Able to leap democracy in a single bound
For those who wonder why I cry for electoral reform, this is why. While switching around the tube, I came upon a graphic on Meet the Press illustrating Obama pulling ahead of Clinton in the primaries. This made me happy. Even though Obama was not my first choice, I think he’s the better of the two remaining candidates. Just then, host Tim Russert asked NY Senator Chuck Schumer what I thought was a simple (and somewhat stupid) question.
The question was, if Obama wins the majority of the states, delegates and popular vote, should he be the Democratic presidential candidate? To me the answer was obvious because … after all … in a democracy, majority rules. But what Schumer said sent shivers down my spine. He suggested that it all depended upon how close of a race it was. WHAT?! I’m sorry. Did I miss something? Why should it matter if someones wins by 1% or 99% or any amount in between?
Enter the ‘Super Delegates’. Able to leap democracy in a single bound. As if our electoral system wasn’t convoluted and confusing enough, here we have these folks in the party who can legally force in whichever candidate they feel is right. They can even overturn the public choice, as long as the spread was not too wide. Between this bastardization of the process and the Electoral College, how is it America continues to preach the concept of democracy around the globe?
Here’s how warped the whole Super Delegate mess is. After the disastrous 1968 Democratic Convention, the party implemented rules to diminish control by party leaders in the hopes that the delegates would be more responsive to public votes. This was a good thing. But, in 1980, using the excuse that too much power was taken from the party leaders, they instituted the super delegate rule in order to place it back in the hands of the politicians. And nothing was done to stop it. In fact, most citizens never even heard of the Super Delegates until this year.
Come on people. It’s great that we are all finally paying attention to the election this time around. It’s even greater that folks are turning out in record numbers to vote. Now we need to be sure those votes count. I don’t care who you support, the fact that our so-called government made for the people, by the people can simply overturn the will of the people is a fucking joke. Don’t let it happen.