2016: The Chips Have Fallen


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Patrick Murray's picture

2016: The Chips Have Fallen

The year 2016 will likely be remembered when the most unusual politicians turned into rising stars in their fight for their party’s nominations. We began with 17 Republicans and 5 Democrats. Now we're down to 3 Republicans and 2 Democrats. Every rule of American politics has been broken. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. Everything that was said impossible a year ago is closer and closer to becoming reality. And it's that the American people are ready to turn the tables on the failed Washington politics of the past. With Donald Trump leading the way towards an all out brawl on the convention floor in Cleveland a once little known Senator is seriously challenging a former Secretary of State who's been in the public eye for almost four decades. If I said the chips weren't falling. I'd be lying because they have already fallen, and they've fallen fast and hard.  


Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders awakened a sleeping giant. It was the disaffected and young voters in this country who have felt left out and left behind by Washington politicians who have followed the ways of Washington for decades. It's becoming clear that the Trump phenomenon could be coming to an end as his campaign manager got arrested; pro-life groups have rescinded their support after he changed his position three times in three hours on abortion, and an avalanche of ad spending and Ted Cruz's ongoing momentum in Wisconsin. Could Trump be on the verge of collapse? A loss in Wisconsin could be a tell tale sign of things to come. It seems now Cruz is gaining a lot of ground in Wisconsin with his message of courageous conservatism and the only one to defeat Trump. 


Saturday night Bernie Sanders won the county level conventions in Nevada. Nevada delegates have selected delegates to go to the state convention where they will choose who goes to the national convention in Philadelphia. While the Democrats are likely not to head to a contested convention the Republicans are heading to an all out imminent catastrophe in Cleveland. Meanwhile, the Democrats are more divided than ever before. The country is screaming for change. Personally, I think everyone knows by now that super delegates do not reflect the actual will of the voters. But in fact this entire delegate process does not reflect the will of the American electorate on both sides. 


I personally believe we should nominate and elect our presidential candidates by a plurality vote. We nominate and elect our candidates for a plurality vote for state legislative seats, for secretaries of states of the states, governorships, U.S. Senate, and House members. But when it comes down to the Presidency we make the process excruciatingly difficult and confusing. If Hillary Clinton gets more votes than Bernie Sanders in a state she deserves to win that state. If Bernie Sanders gets more votes than Hillary Clinton in a state then he deserves to win that state outright. The same goes for the Republicans. That's how democracy is supposed to work. I'm disappointed in the delegate process and the horrible super delegate process that Washington politicians created years ago. 


This process has allowed the DNC and RNC to go against the will of the American people and to do whatever they want. It's not right nor is it fair. Americans deserve to have their voice heard regardless of whom they're supporting. It doesn't make sense that every state has a completely different way of choosing their respective parties nominees. This only makes it more confusing for the voters. I personally am in favor of semi-closed primaries. I think every state should be a primary state. No more caucuses, because they only allow for low voter turnout and in many cases don't have early voting or absentee ballot as options of voting. I'm frustrated that some states are open primaries, which allow for the practice of raiding.


When it comes to presidential debates I feel the DNC's failure to hold debates in April and May was poor management. I'm glad we've already had eight Democratic debates and two town halls. However, we should've had at least one debate in April and one in May because states don't stop voting until June. Sanders shouldn't have to be begging for a debate from Clinton if the DNC scheduled sanctioned debates accordingly. The DNC decided to have six debates at the beginning of this campaign (which wasn't enough) and had most of the debates early on instead of evening them out over this very long primary process. I also feel that the debates should've been more focused on certain issues than asking the same questions and giving the same answers at different times and locations. That in my view does a disservice to the voters of Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, and California just to name a few. Also the DNC's decision to hold individual primaries and caucuses on individual days instead of holding a chunk of primaries and caucuses on several days not only has prolonged this process, but tons of money I feel hasn't been allocated correctly.


We are the most powerful country on Earth, yet we make the process for selecting our nominees so confusing to the point no one ever know what is going on. This system wasn't set up in our Constitution. The American people should have more leverage in choosing their parties nominees than should their party leaders. This does a disservice to all of the five candidates and their supporters. It's not fair, it's not right, and it's not democratic. 

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