In response to the onslaught of misinformation coming to you this election cycle, we would like to introduce our series: Don’t Be Fooled. Over the next several months we will shine light on the disingenuous dialogues and give you facts to help reason an informed judgement.
To start, there is a notion espoused by the press that parties are part of a democracy. They are not. Further, selecting a presidential candidate by a party does not have to be democratic. Parties are private companies, like labor unions, with the goal, like a labor union, to keep their union members employed. Parties purport to represent an ideology and offer a “platform” for governance if their “union members” become elected to government.
Important to note, parties are not part of the government. Parties are not even mentioned in the Constitution. In fact, parties pose great danger to our Republic, as so noted by President George Washington who, in his farewell address, warned the nation of the dangers from parties when the “will of the party replaces the will of the nation.”
The Democrat and Republican parties are composed of state parties from the 50 states and a separate national committee. The national committee is responsible for the national convention from which the 50 state parties choose their presidential candidate.
Each party can make its own rules on how to choose their candidate. An enlightening article, The Agony of a Trump Delegate, by Kimberly Strassel on April 28, 2016 appearing in the Wall Street Journal describes the GOP party nomination system in light of Donald Trump’s displeasures of such – click here for full article.
Bernie Sanders can also be displeased by the lack of “democracy” of the Democratic Party. The super delegates are independent of the primaries and caucuses and represent about 30% of the votes needed to win the nomination for the Democratic presidential candidate. The Democrats put this undemocratic system in place to assure the control of their nominee if the voters should choose someone not of the Party’s design.
In summary, parties are not part of the government. They are private organizations who select who they want as their presidential nominee according to their own rules, which they may change at any time. Your vote for a presidential candidate of a party is at best a preference poll. However, with all this said, parties risk the wrath from their voters if they should chose against the majority of their voter’s preference.