Choose Your Candidate Freely

Do You Really Choose Your Candidate for President? Or Does Your Party?

As you all probably know by now, Bernie Sanders won a decisive popular victory in the Democrat New Hampshire primary. Yet somehow, Sanders still came out curiously even with Hillary Clinton in terms of delegates because of DNC “super-delegates” who chose Clinton anyway. And that was just a few days after Hillary Clinton won a bunch of delegates in Iowa on coin flips that always seemed to go her way.

It’s troubling enough that a presidential candidate might be selected by “random” chance that doesn’t seem quite random enough, but ponder for a moment the quite troubling possibility that your votes, even in the primaries, mean almost nothing. Do you really choose your candidate? Or does your party choose a candidate for you?

Many conservatives have crowed over what’s happening in the DNC primary as if that is a sign of the Democrat Party’s isolated corruption. But, lest you think this is a problem exclusive to the left, such voters-be-damned candidacy orchestration has occurred in the GOP as well—even as recently as the very last presidential election cycle.

And it could very well happen again this election cycle. The GOP establishment has made it quite clear that Trump is on their naughty list. If he doesn’t work out some back-room deal with them to prove he can be a party player, we might see the GOP shifting delegates away from him as well. No matter how many Republicans vote for Trump in the primaries. Think I’m exaggerating? Let’s turn back the clock four years and take a look.

Do you remember Ron Paul’s GOP primary run in 2012? If the GOP establishment had gotten behind Ron Paul’s campaign, he had a very good chance of becoming the Republican candidate that year. He also had the best chance of any Republican candidate of attracting swing voters and beating Obama.

But it was clear from the outset that the GOP establishment would do whatever was necessary to select pretty much anyone over Ron Paul. He just wasn’t enough of a party player, no matter how successful his grassroots campaign was. In order to ensure that Ron Paul did not get the nomination, the GOP resorted to quite a large number of shady practices. GOP delegates in favor of Ron Paul told story after story of how the GOP establishment made sure their votes didn’t count for anything—if they got to cast their vote at all. Don’t believe me? Check out this well-documented article outlining the numerous abuses. This is an open secret.

And even after all of that stonewalling, Ron Paul still won primaries in 2012. So the GOP instituted a quite unpopular rule change to make sure it was harder for another Ron Paul to get nominated in the future. Videos of that rule change being shoved through by John Boehner made some headlines that year when it became obvious that the GOP had already decided the change would be adopted no matter the vote. “The ‘ayes’ have it” was written into Boehner’s teleprompter. See the video for yourself:

Democrats everywhere pointed to it as a sign the GOP was out-of-touch with its voters and would do anything to have its own way, even if it meant disenfranchising its own constituency. Yet now, four years later, Bernie Sanders is getting a taste of that same activity in the DNC. How much more of this will it take before we all realize that our votes, even in the primaries, just don’t count for much?

We don’t choose our candidates. Our party chooses for us.

The only reason parties even host a vote is so that we all will think we had a chance and have a choice. But ultimately it is not our nomination. It’s theirs.

Think about how deceitful and destructive this is. Our parties tell us, “Vote for whomever you want in the primaries, but vote Republican come the general election. The primary season is your chance to rally for your optimal candidate. But, if your optimal candidate doesn’t get the nomination, don’t be a sore loser. You had your chance. Now it’s time to support your party.”

This all reminds me of a scene from Princess Bride where Humperdinck tries to convince Buttercup to consider choosing him as an alternative to suicide:

Humperdinck: I suggest a deal. You write four copies of a letter. I’ll send my four fastest ships, one in each direction. . . . We’ll run up the white flag and deliver your message. If Westley wants you, bless you both. If not, please consider me as an alternative to suicide. Are we agreed?

Our party promises to do everything in their power to get us our first choice if only we will agree to consider their alternative if our first choice doesn’t work out. After all, not voting Republican is political suicide right? But we know as well as Princess Buttercup that Humperdinck isn’t going to leave anything to chance. He was never going to send his four fastest ships in her service. And our two parties are never going to allow us to choose a party outsider as our candidate. The game is rigged, people.

If you really believe in “We the People,” it’s time for you to fight this. The two-party system is a clear and present threat to freedom and democracy. Your vote and your choice is being stolen from you, no matter which of the two puppet parties you support. It’s well beyond time for a third party to arise that actually serves the interests and demands of the voters who support it.

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Michael Minkoff, Jr.

Michael Minkoff is a writer, thinker, musician, and producer. He honestly does not prefer writing articles about politics, but he sincerely hopes you enjoy reading them. He also wonders why he is typing this in the third person.

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