Guest post: Most News Media Fail to Communicate

electoral-collegeAndrew L. Sullivan is a guest writer on Leavenworth St.

Every four years, there is a presidential election and millions of Americans have to figure out how the US Federal Republic works.   Too often, the media fail to explain just how presidents are elected, what the Electoral College is, and why delegates choose a president.  About 20 percent of voters fall prey to conspiracy theories and absurd expectations of what a President can do.  Much of the news media allow presidential candidates to make promises they cannot possibly keep which adds to the problem. Perhaps schools have cut back too much on American History and Government classes.  The problem of ignorance appears to be growing.

The US Federal system uses delegates to prevent the flaws of a direct democracy. The Founders understood the passions of crowds in crisis and set up a system to force people to be more contemplative in their actions and votes. The indirect democracy of the Federal Government forces many issues to be addressed at the local and state level.  Many people fail to appreciate this guard against Federal power.

Right now, Donald Trump is complaining about how Ted Cruz is picking up delegates. Trump thinks if he gets the plurality of votes that he should get the nomination.  Sorry, but the whole purpose of having delegates is to build a majority consensus and Trump has never figured this out. His whole approach to using free media to propel his campaign merely lead to the various media outlets to exploit him for ratings while eventually overexposing Trump for the flake that he is.  You simply cannot expand your lead with voters by using insults. Trump never figured out how to expand his lead and he is suffering the consequences. If he thinks the Republican Party is being unfair, wait until he discovers the Electoral College.

Yet, much of the news media, including Fox News, Breitbart.com and Drudge Report failed to pick up the problems with Trump and blindly accepted the nonsense being stoked by the likes of Roger Stone, a Trump associate.  Council of Foreign Relations, Bilderberg, Koch and Soros and many more conspiracy theories are spun as well as  “birther” issues and  “9/11 truthers”.  Such fear mongering paranoid theories propel themselves when people feel distressed and out of control of their daily lives, but given time, people can see the flaws in such things. After all, we know we will have a new president next year, but whom? It is a big deal.  The news media never appears to account for its role in feeding such paranoia and seldom adequately explains the delegate system.

So where are we at?  US Senator Ben Sasse has proclaimed #NeverTrump to the anger of many Republicans but his critics fail to grasp that Sasse is doing a great tactical service to the Republican Party by putting out a loud warning about the Presidential campaign being a long fight.  You see, if Trump and Cruz were average Republicans, Cruz would have probably dropped out by now and endorsed Trump, but that is not happening, and Republicans need to confront this fact and why.

Trump has gained on the immigration issue simply because President Obama used an Executive Order for DACA which resulted in foreign children being dumped at the border. Trump does well in the media making statements on immigration. Sasse already knows the issue.  Sasse has already challenged Obama on Executive over-reach and is directly challenging ICE to respond to concerns of how the government agency performs.  Yet, many Republicans failed to grasp the problems with DACA and failed to challenge Obama on such measures.  You would think Republicans would understand the gravity of the issue when an unknown and largely unfunded candidate known as David Brat defeats Congressman Eric Cantor, but apparently they do not.  Sasse did pick up on the immigration issue and it is key to why he challenged Trump, yet it is lost on most media outlets.

Trump also brings on his own baggage. He does not understand free trade and does not understand the US Federal Reserve. He accuses China of manipulating its currency but the US Federal Reserve has been doing the same thing. He attacks the Trans-Pacific Partnership while failing to understand the Partnership would be a block against China. I could go on this matter further.

At this point, many will assume this writing is merely anti-Trump.  That is not so.  Trump has done a lot of good in combating political correctness and raising attention to serious issues. The problem is, he is just not good enough to be president. He is what I call a crater candidate.  He only rises because he takes other candidates down and cannot expand his lead and effectiveness.  This is why a delegate system exists.  Minnesota voted for Rubio but he dropped out of the race. If no candidate gets the majority of delegates for nomination, Minnesota delegates will have the right to assert the concerns of their constituents for the best candidate possible. This is American Republican representative democracy as work and we should all be proud of it.

In the end, Cruz will end up with the largest plurality of votes and at convention will likely get many unbound candidates to vote for him on the first ballot to make him the nominee of the Republican Party.  But the future has yet to reveal itself.

17 comments

      • repenting lawyer says:

        Texas Annie, The Founders never contemplated direct democracy, New England Town Meetings, an impossibility in USA even at the Founding. What the feared was temporary political emotion, they wanted to let passions cool. Hence long terms and indirect election of Senate to counterbalance popular and shorter termed House, and the Electoral College, which only functioned as intended when it elected Washington. What any of that has to do with the current nominating process is beyond me. It is a product of a long series of accidents and in its current form hardly bears “the title deeds of history.” Indeed the whole system of presidential elections is a disaster waiting to happen and has on several occasions.

      • The Grundle King says:

        Really, TA? Is that a serious question?

        Three wolves vs. two sheep deciding on dinner pretty clearly demonstrates the problem with direct democracy.

      • TexasAnnie says:

        I understand the origin of our republic. And I realize it would take a constitutional amendment to switch to direct democracy, and therefore not happening any time soon (or ever). But frankly, at this point, I can’t imagine that the uninformed and disenfranchised would do a worse job of selecting our presidents than the current system! Your comment would seem to appease my point of view, repenting lawyer, so thanx!

        Grundle King, I expect the 14th Amendment and ongoing civil rights legislation to stop any feeding frenzy. Don’t forget, I’m accustomed to my daughter w/disability always drawing the short straw. Able persons get their second and third helping of the American Pie before she gets her first slice.

        And finally, bynd, no I guess I haven’t. Are you referring to the Learning Community, TEEOSA changes, the Down Syndrome information act, property tax relief at the expense of income taxpayers, or ???

  1. Sparkles says:

    ” This is American Republican representative democracy as work and we should all be proud of it.”

    Therefore, an American Republican (and Democratic) democracy representative of small groups of political operatives and activists who must first be ensconced enough within the establishment to be familiar with the arcane bylaws and rituals unique to their respective state, only then capable of advancing to to role of delegate by either a) election by peer political operatives and activists or, b) selection by political operatives and activists more prominent than oneself.

    As the awareness of mass disenfranchisement washes across the ill-informed masses in the coming months, It will be fascinating to watch the reaction of the plebes, neophytes and cap wearing cornballs (R and D) who stood in sub-freezing temperatures for countless hours to scream their allegiance and pledge their patriotism to parties that, behind closed doors, mocks their child-like naivete’.

    Your voice, your time, your passion, your patriotism matters only if your one of the select few insiders having advanced to the status of ‘delegate’.

    This is the ‘democracy’ for which we should all be proud?
    This is what Madison envisioned?

    • TexasAnnie says:

      I don’t know what Madison envisioned, but the ‘Republic’ we have is decidedly un-representative and un-democratic!
      And I suspect, Sparkles, that the masses will be demanding a more uniform delegate selection process in the near future. Drew overstates the importance of ‘representative’ and understates the importance of ‘democracy.’

      As a former Libertarian, Drew knows very well that the R’s and D’s lock all others out of the process. Yet he fails to address this ‘flaw’ of our current system, a flaw so onerous now that money-talks, that even the R’s and D’s are unsettled. I’m not afraid of direct democracy. Drew is.

  2. Kearney NDP Convention Delegate says:

    I’d rather support Deb Fisher for NDP party leadership role than Bud Pettigrew. #karma

  3. Sparkles says:

    Winner Take All – Fails

    Against – 17
    Bolz, Campbell, Chambers, Cook, Crawford, Garrett, Haar, Hansen, Harr, Howard, Kolowski, Krist, Mello, Morfeld, Pansing Brooks, Schumacher, Sullivan.

  4. voter says:

    Our government has our troops kill enemy because they have systems that tell voters they can go screw themselves.

    Representative Democracy is indeed flawed. This is indeed a Republic, civics education is nonexistent, and Trump has put a dent in PC for the good. But you speak like one who justifies gulags by law and precedence. None of this constitutionality you speak of came before the anger and rebellion. At the beginning, it was simply voters-as-citizens standing on Lexington Green against their lawful authorities; their own government, their own party. Red Coats back then sounded a lot like you do today, Andrew.

    Trump rises or falls on what he does, like the rest. If your university is better than Wharton and you own chunks of NYC real estate and earned two Emmys, good for you. But here you brag about how you know what Trump thinks, you know what Trump knows and what he doesn’t know, while Trump has on a relative shoestring repeatedly suckered over a dozen smart savvy governors and senators to suicide. But you know better. Moreover, you know voters don’t matter.

    Do us a favor. Go to a bar tonight and explain your thoughts to real voters. Tell them how you know their voting isn’t supposed to matter. We recommend you wear a mouth guard.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.