According to Bloomberg’s nifty delegate count tracker, Hillary Clinton currently has 1223 delegates and Bernie has 920. With half the states still to be counted, that’s not exactly a huge difference.
Then there are the “superdelegates.” 467 are pledged to Clinton, with only 26 going for Sanders. Who came up with this nonsense of anointing party insiders as being “super?” Why are these superdelegates choosing sides before the votes are all in? Why can’t the Democratic Party adhere to the democratic process and let members of the party decide who gets the delegates? It makes about as much sense as a movie pitting Superman against Batman, which makes no sense at all. Is nothing sacred? Has everbody gone completely nuts?
I’m particularly irritated about this you see, becacuse for nearly my entire adult life I have been registered as an independent. I felt that as a mainstream journalist it was my duty not to pick a side in the fight. At least not publicly. After moving to Maryland, I had to fall back and regroup because Maryland, has a closed primary. So you must declare your membership in one party or the other, or you have no vote in the primary. Well, you can vote, but only for the candidate representing the party of which you are a member. Which is somewhat….nullifying?
This is idiotic, right? Maryland, needs to open up its primaries, giving everybody a shot a voting for the candidate of their choice, not just party members. If an independent or a Green wants to vote for Hillary or Bernie, then why not let them?
Because of this rigid system, I have been forced to declare myself to be a Democrat. A card-carrying party member. Harford County, actually sent me a card. I presume that without it, they won’t let me vote. But it goes beyond simply being allowed to vote for the candidate of my choice in the primary.
I want to vote for Bernie Sanders, and so I had no choice but to join the Democratic Party, even though I would have preferred to remain an independent. And so the State of Maryland, is forcing me to promote a two-party system, even though I’m not all that hot about it. Meaning, I think, that our primary and caucus systems are really one big mess. The federal government should come up with one system for all the parties in all the states. One level playing field for everybody. Or we can leave it as it is, with those at the top of one party being able to rig the election in one candidate’s favor, which is clearly what Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her cronies are doing for Hillary Clinton?
The Brits, who have been at this a lot longer than us, are into a more proportional federal government, forcing the leaders of their major parties to form coalitions, rather than giving one party all or most of the power, or leaving it up to just two parties to remain deadlocked for years while the nation’s infrastructure crumbles and the bickering continues.
I know both systems have drawbacks, but a parliamentary system would appear to provide greater representation to a higher number of people, while our two-party system seems to be leading us into endless gridlock. Particularly in Arizona, where, thanks to the death of the Voting Rights Act, some loyal Americans were forced to stand in line for more than five hours before they could cast their votes.
Let’s open up the primaries, doing all we can to end voter supression in states like Arizona and Florida, and while we’re at it, maybe we can expand beyond our old two-party system, no longer being forced to march proudly forward under a banner that declares “advance to the rear!”
For the time being, I have been coerced into joining the Democratic Party. I shall though, remain an independent at heart while I continue grousing about the outdated nature of an arcane two-party system that needs to be delivered out of the past and into the present. If not, the future will surely fail to take care of itself.
None of what I have written here should be construed as a slam on the Democrats. I’m pretty sure that some of my best friends are members of the Democratic Party. It wasn’t something I worried about until being confronted by this damned closed primary. That said, the State of Maryland deserves kudos for changing its system so that there will now be a paper-trail on all the votes cast rather than leaving it up to the kind of electronic gizmo voting that gave Ohio into so much trouble in 2012.