Say what you will about Donald Trump — and there’s a lot to say — no one is debating that he himself got the votes he needed to win the primary race.
The same cannot be said of the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton. The revelation of emails between top Democratic party brass about supporting Clinton no matter what —despite protestations of neutrality vis-à-vis the Bernie Sanders candidacy — is a smoking gun. The DNC was not merely a “referee,” and not just because it corralled unelected “superdelegates” for Clinton. On both the left and the right, those who said the Democratic nomination was rigged were right, in part. Take Colorado. Colorado Democrats named 41 Sanders delegates to Clinton’s 25. Yet, Sen. Michael Bennet and Gov. John Hickenlooper, among 12 of Colorado’s superdelegates, pledged their support to Clinton after Bernie’s win here. So did Reps. Diana DeGette, Jared Polis, Ed Perlmutter. Add in the secret DNC efforts for Clinton, and one can see how Colorado Democrats did not get a fair representation.
Sure, Wasserman Schultz is now resigning and others are apologizing for the inside partisanship revealed in the emails. But really, it’s all the Russians’ fault. Instead of taking responsibility for its political machinations, the Clinton campaign and the DNC are trying to spin a new conspiracy: Vladimir Putin or the Kremlin are behind the hack.
Maybe so. But whether this actually happened is something for the US intelligence community to investigate. It is immaterial to what it reveals about the Democratic party.
It’s moves like this that lead to the public’s distrust, distaste and dislike of Clinton and of politics generally, today — not that the Republicans, with Donald Trump’s crudities and excesses, have not understandably earned very strong negative ratings of their own.
It is interesting that the Republicans nominated the outsider candidate and stepped away from “rigging” the process, no matter how much its establishment wanted to do so. Remember all the talk of a contested Republican convention and a last-ditch candidate? It didn’t happen because the establishment accepted the reality that Donald Trump won the primaries.
By contrast, the Democrats, one could argue in light of these emails, never allowed a truly fair fight. Their outsider, Bernie Sanders, despite huge popular support, didn’t have the proverbial snowball’s chance in hell.
If Democrats don’t want Sanders’ supporters to call the election “rigged,” they’ve got to do a lot more than apologize and blame the Russians. They must demonstrate concrete steps to create a far more fair and transparent process of choosing a nominee.
In this election, the ideological factions of each party — progressives and conservatives — do not, en masse, support their respective candidates. Both candidates have a mammoth task on their hands: They must persuade many of their own party loyalists, not only all of the independent voters out there.
Copyright © 2016 by the Intermountain Jewish News