Where is James K. Polk when you need him?

CNBC: We choose the nominee, not the voters: Senior GOP official. Get out your popcorn; the GOP convention is shaping up to be a real doozy. And with Trump himself saying about the likelihood of a brokered convention, “I think there’d be riots,” it’s clear that the possibility of an out of the ordinary nominee selection process is not far from his mind.

Has there ever been an election this, with disagreement over so many issues in play? Well, I’d argue for 1844. With the Democrats split between the Van Buren wing of the party who opposed the annexation of Texas as a slave state, and the Andrew Jackson wing who strongly supported it, the deadlock between Van Buren and Henry Clay (both opposed to annexation) left the path open for a “dark horse” candidate to be nominated. That candidate was James K. Polk, who strongly supported the annexation of Texas specifically and the “manifest destiny” expansion of the United States generally.

So what’s the analogy? I’d argue the open racism and ignorant nativism of Trump and Cruz has left the door open for a more moderate Republican dark horse. But maybe that’s wishful thinking and Trump will show up at the convention with all 1,237 delegates he needs to take the nomination outright.

To offset that grim future, here’s a little They Might Be Giants to refresh you on the history lesson above!