Hello dear reader(s)!
As I type this, I am learning of widespread voter suppression in New York. In fact, 126,000 people may have been identified as having been purged from roles or had their party affiliations changed without their consent. Because New York is a closed primary, it means that only those registered as being part of the major party can participate in the primary and vote for one of the candidates. This will of course give an advantage to the establishment candidate even without any tricks, but can be made up by an insurgent candidate capable of generating significant enthusiasm.
So let’s say you are an establishment politician. Perhaps you are a politician who regularly takes money from lobbyists. Perhaps you use Super PAC’s to help raise funds and maintain your hold on power in future elections. And a candidate who generates sufficient enthusiasm to run a strong race comes along and threatens to take that system away? What are you do to?
Well, the good news, is that your party likely has a stranglehold on running the elections. If it doesn’t, the establishment of the other party (who also has a vested interest in the status quo) does. So even though your media pressure, ground game, and corporate funding can’t seem to break the momentum of the insurgent candidate, all hope is not lost.
You can simply prevent anyone who you think is unlikely to vote for your candidate of choice from voting at all.
Well, Establishment Politician, you could start by looking at timing. New registration shortly before the deadline? Why haven’t they voted for your party all along? There must be someone different, bringing them into the process. Your candidate has been known for a long time. It is a safe bet that voter will go for someone else. Purge.
That voter happens to be young? Well, your candidate gets absolutely crushed with younger voters. Purge. Sure, doing this may eliminate one or two people from voting for your candidate, but it is a small price to pay when taking away thousands of votes for the outsider.
And of course, you can look at where that voter resides. Brooklyn? Did you see how many people were at the other candidate’s Brooklyn rallies? Hell, HE’S from Brooklyn. You sure as hell can’t let those people vote.
“President’s are selected, not elected.” – FDR
This is the sad fact of our Republic. With the lock on the process, media, and funds enjoyed by the two major parties, a third party candidacy will not be viable without major reforms. Reforms the establishment will not accept. It is why Bernie Sanders (an Independent who caucuses and votes with Democrats) felt he had to run as a Democrat. It is why Donald Trump is running as a Republican. Neither one will be the nominee. The Republican party will stop Trump at the convention on a later ballot thanks to the average voters of entire states not being given a say, and the Democrats will stop Sanders with closed primary voter purges, super delegates, and party controlled media.
When the establishment tells you that the rules are the rules, remember that we have already changed many of the rules surrounding voting. If we didn’t, we sure as hell wouldn’t have a black President, and a female candidate. They wouldn’t have even been able to vote. The rules are the rules is not an acceptable answer, and never has been.
When the candidate in the Democratic Party hides behind the rules being the rules, she cannot claim she is a progressive. Progressives make progress. They fight unjust rules. They do not use them to their favor. A desire to keep things the same fits another political philosophy. Conservatism.
Alas, it is all but academic at this point. The establishment will win. They will disenfranchise another generation of voters. Ensuring that anyone who wants to change the system in the future will be so disheartened that they simply no longer bother. 70% of the the nation will continue to stay home on election day. The nation will be in the hands of a few, and that is exactly what they want.
“If voting made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.” – Mark Twain
Unless we can somehow pry control of elections from the political parties. Unless we can somehow prevent the parties from being the only vehicle available to field a viable candidate. Unless we can show the parties we will still stay engaged and involved, even if we have to do it outside the voting booth.
Roughly 30% of the Republican party and roughly 50% of Democrats are going to be pretty pissed off at the establishment after this primary season is over. Despite the fact we are opposed on many, many issues in major and fundamental ways, we do have a few things in common that all stem from a desire to bring the power to the people. Even Donald Trump acknowledges our disgust over the corrupting sale of our government.
So I have a request for the supporters of Donald Trump. Let’s put our animosity aside. When both our candidates get screwed out of the respective nomination by the power brokers, let’s team up just to take those power brokers down. Massive protests (like your candidate’s surrogate advocated for in Cleveland), our massive protests (which you all claim are paid for unless it’s for your guy), voting for anybody who is not party affiliated, and other means of forcing those in power to vote for measures that would change elections to a single standard, would change rules to allow voters to have the say in who is a party’s candidate, and other legislation that could help take the duopoly of the system away.
And after we have an even playing field, we can get back to hating each other’s policy ideas like civilized adults.
If this is allowed to continue, our Republic is about as much of a Republic as the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea.