It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane, it’s a Superdelegate
My plan with this article was to wander around downtown after midnight and ask people silly questions about politics. I hoped to evoke some funny answers that would illustrate the madness that descends upon America every four years, and hopefully collect some drunken wisdom nuggets in the process. But when I got down to the Bacchus, watching people nail karaoke renditions of Run DMC and Adele, I realized that I couldn’t do it. Sitting with a friend, playing pocket pool with a voice recorder and sipping a beer, I felt with unshakable certainty that I just didn’t have the energy. Even the thought of the coming election had me drinking more than I first intended. And that became a fascination in itself: Why is the most important “democratic” election/reality tv show/pissing contest in the World a source of exhaustion and a taboo conversation according to common etiquette? Shouldn’t it be...I don’t know, inspiring or something?
I’ll warn you now that I don’t have anything more original to say about the spectacle that is the presidential race than anyone else who’s paying even a little bit of attention. But it seems worth noting that the two people getting the early primary wins are the two people who are most unlike anything we’ve ever had before. We are literally on the cusp of voting in a brash billionaire most notable for firing people on his reality television show and a clothing line once carried by Macy’s. Or, a geriatric senator openly aiming to embrace the economic system our country spent over forty years on the cusp of nuclear apocalypse to destroy. That’s where we’re at.
These are the first headlines I saw when I typed in cnn.com:
“Pope suggests Trump is not a Christian.”
“Trump rips Pope: I’m a Christian.”
“What about Vatican walls?”
“See Kasich comfort crying man.”
“Sanders an ‘honorary woman’?”
I’ll just let that stand for itself. But one quick question: Does anyone understand what a superdelegate is? It’s every news anchor’s favorite word right now, and I can’t figure out why an official political title uses the same adjective as a comic book hero who shoots lasers out of his eyes and can’t die. Or why these “super” delegates get to subvert the democratic process by voting against the wishes of their constituents. Can anyone even name one of these super people?
And if you’re waiting for me to reveal my political leanings, I’ll save you the time and say that past this therapeutic venting, I plan to run in the other direction from the 2016 presidential race. I’ve only been old enough to vote for two presidential elections, and I really only remember the last five, but that just makes me all the more confused about the amnesia around the fact that every four years we are tricked into funnelling our limited awareness into what seems to be an empty ritual.
Sure, I could say that I like what Bernie Sanders has to say about money in politics. But that’s all. I like what he has to say. Like every other president ever, including the current one, the highest office in the land is won on big promises that are almost never kept. Why should we expect change? Ivy league schools are publishing studies that show the United States is effectively an oligarchy, and nobody seems to notice. But when Donald Trump makes a sound bite criticizing the leader of an archaic religion who still wears wizard clothes, everyone loses their minds.
Now, if I had a few thousand more words to spare, I could lay out all my optimistic ideas about how things should work. Just kidding. I have no idea what needs to happen or how hundreds of millions of people can live in an equitable way. But removing massive campaign contributions from institutions convicted of felonies on the scale of “too big to fail” seems reasonable. Asking why corporations were granted the same rights as human beings by the Supreme Court might also be prudent. We could even dare to ask why we allow former CEO’s of weapons manufacturing companies to decide when and where we start new wars. But maybe we’re too far gone. Maybe our only hope now is to turn to the real heros. It might just be time to get Bat Delegate, Spider Delegate, and if we ask nicely, The Incredible Delegate to join forces with Super Delegates to combat the forces of evil once and for all.