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Conventions Are Finished! Maybe Forever?

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U.S. Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump speaks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 21, 2016.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Political conventions waste vast sums of money that could be used more effectively to promote desperately needed reform. Donors provided at least $65 million for the GOP convention I recently attended in Cleveland, but four nights of repetitive, partisan speeches did little to inspire voters with hopeful conservative strategies for change.

Did they get a stronger grasp of real issues, or crucial battles for Senate and House that will shape the nation’s future? State level voter registration and local party building are starved for funds, while lobbyists squander millions on lavish events that decide nothing—nominees have already been chosen—providing scant benefit for party or country.

Instead, how about a plan to inspire the public with bold plans to reshape the whole sick system?—like making primary season shorter and more focused, with no conventions. To insure party unity, the leading primary vote-getter should automatically get the presidential nomination, while the runner-up automatically joins the ticket as Vice President.

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  1. Jim Bird  •  Jul 28, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Ref: Nevermore, reprise

    After not listening to Michael for 8 days now because of his hatred of Trump, I had to listen one more time today to see what Michael's comments on Obama's speech would be. It only took 3 minutes to praise Obama's diatribe of 100% lies and to denigrate Trump (something to the effect "…. his bashing of Trump is justifiable …." Your compulsion to prove some incomprehensible point about your professionalism (?), bashing the GOP's nominee, is far beyond my pay grade to analyze. I do know how your words will be used against us though, starting tomorrow, by the Clintonistas in their campaign ads. And as usual the only people who get hurt are the honest ones, the good ones, the innocent.

    • Nani  •  Jul 28, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      Jim, I am sorry but there is no more "us". The moment the GOP nominated Trump, they died.

      There is no more party to bash, no more candidates with any real power to try to control. Talk show with the exception of a few will die as their angry audience will find themselves more and more irrelevant. Fox is breathing its last breath.

      Eventually a new party WILL arise. It will be central right and will be led by those who loved America more than they hated Hillary. Michael Medved will survive because even when it wasn't easy, he always tried to remain civil and practical. People will remember that and those who refused to swallow "the hate Hillary is the only thing that counts" mantra. Many personalities will reinvent themselves and a new Fox and talk shows will emerge. The Right will survive because liberalism has an inherit flaw: it doesn't work.

      In the mean time, there is no where to call home; no media with clout to complain to. All that is left is to watch the final embers die.

      • Duane  •  Aug 1, 2016 at 11:50 am

        Anybody who "hates" a candidate is a feebleminded citizen that falls pray to either party's rhetoric. Give me a break, how many times can completely evil people be nominated anyway? The democratic party ALWAYS "hates" and demonizes the republican candidate. And then the republican group does the same, just not as well because they don't own the media.

        What we really need, take all those millions of dollars and fix the media. Change the journalism laws so that journalists are held accountable for the lies and slanders they spread. Then people can look at the real issues (something they don't want you to do) rather than "hating" on people.

  2. Henry  •  Jul 28, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Jim Bird, and how about this? Prior to Trump’s nomination, Michael Medved couldn’t stand third party attempts. He berated all caller hopes for a third party as utterly foolish. Well, new day! Now, Michael actually wants the Libertarian Party and others to join the debate stage with Donald and Hillary! No hypocrisy there!

    Michael, as regards your column: How about letting the party insiders (i.e., ‘smoke-filled room’) decide which candidates to put up for nominations (limit, perhaps four or so), instead of just allowing into the field whatever (no doubt filthy rich) man or woman who chooses to run? It would (a) end this nonsense of dragging 12 to 17 folks onto a stage at a time, and (b) return the nation to the spirit of having ‘worthy’ candidates at least pretend to be humble enough to be ‘honored’ by being ‘chosen’ to run.

    Finally, no, you can’t just have the second place finisher be the VP nominee. (Imagine Trump and Cruz!) The VP choice must remain subject to regional and other strategies.

    • John  •  Jul 29, 2016 at 1:34 pm

      I'm tired of the misuse of the word "hypocrisy". Michael isn't attacking third party candidates while at the same time preparing for his run for the presidency on the "Movie Critic Turned Talk Show Host" ticket. He is not a hypocrite. Circumstances have simply lead him to adjust his opinion of the "Losertarians."

    • S Johnson  •  Jul 29, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      The VP selection used to be the second place runner up and if all would understand the differance in natural born and naturalized we wouldn't have the problem with who is quaulfied to run.

      • Duane  •  Aug 1, 2016 at 12:00 pm

        The hypocrisy he was speaking about was Michael being against third party attempts, and now being for them being part of the debates. That is hypocritical, but he was also pointing out that there is a reason for this change.

        Everybody knows that Trump will make a fool of Hillary in the debates, so he wants somebody to run interference and also help split up the conservative group. With just Trump and Hillary up there, Trump will rally the conservatives and Hillary will undoubtedly cause a ruckus among the liberals as she has been talking out of both faces and will need to pick one or the other.

        This will be fair in the end, as the media will declare Hillary the winner and demonize trump, filling the heads of anybody who doesn't have the ability to think for themselves.

  3. Henry  •  Jul 28, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    Oops. I forgot. And (c) it would prevent party outsiders (such as Trump and Sanders) from pretending to be a party regular.

  4. Mark V  •  Jul 28, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Great column. How do we get the money to listen to logic.

    • Duane  •  Aug 1, 2016 at 12:02 pm

      In politics, money is free and logic doesn't exist.

  5. CK  •  Jul 29, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Seriously, you want non-GOP voters in CA and NY to decide the Republican nominees? The very states that won't vote for the nominee in the general election get to decide who our nominee is? NO! First fix the "winner take all" allocation of electoral college delegates, then maybe something along those lines. The primary process has to mirror the general election process or its ripe for manipulation.

    Besides, most votes is a very "Democratic" kind of idea, its just another form of might makes right. I want representatives, aka delegates, I want a level of sanity check against a mob mentality. I want candidates to have to address individual issues in different parts of the country not simply appeal to the masses in the urban areas on the coasts. That's one reason I am a Republican because they tend to (not so much lately) honor republican ideas of governance. That's just one more step towards the pure democracy garbage that the Left is pushing. You know better Michael.

    You do remember the Constitution originally had the Presidential/VP election method of 2nd most votes and how quickly it was found to be a huge mistake? I know you know your history better than that. Did someone hijack your post this week?

  6. Aaron  •  Jul 29, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    The primary process is outdated. When the first caucuses opened we had a plethora of candidates. At that point I didn't even take Trump seriously. Trump initially had a significant amount of support, but it was nowhere near a majority. He was the controversial candidate that was getting the most media attention for making provocative statements. It was a clever approach that got him a huge amount of free media attention.

    As the primary progressed the republican vote was divided between many reasonable candidates. The majority of the party didn't want Trump, but they didn't agree on who the wanted instead of Trump. I was a Carly supporter. She dropped out. I then tentatively moved into Rubio's camp. He withdrew. There were many candidates I would have preferred to Trump. This was the case with most of the Republicans I know. We didn't want Trump we just didn't agreed on who was better. By the time each state had wrapped up Trump was out in front, much to the dismay of the majority.

    If we had run a straight race between Trump and one other candidate, I think the result would have been a Trump loss. Michael's idea doesn't solve the problem. How about a new voting process. Each person can vote for as many candidates as they want. It's not a matter of who you like best, but a matter of who you will accept as the nominee. The two candidates with the most votes are then pitted against each other. The winner is the nominee, the loser is the VP.

    The problem with our voting system is the idea of one person, one vote.The below video explains another way. A way that probably results in Trump not being the nominee and more Republicans being comfortable with the results.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y3jE3B8HsE

    Regardless of the possible future changes we could make to the process. We are now stuck with Trump vs Hillary. I don't like either choice, but Trump is obviously the lesser of the two evils if you are of a conservative/republican persuasion.

  7. Henry  •  Jul 31, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    This dialog regarding nominations does raise other interesting questions. Not the least of which is how does a party determine its own membership? Frankly I cannot think of a reasonable answer to this question, especially in light of two things: (a) Many folks are crossing party lines in the primaries as both major parties had drifted towards the extreme. (b) With voter ID laws now losing court battle after court battle (and would certainly now lose in the Supreme Court), how does anyone even know who is eligible to vote? … I’d love to hear suggestions.

  8. R.S.  •  Aug 2, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Barry Goldwater with Nelson Rockefeller for V.P.? George McGovern with George Wallace for V.P.? That would have been the result following MM's "top-2" vote getters proposal. Listening almost every day, I can feel MM's desperation. If only Trumpolini could quit shooting from the hip & fake being "Presidential" enough to pull this election out MM could get on board…although the prospect of 4 years of the short-attention vulgarian with his 4th-grade sentence structures and a vocabulary of "great" and 20-odd other adjectives must give Michael some pause.

    The only thing Michael could gush about was the "positive" message of the Trump kids. It was fascinating to see how apparently functional the narcissist's kids are, something you couldn't get from a 30-second soundbite. Of course Dad is "great" when you have a job waiting for you in the family business and a tax-free inheritance waiting for you if Trumps tax proposals are implemented. Ask Chelsea Clinton, a friend of one of the Trump daughters; it's great being born on third base.

    And then there are some jobs Americans just won't do — like being Trump's wife (his last 2 wives have been immigrants). Don't laugh too hard — Melania came to the U.S. ON A HI-B VISA!! So somehow she must fill an ESSENTIAL need in our economy. All she is known for is being Trump's wife & nude photos where she is handcuffed to a bedpost or in a female two-some. Character issues anyone? She did speak English at the convention, so I guess she "exceeded expectations", which are now lower than ever.

  9. Annette Kay  •  Sep 20, 2016 at 2:57 am

    I've thought of Michael Medved as a phony from the time he ranted about everyone owning cell phones but wasn't above borrowing the cell phones of is friends. He was eventually shamed into buying a cell phone of his own. If you are going to rant about how awful Trump is, the choice of your party, when there is nothing to be done about it, and especially after being against third party losers spoiling elections – you are a waste of time. Once again, either fish or cut bait. I no longer listen and don't think I ever will again. If we could vote for Dole and McCain, Medved should be able to vote for Trump.

    I just want to say this. For the purists who are afraid Trump will destroy the party, no, you will destroy the party by allowing Hillary to destroy the country. Then you will be whistling in the wind, who will care. You will be the enemy and there will be no pieces to pick up in any case.

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