The election of 2016 is finally over. As I write this prior to Election Day, I have no knowledge of who will be the next POTUS. Regardless who won, however, can we all agree to make some changes so we never again find ourselves with such a lousy choice in candidates?
Political parties have become the antithesis of democracy. The Democrats were uncovered by WikiLeaks, emails clearly showed that Bernie Sanders did not have a prayer of winning the nomination. That Hillary Clinton engaged in corruption should surprise nobody. That the Democrat National Committee (DNC) did so will only be an issue if you are not a progressive ideologue, the sort that has taken control of the DNC. And because Hillary successfully colluded with the DNC to rig the primary system in her favor, it reinforced her belief that she was entitled to be POTUS. She tried to wrestle the nomination from Obama in 2008 also, but there were too many Democrats then who refused to go along.
The mechanism that Hillary tried to use to force her will on her party is known as “super delegates.” Bill Clinton was a super delegate in both 2008 and 2016…how exactly does that work. Well, he gets the privilege of voting for the party nominee as a former POTUS. And the super delegates are not bound by any rules or results of voting in a given state; they are free agents and can vote for whomever they want. One suggestion to improve the process in the aftermath of the 2016 election is to eliminate the super delegates, because clearly, they exist as a means to override the popular vote. If you are going to keep super delegates, wouldn’t it be easier to just skip the voting altogether? Just have a convention and nominate somebody there without the expense and bother of primary campaigns in 50 states.
Then again, we don’t have primary voting in all fifty states, some still employ the caucus. The caucus is where the old saying came from about “smoke-filled rooms,” cigar-smoke, mind you. And it reminds us of the old Tammany Hall machine in NYC, that ruled like the mafia and had the same slogan, “our thing.” The business model of Tammany Hall remains the basic philosophy of the Democrat Party, give the tired masses “free stuff,” and in exchange they vote as instructed. What the smoke-filled rooms offers to people in exchange for their support is feeling like they have some power, which is the ultimate human indulgence. Democracy grants power too, but it makes it hard won… you have to convince a majority of people you are worthy of their support.
But for all the flaws of the Democrats, it was the GOP that stole the show this election. We started with 17 candidates, all of whom were better suited to be POTUS than the eventual nominee, Donald Trump. He won the nomination, and with it my support, but how did we emerge from the process with the least qualified candidate? And how can we ensure that never happens again? There is scant reason for optimism.
There were valid reasons why Trump won the nomination, most obvious among them was that people are flat out disgusted. The Tea Party set the table in 2010, honest people who were fed up with their government being used as a weapon against the citizens of this country. What they got for their expression of democracy was IRS employee Lois Lerner, overtly demonstrating the validity of the very concerns that brought the Tea Party to life.
Donald Trump tapped into the anger we have at the fact that it’s no longer “our” government, now it’s “the” government. And it thinks it can come through your door with guns drawn in the middle of the night. Trust me, if Hillary has been elected we are in store for a direct challenge to our 1A and 2A rights. Conservative opinion will be further censored, and the right to keep and bear arms will be further infringed. Those challenges are a virtual certainty under Hillary Clinton as POTUS.
But getting a better candidate than Donald Trump will be even more difficult if he failed to win the brass ring on Nov. 8th. It would mean that even a guy with a message as uplifting as “Make America Great Again,” can’t sell that slogan to a majority of the voters. It would mean the Democrats were able to “kill the messenger,” yet again. If we elected Hillary, knowing she is corrupt, whither goes our Republic?
David W. Thompson worked in government, education and the non-profit sector for more than forty years. A graduate of Westminster College and Harvard University, he resides in Easley, SC. You can follow him
on his blog, Smokealarms2015.com.