Delegates, alternates and other Republican officials listen and react to a speech by Rep. Dan Newhouse during the opening session of the Washington State Republican convention in the arena of the TRAC facility in Pasco, Wash., Friday, May 20, 2016.

Bob Brawdy | AP Photo

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There is a reason the Constitutional Convention was not viewed as an elitist coup back in 1787. The smart, privileged white guys who ordained the Miracle in Philadelphia knew that its blessings would be stillborn unless they handed the final say on the matter to someone other than themselves.

That would be “We, the people.”

State conventions were held to grant life to America’s new government. Nothing was forced upon them. They looked at their options and freely signed off on what is now a more than 225-year-old document promising to establish “a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

And then they got busy insisting that very same sacred compact, our Constitution, be amended before the ink was even dry in order to further secure our individual liberties through the Bill of Rights.

This is our heritage. This is who we truly are.

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Delegates to the Republican Nation Convention next month in Cleveland should follow in the footsteps of that tradition according to the new book “Unbound: The Conscience of a Republican Delegate.” Co-authored by Curly Haugland, a 17-year veteran member of the RNC, who also currently sits on the powerful rules committee for the convention, the book uses the RNC’s own actual rules to make its case all GOP delegates are not bound to vote for Donald Trump (or anyone else as the nominee) who violates their conscience.

Haugland’s book says these RNC rules are in place to “preserve and protect” each delegate’s right to “a full and unfettered right to vote as he wished on matters ranging from approval of rules, credential challenges, whether to uphold or overturn rulings of the chair, and perhaps most importantly, on the nomination of the Republican Party’s candidate for president and vice president of the United States.”

If Haugland is right, and he is on the rules committee after all, then not a single GOP delegate is bound to vote for Trump as the Republican nominee. Especially given that Trump’s politics and character make him a far better standard bearer for the Democrats.

And lest anyone think this sounds like Obama picking and choosing which laws he’ll uphold, these RNC rules are in place to protect the system from just such a leader. See, this is how a republican form of government works. The popular vote puts a check-and-balance on the political class, but elected representatives (in this case delegates) put a check-and-balance on the unbridled passions of a wayward electorate. It’s why the Founding Fathers gave us mechanisms such as juries and the Electoral College in the first place.

This is now your role in preserving our constitutional republic if you are a GOP delegate.

This is why our representatives take an oath “so help me God” and not “so help me will of the people.” The people are sometimes every bit as wrong as are the politicians, whom they elected by the way. And then sometimes the people have been conned, or learn information they didn’t previously know.

For example, suppose a swindler got elected president in November. Imagine the fullness of his true sins didn’t come to light until a trial held shortly after the election, when we found out he was a wannabe Bernie Madoff. Of course, then you would absolutely want the Electoral College to step in weeks later and perform their constitutionally-obligated duty, that is not allowing such a feckless man access to the most powerful office in all the land for four years.

Well, that’s why we have a representative form of government, a republic, and not a democracy. Our Founding Fathers wisely didn’t completely trust human nature, whether it came from the public or private sector, so they pitted us against each other with checks-and-balances to give us a chance to limit our own destructive power.

This is now your role in preserving our constitutional republic if you are a GOP delegate.

We are war for the soul of our nation, and the principles behind the rejection of Trump have been “embedded within the rules of the party established at the first national nominating convention held in Philadelphia in 1856” according to Haugland.

Never fear, delegates. You have the green light. Now all you need is the same sense of duty and courage that drove our Founding Fathers to dedicate their lives, fortunes and sacred honors to a cause that would keep generations of Americans free from the various and relentless yokes of tyranny.

Oh, and that doesn’t mean “let’s compromise and move passive-aggressively on the floor to make Ted Cruz the running mate because, unity.” If you admire Cruz’s courage of conviction, and see him as a future standard bearer for our ideals, you will dare not paint him into such a corner.

For the last thing our movement needs is to taint Cruz with the stench of becoming a water carrier, but if he declines he’ll be painted as letting down people on the convention floor. Cruz has taken more flack on our behalf than pretty much any Republican in recent memory, so he deserves a much better fate than that no-win scenario. Instead, focus your ire where it belongs.

Hammer away at the tides of our secular destruction, and the liberal infiltration of your party. Don’t let the media that hates you pick your nominee (again). Insist this July that we will be led by a leader who respects the laws of nature and nature’s God, instead of a crude populist whose tantrums seduce us from both the left and the right.

The country deserves much better, as does the party of Lincoln and Reagan which you now steward. It’s either that, or we may sadly look back years from now as the moment you helped accelerate American Exceptionalism’s collective fade to black.

(Steve Deace is syndicated nationwide each weeknight on the Salem Radio Network, and is also the author of the book A Nefarious Plot.)

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