At this point in the madness that is the political process to elect a new President of the United States – caucuses, primaries, delegates, super-delegates – there is a sense of despair among many Americans, particularly those who like me identify as Independent voters. The Democratic and Republican parties certainly show their disdain for us, but we shouldn’t be surprised because they also display disregard for their own party members.
Clearly something is wrong with the big, increasingly fractured picture. In the recent New York Democratic primary, over a hundred thousand voters were told they could not vote when they went to the polls. The Board of Elections indicated it was part of a normal “purge” of the voter rolls, but if you believe that I have a nice bridge over the East River I’d like to sell you. The probe into why this happened continues, but the whole thing leaves a bad taste in our collective mouths.
If you are registered as an Independent, you are an invisible voter here in New York and elsewhere. You are ostensibly told your vote doesn’t count by both parties, but here is the shocker – Independent voters are going to be the ones who decide this election. A look at the numbers means the two self-destructing parties are going to be in for a big surprise – that is if both of them can survive this whole mess.
In truth the notion of these parties and their labyrinth-like delegate process has been long due for an overhaul. The entire concept from caucus to primary to convention is archaic and should be scrapped for a much more democratic process – the candidate receiving the most popular votes should receive ALL that state’s delegates. Simple math should replace simply stupid and nonsensical practices.
On the Democratic side there has clearly been an anointing of Hillary Clinton as the party’s standard bearer for a long time. That annoying fly named Bernie Sanders that Clinton originally thought that she could shoo away has morphed into an albatross around her neck. “What to do about Bernie?” must be whispered behind the scenes by party leaders as he continues to have huge turnouts at his appearances and doesn’t sound like he is going away any time soon.
On the Republican side they are scratching their heads as Donald Trump has overcome all the low expectations for his candidacy, while an anointed one like Jeb “Low Energy” Bush never got anywhere with voters who are more sick of his family name than they are of Clinton’s. Now the party is simmering like a covered pot and ready to explode because no one knows how to derail Trump; while others in the party seem resigned to “Lose with Cruz” or just outright give the election to the Dems. Their philosophy seems to be better “business as usual” than being out of business completely.
If the Democrats nominate Hillary and she wins, it will be perhaps the biggest loss of all – the disenfranchised base that saw the truth in Bernie through all the party’s lies may finally have had enough. The Democratic party leaders probably think that Bernie might accept a high position in Hillary’s White House – Vice President perhaps? The truth is that Bernie is so anti-Hillary in his policies and philosophy that is incongruous to think that he would sell out and accept this.
Business as usual for the Republicans – even allowing a Hillary win to keep those party leaders in control – may end up shattering the party for good. Witness the latest in this Republican party soap opera we could call The Dumb and the Restless – now Team Cruz and Team Kasich are joining forces to block Trump’s drive to get 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination. They hope this will bring about an “open” convention in Cleveland, and if that occurs it will be like Wednesday on the old Mickey Mouse Club TV show – Anything Can Happen Day! This is when business as usual could bring about the dismantling of the party itself.
Actually, the best thing that could happen to America is the total destruction of both major parties. For far too long they have been an unnecessary evil that has hampered true progress in Congress and thwarted the attempts of any other parties trying to make real change in America’s rotting political landscape.
Imagine the new dawn for American politics without the Democrats and Republicans. The rise of new parties is essential, particularly a strong Independent party that would be more sensitive to the electorate’s concerns rather than to their own power hungry motivation is something that could usher our country into a new and glorious era.
In the end all voters are Independents when you actually speak with them. Some Democrats that I have spoken to lately say that they despise what is happening in their party. They feel Bernie Sanders is the better candidate and that he is a victim of “highway robbery” on the road to the White House. A few have even confided in me that if Hillary is the party’s nominee that they will vote for the Republican candidate – even, wait for it, Donald Trump.
Republicans have told me that they are sick of the GOP and how everything is manipulated by the powers that be. Some may have wanted Cruz, Rubio, or even Bush, but they don’t like the notion of bringing in someone who hasn’t run like Paul Ryan and making him the candidate. They have confided in me that they rather vote for Hillary in that scenario.
Truthfully, it is not surprising that disenfranchised voters are sick of both parties and the business as usual policies they follow. There is no God in the machine that is going to help them now – no character to descend to the stage to save the day now that they both have painted themselves into the corner.
So whoever wins in November is going to face a Herculean task of bringing the country together as the major parties crumble. Whoever gets elected has to be smart enough to see the writing on the wall and lead America into a new political era where business as usual – which has always been risky business to say the least – is replaced by better business practices that will benefit the American public. If that is not the case, he or she will likely be a one-term president and the Republican and Democratic parties can write their own obituaries.
If that day comes everyday Americans aren’t going to shed any tears. The Republican and Democratic parties will die ignoble deaths, with even less people mourning them than old Ebenezer Scrooge when he died in the vision shown to him by the Ghost of Christmas Future. More people will be celebrating – the death of business as usual, the death of the archaic two-party system that is strangling the life out of American politics.
If this comes to pass – it is only a matter of time if the Republicans and Democrats keep self-destructing – then it really means the start of a time where the will of the people will replace the will of the few party bosses on either side. That will be a day to celebrate, a day when we can truly start being the democracy we want and need to be.
Photo credits: alucidnation, CNN