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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Who Wants To Be A Delegate?

Why would anyone want to be a delegate to a political convention? I suppose you'd have to be the kind of person who enjoys wearing a straw hat while sitting in an arena listening to speeches, all the time knowing that you don't actually have anything to do with the outcome of the nominating process or the election.

Even those on the platform committees are wasting their time, because that document means nothing. It's a compilation of things the extremists in your party believe in, but not necessarily the views of anyone else. No candidate -- presidential or otherwise -- has to sign a promise to support and abide by the party's platform. So, why bother?

The roll call of the states is a waste of time, part of the pomp-and-circumstance of a bygone era when we didn't know the results of each primary and caucus weeks (or months) before the convention. That era, by the way, ended with the invention of the telegraph, not the internet. There's no suspense -- despite the Wolf Blitzers of the world hoping for some kind of drama, dammit -- and no surprise ending. The media could have stopped using the word "presumptive" before "candidate" for both Clinton and Trump when primary season ended last month. It wasn't a presumption, it was a foregone conclusion.

This goes to the whole idea of our voting in the primaries not for candidates, but for delegates who then go to the party convention and essentially cast a group ballot on our behalf. And it extends to the electoral college, an idea long past its due date, in which yet another group of people have the final say as to who will be our president and vice president.

These concepts began with the Founding Fathers, who didn't believe that the average American was informed enough to decide on important matters like who our leaders would be. While that may have been as true in the 18th century as it is today (!), we need to cast off that elitism and remove the obstacles which keep the people of this country from choosing our candidates directly.

Sorry, delegates, but you'll have to find someplace else to wear your straw hats and goofy buttons.