otto's war room banner

otto's war room banner

Friday, April 15, 2016

Donald Trump is learning that the presidential nominating system is not all that democratic -phony democracy

This may be a good time to focus on the US political system and the extremely phony elections we have all gotten used to here. That is especially important since Donald Trump is learning the hard way that wining the presidency is not really about the popular support of the people.
Trump tweeted:

The people of Colorado had their vote taken away from them by the phony politicians. Biggest story in politics. This will not be allowed!"

This year Donald Trump has discovered that the system of gaining delegates and the convention system can easily usurp the need to be elected by the majority of the voters. He has realized that he can win primary after primary but it his winning of the nomination that is actually in the hands of the delegates and party flunkies. Many pundits are telling Trump that he should have checked the rules out before he started his presidential campaign. For example, from WWLP:

"(Donald Trump (R) Presidential Candidate) “And because of all his shenanigans that goes on and this is…”
(Anderson Cooper, CNN) “But you call them shenanigans. Those are the rules.”
(Donald Trump (R) Presidential Candidate) “I do. I do.”
(Anderson Cooper, CNN) “Didn’t you know those rules?”
(Donald Trump (R) Presidential Candidate) “You know why the rules — I know the rules very well, but I know that it’s stacked against me by the establishment. I fully understand it.”

Most of the pundits are not willing to state the obvious: "The delegate system and the conventions are actually undemocratic."
The Democratic Party has also adopted undemocratic rules. They have superdelegates, people who are not elected by anyone, but they can help defeat a candidate who has won elections, but is considered unelectable by the party leadership.
 According to the Wikipedia version of the history of the Democratic Party superdelegates:

"After the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the Democratic Party made changes in its delegate selection process, based on the work of the McGovern-Fraser Commission. The purpose of the changes was to make the composition of the convention less subject to control by party leaders and more responsive to the votes cast during the campaign for the nomination. Some Democrats believed that these changes had unduly diminished the role of party leaders and elected officials, weakening the Democratic tickets of George McGovern and Jimmy Carter. The party appointed a commission chaired by Jim Hunt, the then-Governor of North Carolina, to address this issue. In 1982, the Hunt Commission recommended and the Democratic National Committee adopted a rule that set aside some delegate slots for Democratic members of Congress and for state party chairs and vice chairs. Under the original Hunt plan, superdelegates were 30% of all delegates, but when it was finally implemented for the 1984 election, they were 14%. The number has steadily increased, and today they are approximately 20%."

 It is not hard to see that this process could effectively prevent a popular candidate from being chosen for the presidential race based on rejection by party leaders who don't like what he/she stand for, or they just don't like them for any reason. In other words there may be situations where the "common voter just isn't smart enough" to elect the right person and neither party really wants to chance that.
After all, if the primaries and caucuses are not designed to let the public vote on who they want as president, they  are being left out of a major part of the democratic process. In the early part of the primary and caucus system, there are several candidates to choose from. By the general election there is only two choices.
This country is supposed to be democracy at its best. But at its best it is not really democracy at all. It should be called an oligarchy. That is a system from Ancient Greece where a democracy was set up that favored older people and people with wealth. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has said recently that this country is an oligarchy. In response to the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision:

"It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it's just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. Senators and congress members. So, now we've just seen a subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect, and sometimes get, favors for themselves after the election is over. ... At the present time the incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody that is already in Congress has a great deal more to sell."

Of course it has been a messed up system for a long time. For most of its existence US democracy has been about rich people using bribes to get what they want. The irony here is that Trump is just like one of the modern day "robber baron."  He is wealthy. But this year he decided to take out the middle man and run himself rather than sit in the background and pump money into someone else's campaign as we see by such modern robber barons as the Koch Brothers, Charles and David. The  Koch brothers have a budget of $889 Million to spend on this year's 2016 campaign.
The name "robber barons" was a name given to industrial barons of the late 1800s and early 1900s.   Both political parties had a cosy relationship with them and not much has really changed since then.
As most of us are aware the US is a two-party system. It has been that way since the American Revolutionary war. This system is built into the fabric of the government. Before there is a general election there are primaries held in each state by both parties. The mainstream press plays a major part in the system by covering these primaries extensively, while ignoring all other political party primaries. For example the Libertarian Party has been running a presidential candidate in every state. That party holds its own primary conventions, but the press ignores them entirely. And while they are one of the so called "3rd parties" which runs in every state, the press still ignores them entirely. Other parties to run candidates include the Green Party, Socialist Party, the Socialist Workers Party and some revolutionary Marxist parties, such as the Communist Party USA, have run candidates for office in the past.
The Republican and Democratic Party have their primaries through the political machinery and they are the only political parties to do so. They are the "official parties." All the other parties are legal, but they are not given any real press coverage. We also have the electoral college, along with a winner takes all set of delegates that prevent other parties from edging their way into the system.
There is an unwritten rule that certain political positions are tolerated and others are not.
So here is the traditional right vs. left scale:

          ^Anarchy/ ^Communism/ ^Socialism/ ^Liberalism/
          ^Left of Center/ ^Center/ ^Right of Center
             ^Conservative/ ^Fascism/  ^KKK

Here is the US version of left vs. right:

Crackpots on the left ________________________
          ^Liberalism/ ^Left of Center/
            ^Right of Center/ ^Conservative/
Crackpots on the right______________

Here is the US scale revised since the Ronald Reagan years:

Crackpots on the left
        ^Liberalism/  ^Left of Center/
Center __________________________________________
          ^Right of Center/ ^Conservative/  ^Far Right/ ^Far Far Right/ ^Far Far Far Right/
Far Far Far Far Right/
(Crackpot Right) ^Fascism/ ^KKK

In the US we have a far different scale from the old left vs. right. We can see how the left of liberalism is not tolerated at all in the US system.
The Democratic Party has been seen as a pro-labor and progressive or liberal party from about the 1940s until today. We had Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd US President, perhaps the most liberal and progressive US president in US history, to begin the idea of the Democratic Party as being a "left" party. But over the years, such progressiveness has slowly dwindled. Many Democrats have dropped support for labor unions and other progressive groups.
We have to realize that US democracy and both political parties have always been tied to capitalism or the "free market." From its beginning this country set up a democracy that has always been intended to compliment the free market economy. That "free market" trumps all other activities and all other political institutions and goals. For example, this country has used military coup d'états to topple democratic governments in Latin America and other colonial interest, around the world, in order to preserve the "free market" privileges of US corporations.
For example, in 1954 the CIA overthrew Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz, a democratically elected president after he planned a reformist government that planned on nationalizing various local industries. In 1973, the US government overthrew Chilean President Salvador Allende in a violent coup to remove the first democratically elected Marxist leader in Latin American history. This makes it abundantly clear that US leaders see and have seen no possible relationship between a democratic government and Marxism. This country has waged a "cold war" against communism. It was often explained in the mainstream press as "democracy vs. communist totalitarianism." But it was really the "free market" vs. communism of any kind. Actual elected democracies were overturned by the CIA in such countries as Iran. Popular revolutions were also defeated in Turkey and in Greece through US military action. Whether or not they were coming to power through a democratic process was of no consequence. The CIA prevented the Communists in Italy from getting elected democratically. If anyone really believed this country's ruling élites would ever allow the US or any strong ally to change the system of government from free market policies, all the above should prove that these leaders would and will NEVER LET THAT HAPPEN. There is no way this country will ever let the free market be voted out.

“Surely, no government can be expected to foster its own subversion, but in a democracy such a right is vested in the people (i.e. in the majority of the people). This means that the ways should not be blocked on which a subversive majority could develop, and if they are blocked by organized repression and indoctrination, their reopening may require apparently undemocratic means.” - Herbert Marcuse[1]

At home this country has had two red scares, one in the early part of the 20th Century and the other in the 1950s[2]. There was also the COINTELPRO program of the FBI[3] of the 1970s which was designed to harass, disrupt, misdirect and manipulate to the end for any radical anti-free market groups in the US.

Continued- More on this later. -->

[2] Steve Otto, Can You Pass the Acid Test?, (Publish America, Baltimore) 2007, pp. 34 - 36.
[3] Steve Otto, War on Drugs/ War on People, (Ide House, Las Colinas, TX) 1995, p. 39.

No comments: