Kansas Republicans cancel spring caucus; cast lot with Trump
As if there were any doubt, Kansas Republicans have pledged their fealty to President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election by shutting the door to any possible contenders.
On Saturday, members of the Kansas Republican Party voted to do away with a 2020 caucus next spring, negating the chances of any Republican challengers.
So far, Joe Walsh, former Representative of Illinois, Mark Sanford, former governor of South Carolina and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, have thrown in their hats to oppose Mr. Trump for the nomination.
With the current state of affairs, such a move seems foolhardy. Then again, it’s still 15 months before Election Day.
But because Kansas Republicans are so aligned with Mr. Trump, they see no need to hedge. Saturday’s decision commits all 37 of the party’s delegates to Mr. Trump.
The Republican National Committee is reportedly pressuring 40 states to eschew the primary process in order to ensure Mr. Trump faces no primary contenders. Nevada and South Carolina joined Kansas on Saturday by eliminating their Republican primaries.
Organizers say the president wants the Republican convention next August to be a four-day “infomercial” extolling his success in office.
IT’S NOT the first time states have canceled their presidential primaries for either Republican or Democratic nominees.
Most do so under the guise of saving money, but the real cost is to democracy.
Eliminating dissent has hints of dictatorship.
Beyond that, primaries and caucuses are useful occasions to update party registration lists. Though that, perhaps, is becoming less relevant with the higher number of independent voters.
Of Kansas’s 1.8 million voters, 44% are Republican; 29% are unaffiliated, 25% are Democrats, and less than 1% identify themselves as Libertarians.
Clearly, the power of the independent voter is to be reckoned with, as demonstrated by Democrat Laura Kelly’s upset victory over Republican Kris Kobach in 2018 for the governorship.
THAT we routinely elect our leaders is what sets us apart from the likes of Russia, North Korea and China — where all three leaders have manipulated lifetime appointments.
Whatever their stripe, political parties should not quell intra-party dissent. Rather, it should be viewed as an opportunity for better understanding and growth.
— Susan Lynn