Portrait of a Patriot from the RNC
Nevada GOP Delegate Jordan Ross defended democracy in the mold of Washington
As the Republican National Convention comes to a close with a successful, unified rally behind the nominee chosen by the voters, it is important to remember the patriots who helped honor the people’s choice.
It is said of George Washington that he “practiced a minimalist art in politics, learning how to exert maximum leverage with the least force.” Washington, probably our most beloved Founding Father, was a leader who believed in a world where ideas and action overcame the slough of empty rhetoric and overwrought promises so common in our politics today.
Nevada delegate and Constable Jordan Ross is cut in this Washingtonian mold. Striding through the convention hall, Mr. Ross is an imposing figure. He has two children and became constable of Laughlin, Nevada, in 2010. The role of constable is to serve civil legal actions such as subpoenas, complaints, and wage garnishments. At his swearing in as constable for his second term in 2015, his father Reverend Robert Ross gave the invocation.
“I have no intention of returning to those people who I rely on to keep me in office, by telling them I had some part in shredding their votes … Let’s give the people what they expect, that their votes count.”
At the RNC in Cleveland, Mr. Ross wears a cleanly pressed constable uniform and his deep resonant voice has a Washingtonian air that could easily be mistaken for the narrator of an NFL films documentary. (After Washington’s inaugural address, Fisher Ames commented on the great first president, “His aspect grave, almost to sadness; his modesty, actually shaking; his voice deep, a little tremulous, and so low as to call for close attention.”)
Speaking with reporters late last week, the voice of Mr. Ross carried far across the Rules Committee room, calling for close attention: “I cannot go back to my constituency and tell them that their votes did not matter in the primary. I must act according to their will.” Doing battle with the “consultant industrial complex” that has so bedraggled Washington and silenced the common sense of the grassroots has always been a part of Mr. Ross’s philosophy.
In several ways Mr. Ross proved up to the task of defending the people he was elected to serve. It was his leadership that helped fend off attacks to fundamentally change the Republican Party by unbinding delegates at the convention. Particularly during the Rules Committee meetings, Mr. Ross went on the offensive in the name of preserving order within the Republican Party by proposing an amendment to Rule 37. His amendment read, “Nothing in the rule shall prohibit the binding of delegates pursuant to Rule 16(a)(2).”
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In defense of the amendment, Mr. Ross calmly rose and stated, “The voters in my constituency, and the caucuses in our constituency, voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Donald Trump. I have no intention of returning to those people who I rely on to keep me in office, by telling them I had some part in shredding their votes … Let’s give the people what they expect, that their votes count.”
A hush grew over the press corps when Mr. Ross offered his amendment to Rule 37. Ben Ginsburg, a former Romney attorney who was largely the architect of the rules proceedings that took place in 2012, appeared puzzled. The surprise amendment had caught even the most senior of rules strategists off-guard and did the same to Mr. Ross’s opponents.
The amendment was voted up 87-12, dealing a crushing blow to the other side. Further in the proceedings, Mr. Ross deftly called out some amendments for their lack of clarity and the possibility that they may become “Easter eggs,” and lead to unexpected consequences.
George Washington had many victories, from Dorchester Heights to his re-election in 1792. Like Washington, when the chips were down, Mr. Ross exerted maximum leverage with the “least force,” surprising his political foes. He also exhibited the Washingtonian virtues of self-control and modesty amid a chaotic scene in Cleveland.
As Thomas Paine wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” Much thanks is owed to Constable Jordan Ross for his patriotism.