Taxation without representation is alive and well. Representatives do not represent. This presidential election process has brought the entire political system into question. Or maybe the entire political system has brought this presidential election process into question. Either way, more and more people I speak with, especially but certainly not restricted to young adults, feel as though this mechanism in it's current form, is rigged. It's about the will of the party elite, not the will of the people. Closed door strategy sessions, Super PACs and Super Delegates. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my.
Across party lines, in different ways, Americans are revolted. And revolting.
One party is just throwing a wrench into the works, the other is spitting into the wind.
They have an opportunity to show good faith. There is a legitimate Supreme Court nominee. They didn't want there to be one, but there is. It's actually fortuitous, a way for them to show a willingness to abandon their 8 year long obstructionist strategy. They don't even have to confirm him, mind you, just put on a show, hold the damn hearings. Instead a judge's professional life has now become a pawn in their power play. They're not giving an inch, they're digging in their heels and not even pretending to play the game.
And amongst the masses, discourse has been replaced with disrespect. Fueled by anger and frustration.
Pan the cameras over to Ted Cruz, who seems to be running for Pastor-in-Chief, not President, and who appears to be despised by his own party, many of whom are now backing him. Well, if you call asking people to vote for him (asking, mind you, with a "who farted" look on their faces) not because they can even tolerate him, but just to stop Trump. And many politicians are putting it in those terms, they're not even pretending.
A high ranking Republican, Lindsey Graham, actually said that he would rather lose the election than lose the party. Take a minute to consider the enormity of that admission. And the validity of his assessment of the current political climate.
This is not an anomaly specific to one party. The Democrats are doing the exact same thing via Bernie Sanders. Despite being saddled with the Socialist label, he is undeniably winning states. Is his party listening? No, not the Democrats either. The voting public not doing what the party elite want? No problem, if it comes down to it they'll just whip out their Super Delegates and steal the election. What they're refusing to see is that whether he can win the nomination or not, his anti-establishment message is connecting.
The messengers may be polar opposites, but the message is quite the same.
It seems to me as though, on top of all the other issues, the entire infrastructure of the voting system is fractured. In some states the delegates are winner take all. In others they're assigned based on percentage of votes and in still others delegates are forfeited if a specific percentage level is not achieved.
All over the map, not only the procedure for earned delegate assignment but even for voting is inconsistent. In each party, some states have caucuses, some ballot voting and some you can choose either/or. In some states you have to be registered for the party in whose process you participate, in others you don't and in yet others you can register then and there. In some caucus states you can get in after it's started, in others they lock the door and tell you you're too late. Navigating the convoluted maze leaves most of us scratching our heads and many of us quite literally left out. Ironic that the only perceived fairness lies in the fact that those who actually are able to participate feel that it's ultimately for nothing. Thanks to Super Delegates, Super PACs and easily manipulated rules of the contested convention, their vote counts about as much as those who don't vote at all.
And don't get me started on the Electoral College . . .
This election cycle we, the voting public, are being treated like naughty children who need to be manipulated onto the approved course by those who are out of touch with our reality. But we're daring to question that course. Who is it best for? Us? The country? Or is all this closed door scheming really just to push forward an agenda that benefits the party not the people?
It doesn't bode well for our future that so many of us, especially the wide eyed optimists with their newly minted voting cards are becoming apathetic. I have one son who's newly eligible to vote but will most likely not. I'm not surprised that millions of us are staging this revolution. I have another son, also a new voter, who has decided to participate but overwhelmingly feels cheated. I mean, after all, we believed that we were living in a democracy. To most of us the road to making that concept a reality is pretty simple, one vote per person. Period.
I've been watching and reading a lot of election coverage. Since it's often biased, I do so in a multitude of places. The spin is fascinating. And like with all issues, each side has some nugget of perspective I find myself considering. But each party is also equally capable of infuriating me.
I happened to have been watching CNN when a Democratic vice-chair, Donna Brazile, was addressing the issue of Super Delegates. I'm paraphrasing here, but what she basically said was that this is how the system is, this is how it's been, this is how it works and people (meaning those of us who don't count and only get one vote) need to accept it. She went on to say that Super Delegates earned that right and deserve the privilege.
"Condescending" was my thought. "Arrogant was Hubs'.
Seems none of us are falling for the smoke and mirrors illusion being shoved down our throats that there is anything at all fair about this election process. And, on an even broader scope, that those we elect have any intention of truly representing our vision. Tax us, yes. Represent us, not so much.
And the harder We the People push, the harder the party Red Coats push back.
I'm once again thinking back to the words of Lindsey Graham and it makes me wonder, do we continue the status quo just in the name of preserving the status quo? At what expense? Can the party leaders really continue the archaic practices that are widely perceived as the thinly veiled intention to circumvent the will of the people? Or do we take steps to ensure that our political system is reflective of the intent of our forefathers, to allow us all, equally, the freedoms inherent in living in a democracy?
I don't know about you, but I'm heading for Boston harbor. And I'm filling my luggage with Chai and Oolong.