2016: The Year in which Americans Found Out Their Elections are Rigged
The year 2016 is proving to be one the most politically testing years of the millennial generation. Elections have emotions running high on both party lines. However, there has been some shady stuff happening during this round of elections, especially during the primaries. Even before this round of elections, the United States already had the electoral integrity of North Korea. (Either the US is seriously struggling or North Korea actually knows what elections are…so take that as you will)
The Democratic Side
The Wyoming Primary: By popular vote, Bernie won hands down with 56% of the vote. Although, somehow Hilary ended up with 11 delegates and Bernie ended up with 7…?
The New York Primary: For whatever reason, polls in the New York City area that were supposed to open early, around 6am, did not open until 8 or 10am. So all of the people who were in line to vote before work could not because the polls were not open. Since the polls were not open, the lines kept getting longer, and eventually, once the polls did open, some of the machines were down, which slowed the process even further.
Furthermore, for those who were away at college or out of town and requested absentee ballots, a large number of them never received one. They were told that they had gone through the correct formal process to obtain one, and that one would be sent to them, however, they were never received.
You also have to be a registered Democrat/Republican to vote in the New York Primary. You had to have been registered by mid-November 2015, or else you had to sign some affidavit saying why you could not register with a certain party or something ridiculous like that. This also meant that the 3 million independents could not vote either, which makes up about 27% of New York’s voting population.
It is estimated that around 20,000 people did not get the chance to vote in the New York Primary due to all of these ‘unforeseen hiccups.’ Oddly enough, that’s roughly the margin that Hilary won by…and most college students who requested Democratic absentee ballots were voting for Bernie…and the neighborhoods whose polling locations were practically non-functional had had huge Bernie rallies the day before.
Superdelegates: So apparently one person’s vote counts more than another person’s vote…? And if the superdelegates don’t like a specific candidate then they aren’t going to receive the nomination…? So why are we even voting in the first place if someone else with more political power is just going to decide for us later? This definitely seems democratic.
The Republican Side
A Contested Convention: The GOP is honestly shitting themselves at the fact that Donald Trump has won the Republican nomination. Trump was only 241 delegates away from the nomination after the April 26 primaries. Trump is also against the system and governmental institutions having monopoly over citizens, similar to Bernie Sanders, which scares the shit out of the GOP and many in the Republican party, on top of the fact that he’s never held any sort of political office.
A few months ago, there were rumors that if Trump failed to win 1,237 delegates by the Republican convention in July, the GOP would decide who will be their chosen candidate to represent them in the general election. Ideally, if we’re following the democratic process here, the Convention should choose whomever has the most delegates by July, which would be Donald Trump because Ted Cruz would have needed about 95% of the delegates left and John Kasich would have needed over 100%.
Candidates and other party members were hoping for a ‘contested convention,’ which means that it does not matter who is picked by the primary elections (popular vote), the GOP is going to pick someone else, whether it be Cruz, Kasich, or another candidate that the GOP has up their sleeve. The person that they pick would automatically win the Republican nomination — even if it is someone that the people did not pick to be their nominee.
That would be the most undemocratic thing America could do.
The fact that people that we have elected as our leaders would even try to do something like this is frightening. While it’s not going to happen because Cruz and Kasich have already dropped out, it’s still incredibly scary that this possibility was even in the cards a few months ago. We would have gone from democratic oligarchy to autocratic oligarchy in about three seconds.
The outlook on the future of our country both domestically and internationally as a result of this election is somewhat bleak. Obama called it at his last White House Correspondents dinner a few months ago:
“It is an honor to be here at my last, and perhaps the last White House Correspondents’ dinner. You all look great, the end of the Republic has never looked better.”
It’s scary because it’s possible.
Furthermore, we are now at the point where either #guessImwithher or we are going to ‘make America great again.’ Having the choice between an “un-convinced” felon and a businessman who is running on a fiscally conservative and a socially racist platform, not to mention the potential for a third candidate brought in by either side to throw a ‘Hail Mary’ on our political situation.
We have seen both candidates and the system contribute to this ‘reality show,’ and unfortunately neither outcome looks particularly appealing. The entire execution of this election cycle has dropped some serious truth bombs on the American people, some of which they were not prepared for. Young people, especially, are now painfully aware of what their country is doing, and they don’t like it. However, they also don’t know how to fix it. I fear that in the next few years it will be about people acknowledging that there is a problem and being unable to figure out how to address it. Honestly, I think the American people are upset that the government would pardon Hillary Clinton and allow her to run when she should actually be in jail, yet they are also sitting here wondering how Donald Trump even made it this far.