Another day in this primary season, and another news cycle chock-full of talks about delegates. Unbeknownst to me, there are more types of delegates than there are flavors of ice cream, last time I checked Baskin’ Robbins offered at least 31 flavors (shout out to Baskin’ Robbins). As a humbled laborer of several years of Political Science academia, I have long held a belief that I had a pretty good grasp on the way our voting system works in this country. In full public disclosure I reside in California, a state that last elected a (R) in 1988. As a right-leaning registered Independent, I’ve known for a long time that when it comes to a general election, coming out to vote for my preferred prospective president is about as fruitless an endeavor as getting a hipster to take a sip of your Miller Lite; ONLY CRAFT BREWS HERE. To put it lightly, I’ve come to grips with my voter disenfranchisement.
Fast forward to the 2016 presidential election, specifically the primary season and all of a sudden I’m as confused as Justin Bieber is whenever he sees a hairbrush (did you see the dreadlocks at the i.heart.radio event?)
You’d think all that student debt, mostly incurred in classes with the word Politics or Government, and the decent grades received that I would feel a little more comfy with the premise of delegates, and the primary process in general. Unfortunately tis’ not the case, as there are numerous scenarios in which your primary vote could turn out to be nothing more than an exercise in futility. It turns out that the one last national election vote where it didn’t matter if you lived in a state historically antithetical to your political leanings, might actually be worth less than the state income tax of Texas. Latest Gallup poll dated at April 6, shows that 30% of the people feel the voting system is working, down from the same poll conducted in January which had it at 46%. In a scary turn of events, your vote in the primary of your state, can be taken and changed based on the bickering of a room full of nerds, and that’s just the beginning.
I’ve heard this similar defense of the process by the “educated political insiders”. “This process is older than I am, it’s been in use for decades, we’ve just never had to assert their authority”. For me, that amounts to someone or something doing business under nefarious circumstances a la the Enron fiasco or Bernie Madoff. It’s the ol’ “It’s only cheating if you get caught, or it’s only a foul if it gets called”. The fact these rules have existed for so long doesn’t make me feel better, it makes me feel more and more like one of these crazy Illuminati characters who feel the power is really in the hands of the few.
I have a suggestion. Why don’t we change the system to better reflect its true nature? Lets ask this anonymous group of a couple hundred delegates who they want us to vote for BEFOREHAND. It certainly would save many people the time and frustration that seems to be permeating through the electorate. My only feeling of voter equality is the fact that Democrats face a similar situation with their Super Delegates, but their nominee was anointed 4 years ago, so I hesitate to worry too much. I’m not sure there’s such thing as a individual vote in the entire country, let alone in the state of California, one of the first relevant, palpable examples of the fact that we [USA] reside in a republic and not a direct democracy.