Keeping your mouth shut as a virtue

I haven’t written about politics for a few years now but I remember how viciously stupid it all was, and so I shouldn’t be surprised that little has changed since then. I suppose when I left that scene and dedicated a seriously large (too large) chunk of my life just trying to have fun with good people that I forgot how rude and dumb a lot of people are, especially online. And this particular example hit me in a sensitive spot: judging others.

There’s a link in my Fecesbook timeline this afternoon to this piece, which defends super delegates as a firewall against outside extremists taking control of a political party. What they really are, are a firewall against political candidates that are popular with voters from gaining control of political parties run by people that voters dislike, and often despise, for ignoring what voters want in favor of what the ruling political and corporate class want.

Criticizing the way elections function in the United States has been my jam for about a decade now, entirely from my viewpoint that while better here than in a lot of countries, elections in the US have aspects that are ridiculously undemocratic. During the Democratic Party nominee process (the GOP has different rules too) the number of delegates you get depends on how many votes you get. Those delegates are required to vote for that person at the convention which picks the nominee. Super delegates — start party officials usually — can vote for whoever they want, and being a part of the establishment they tend to vote for the establishment favorite. It’s possible for super delegates collectively to subvert the will of voters and pick their own candidate for President, which is inarguably undemocratic and elitist.

After the convention, a candidate can also accrue end up winning more voters while losing the presidential election with fewer electoral votes which is different from what I just described only in that the result is unintentional stupidity, rather than the choice of arrogant party officials who think they know better than voters do, which is what happened to Al Gore in 2000.

I’ve been consistently critical of these flaws. Any part of the system that allows a minority ruling class to overrule the decisions of a majority voting class is wrong when it comes to elections. It’s the one part of government expressly designed not to have a sanity check on it — a popular election. The best candidate isn’t supposed to win, just the most popular one. And then voters have to deal with the consequences of that choice and hopefully learn something from it.

Allowing party elites to overrule that decision opens the door to a number of problems: candidates gaining power and then abusing it, contrary to what the majority of Americans wanted who might have had better sense than party elites in their voting choice; voters feeling powerless over government and their lives and then not voting at all; and voters not being allowed to make stupid decisions (looking at you, Trump supporters) which they then have to be responsible for.

My expression of these views isn’t new, I’ve been saying this for years. I don’t expect a stranger to know that, but I do expect them not to presume to know what I believe based entirely on their shitty instincts. You’ve met those kinds of people before and I often wonder what it must be like for that person to go through life being wrong about nearly everything they think they know, and how they live seemingly normal lives when confronted with it. I also wonder why the people in their lives that like them put up with it.

I don’t anymore, and I’m much happier for it.

Paul Tenny

Paul Tenny

I'm not a journalist but I do it anyway. I cover elections and have interviewed television writers and producers.
Paul Tenny

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