Washington regards itself as the finest democracy in the world. It has waged dozens of war to supposedly spread democracy far and wide. However, Washington’s rhetoric fails to meet the standard of reality. Not only does Washington wage wars that destroy entire nations in the name of democracy, but its electoral system is the antithesis of democracy as well. The 2016 elections placed the undemocratic character of Washington on full display when the Democratic Party apparatus anointed Hillary Clinton the “presumptive” nominee just one day before the California primary.
According the Associated Press, Clinton has won all the delegates necessary for the nomination. However, Clinton’s lead has mainly relied on the support of Super Delegates. Even after her victory in California, Clinton possesses 1,926 pledged delegates as opposed to 1,615 held by Sanders. This means that neither candidate has the required 2,383 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. The Democratic National Convention will thus be a contested one. However, this fact has been kept in the dark by the corporate media.
NBC, ABC, the Associated Press all made claims the day before the California Primary that Clintonwas the “presumptive” nominee. Each branch of the monopoly corporate media counted Super Delegates along with pledged delegates. However, super delegates often select preferred candidates months before the last state primary. They can change their mind at any point before the convention or during it. Although Sanders lost California and will go into the convention trailing Clinton by a significant margin, he can still contest the legitimacy of the super delegates.
Despite these possibilities, the latest turn in the 2016 elections blatantly exposes how US Presidents are selected, not elected. The centuries long narrative that the US was founded on the basis of democracy was always a lie. US society has always been a democracy for capital and a dictatorship for the working class and oppressed. Black Americans built the initial infrastructure of US society as the enslaved property of the rich. Indigenous people were mercilessly terrorized to clear the path for early US capitalism. Capital is far more consolidated now that it was then, and its control of the US electoral system more apparent than ever.
Hillary Clinton is the quintessential candidate of consolidated capital. She first served as thedirector of Wall Mart. Throughout the rest of her political career, Clinton has received millions in support from Wall Street. The Clinton Foundation relies solely on the patronage of corporations such as Wal Mart, GE, and Goldman Sachs. Her ties to Wall Street and monopoly corporations have led to numerous speaking engagements with these institutions; a point Sanders has touched on throughout his campaign. Hillary Clinton’s career as a politician has thus exemplified what it means for US politicians to be bought by the rich and then sold back to the public as representatives of the US population.
Many may be tempted to view the 2016 elections as a profoundly negative experience. The attempt by the capitalist ruling class to undermine the Sanders campaign has the potential to discourage many who still believe the US is a democratic society. Furthermore, as Clinton gets closer to an anointed victory, the prospect of a Trump Presidency becomes greater. In conjunction to supporting Clinton, the corporate media has fear-mongered viewers about the dangers of a Trump Presidency. To many on the liberal spectrum of US politics, Trump represents the evil of all evils whose presidency would surely ruin what is left of US democracy.
What this election cycle will hopefully accomplish is a more conscious working class; more equipped to question and fight the legitimacy of US democracy. The popularity of Trump and Sanders is a sign of popular discontent with the prevailing conditions of US society. Workers are realizing that there is no democracy when 80 percent of the population is near poor yet Washington continues to slash funding for food assistance and public education. There is no democracy in a society that imprisons the most people in the world and murders at least one Black American per day. Nor does democracy exist for the millions of people who have been terrorized by an immigration system that has deported nearly two million people since 2008.
Despite growing popular discontent with social conditions in US society, Washington continues to spend trillions of dollars on endless warfare around the world. Nations such as Venezuela have been saddled with debilitating sanctions for supposed “human rights” abuses. Most of the nations the US targets place the needs of the people over profit and possess secular, democratic governments. China has called out the US with a human rights report of its own detailing the numerous instances where the US fails its own standards. The reality is that Washington views democracy as an impediment to the global rule of capitalist profit. Everything else is window dressing.
The 2016 elections is the first election cycle of the 21st century that truly shakes the notion of US democracy to its core. Sanders may throw in the towel following a meeting with President Obama June 9th. However, such a move would only embolden his supporters. Both corporate parties have nothing to show for themselves but undesirable candidates and a system that is slowly dying. The future of the two-party system is in jeopardy, what comes after it remains unclear.