One of the biggest educational benefits for American voters throughout the 2016 Presidential election so far has, hopefully, been an improved understanding of how oligarchic, and rigged, our political system has become.
Simply put, it is heavily in favor of establishment candidates, and specifically against outsiders, with some party elites having profound influence over the outcome of an election, sometimes decisively!
1. What is an oligarchy?
Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia - Oligarchy:
Oligarchy (from Greek ὀλιγαρχία (oligarkhía); from ὀλίγος (olígos), meaning "few", and ἄρχω (arkho), meaning "to rule or to command") is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. These people might be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, corporate, religious or military control. Such states are often controlled by a few prominent families who typically pass their influence from one generation to the next, but inheritance is not a necessary condition for the application of this term.2. Who are the oligarchs in America?
Throughout history, oligarchies have often been tyrannical, relying on public obedience or oppression to exist. Aristotle pioneered the use of the term as a synonym for rule by the rich, for which another term commonly used today is plutocracy.
Some elected officials and some elites in the political parties! Many candidates are chosen by the oligarchs, and become oligarchs themselves over time. It's the elites choosing the future elites who will dictate how we, the people, will be allowed to vote and live! THE BUSH's THE CLINTONS, THE OBAMA'S AND THEIR SYCOPHANTS. IT LIKE THE MOB FAMILIES !!
3. Oligarch vs. democracy
In a nutshell, democracy simply means one person, one vote. Americans naively believed they had finally achieved this ideal in 1965 (Voting Rights Act of 1965).
Unlike a parliamentary system (e.g. the U.K., Japan, and Canada), in which the majority party of the parliament (via a coalition if necessary) elects the head of the government, Americans elect their President directly via a democratic process (with the electoral-college system notwithstanding), as clearly defined in the U.S. Constitution.
It turns out that American voters no longer really elect the President directly, at all. Instead, the two major parties each offer their choice of candidate, selectively chosen via their own primary processes. Worse yet, neither of the primary processes are truly democratic. Rather, they are oligarchic, with some party elites having profound influence over the outcome, sometimes decisively. Worst of all, there is no direct relationship between the primary voters and the party elites, because many primary elections are open, with no party affiliation required!
In short, the election process for American President is not truly democratic. Rather, it is a bad mixture of democracy and oligarchy!
4. America's 2-party system
Like Yin and Yang, it was natural for America to end up with two major political parties, currently the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.
Both parties are private, like elite private clubs, with their own rules, hierarchies, and steep entrance dues to become elites. For example, Senator Ted Cruz, just like Senator Obama, promised heavy future favors for support of his presidential run. American taxpayers would have to pay hugely to cover his campaign promises, just as we did after Senator Obama won the Presidency. Both of them are obviously top elites in their respective parties!
However, unlike private clubs with exclusive memberships, both parties are “open”, with arbitrary party memberships. For example, an Independent (who belongs to neither party) may choose to participate in the Democratic primary (in states with open primaries), but eventually vote for the Republican nominee in the general election. He (or she) may never have voted for either party before, thus having nothing to do, previously, with the elites of either party.
In short, democratically speaking, the oligarchs in America are not legitimate, because of the disconnection between them and the voters!
5. How do the two parties choose their respective Presidential nominee?
Each party has its own primary elections, which vary from state to state, to select a party nominee. Basically, a nominee is selected by the delegates, who are not necessarily directly chosen, even proportionately, by the voters.
On the Republican side, the problem is less obvious this year, because Donald Trump is already the presumptive nominee, thanks to an overwhelmingly large number of votes he has received.
In contrast, the Democratic Party may have a big problem coming up, if Bernie Sanders ends up with more "pledged delegates" via public voting than Hillary Clinton, who obviously has far more super-delegates to eventually out-number him!
What, then, is a super-delegate?
Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia - Super-delegate:
In American politics, a "super-delegate" is a delegate to the Democratic National Convention who is seated automatically and chooses for whom they want to vote. These Democratic Party super-delegates include distinguished party leaders, and elected officials, including all Democratic members of the House and Senate and sitting Democratic governors.Note: Many voted for Bernie Sanders in the primaries for the person, not the party! Some of them may have never voted before, let alone voted Democrat. So they had zero input as to who would become a super-delegate, who could not therefore possibly represent them in any way!
Bottom line: How could our political system have devolved to the point that some party elites end up with so much more power than the people, deviating from the ideal of "one person, one vote"?
"They know what's better for the party" is obviously the pretended logic behind the set-up. In reality, however, it's just another power grab by the elite few: the oligarchs!
6. Do they know better, really?
Yes, they do, as most of them are career politicians!
What, then, is the problem? Most of them work primarily for their own benefit (aka "getting re-elected ad nauseam"), with their party a distant second, their constituents a remote third, and their country dead last!
To know what a typical Congressman like David Jolly does on daily basis, read: Republican congressman exposes one of Congress' dirty little secrets on '60 Minutes'. Here is an excerpt:
Jolly said, as a member of Congress, entire schedules work around making time to fundraise, in his case $18,000 per day, for their reelection campaign.Bottom line: In politics, money is not everything; money is the only thing!
"Republicans, Democrats and Independents can all agree on one thing - the public did not elect Members of Congress to go to Washington and spend their time raising money for their re-election," Jolly said. "They are not paying members $174,000 a year to spend, in some cases 20 or 30 hours a week, on the phone dialing for dollars. But that is exactly what is happening."
7. What's the end result?
Because of the link between money and elections/re-elections, the two parties often end up with similar candidates, especially in terms of ferocious spending and the resultant requisite taxation and borrowing! Specifically,
- The Democrats tax-borrow-&-spend for entitlements. For more, read: Democratic Socialism.
- The Republicans tax-borrow-&-spend for wars, for more, read: Democratic Imperialism.
Still wondering why our national debt already exceeds $19 trillion, and continues to rise rapidly?
Wonder not! It's the political system, stupid!
Both parties are oligarchic, but the Democratic Party seems much worse. For more on the history of “super-delegates” and its implications this year, read: No, Sanders doesn’t stand much chance.
Now, why the Democratic Party is more oligarchic than the Republican Party? Maybe it has something to do with the nature of the Democratic Party? Three informative readings:
For those “intelligent” Sanders voters, if you feel disenfranchised by his party, it’s time to board the Trump train for one main reason, at least: Trump is the candidate best at addressing your critical issues, such as fair trade and anti-war!
More profoundly, electing Donald Trump may be a unique opportunity for us to break the cycle of money and politics by both parties!
Yes, Trump, a de facto Libertarian (Who is Donald Trump, Anyway?), has already hijacked the Republican Party, by beating all its establishment candidates! He will hopefully unite, reform, and expand the GOP in the coming weeks and months, leading to a victory in November.
On the Democratic side, Sanders is unlikely to beat the Democratic establishment. So Hillary Clinton will certainly be the nominee, thanks to the super-delegates!
Between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the general election, here is a basic question for all Americans: America: Are We Still A Republic?
Give Donald Trump a chance to "make America great again", which may include changes to campaign financing and even the oligarchic system!