Election 2016: Where Things Could Have and Should Have Gone Differently

 

I am not going to presume to sit back and call this the most heavily corrupted election in US history; though, on the outside, it does seem like it could certainly hold the title. As a student of history, political science, and philosophy, I know better. This country’s history is replete with countless examples of elections determined by rampant corruption involving money, natural resources, and even the use of pure brute force. Either people got paid to stay home, or if they showed up to the polls, they paid for it with their lives. What I can say is that this is, by far, the most widely covered corrupted election in US history. For the first time, social media and alternative media outlets have played a very serious role in exposing some of the tools used by the political and economic elites of this country looking to secure their political positions over those of the general public, from tampered machinery, to ballot fraud, and even, scrubbing voter rolls.

It certainly was not going to be mainstream media reporting the entire myriad of suspicious activities that went on in the rigging process during this election. Their paychecks are tied up in reporting what they are told to report. This should go a long way in informing people that the America they have grown up to know and love is not a democratic country. They are living in a country ruled by elites, who use democracy to secure their power through media manipulated popular support, and as long as this works for them, it will not change. Hopefully, this election can be a turning point. Hopefully, the cracks that have developed in the public’s trust of both the media and the government will become gaping chasms and something will actually change in the foreseeable future. That aside, there was a point in this election cycle where things could have changed dramatically. If only they had.

In late July, after a primary season that was filled with frustration, conspiracy, and in the eyes of many, blatant corruption and election tampering, as has been discussed, Hillary Clinton was nominated, on the first ballot, by the Democratic Party as their choice for the Presidency of the United States of America. It is interesting that the nomination process went this smoothly because going into the DNC Convention; Clinton did not have the required number of delegates to be nominated on the first ballot in a straight delegate count. How did she manage this swift victory then? That’s right. She was given her crown by the Democratic Party’s, ‘People’s Mistakes Correction Mechanism,’ otherwise known as Super-delegates. Apparently, in an early move, the DNC committee changed the convention rules, making it possible for Super-delegates to vote on the first ballot. This secured her quick victory, and discounted all of the work that Sanders and his people had done in the previous months.

This is the first place where things could have gone differently in this election. If the nomination process had been allowed to function normally, the first straight ballot vote would not have nominated Hillary Clinton. After this, politics would have come into play. Either the candidates would have vied for each other’s delegates by making wheeling and dealing style promises, or the Super-delegates would have stepped in. Prior to the invention of Super-delegates, the balloting process would have continued until a nominee had been selected. The 1924 Democratic National Convention required 103 ballots, the most in the party’s history, before it was able to nominate John W. Davis, an obscure one term Congressman, US Ambassador, and Solicitor General, who went on to get trounced by Calvin Coolidge, the Republican nominee that year. Three things could have happened as a result. On the second ballot, the Super-delegates would have stepped in, a lengthy battle would have nominated Clinton anyways, or Sanders would have been able to outlast Clinton to get the nomination. Either way it happened, the democratic process would have at least been recognized as a somewhat legitimate process.

Next, given the DNC’s determination to crown Hillary Clinton the nominee, Sanders could have used any number available technicalities and rule tricks to interrupt the balloting process on the floor. He could have called for a nonvoting roll call to ‘make sure’ that all delegations were present. He could have called for a clarification of the seating chart for the delegations. He could have called for a rereading of all pre convention rule changes to ‘ensure’ that everyone clearly understood the new changes, and much much more. He could have even called for a convention pause while inquiries were set forth to investigate the accusations of primary voter fraud leading up to the convention. During the delays created by these tactics, Sanders could have set out to put more influence on Super-delegates and encouraged delegations from swing states to reconsider their vote counts. These are all perfectly legal procedures, and given the appropriate circumstances, could have greatly improved Sander’s prospects of being nominated from the floor, as opposed to sitting back and watching Clinton walk away with a less than styled victory.

A third, but most likely, less popular alternative would have been for the Clinton campaign to exercise some political common sense. They made absolutely no effort whatsoever to take Sanders, his supporters, and potential party defectors, who were threatening to go Dr. Jill Stein and the Green Party, seriously. While Sanders asked his people to support Clinton, a great many of them made it abundantly clear that if Clinton walked out with the nomination, they were going to walk out on the Democratic Party. Some did not even wait for the convention to end before doing so. Had Clinton taken such threats seriously, political common sense would have told her that the best way to unify her party would be to appease the voters that nearly took her down. How could she have done this? She could have named Sanders her choice for Vice-President. This would not have been the best option for many people, as to them, the ticket would have looked upside down. In fact, many people would probably still have bailed simply because they were serious about not supporting Clinton. What such a move would have done, though, was garner just enough extra Sanders votes to prevent the outcome that this nation received on November 8. Of course, it did not help this point that coming into the convention; she had already named Tim Kaine for VP.

A lot of national polling agencies had a Sanders led Democratic Party headed for the largest victory in the race for the White House in probably an entire generation. The tallies for a Clinton victory were precarious, at best. Some said she would lose, while others said she would win by a very narrow margin. None of the polls from these multiple agencies were able to accurately predict the real political fallout that was this election. Clinton went center-right to win an election in which the Republican candidate had gone completely right. In the process, she abandoned the progressive wing of her party and paid for it. At the very least, if Clinton had stuck to the middle and latched onto as many progressives as would have followed her with Sanders as VP, this country would not be forced to endure the next four years under the leadership of Donald J. Trump. Hopefully, now, the next Democratic Party nominee won’t be so quick to ignore progressives. Lesson learned?

What do you think? Do you like what is being said here? To check out more of Kent Allen Halliburton’s work, visit his politics and history blog. You will find yourself entranced at www.refusetocooperate3.blogspot.com.

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