As I canvas America, meeting those friends and colleagues with whom—just a couple years ago—I could engage in raucous political debates, I find that the “Establishment” is strong and coalescing. The Clinton-Bush conglomerate that has delivered America to its current, unprecedented level of economic, social, and technological greatness (wealth disparity, esoteric last-stand anti-Trans HBs, and ISIL notwithstanding), is fighting to reclaim its rightful place as the unifier of the world’s splintering resolve against entropy.
Reasonable Republicans and daring Democrats, having fought like spoiled siblings over manufactured and overwrought issues for three decades since the Reagan coalition collapsed, are looking more like a nineties-era PHouse “heads and tails” foam party. We’re quietly groping each other, agreeing that oral is acceptable.
Given our choices, namely (yet, unnamed) the populist insurgent anger-mongers who’ve hijacked our respective parties, we accept Hillary for what she is: good enough to swallow.
The GOP with its arcane convention party rules and the Big Ds, with their more openly “rigged” superdelegate system, have circled their jerks around their brands and around the preservation of America’s warts-and-all, au naturale greatness.
In 2016, one does not merely decide to run for President. Rather, a thoughtful and introspective leader is called years before to begin a campaign. They build a resume and ideological superstructure. They organize alliances, they affect grassroots, they endure the scalding heat of political firewalking, they pledge and are hazed in sticky pan-hellenic sometimes-secret parties: they pay their dues.
Politics is ugly and success requires doing questionable things in bathroom stalls and parking lots: compromise, deal-making, posturing, overlooking indiscretions of others whose bellies burn with the correct ideologies even as their loins burn when they pee.
Recently, I was invited to explain the concept of the Electoral College to a millenial, Berning, comrade.
America is not a democracy. We have always had gapstoppers—checks, balances—to prevent the mob from itself.
The two great American parties, following in this same tradition, have evolved with a set of rules similar to those that the Electoral College protects. When outsiders—who may or may not muster the organizational skills to master the system that exists for the nomination of a party’s candidate—decry an “undemocratic” system, we would like to remind them that nothing in the party’s rules claim to be democratic. Ultimately, the party’s job is to choose the candidate most likely to deliver success—a slate of policy results—in both the top-ticket elections as well as those down-ticket. Over time, this process has become more transparent, but that a primary election isn’t about electing delegates to the convention has never been promulgated by either party. True, the election of “pledged” delegates to the conventions most often coincides with popular vote, but not always.
I wonder if the party crashers in the two parties—those who seem unaware of the rules—are equally obtuse about the Constitution. Anybody with a sense of history, an understanding of civics, or an attention to detail would understand this.One has clearly never read the constitution, the other, it seems, wants to throw it away.
The Republican party is not a democracy. It is a responsible policy-centered NGO that is maintained by a web of interdependencies to myriad constituencies and members. It engages in politics to maintain itself and America.
The Democrat party is not a democracy. It is a responsible policy-centered NGO that is maintained by a web of interdependencies to myriad constituencies and members. It engages in politics to maintain itself and America.
America is not a democracy. It’s a constitutional, federal republic protected by the rule of law and sustained by measured, sometimes imperfect progress.
For candidates who’ve never been elected to a position of state or national executive leadership, how they conduct a campaign is a telling test of their skills. This was a poignant argument for Obama’s election in 2008 when questions were proffered regarding his ability to manage America. A campaign is a metaphor for how one can govern and administer the office they seek. Structure and details matter. If a leader is outmaneuvered by a more organized campaign and then claims (erroneously) that the “system is rigged” or “undemocratic,” I wonder how they will react to an Ayatollah or neo-Czarist or legitimate financier (whose success, for example, is tied to the solvency of American industry) whose values and senses of “fairness” may not align with his or her own. Pathetically, I bet.
For 240 years since Philadelphia, or for 150 years since Appomattox (wherever your timeline may start), Democrats and Republicans have been the protectors of our union. They have been the forcers of continuity; the strength of that continuity—measured, sustained, constrained progress—has propelled America to its greatness.
With respect to the impending contested convention in Cleveland and the piling on of uncommitted superdelegates on the Democrat side, understand that superdelgates are politicians, and politicians generally try to agree with voters and follow the will of the voters. Whining to the contrary is, at best, disingenuous. Superdelegates, much like “pledged” delegates know that they have elections of their own they have to win. They are not merely unaccountable, obtuse party hacks. They are invested in the success of the system—of the party: of its allies: of America.
We pay dues, not covers. Our leaders have paid their dues, not merely the price of admission. The faux-libertines with their entourages of unruly pitchfork-wielding scorched-earthers could easily enough become guillotiners or concentrators. With either of these non-establishment rabble-rousers—Socialist Democrat-feigners, Fascist Republican-feigners—we are bankrupted.
In either doomsday scenario, the progress and continuity of American economic, technological, cultural, and human rights leadership in the world will be set back. In one case, by ill-meaning ignorance. In the other by well-meaning ineptitude.
To save our nation from the insurgents and as frustrating as incremental political evolution may be, we must get behind the establishment. To save our nation and our Constitution, we must think like our nation’s forebears did in order to prevent us from being screwed.
“Yes, Elect Oral.”