Just because the founders of our country distrusted true democracy quite a bit and set things up so that there were even checks and balances on democracy, doesn’t mean we should be similarly afraid of democracy.
It may come as a surprise to you, but we are not a democracy — we are a republic. The question is, “Should it stay that way?” My short answer is “no.”
I sent an e-mail to my Democrat District Chair on March 25, 2008. I informed him that I wanted him to remove me from the membership of the Democratic Party. I have either been a precinct committee officer or a paid party member most of my adult life. He hesitated but complied, complaining “why are you dinging your local district for the national party’s antics?”
I did this because I can no longer be part of an organization that contemplates for close to two months, the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of primary voters under the guise of “playing by the rules.” I will only renew my membership in the Democratic Party if, and when, the DNC does the right thing and validates the Michigan and Florida primaries, as is (assign the uncommitteds to Obama).
I was ashamed to be a Democrat. I am happy to be an Independent. I will likely continue to vote for Democrats, but I just cannot stomach being part of the party until it shapes up. Unless anyone wants to accuse me of “sour grapes” because Senator Clinton is “behind,” let me say this: I will vote for whoever wins the Democratic primary. However, I am not proud of the Democrats’ current primary process, and, for me, the process counts more than the outcome.
I truly was trying to stay out of this part of the primary debate, but it is no use. The “dirtiest” thing that is happening in this campaign is the conduct of the DNC by disenfranchising Michigan and Florida primary voters, and trying to get us all to believe that Democrat caucus results were actually more valid than the Michigan and Florida primaries… uh, really? Prove it. Show me the argument.
You can look at the data from states that had both primaries and caucuses, and Senator Clinton either won the primaries in those states or came very close, but was soundly defeated in the same states’ caucuses, which were often extremely smaller than the primaries. Exactly how does that prove that caucus results came closer to the principle of one-person, one-vote than the primaries in Michigan and Florida? It doesn’t.
In fact, caucuses are so far from the one-person, one-vote principle of democracy that some very astute people are calling for their demise here, here, and here. And, then, there is the unelected Democrat superdelegates (that is for another discussion).
If one-person, one-vote doesn’t get significant respect in nominations, then, get it, you as a voter, are having your options cut off or allowed by someone else long before the general election. I think our votes in the nomination process should have very similar value to our votes in a general election.
If the DNC can’t reform its ways, then I suggest, as a couple of other bloggers have suggested, that we start an Equalist’s Party of America (or resurrect the National Woman’s Party) and start recruiting both women and men who really care about the one-person, one-vote principle. I would suggest a nation-wide, two-day primary election.
That’s my plan, and I am sticking to it.