Today my AP United States History teacher gave the class a brief lesson on tomorrows “Super Tuesday” and what it entails. The general consensus among the class was the humor surrounding “Super (insert second word here)” which has been growing exponentially over the past year or so. This includes Super Tuesday, Super PAC’s, Super Committees, and Super Delegates. This entire process of creating things which are “Super” seems rather childish to me, but also quite dangerous. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word super as “very large or powerful.” The word super also has the connotation of somehow being above something that is seen of as less important or very small. This creates the problem of putting a false sense of importance or power in something that in my view has no right to be. All of these “Super (insert word here)’s” take power from the many and give it to the few which I find deplorable and degrading to an equal sense of influence in our political world.
Super Tuesday is a Tuesday (this year March 6) when more states than on any other date will hold elections and award delegates for the Democratic/Republican party nomination. This Super Tuesday accounts for 17.9 % of the possible delegates. Whoever wins these states tomorrow (Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Alaska) will historically become the republican nominee for the 2012 Presidential Campaign. As the subject of Super Tuesday continued in class we came to our own states elections which are to be held on June 5. Here is where things begin to get elitist; California’s election essentially does not matter because most often a nominee has already been chosen before our election date. This information baffled me that in an election year we make states more important than others depending on their election dates. The most populous state in the Union for the most part does not have a say in who is suited to be the nominee. Every state votes on the same day for the presidential election, why not the primary election? When California attempted to change its date the courts stuck it down for whatever arbitrary reason they could find. I simply wish that no one state be made more important than another over something like scheduling.
The term that has most surrounded this year’s political elections has been “Super PAC” or Super Political Action Committee. A Super PAC is an organization which is allowed to mass unlimited amounts of money and use that money support or attack political candidates or legislation. And here is the best part; Super PAC’s are not legally required to disclose all of their donors openly to the public. And when donors have been listed it is absolutely appalling how sometimes no more than 20 people make more than 50% of a Super PAC’s income. Super PAC’s have allowed the voice of the average American to mean less than that of a corporation or individual with assets as far as the eye can see. Candidates no longer have to go door to door for campaign money when all they need to do is make backdoor concessions to a wealthy donor. Now, the more money you have, the more of a candidates ear you have to yourself. Money really does equal speech.
In the event that no candidate in a political party is able to achieve the required number of delegates in the states’ primary elections then a group of “Super delegates” will get together and decide for the millions of voters who the nominee will be. This process completely does away with the democratic process and makes it so that a group of people, unelected and simply party leaders will have a greater say on who will be the nominee simply because they are a party insider. These people are free of any commitment to what the voters had dictated and can cast their ballot according to their own whims. This process fortunately does not happen too often, but the fact that it exists at all says allot about how much the peoples vote really matters to party leaders. If no candidate is able to achieve an overwhelming majority than it is clear that voters are not satisfied with any of the candidates and that either the nominee should be by simple majority or that the political party drop out of the race to reassess its position.
The first time I ever herd the phrase “Super (insert word here)” was over the summer during the arguments over the national debt and the complete loss of faith in the United States Congress. It was impossible to reach an agreement between the children of the House and Senate so they agreed to create a Super Committee which was to come in and save the day. The committee was to an a group of members of congress who were to end the gridlock in Washington and finally create a long term plan for the national debt. It put the power over the entire national budget in the hands of 12 members of congress who were not elected to do so and instead where chosen by party leaders based on how much they would play hardball. It completely shut out the rest of congress from having any say in the matter and gave the power of the purse to a handful of people. They still failed. They were given power to put forth whatever proposal they wanted and they still failed. “Its Super Committee to the rescue”………right…….