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Letter: Popularity of Sanders, Trump is not surprising

Popularity of Sanders, Trump is not surprising

This 2016 presidential election cycle has been quite illuminating so far. It shines a light on the fact that America’s elections have not been as representative of the people’s wishes as they would believe. The political elite have created and manipulated rules and regulations designed not to expand the citizenry’s voice, but rather to suppress it. The “Grand Experiment” of American democracy has turned out to be more of a “Grand Illusion.”

Of utmost importance to understanding our political system is to realize that the United States is not a democracy, although the implication is bandied about a lot by the pols. We are a constitutional republic, which is antithetical to a democracy. By selecting middlemen known as delegates, a republic drastically dilutes the concept of the one-person, one-vote philosophy of a democracy. “We the people” become “the wee people!” This diminution of the value of our vote was designed to make it nearly impossible for an insurgent candidate to tip the balance of power.

Both the Republican and the Democratic parties are not open institutions. More like cults, they are political country clubs with discriminatory membership policies. Hillary Clinton won the New York primary because the closed primary system deemed over 3 million independent voices to be insignificant. The Electoral College, gerrymandering, closed primaries, the sanctioned bribing of unpledged and superdelegates and the Supreme Court’s activism in voter suppression are some, but not all, of the tools used by an establishment desperate to hold on to power.

Enter Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders: the capitalist and the socialist democrat. It seems that their extreme and opposite positions are more palatable to large numbers of frustrated and disenfranchised voters than the sour taste of chewed establishment cud.

Robert J. Wegrzynowski