April 27, 2016

Merika: Cradle of (cluelessness about) democracy, including by #Sandernistas

After Bernie Sanders pretty much got his clock cleaned in the latest round of Democratic primaries, we now have some Sandernistas crying out:
A. For him to run as an independent, and
B. That closed primaries are undemocratic.

I've already addressed A more than once, kiddos. He's way too "good" of a Democrat to do that, as noted here. The fact that he can't mention the Hillary Clinton-supported coup in Honduras, not even once? I wouldn't want him to run independent anyway. He'd detract from a true left-liberal voting opportunity. Per friend Brains, that comes with Plan B, voting for Jill Stein or whomever the Green Party nominates.

And, beyond that, as that should indicate, I vote for ideals first, individuals second. That's why the #ImWithHer on Twitter, with all the tribalism it portents, makes me want to throw up. (And, no, neither explicitly nor implictly, did Obama make the same type of appeals in 2008, for all of his own other neoliberal issues.)

Now, to point B, which I want to tackle in more detail.

Disenfranchising voters through overly rigid ID requirements? That's antidemocratic. Slashing day-of-voting poll locations by 2/3, even if your state budget is struggling? That's antidemocratic.

Closed primaries? Nothing of the sort.

Regular readers of this blog know that I support moving the U.S. more in the direction of parliamentary government. Well, in a parliamentary system, the whole schmeer is pretty much like a caucus here in the U.S. for states that use a caucus system.

And, you know what? Caucuses are closed. And, party establishments are key there.

(But, you have more than two viable parties to back. Usually more than three, even.)

Now, the real thing that's antidemocratic?

Is the presidential-focused two-party system, combined with non-majoritarian, first-past-the-post voting for House and Senate members.

Municipalities, in local elections, and school boards, likewise, require absolute majorities, not just pluralities, for elections. So why not the U.S. Congress and state legislatures? Especially when wedded to something like Instant Runoff Voting, this would actually start making America more democratic.

This is not meant to sound (too much) like a lecture, especially younger participants in the "system." It IS meant to be a wakeup call.

So, "Sandernistas"? There are many more, and more serious things, that America is undemocratic about than are in your philosophy.

Hat tip, Shakespeare.

As for Sanders himself? I'm glad that he's shaken up the Democratic establishment, but the fact that a relatively mild non-socialist is doing that speaks volumes about the party.

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