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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Where We Are In The Election

I've known for a while that Conservatives are not big fans of Democracy. I've know that because they have told me up front that we have a Republic, not a Democracy. When I respond that the two can be synonyms, they then, and rightly so, point to the writers of The Constitution to show that they opposed Democracy because they regarded it as being destructive. Today's Conservatives tend to pejoratively call it "mob rule." I respond by saying that either we have what they call "mob rule" or we are governed by elites and thus we have "the mob rules." They don't always appreciate that point. 

But I have to give Conservatives points for their honesty and, perhaps here, their relative modesty during this election year. Why? Because, in this current election season, the Republicans are practicing democracy far more than their liberal counterparts.

Both of our major political parties are facing insurrections this election year. The Republican face of insurrection comes in the form of Donald Trump. While it appeared that Trump had no realistic chance of winning the nomination, no one cared. In fact, comedians celebrated his candidacy. But once the primaries started and Trump built what seems to be an insurmountable lead, the Republican Party establishment has been pulling out all the stops to prevent his nomination. That is they have pulled out all of the stops except to admit that they have failed their own constituents. And their pleas to Trump supporters to return to the fold have been fallen on deaf ears. 

The Democratic Party was also facing its own insurrection. However, there were two significant differences between the two insurrections. Whereas, the leader of the Republican insurrection appeared to have his party's nomination in hand, the Democratic Party's insurrection leader, Bernie Sanders, has been trailing the establishment pick in the delegate count almost from the beginning and that is even if we only counted the delegates bound by primaries. 

But the Democrats were not panicking like the Republicans. Why? They had two tricks up their sleeves that all but ensured a victory for the establishment's favorite daughter candidate. Their first trick was to implement the Southern Strategy. It isn't just that the estbalishment candidate, Hillary Clinton, was winning all of the southern states; it was that she was winning by such large margins that Sanders quickly found himself in a big hole.

But the Democrats had another trick up their sleeves. They had the election equivalent of Wall Street's Credit Default Swaps in that as those swaps allowed Wall Street manipulators to hedge their bets against faulty financial products filled with bad loans, the Democratic Party could protect itself from the desires of its everyday members. The Democrats called this protection 'superdelegates.' What superdelegates do is to do the bidding of the Party's elite. Thus, being a superdelegate means never having to vote for whom the people want.

How do you become a superdelegate? And, more importantly, do you get a cape and the ability to fly if you become such a delegate? The answer to the first question is a bit more obvious than the answer to the second. You become a superdelegate by being one of the elites in the Party. This year, the number of superdelegates make up almost 15% of the total number of delegates, but more importantly, they make up almost 30% of the total number of delegates needed to win the nomination. This is a large reason why the Democratic Party was not panicked by Sanders' success or his chances at catching up and winning. For so far, Hillary Clinton has secured 469 superdelegates to Bernie Sanders' 31. But more important than that around 209 of Clintons' secured superdelegates come from states where the Democratic Party has yet to hold a primary.

And here are a couple of other facts. Hillary Clinton has secured more total delegates than Bernie Sanders in two states in which Sanders received the popular vote (Wyoming and Michigan). In addition, there are around 16 states in which the difference between the percentages of votes received and the percentage of delegates secured is greater than 10% and in each case, that difference  favors Clinton. Yes, Clinton has earned more voter bound delegates than Sanders by 250. But when you add the superdelegates, Clinton's delegate lead becomes 688 with only with only 1,647 regular delegates left. Sanders would have to earn almost 80% of the remaining delegates to secure the nomination as opposed to having to win around 58% of the remaining delegates if there were no superdelegates. 

Certainly, Sanders' task would be quite difficult but possible if the Democratic Party employed Democracy to pick its nominee. But add the superdelegates and Sanders has no realistic chance of winning. 

So what will become of Sanders and what will his campaign mean? That depends on what Sanders does after Hillary has been annointed/nominated to be the Democratic Party's candidate for President.  If he supports Hillary, then many could legitimately suspect Sanders of merely being a sheepdog candidate. That means that Sanders was used to bring the stray voters back to the Democratic Party's fold. And what allows the Democratic Party to exhibit such muscle in selecting its own Presidential candidate with impunity? It is because American voters have blindly bound themselves to the two-party system and thus the only alternative to voting for Hillary is to vote for the winner of Trump vs Crus. 

All of this is just another reason why America is no longer considered to be a Democracy (click here). In addition, the Democratic Party's method of selecting a Presidential candidate makes the Republicans look like the champions of Democracy--which they are definitely not.

Links used in researching the delegate counts are

  1. http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/graphics/2016-delegate-tracker/
  2. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/democratic_delegate_count.html






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