One of this week’s top stories is that polls are showing a General Election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be neck and neck.
Let that sink in for a moment.
In a year when the GOP’s nominee is a chauvinist, bigoted, facist-styled and constantly lying billionaire who is disliked by most women, minorities and young voters, the Democrats are on the verge of nominating a candidate who is about as equally disliked and distrusted by voters (this isn’t a personal opinion, it’s the results of poll after poll including this latest one from NBC).
Superdelegates became instituted in the Democratic primary process after such non-establishment candidates as George McGovern and Jimmy Carter beat out establishment candidates in 1972 and 1976. It was an anti-democratic ploy intended to keep 40% of delegates needed to win the nomination, under the control of the Democrat Party elites to overrule their voters if it looked like an opponent to an establishment candidate could win.
The disingenuous reason given by Democratic Party elites for instituting the Superdelegate scheme into their primaries was that it was an emergency fire alarm to be pulled if somehow a candidate who looked too weak to win in a General Election, won their party’s nomination. Uh…right…what’s that latest poll say again?
As DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz recently declared to bizarrely both justify and diminish the rationale for Superdelegates, they’ve never overturned the will of the voters in Democratic primaries yet.
Then why should they even exist, if the major brag about them is that they’ve never interfered in an election? If the inference is that their overriding voters would be something awful, shameful and destructive to the party, then shouldn’t they be completely eliminated from the process?
And there is an argument to be made that they do indeed interfere in the primaries. As has been broadly reported, whenever Bernie Sanders has won a state, the results of delegates won by each candidate has been adulterated by adding in the Superdelegates “won”. Since Superdelegates are de facto members of the Democratic establishment and heavily behind the establishment candidate, Bernie may have won a majority of a state’s delegates in some cases but the news would report that Hillary added to her lead thanks to Superdelegates.
This is the DNC and their Superdelegates putting a finger on the scale of every primary outcome and falsely promoting the perception that Bernie simply can’t win because even if he does, he loses. It is especially dishonest when the fact is that Superdelegates aren’t actually committed to a candidate until they vote at the convention in July. So all those Superdelegate votes that are always “awarded” when a state has a primary? They aren’t real or legit and don’t count yet.
This is how propaganda works, hammering into the public’s head that the desired perception is the only feasible one to believe. By using this bogus addition of Superdelegates to the results of every primary contest, they have in fact been trying to influence the perceptions of voters that the elites’ choice for the nomination is winning and inevitable. They know that many people don’t bother voting for candidates that are perceived as destined to lose and they have been exploiting this anti-democratic manipulation from the beginning. The intent is to manipulate and control the outcome of the primary process while keeping up a facade of democracy. Again, Superdelegates are anti-democratic and the product of people who are themselves anti-democratic.
What is unsurprising is that when Bernie Sanders claimed that he would want to make his case for the nomination to Superdelegates, he was condemned by the same party elites who have been using Superdelegates to advance the nomination of their chosen candidate…as not respecting the decisions of voters. Yep, those same voters the Dem Party elite created the Superdelegates to override.
When one takes a moment to consider the competitiveness of the candidate who has the lion’s share of Superdelegate support, the irony is that the polls show they are marching behind the candidate who is the weakest against the presumptive Republican candidate, Donald Trump. As illustrated above, the latest polls show Hillary Clinton in a virtual tie (within the margin of error) with the heavily despised Donald Trump. Both are seen negatively by a majority of voters, Hillary at 54% negative and Trump at 58% negative. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders has only 36% of Americans that view him negatively (and is the only candidate with a higher positive then negative rating, at 43%) and in this latest polling from NBC/WSJ, beats Trump by 15% in a General Election match up.
So if the true mission of the Superdelegates was to prevent the Democratic Party from nominating a candidate who is more likely to lose the Presidency to the Republicans, doesn’t Bernie have a point in lobbying them to support his candidacy instead?
Of course, since the Superdelegates’ real purpose is only to assure the nomination of establishment candidates and keep populists and “outsiders” like Sanders from getting the nomination, such pursuits by Sanders will surely turn out to be futile.
Personally, I don’t believe that there should be a Superdelegates system. It is anti-democratic, manipulative towards voters and a fraud. It has proven to be a tool of the establishment to influence primaries, sometimes against the will of the majority (in 2008 too when Hillary acquired a majority of them and hoped to use them to bring her the nomination even though she was losing in the actual pledged delegate count to Barack Obama).
That said, since Superdelegates have been used throughout the primary season to help advance the meme that Hillary was the inevitable winner of the nomination (and perhaps helped her win more pledged delegates than she would have), it is understandable that Bernie would hope to use them to turn things back in his direction.
Either way, Superdelegates offer nothing but division to the Democratic Party. Since most have stepped in to manipulate the perception of Hillary as winning more delegates in each primary than she genuinely has, many Bernie supporters are disgusted with the Democratic Party establishment (as well as for justifiable complaints of ex-co-chair of Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, using her position as DNC Chairwoman to support Hillary and undermine Bernie).
And if Superdelegates overrode the results of the primaries and handed the nomination to Bernie even if Hillary won a majority of pledged delegates, Hillary supporters would justifiably disgusted with the party.
Superdelegates have tainted this election as they did in 2008. They are a fraud and anti-democratic. They should be eliminated from the Democrats primary process for good at this year’s convention as an important step towards reunifying the party.