| Home | Ask Dr Matt | Call Dr Matt | Quotes | The Book | Answers | More Myth Busting |


Social Psychologist & Personal Advisor

Dr Matt's Myth Busting!

Talk to Dr Matt!
 Complimentary Consultation
When you buy
 Changing Your Stripes 

Come visit Dr Matt at Facebook!

Slanting the Truth about Bound Delegates:
GOP/RNC Rule 38 Interpreted Out of Context
..by Matt Moody, Ph.D. 

Have you heard that delegates to the Republican National Convention are not bound to vote in a way that reflects the will of the people according to "Binding Primaries"? Due to GOP/RNC Rule 38 some people argue that there is no such thing as a bound delegate — that's a MYTH that Dr Matt is Busting today!

Mischievous myth-makers are interpreting Rule 38 this way:
"No delegate or alternate delegate shall be bound"

Sure enough, that's what Rule 38 says . . . OUT OF CONTEXT.

Some dishonest Propaganda Peddlers are taking a smaller phrase (from a larger sentence) to mean that "delegates" are NOT "bound" generally. Really?

Millions of Republican voters went to the Primary Polls in Texas, Florida, Michigan, etc., and Rule 38 supposedly says that the will of the people has no binding effect upon the way delegates vote at the National Convention?

In the Rules of the Republican Party, here's the complete sentence that IS Rule 38:

       “No delegate or alternate delegate shall be bound
         by any attempt of any state or Congressional district to impose the unit rule.”

What is the "unit rule"? It's a rule that all delegates must vote as a unit — which means all delegates must vote for one candidate.

Reading the Rule in context, we easily see that Rule 38 is only applicable in a specific condition: When a "state or Congressional district" attempts to " impose the unit rule" — thus delegates are not "bound" in this specific condition. In all other Delegate-Voting scenarios, GOP Rule 15a applies as follows:

"Delegates at large and their alternate delegates and delegates from Congressional districts and their alternate delegates to the national convention shall be elected, selected, allocated, or bound in the following manner:
        (1)  In accordance with any applicable Republican Party rules of a state, insofar as the same
                  are not inconsistent with these rules; or
        (2)  To the extent not provided for in the applicable Republican Party rules of a state, in accordance with
                  any applicable laws of a state
, insofar as the same are not inconsistent with these rules"

This means that each State sets the rules by which delegates are "bound" to vote for a particular candidate, provided those rules are "not inconsistent with these rules" — specifically Rule 38 for example.

So that the "unit rule" is not imposed, many States designate a few "unbound" delegates to the National Convention — this is done specifically to avoid a Rule-38 scenario. In other words, when a few delegates are "unbound," then a "state or Congressional district" is not imposing the "unit rule."

In 2008 the State of Utah attempted to impose the "unit rule" and one particular delegate decided NOT to vote with the "unit" at the National Convention. In the winner-take-all State of Utah, primary voters preferred Mitt Romney by a massive majority of 89.5% — so all 38 Delegates were "bound" to Romney. But after the Utah primary, Mitt Romney dropped out of the race, and he formally requested that delegates "bound" to him be released to the front-runner John McCain.

At the Utah State Republican Convention by a 2/3rd majority vote, a Rule was passed that called for delegates "bound" to Mitt Romney, to be released to John McCain. But at the National Convention, one lone delegate from Utah refused to vote for John McCain, and instead voted according to the results of the Utah primary — thus the delegate voted for Mitt Romney.

It appears that Rule 38 would apply whenever a State is calling upon delegates to vote as a "unit." Given the lone dissenting delegate from Utah, the RNC consulted a lawyer for a ruling — here it is:

“[The] RNC does not recognize a state’s binding of national delegates, but considers each delegate a free agent who can vote for whoever they choose.” And, “The national convention allows delegates to vote for the individual of their choice, regardless of whether the person’s name is officially placed into nomination or not.”

Remember, this is a legal opinion from the RNC viewpoint and in specific regard to Rule 38. Therefore, while the RNC may view individual delegates as "free agents" under a Rule 38 scenario, still each State is free to make rules by which their delegates will be "bound" via GOP Rule 15a — as long as State rules do not conflict with RNC Rules.

Again, many States intentionally designate a few "unbound" delegates so that a "state or Congressional district" will not be attempting to " impose the unit rule."

I have an old-fashioned attitude about PROPAGANDA: It's always dishonest, regardless of whether its message approves or opposes a political cause.

Obviously, the people who are most politically motivated to take Rule 38 out of context, are Ron Paul supporters — and I've personally conversed with Ron Paul Supporters who have done just that — taken Rule 38 out of context.

To be fair, not all Ron Paul supporters try to twist Rule 38 to their political advantage — here's an article at the DailyPaul that concludes as I do about Rule 38. Still, there are anonymous propaganda peddlers who support Ron Paul, who are spreading the Rule 38 MYTH via the Internet.

Matt Moody, Ph.D.
Social Psychologist

Article Updated: August 15, 2012





P.S. In the final analysis, the proof is in the pudding — the fruit is on the tree. Political Bias is as easy to discern as observing that Apples grow on Apple Trees, and that Apples don't grow on Thorn Bushes. But why do some people defy such a simple observation?

A great many people think they are thinking
when they are really just rearranging their prejudices.

- William James  

Detecting potential propaganda is really quite easy. Just remember Dr Matt's First Rule of Evidence:

Saying it . . . doesn't make it so!

To simply assert a claim without any evidence to back it, is to speak "vain babblings." True believers in Jesus live by this New Testament teaching:

But shun profane and vain babblings:
for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

(2 Tim. 2:16) 

The word "vain" derives from the Latin word "vanus" — meaning "empty." Empty Words are written and spoken every time we pass on ideas that have no credible evidence of being factual. True Followers of Christ will live by this Standard:

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
(1 Thess. 5:21) 

Have a Question for Dr Matt?
Just Send Dr Matt an Email: 

* * * * * * *

The Journey
For this is the Journey that men make:.
To find themselves. If they fail in this, it matters little
whatever else they may achieve: Money, Fame, Revenge.
When they end the Journey, they can put them all into
a bin marked “ashes.” They mean nothing.
But if one has found that he has within him
a divine soul, if he has discovered the principles
upon which the fulfillment of that soul is based
, and
if he implements those principles, then he has a mansion
within which he can live with dignity
and joy each day of his life.

(Changing Your Stripes, 2nd Edition, page 1).

Dr. Matt offers telephone counseling that will teach you
the principles upon which the fulfillment of your soul is based.

The Greatest Prize
for Life's labors isn't
in material possessions
or impressive accomplishments,
but in the progress of personal character.
You labor for your own becoming, this is your richest reward.
Who You Become is your greatest possession,
make it your Masterpiece!

(Changing Your Stripes, 2nd Edition, page 274)

The book, "Changing Your Stripes" presents principles for getting out of
the ditch in which you've been dumped (the difficulties of which you are a victim), and
the ditch in which you've jumped (the difficulties for which you volunteer).

"Mastering a challenging situation
is ultimately a matter of
mastering yourself!"

- Matt Moody 

"Changing Your Stripes," teaches you the principles that lead to lasting change,
making you a new kind of creature capable of communicating
with calm, even as storms of contention swirl.

If these principles resonate and ring true,
then . . . this book is for you!

Sold Exclusively

through this website

Changing Your Stripes is a
unique reference book that will help
you understand, . . .
and solve all of
Life's ever-appearing problems.
Here are more reasons to buy

Changing Your Stripes

Social Psychologist & Personal Advisor

| Ask Dr Matt | Call Dr Matt | Meet Dr Matt | Quotable Quotes | The Book | Archive |