Ted Cruz and John Kasich would like to throw your vote in the garbage.
Wait. Let's back up. First, they'd like you to vote the way they tell you to vote: In Oregon and New Mexico, they want you to vote for Kasich; in Indiana, they want you to vote for Cruz.
If you were hoping to vote for the candidate you like, the candidate you think is most qualified to be president, well, ask not what Cruz can do for you, ask what you can do for Cruz.
In a desperate, 11th-hour attempt to deny Republican front-runner Donald Trump the nomination, Cruz and Kasich have joined forces -- sort of -- by not opposing each other in the above-mentioned states, where stacking votes for one candidate or the other increases the odds of denying Trump those states and their delegates.
But that's only one half of the plan.
As of April 27, Cruz has 562 delegates of the 1,237 delegates needed to win the Republican primary. Kasich has 153 delegates, which is less than former candidate Marco Rubio had more than a month ago when he bowed out of the race.
Neither of them has enough delegates to win the nomination, even if they win every delegate up for grabs from now until the Republican convention in July.
That's where the garbage can and your vote come in. As the Washington Post explains:
When the presidential nomination vote is held at the convention, 95 percent of the delegates will be bound to the results in their states for the first vote, giving Trump his best shot at securing a majority.
But if Trump falls short, the convention will cast a second ballot in which more than 1,800 delegates from 31 states — nearly 60 percent of the total — will be unbound and allowed to vote however they want. By the third round, 80 percent of the delegates would be free, sparking a potential free-for-all that could continue for several more rounds.
The people behind the anti-Trump coalition want to get to a second or third ballot at the convention, where they can throw millions of votes out, invalidate the entire primary process, and reassign the delegates to either Cruz or Kasich.
In other words, they're effectively telling the electorate: "Look, guys, we told you to come out and vote on primary days, and we're really happy that you sacrificed your lunch breaks or stopped by polling sites after long work shifts to vote, but you picked the wrong candidate. Now excuse us while we cut you out of the process and pick a candidate we like without your input."
This isn't really about views or principles, as Republican power brokers would have people believe. For all his bluster, Trump's views are far less extreme than Cruz's theocracy-inflected conservatism, and behind his warm smile and aw-shucks exterior, Kasich is a Cruz-style hardliner on social issues too.
It's about the voters wresting control of the Republican party from the wealthy elites and selecting a populist candidate who isn't owned by special interests and isn't feeding them the same line of garbage about how their interests align with the interests of the super-wealthy.
After more than 35 years of being fed the same trickle-down nonsense, voters have realized traditional Republican policies are great at helping the rich get richer, but utterly fail at helping middle-class and working-class Americans. The GOP's wealthy ask a whole lot of Americans: Vote for our candidates, support tax breaks for our multinational corporations while you take on more of the tax burden, send your kids to war while ours are sailing on yachts, and take these pink slips so we can report fourth-quarter growth. In 35 years, the only thing the right's super-rich have given back are empty promises and more rhetoric.
Not only have Republican elites taken regular Americans for granted all these years, now they're trying to tell them who to vote for, and threatening to throw their millions of votes in the trash if they don't support the "right" candidate.
That's a disastrous move in an election year when voters are finally waking up, and it will backfire. Trump's loudest opponents have been fear mongering for months now, saying that if the real estate mogul wins the Republican nomination, the party could fracture in half. But if the anti-Trump coalition outright steals the nomination from The Donald, and does it by throwing out millions of votes, when the dust settles there won't be a Republican party.