Sunday, March 27, 2016

The pernicious impact of Gadfly Politicians like Bernie Sanders

Gadfly Politicians are politicians who persistently challenge the political status quo and people in positions of power.

We need these people, particularly in Congress and state legislatures where they can affect domestic policy. Senator Elizabeth Warren is an outstanding example.

But Gadfly Politicians usually have really big egos. Given any significant attention, they run for President. They shouldn't run for President. History tells us that a Gadfly Politician makes a pernicious choice when choosing to run for President because they always take advantage of the weakest elements within our political system.

We Democrats this year have Gadfly Politician Senator Bernie Sanders taking advantage of the weakest elements of the Democratic Party nomination process.
The fact is that to date in the Democratic Party Convention delegate selection process:
  • The average caucus-selected delegate was selected by 1,285 voters; Sanders has won in 10 of the 13 caucus states.
  • The average primary-selected delegate was selected by 8,315 voters; Clinton has won in 17 of the 20 primary states.
I'll explain more about this later.

But first let's look at the history of Gadfly Politicians running for President. I'll do this knowing that history, even recent history, is a despised subject for liberal voters, especially young liberal voters. In recent history Ross Perot and Ralph Nader were Gadfly Politicians who ran for President. Let me begin with Ross Perot.

In the November 1992 Presidential Election Bill Clinton received 43.0% (47,401,185) of the popular vote compared to George H. W. Bush's 37.4%  (39,104,550)  and Ross Perot's 18.9% (19,743,821).

Having won 43.0% of the popular vote Clinton received 68.77% (370) of the Electoral College votes compared to Bush's 31.23% (168) and Perot's 0% (0).

No one knows how the election would have turned out if Ross Perot had chosen not to run. It's likely most of his supporters would have voted Republican.

Democrats don't really remember this election, nor see Perot's choice as pernicious, because we won. (Did we, really?)

On the other hand, a lot of Democrats remember the November 2000 Presidential Election.

Practically every Democrat blames the Supreme Court for stealing the 2000 Presidential Election from Al Gore. America's "news" media focused on the Florida hanging-chad ballot fiasco which was the core of that court decision, thereby diverting attention away from the real reason Gore lost.

No one looks back at the pernicious disruptive impact of the 22,198 New Hampshire voters who, for reasons that defied all logic, cast their ballots not for Al Gore but for Ralph Nader.

Had even half of them come to their senses in the voting booth and voted for Al Gore, he not George Bush would have been elected President in 2000, Florida results notwithstanding.

That is because Bush won 271 Electoral Votes to Gore's 266. New Hampshire's four Electoral Votes went to Bush. Had they gone to Gore, Gore would have had 270 Electoral Votes to Bush's 267. (Without Nadar there is no question Gore would have won Florida, hanging chads and all.)

The likes of Bill Maher and Michael Moore assured the election of George W. Bush by backing Ralph Nader. This was because it never occurred to them that the President of the United States is not elected by ideas nor voters but by Electoral College members. It never occurred to them that Nader-the-Gadfly-Politician's choice to run was a pernicious choice.

And so in 2016 we have Bernie Sanders.

In the political party nomination process, delegates are the party equivalent to Electoral College members. It isn't the popular vote that selects a candidate at the Party Convention, but the vote of the delegates.

Bernie, in a typical Gadfly Politician manner, just "claimed victory" in three states in the Democratic Party nomination process - he won 53 delegates to Hillary Clinton's 19 in those three states.And here's what is wrong with what happened in those states yesterday.

Unlike in states where a primary election is held, the three states involved held "caucuses" where voters who didn't have any real life obligations yesterday went to the Party's parties and cast their votes for the nominee of their choice.

In Alaska 539 people were able to attend the parties. That represented ½ of 1% of the votes cast for Barack Obama in 2012. Sanders was able to get 81% of the delegates from Alaska by winning the approval of 0.4% of the Alaskan voters likely to vote for the Democratic nominee in the November Presidential election.

That's a quirk you might want to say. Bernie also won in Washington State where thousands participated. Yeah....

There were 26,299 participants in the Washington caucuses which sounds like a lot until you learn that 1,620,432 Washington voters voted for Barack Obama in 2012.  Bernie Sanders got 74% of the Washington State delegates by getting 1.18% of the votes cast for Barack Obama in 2012.

In Hawaii it was a little better.  Sanders did win 17 delegates by getting 7.76% of the votes cast for Barack Obama in 2012.

In contrast, in the Alabama primary Clinton won 83% of the delegates by getting 39% of the votes cast for Barack Obama in 2012. This is typical for primary results.

It is ironic that Bernie Sanders today complained about the Democratic Party having Superdelegates, the vast majority of whom are committed to Clinton.

It is ironic because Sanders is taking advantage of the least democratic method of delegate selection process within the Democratic Party system to disrupt things in order to communicate a message challenging the political status quo and people in positions of power.

As I said in my first paragraph, Gadfly Politicians are politicians who persistently challenge the political status quo and people in positions of power. So Bernie Sanders is a Gadfly Politician.

History tells us that when Gadfly Politicians choose to run for President there are always unforeseen pernicious impacts on the best interests of their supporters.

I wonder what those impacts will be and what elements of our population beginning in 2017 will lose significantly in the policy arena because of Bernie's choice to run in 2016?

The poor? Blue collar workers? Blacks? Hispanics? Women?

Are Sanders supporters foolish enough to think it will be billionaires and international corporations?

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