and enthusiastic, have gathered in record numbers to see their icon, Bernie Sanders. In the past, it has been rare to see 20,000 to 30,000 supporters at a political rally, but Sanders does it consistently. Protests and marches were held in his honor. His voice became a rallying cry for the disenfranchised youth of America.

In 2016, contested conventions are quite likely for both parties. Due to close races and a large number of candidates in early primaries, there may be no clear winner at the end of this primary and caucus season. If there is no clear winner in the primaries, and no one has enough delegates in the first vote, there will be a contested convention.

The 2016 primary season is unique. Any argument that at some time in distant history this happened before is quickly squelched, because of the role of technology in twenty-first-century politics. In the past, people rioted and protested, but they didn’t tweet about it or put it on YouTube. For better or worse, the entire world is watching America’s fight for freedom, equality, and a leader that represents the people.

2016 Primaries, Conventions, And Elections Political Compass

Sanders, Trump, Clinton, and Cruz are graphed on the political compass, according to the views they proclaim publicly. The graph below places the candidates as shown, by Political Compass. There is a margin for error, and not everyone agrees on this placement, but this is the most official placement since it was recorded by the test and chart authors.

Political Compass
Most people are aware of the liberal left and the conservative right. What they often miss is the authoritarian top and anarchic on the bottom. Along the top are words people normally do not associate with America. Communism, national communism, and totalitarianism are placed across the top left. All these words typify the former Soviet Union. Nationalism, fascism, and fundamentalism are on the top Right. Americans associate these words with Nazis. These groups are authoritarian, so they are at the top.

The 2016 primary and upcoming convention has brought out the absence of choice in previous elections. Nearly all Republican and Democrat political candidates, for many decades, have been in that upper right-hand quadrant. The vast majority of Republican candidates appear in the upper right corner. Any candidate to get the Republican nomination for decades has been extreme upper right. Democrats of the past could be left of center, and below the center, as well. Now, Democrats spread out below, but not far left, of the Republicans. Few cross the lines into any other quadrant. President Clinton was one of those few, barely over the line to the left.

Trump and Cruz are shown in the far upper right, at the intersection of fascism, fundamentalism, and traditionalism, according to Political Compass. Oddly, this is the territory of both G.W. Bush and Jeb Bush, who also overlap the Trump and Cruz dot on the map. Rubio is only slightly lower. Hitler was, according to charts, equally authoritarian, but a little more liberal than these. Yet, this far upper right placement is apparently what it takes to get the Republican nomination. Are Trump and Cruz trying to appear more dogmatic than they are for the sake of getting the nomination?

Bernie Sanders Holds Campaign Rally
Hillary Clinton is also in the upper right quadrant, significantly lower, but only one tenth of the quadrant to the left of the republicans. Obama is very near Hillary Clinton, and only slightly to the left of her. Hillary Clinton’s husband, Bill Clinton, is distant from her, at least on the chart.

Bernie Sanders is just a bit over the line toward the liberal side and some experts place him below the center and away from authoritarianism more, but overall, Bernie is near the center and so is Bill Clinton. Much has been made of Bernie Sanders’ far left politics, but he’s really not that far left. He is more central than any other candidate. It is just that other politicians of both parties are crowding the far right corner.

In the 2016 primaries, looking toward the convention, most people do not see Trump as similar to Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, or any of the other candidates who fill the Republican sweet spot. He says things that resemble their rhetoric from time to time, but most supporters think he means something else. The Republican Party thinks so too. They do not trust Trump, an outsider, and harsh establishment critic, to fulfill their wishes. Not surprisingly, they are reluctant to accept Ted Cruz, either.

Readers can find out where they belong on the Political Compass by taking a test here.

The 2016 Primaries And Conventions

The 2016 primary news coverage is all about getting delegates for the convention. While every primary is about gaining delegates, it isn’t usually reported this way. There is quite a bit of misinformation out there.

Convention Rules

Both Democrat and Republican Convention rules are changed at the start of each convention. The rules committee is free to use rules from the previous convention, or draft new ones. Then the convention votes on the rules before the voting for candidates can begin. Rules can be written that favor one candidate over another, or they can be fair to all candidates.

2016 Primary Assigned Delegate

Delegates are generally assigned an obligated to vote for the candidate who won them in the primaries on the first vote. There are exceptions because some states send a few undecided delegates. Should the convention require a second vote to get the majority, then most delegates will be free to vote for another candidate, while others will only be free for the third vote. It all depends on the rules of each state.

2016 Primary Independent Superdelegates

Hillary Clinton’s Superdelegates are a real pet peeve with those who are familiar with politics. Superdelegates do not count until the convention. They can change their minds, as Ms. Clinton well knows. Her superdelegates abandoned her in 2008, at the last minute, to vote for Obama. No one can guarantee the vote of any superdelegate.

2016 Primaries Could Lead To A White Knight Candidate At The Republican Convention

Donald Trump’s greatest fear is a Republican white knight candidate. A white knight is a candidate who is chosen to represent the party, regardless of the primary. It is possible to nominate a candidate who didn’t even run in the primary, or who got very few votes. Theoretically, the Republican party could nominate someone like Jeb Bush, who only got 5 percent of the vote in the few states he ran in, or they could choose John Kasich, who is currently trailing a distant third in the race. They could even choose Mitt Romney, who always imagined himself as fulfilling that white horse prophecy. Since the rules have not been written yet, there is no way to know what they could do.

White Horse Prophecy

Mitt Romney is a Latter Day Saint or Mormon. His religion’s greatest prophet and teacher, Joseph Smith, had a prophecy back in 1843 that some Mormons believe referred to Mitt Romney. Though Romney downplays it publicly, some allege that he believes he is the white horse. He was greatly disappointed in the 2012 election. Could white horse really mean white knight? Both certainly infer the same idea. Joseph Smith prophesied that a Mormon would save America during a dark time, as reported by Patheos.

“You will see the Constitution of the United States almost destroyed. It will hang like a thread as fine as a silk fiber…. I love the Constitution; it was made by the inspiration of God, and it will be preserved and saved by the efforts of the White Horse.”

The 2016 Primaries Vs. Republican Nomination And The Right Fit

Neither Donald Trump nor Ted Cruz is a match for the desires of the Republican Party for a mainstream candidate. Perhaps Republican leaders are out of touch with what the people really want. Republican leaders want someone like Jeb Bush, but he got virtually no votes and never got above 5 percent in the polls. Why don’t they like Trump or Cruz? They are suspicious of that dot on the political compass map that shows both candidates in the spot they like for their nominees. They know Donald Trump seems to be a populist, and far further down the compass chart than he is graphed here. Ted Cruz appears to be more religious at times than political by far, and his Tea Party sympathies may lead him toward the Libertarians at the bottom of the chart.

The 2016 Primaries Brought A Mixed Message To Democrat Convention

Bernie Sanders has done tremendously well in the primaries. Considering the lack of publicity, the absence of party support, and his refusal to take corporate money, most would have said it was impossible that he is now leading in nationwide polls. Yet, he has won or tied in so many of the primaries. He is closing in on Hillary’s lead, and the race is so close. Sanders supporters say they will not vote for Hillary. If they keep their word, Hillary can count on losing 25 to 50 percent of the Democratic votes in the general election.

Both Republican and Democrat party leaders seem bent to stay away from the rebels who are taking a vast number, if not a majority, of votes. The people are demanding change, but the parties are determined to maintain current policies that allegedly favor the wealthy over the masses.

The 2016 Primaries reflected the desires of the people, but both parties are less than enthusiastic about the results.

[Photo by Joe Raedle/Pool/Getty Images]