By Jerry Mooney
When Donald Trump recently lost delegates to Senator Cruz in an underhanded fashion, he naturally cried foul, and even said, ironically, that the delegates were acquired in Gestapo fashion. Suddenly this flaw in our electoral process is being taken seriously, because the bombastic Republican candidate is demanding justice.
Although these are the same shenanigans that have been keeping Senator Bernie Sanders in the category of media afterthought, now that the Republican frontrunner has been victimized by these tactics, there is a new discussion. If there is one thing the outspoken presidential candidate is good for, it is getting attention and this rigged political process needs that.
For example, Senator Bernie Sanders won New Hampshire by a 20 points, 60% to 40% yet left the state with fewer delegates. Instead of crying foul, the political establishment used this to continue the narrative that Secretary Hillary Clinton is the presumptive nominee. This outrage was meaningless to Trump supporters and his campaign until recent events subjected the real estate mogul in to the same situation. Now, there is a loud and omnipresent cry for reform.
This outcry comes when, for the first time, the gap between Cruz and Trump is narrowing and all-important states like New York and California loom on the horizon. Plus, there is the sneaky but significant state of Pennsylvania, where Dr. Lara Brown, Director at George Washington School of Political Management, suggests that “candidates will escalate efforts to win over the voters and delegates.” The so-called Keystone state could earn its moniker during this process, as 44 delegates from the state’s 18 districts are unbound. This means these delegates can go to the convention and vote for whomever they wish, regardless of who wins the state or even by how much.
Now compare this to the Sanders’ campaign. Bernie Sanders has won 8 of the last 9 contests, most by landslides, with the only outlier being Arizona, which is under investigation for their election practices. Additionally, the state of Nevada was originally declared a victory for the Clinton campaign and now, after investigation, it has been awarded to Bernie Sanders.
But this overwhelming trend in voter choice doesn’t seem to matter as a Clinton aide was quoted this weekend through CNN, saying essentially that the process is rigged in her favor, and despite Sanders’ sizable victory, “he only netted two delegates, if that.” This was published by CNN as if it were no big deal. Ho hum, the system is rigged to ignore the popular wishes. But this is the very thing that is causing those previously estranged voters to turnout in record numbers and turn the system upside down.
What’s interesting, is that the energy behind the Sanders campaign is similar to that of the Trump camp. They have difference on policy, but both have tapped into the swelling sentiment that the system is rigged and people want change.
I will admit that I am no fan of Donald Trump, but his megaphone is now directed at the systemic barriers to the democratic process. And because of this, I’m thankful that the media fawns all over Donald Trump and that he is a loudmouth with no filter. Perhaps something good will come out of his circus of a presidential campaign.
Feature photo courtesy of Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license
Jerry Mooney is co-founder and managing editor of Zenruption and the author of History Yoghurt and the Moon. He studied at the University of Munich and Lewis and Clark College where he received his BA in International Affairs and West European Studies. He has recently taught Language and Communications at a small, private college and owned various businesses, including an investment company that made him a millionaire before the age of 40. Jerry is committed to zenrupting the forces that block social, political and economic justice. He can also be found on Twitter@JerryMooney