Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Realizing He Might Lose, Trump (Naturally) Cries Foul

I'm on record that the primaries weren't "rigged," Sanders' supporters notwithstanding. But do they want to be regarded in the same breath as Trump, who's declaring the general election will be "rigged," too?

Trump was going to "win big" until he was going to be cheated.

As long as I brought the Sanders people into this, I might as well explain some thing I believe about the American electoral system. Our democracy is not perfect, but it's imperfections are not always immoral or unethical.

A good example are the selection systems for our political parties. Over the years, our political parties have moved from the so-called smoke-filled rooms to the bright light of direct democracy, but only to a certain extent. Each political party has an implicit obligation to remain viable, and which candidates they offer amount to a big part of that.

So what happens? We find that the party establishment "puts a thumb on the scale" to help the party apparatus end up choosing, in their eyes, the most viable candidate possible. After all, if a party, consumed by "democracy," nominates candidates that routinely fail, what good has that party accomplished?

Here's a notion that some may find almost unAmerican, though I don't: A political party is under no obligation to be democratic. Only our actual governmental election systems are required to be untainted democratic processes.

A political party wants to pick winners. How they do that is their own business. Once thrust into the general elections, candidates sink or swim in the free flow of actual democracy. Get that?

This election cycle gave us two examples of that pre-election process. The Democratic Party nominated Hillary Clinton. She won by more than three million votes and would have been nominated with or without so-called super delegates. So most of Sanders' supporters have no leg to stand on. Where there is room to criticize, it's the "thumb on the scale" that may have occurred within the DNC. That that happened or had a clear effect is, well, very unclear.

The other example is the nomination of Donald Trump. He clearly won through a democratic process. Was that a revolution? Why or why not?

But are you surprised that the Democratic Party worked to elect what it thought was the most qualified and electable candidate and didn't work to elect a man who was not in the Democratic Party his whole political life until he found it necessary to join it for political viability? Give me a fucking break.

I'll grant Sanders' supporters one thing: We need a political revolution to really change the core policies of our governmental systems, and we won't get that from Hillary Clinton. We'll only get part of the way.

But to scream THE SYSTEM IS RIGGED because Bernie didn't win is deeply embarrassing for me, who favors that very revolution, to watch. Get a grip and stay in our political process. You don't win this time. Let's hope you do next time.

But for now, let's let Donald Trump be the freaking fool who yells THE SYSTEM IS RIGGED AGAINST ME! That's his style. Don't let it be ours.

Final note: The general election system is not rigged, primarily because the courts have saved us from a good deal -- but not all -- of the GOP shenanigans with their voter-ID laws. That would have been a travesty. Let's worry about those affronts, not the thumb-on-the-scale that is the right of a political party that is not prescribed in the Constitution. It's a social construct created to participate in our democracy.

Final, final note: If you don't like your political party you can always move to another one. Two points on that:
  • Being independent is a false construct. Most independents lean toward one of the major parties and vote their "lean" regularly. They just like being "independent."
  • The third, fourth, or whatever parties never, ever get going. They float around in perpetual ineffectiveness. If you want change, drive one of the major parties either considerably to the left or right. The GOP did this and got Trump (shudder), and the Democratic Party did this and almost got Sanders. Good! maybe we'll get him or someone like him next time. Here's to next time! Meanwhile, vote for Hillary Clinton. She represents your interests best, for now.

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