Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Our elections are crashing by design

Who could explain why two of some of the most unpopular candidates in history are on track to win the presidential nomination in their respective parties? Sure, you could say that both Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump are winning their respective party primary elections for the nominations, and they are doing so, handily. But that is with the people most loyal to their party, paying no mind to independent voters who outnumber either party.

The Economist has an article, "Unloved, Unstoppable", suggesting that despite a lack of any love for Clinton, she might be the inevitable president of the United States. Despite every effort to make sure she doesn't win the nomination, she is managing it, just not as well as some had hoped. Two of the primary elections she won are under investigation. She's had to adopt much of Bernie Sanders' platform to "unite" the party. Fortunately for her, the mainstream media has been there, every step of the way to clean up the narrative and make her more, well, palatable.

Perhaps she will unite the party. But to do that, she will have to let 43% of the nation go. They're the independent voters. She will also risk seeing more than 1/3 of Sanders supporters walk and vote for someone like Jill Stein, the presidential candidate for the Green Party. Some are even considering Trump since, as surreal as this may seem, Trump and Sanders actually agree on a few very significant issues.

The system we have now seems designed to ensure that most of us are supremely unhappy with the outcome of our presidential election. Check out these unfavorability ratings of the candidates (from HuffingtonPost):

                              Favorable                 Unfavorable           Net        

Sanders                  47.6                          41.2                        +6.4

Clinton                   38.7                          55.6                        -16.9

Trump                    29.9                          63.6                        -33.7

Clinton and Trump both seem to be running their own version of the Southern Strategy. Clinton wants to shut out independent voters from the primaries, but seems to forget they will be needed come November. Trump is confident he'll get the white vote, and he knows they will be Republican. Guess who is getting most of the press? Trump and Clinton.

Sanders? He would like to bring in everybody and his favorability ratings reflect that. He doesn't want to exclude anyone from voting. But he's not getting the press he needs to win. That's being handled in social media because that's all he can get.

Our myriad systems of closed, semi-closed and open primaries have led us down this obstacle course. We have a highly restricted right of nomination that excludes independent voters. Hilary Clinton really doesn't get why there is so much bile and hatred for her. One look at the two primary contests that are under investigation in Arizona and New York will tell you: long lines, unreliable hours, locations and awful availability of information.

This primary season honestly looks like a shell game to keep voters guessing at how to get their vote in for Sanders. Arizona and New York both had the fix in for Clinton to keep her chugging along. Even Pennsylvania voters had a hard time finding a polling place. Connecticut closed 66% of their polling places compared to 2008.

There are some who might say that nothing in politics happens by accident. It is no accident that we got here. Decades of constant fiddling with state primary rules have made voting confusing at best, impossible at worst. If there were open primaries everywhere, Sanders would almost undoubtedly win the primaries up to this point. Yet, here we are, uninformed by mainstream media afraid of radical change, confused by complex and arcane rules for registration and voting, and beset by election officials who aren't really willing to take responsibility when things go wrong.

One thing is for certain though. Millenials are getting a huge taste of humble pie and they don't like it. In less than a generation, the old guard will be dead and their kids will see what has happened to their friends and they too, will get a taste of it. What is in that humble pie? Student debts, terrible job security in the sharing economy and a cabal of elected officials that take them for granted.

Millenials are starting to notice what they've been doing in Europe. They see kids in Europe going to college for free, escaping without a crushing burden of debt that makes it near impossible to buy a house and start a family. They see hardly anyone in Europe going bankrupt over health care costs. They see employees getting ample time off for vacation and maternity.

Here, they see real jobs going overseas and are finding it increasingly difficult to find a good job even with a college degree. They see how the majority of all new wealth created in this country is going to fewer and fewer hands. They know that evolution is going in reverse here. They know their lives will have a lower standard of living than their parents unless they make a change.

All is not lost if Bernie loses, and there is still a chance that he may win. There is still a chance that Hilary may find herself indicted for being such an idiot with her email server, hopefully, before she can give her acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination. She may find that the Democratic elite is having some cold feet when they see the mass exodus after the primaries. She may also find that many of Sanders' supporters will have moved on without her to get someone they trust in Congress.

Things may look bad, and it might have to get worse before it gets better. I'm glad to see that Bernie is in it to win it and that he's not backing down. He has stated over and over that he is committed to this race until the convention and I'm still with him.

If he doesn't win the nomination, there will be others to follow. The revolution has started and it's going to get organized. If not this presidential election, then at the next election, we will get a true progressive for president. Even the Washington Post knows this.
Post a Comment