Let me say up front that this column is not an embodiment of Godwin’s law, since I won’t say a thing here about Trump’s policy positions. I’m writing only because something Thomas Sowell wrote reminded me of an interesting historical fact that few people know about the elections that led to Nazi Germany.
Sowell’s most recent column attacks what he calls “the voice of the people fallacy,” under which Trump and his supporters assume that they speak for the majority of Republican voters:
We hear many fallacies in election years. The fallacy that seems to be most popular this year is that, if Donald Trump comes close to getting the 1,237 delegates required to become the Republican nominee, and that nomination goes instead to someone else, then the convention will have ignored “the voice of the people.”
Supposedly Republican voters would be outraged, many would stay home on election day, and some might even vote for the Democrats’ nominee, whether Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
Mr. Trump has more than once made the veiled threat that he would run as a third-party candidate if the Republicans failed to “respect” him. And of course Trump would himself decide what “respect” means.
Insofar as the voting public believes the fallacy that choosing someone other than Trump is ignoring “the voice of the people,” when Trump has the most delegates, his threat carries weight.
It’s this belief — that Trump holds the majority of Republican voters in the palm of his hand — that is behind Drudge’s headlines about Cruz stealing primaries and the threat of chaos at an unprecedented contested convention. Before I turn to the “voice of the people fallacy,” let me quickly address the “Cruz stealing delegates” and “unprecedented contested convention” fallacies.