It’s become increasingly apparent that the most vital plank in the 2016 Democratic Convention Platform will be reforming the entire nomination process. For starters, Bernie wants to “open up” the primaries to parties of every political persuasion, including Republicans and Independents. The standard argument against this is that it opens the door for the GOP base to vote for a “weaker” candidate in the primary so they can beat him/her in the general election. Well what does “weaker” candidate really mean anyway? Someone who truly represents old school Democratic values? Someone like Bernie Sanders?
History of the Hijack
Back in ’72, George McGovern got blown out by the incumbent (Nixon) because the economy seemed strong and Vietnam was winding down, yet McGovern’s loss is commonly cited as a rationale for the Democrats current super-delegate system. Question: Is this when the Democratic Party lost its way, selling out instead of taking one on the chin and regrouping? Apparently, party leaders couldn’t swallow such a bitter pill, namely Tricky Dick winning in ’68 with the Southern Strategy and in ‘72 by dumping the Gold Standard, which saved jobs in time for the election but bred inflation for Ford and austerity for Carter. Pretty clever huh?
Then Reagan beat Carter in ’80 with more Southern strategy, tax-cuts for the rich and deregulation, but this time with the incumbent battling both a brutal recession (thanks to Nixon’s fuzzy math) and a Ted Kennedy primary. That’s a triple whammy folks, and maybe Carter pulls it out if Ted waits his turn, but, typical of politicians faced with losing power, party panic set in. Instead of reframing, rebranding, and offering alternatives to Reaganomics, these self-appointed super-delegates inherited dictatorial powers while silently shifting Right.
Rather than saving fast-fading unions, they scattered to every K-Street corner, rattling their tin cups at the well-heeled boots of a vast lobbyist army marching on Capitol Hill. Presto! The stage was set and the road paved with gold for the “New” Democrats, Republican Lite, Blue Dogs and Purple People-eaters to hijack the Party. Big Business never had it so good, and the rest is history.
Fast forward to 2016: Now the super-delegates have morphed into a gigantic Coronation Committee for Clinton, even after she loses primary after primary down the stretch and polls half as high as Bernie vs. Trump. This is anti-democratic (and counter-intuitive), yet the lame-stream media continues to serve as an echo-chamber for the Clinton campaign by refusing to acknowledge Sander’s momentum. Of course, it all makes sense when you consider that television, radio and print media were gobbled up and consolidated by corporations around the same time Democrats sold us out thirty years ago. Do you really think some talking head will expose the charade and risk losing star status, a 1% income, and a really cool job over truth? Think again.
Bernie’s Big Fix
So here’s the bottom line: Bernie’s call to trash the super-delegate system targets the Achilles Heel of the Democratic Party, namely, its inability to differentiate from Republicans. It forces the Party to return to its roots by opening up the primaries, the platform and nomination process to outside campaigns fueled by small donations, not corporate capture. Otherwise, the system will continue to operate like a modern day Tammany Hall; a churning, burning, old fashioned political machine where instead of passing bags of money around, Party Bosses nurture a complex system of legalized corruption.
Bernie’s political revolution is the antidote to this grand illusion; this Matrix where the appearance of change cons us into believing it’s right around the corner, when in reality the base is teased like Brooklyn Dodger fans (“dem bums!”) every cycle with front office promises of: “Wait ‘til next year!” Meanwhile the bank-rolled Bronx Bombers (a Wall Street dynasty) keep winning, year, after year, after year . . . and the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, year, after year, after year, and the middle class disappears, year, after year, after year . . . and the climate gets hotter and health care more costly, year, after year, after year . . .
No More Next Years
Well guess what? Berners aren’t waiting ‘til next year, next week, or even tomorrow. We want real, big, bold, change NOW! And like it or not, the party powerful WILL hear our VOICE at the Convention in June, because we’re sick of the con, and because, most important of all: We are the real Democrats.