Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Un-Electoral College
And Stooper-Delegates

Extra! Extra! Read all about the Hillary Conspiracy!

Only in America, could a bunch of self-important prima donnas devise undemocratic means to determine our undemocratically elected leadership, then somehow declare, with a shamelessly straight face, our nation is a real democracy. Technically, we don't live in a genuine democracy. America is a democratic republic. We vote for the folks who, then, go about the business of executing the people's business. The sad part is we reflect too often on our alleged leaders' campaign sloganeering rather than on what they're accomplishing in our name, such as financing illegal and immoral wars.

A democracy is a nation formed by revolution against tyranny. It usually seeks to ensure the basic freedoms as enumerated in the Bill of Rights, including majority decision-making; the rule of law and civilian control over the military. America is a representative democracy in which the people elect leaders to govern and write the laws of the state. Today, it seems we're getting only onerous taxation without any common-sense representation. Perhaps, it's time to consider replacing our failed system with direct democracy based on the popular vote. The unmitigated arrogance and incompetence of our government leaves us with no other choice. Consequently, it's time for America to mature as a nation and for us place our collective fates into our own hands.

A republic is a state which is not led by royalty, like a king or queen. Hereditary authority is replaced by elected representation. We have a presidential system in which the heads of state and government are the same person, as opposed to a parliamentary republic where these power positions are held by separate people. Historically, some republics are led by an autocrat wielding many of the powers of a monarch. This is why recent Republican presidents feel comfortable stressing the republican rather than the democratic side of our governing structure. Either way, an almighty "unitary executive" wasn't what the Founding Fathers had in mind. Additionally, the assumption of dictatorial control makes the prospect of the imposition of a state-sponsored pseudo-religion all the more possible. It's not simply a coincidence George Bush attacked the vital barrier between church and state while he illegally boosted his executive power. Also, the Bush/Clinton sharing of the Oval Office raises the ominous spectre of a return to hereditary rule.

Despite their alleged reverence for democratic principles, the Founding Fathers had little use for genuine governance of, by or for the people. After all, they were privileged, land-owning, slaveholding, Indian killing, women hoarding men of European descent. In 1787, at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, the attending 55 delegates set up and sealed the shaky electoral fate of our nation.

The original constitution did not refer to an Electoral College. It only noted the states held the responsibility of choosing electors, who actually elected the president and vice-president. Americans are finally realizing the electoral vote fights are fiercest in California, Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio because these are the states with the most electors. All the other states are helpless bystanders to these quadrennial battlefields. Our election process is so arcane and convoluted even the professional consultants have difficulty understanding it. This crazy quilt contraption is kept in place to benefit political insiders who're the only ones who really know how it works.

As if this useless confusion weren't enough, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) added another layer of madness on top of this one. The Democratic party certified superdelegates to be seated at the convention. This was an attempt to make the nominating process more transparent and less subject to manipulation by party leaders in smoky back rooms. This idea only moved the political combat from the smoky back rooms to the contending candidates' war rooms. The secret fights for unpledged superdelegates are more savage than the open campaign for regular delegates. Furthermore, the entire delegate system itself is patently unconstitutional. These people get to vote twice -- once, as ordinary citizens during a primary or caucus, then again, as automatically seated convention delegates. What's worse, superdelegates don't represent any constituent voting group. They only represent themselves. Regular delegates are usually apportioned to the candidates chosen by the voters. These delegates rarely vote against the will of the people at the convention. Superdelegates, however, have no such obligation. They're relatively free to vote for anyone they wish. This leaves them open to intense lobbying pressure from the warring candidates' camps. Unquestionably, much of this lobbying is done illegally -- with money, sex and drugs being offered as the usual party perks.

An individual superdelegate commands the delegate power of about 9,000 voters. This outrageous disparity undeniably negates the most sacred democratic principle of one-person/one-vote. Their votes are furiously pursued by well-financed candidates who promise them virtually everything under the sun. Is it any wonder why many Americans believe we hold auctions rather than elections?

This highly exploitable system produced the wildest aberration ever conceived. Somehow, the DNC leaders found reason to void the delegates from Florida and Michigan because they moved their primary dates before Super Tuesday. This was against party rules. The result was the voters in these states were left without any representation at the convention through no fault of their own. This decision was simply unconstitutional, not to mention undemocratic.

Due to the ban, some candidates campaigned sporadically in Florida. Most didn't campaign in Michigan because of an agreement not to do so. Their names weren't on the ballot in that state. Yet, mysteriously, Hillary Clinton campaigned in both states, as if the ban didn't exist. Now, she suggests the delegates she accumulated in these states should count and be seated at the convention, deliberately overriding the very rules everyone said they agreed to. This is a ploy right out of the BushRove book of bad faith blindsides. It can't be a mere accident this whole fiasco stands to benefit the Establishment choice, Hillary Clinton. No wonder she keeps saying Barack Obama is inexperienced.

Our electoral politics have degenerated to the point of evil, immoral irrationality. This illegal ace-in-the-hole plot was contrived as a stop-gap measure, just in case all other options didn't work to prevent the rise of a People's Choice candidate like Barack Obama. How else can you explain this outcome? More important, the DNC could've produced a solution that was both constitutional and democratic well before any of this nasty nonsense had a chance to transpire. The only logical reason for them not to do so is the present imbroglio was completely predetermined and intended. The facts available lead to only one conclusion: The Clintons and the party leaders conspired to cut a deal to hi-jack the nominating process in spite of the rules. If the DNC tries to seat these illegal delegates and if they try to finagle the superdelegates against the will of the voters, the 2008 convention will make the 1968 event look like a tea party. This is a very serious situation.

America has never been a democracy. This nation has always been a hypocrisy. We've never practiced what we preach. Today, caging lists, ugly smears, rigged machines and other awful ruses are used to discourage full voter participation in the democratic process. Both major parties want to whittle down the lists of serious voters to the bare minimum, leaving only those they believe are predictably maneuvered by their campaign ads.

America is at a critical crossroads in our turbulent history. The Ruling Class is doing everything possible to consolidate its command and control over us. They want to turn our citizens into subjects. They want to roll the clock back to the feudalist good ol' days. And they want us to sit down, shut up and grimly accept their undemocratic plans and policies. If there is to be a future for this great land, this insane scenario mustn't be allowed to happen. It's time to review the relative strengths and weaknesses of our sacred constitution. The Ruling Class misuses its strengths and the Vulture Culture abuses its weaknesses. Strict constructionism is just a compound word for strong obstructionism against long overdue change.

A new constitutional convention has to be convened to update our founding document specifically to address issues which were either ignored or not envisioned at the Constitutional Convention. Universal human rights, women's rights, technology rights and direct democracy should be written into our national charter. All the finagling factors should be written out. And while we're at it, when are we going to stop printing the passage about some folks being considered 3/5 of a person?

Franklin L. Johnson


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