Friday, April 15, 2016

Donald Trump is learning that the presidential nominating system is not really all that democratic

By SJ Otto
This may be a good time to focus on the US political system and the extremely phony elections we have all gotten used to here. That is especially important since Donald Trump is learning the hard way that wining the presidency is not really about the popular support of the people.
Trump tweeted:

The people of Colorado had their vote taken away from them by the phony politicians. Biggest story in politics. This will not be allowed!"

This year Donald Trump has discovered that the system of gaining delegates and the convention system can easily usurp the need to be elected by the majority of the voters. He has realized that he can win primary after primary but it his winning of the nomination that is actually in the hands of the delegates and party flunkies. Many pundits are telling Trump that he should have checked the rules out before he started his presidential campaign. For example, from WWLP:

"(Donald Trump (R) Presidential Candidate) “And because of all his shenanigans that goes on and this is…”
(Anderson Cooper, CNN) “But you call them shenanigans. Those are the rules.”
(Donald Trump (R) Presidential Candidate) “I do. I do.”
(Anderson Cooper, CNN) “Didn’t you know those rules?”
(Donald Trump (R) Presidential Candidate) “You know why the rules — I know the rules very well, but I know that it’s stacked against me by the establishment. I fully understand it.”

Most of the pundits are not willing to state the obvious: "The delegate system and the conventions are actually undemocratic."
The Democratic Party has also adopted undemocratic rules. They have superdelegates, people who are not elected by anyone, but they can help defeat a candidate who has won elections, but is considered unelectable by the party leadership.
 According to the Wikipedia version of the history of the Democratic Party superdelegates:

"After the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the Democratic Party made changes in its delegate selection process, based on the work of the McGovern-Fraser Commission. The purpose of the changes was to make the composition of the convention less subject to control by party leaders and more responsive to the votes cast during the campaign for the nomination. Some Democrats believed that these changes had unduly diminished the role of party leaders and elected officials, weakening the Democratic tickets of George McGovern and Jimmy Carter. The party appointed a commission chaired by Jim Hunt, the then-Governor of North Carolina, to address this issue. In 1982, the Hunt Commission recommended and the Democratic National Committee adopted a rule that set aside some delegate slots for Democratic members of Congress and for state party chairs and vice chairs. Under the original Hunt plan, superdelegates were 30% of all delegates, but when it was finally implemented for the 1984 election, they were 14%. The number has steadily increased, and today they are approximately 20%."

 It is not hard to see that this process could effectively prevent a popular candidate from being chosen for the presidential race based on rejection by party leaders who don't like what he/she stand for, or they just don't like them for any reason. In other words there may be situations where the "common voter just isn't smart enough" to elect the right person and neither party really wants to chance that.
After all, if the primaries and caucuses are not designed to let the public vote on who they want as president, they  are being left out of a major part of the democratic process. In the early part of the primary and caucus system, there are several candidates to choose from. By the general election there is only two choices.
This country is supposed to be democracy at its best. But at its best it is not really democracy at all. It should be called an oligarchy. That is a system from Ancient Greece where a democracy was set up that favored older people and people with wealth. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has said recently that this country is an oligarchy. In response to the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision:

"It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it's just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. Senators and congress members. So, now we've just seen a subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect, and sometimes get, favors for themselves after the election is over. ... At the present time the incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody that is already in Congress has a great deal more to sell."

Of course it has been a messed up system for a long time. For most of its existence US democracy has been about rich people using bribes to get what they want. The irony here is that Trump is just like one of the modern day "robber Baron."  He is wealthy. But this year he decided to take out the middle man and run himself rather than sit in the background and pump money into someone else's campaign as we see by such modern robber barons as the Koch Brothers, Charles and David. The  Koch brothers have a budget of $889 Million to spend on this year's 2016 campaign.

The name "robber barons" was a name given to industrial barons of the late 1800s and early 1900s.   Both political parties had a cosy relationship with them and not much has really changed since then. 

Continued- More on this later.-->

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