This column appears in the March 17, 2016 edition of Urban Pro Weekly.
If you’re reading this column in Urban Pro Weekly, my guess is that the most vile, repugnant term you can hear in politics is “Donald Trump.” Or “Republicans.”
And truthfully, I understand your angst. The fact that Trump could run a campaign based in fear, misinformation and without policy is alarming and disgraceful. In terms of the Republican Party, it is, as Malcolm X said, an example of “the chickens coming home to roost.”
However, when it comes to the Democratic wing of politics, there are some skeletons falling out of the closet as well. (That’s why America needs to get past the two-party system, but that’s a conversation for another column.) It started with a simple question recently – “What is a ‘superdelegate’?”
Google defines it as “(in the Democratic Party), an unelected delegate who is free to support any candidate for the presidential nomination at the party’s national convention.” Wikipedia gives a more in-depth definition, gives historical perspective and even outlines who these “superdelegates” really are.
In short, they are 20 “distinguished party leaders,” which consists of high-ranking political figures, past and present; governors; House and Senate members, and Democratic National Committee members.
For Google and Wiki’s specific and dynamic definitions, I have one that cuts to the heart of the matter – it’s a way for Dems in power to protect party politics and to ensure their survival. They are doing so at the expense of their constituents.
Take the current race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. As of Tuesday night’s primary results, Clinton had a 1,094-774 advantage in pledged delegates. That is by no means a runaway; in fact, looking at a streak of states which favor Sanders, it shows the race is not nearly over. However, Clinton has a 467-26 advantage in “superdelegates.” The influence of high-ranking officials and “party pals” gives Clinton a sickening boost.
It is ANYTHING but Democratic.
I understand that primaries are nothing more than projections, but how can Democrats legitimately advocate the idea of “one man, one vote,” when there are party officials who essentially have the voting power of ENTIRE STATES? It is absurd and un-American.
It has also inspired a social media campaign from yours truly. I am a superdelegate. Why? Because I vote in every election. I am aware of and inform people about the politics in my community, whether local, state or national. I am democratic with my intake of information, as well as what I share with the public. My vote AND my voice matter.
Recently, the people of Chicago made their collective voice matter in their disapproval and protest at a recent Trump rally. The nation appeared to stand up in applause. It was a seminal moment during this campaigning period. In the face of Trump’s disgusting presentation to a base focused on hateful rhetoric, the protest made me proud to be an American.
I am convinced that a similar disapproval of “superdelegates” must be declared. The process of pushing political influence by the powers-that-be is as un-American as Trump’s ideals. Remember, our VOICE matters just as much as our VOTE!