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Don't Let Superdelegates (or Anything Else) Scare You Out of Voting

by Steve Hough, published

After Bernie Sanders’ decisive win in the New Hampshire primary, a brouhaha has erupted over the delegate count. More specifically, the role of superdelegates has been highlighted, and many of Senator Sanders’ supporters have been left with the impression that the primary process is rigged in order to hand the nomination to Hillary Clinton. In response, comments by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz did little to quell the unrest.

In response, there was a lot of related commentary on the Internet, much of it aimed at the Democratic National Committee (DNC), chaired by Schultz. The DNC had previously come under fire for setting a questionable debate schedule and temporarily rescinding the Sanders campaign’s right to access their own data on the DNC’s file server.

It should be no surprise that Hillary Clinton has long been the anticipated Democratic nominee, and it should be no surprise that the Democratic Party’s establishment would do anything in their power to fend off a challenger. The biggest surprise is that a challenger would emerge and threaten a replay of 2008, when Barack Obama ended Hillary Clinton’s aspirations. The real possibility that Bernie Sanders may be the peoples’ choice in 2016 has struck fear in the hearts the Clinton campaign.

The maneuvering will take many paths over the course of the campaign.

Statements by feminist icon Gloria Steinem and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright have been walked back and have likely backfired, as has comments by John Lewis implying that the Clintons have more civil rights cred than Bernie Sanders. The Clinton campaign finds itself in a similar position as Republican candidates challenging Donald Trump. Transparent establishment tactics directed against a perceived outsider have the opposite effect of what was intended.

In the case of the controversy arising over the role of superdelegates, many Sanders supporters will undoubtedly be even more motivated to buck the establishment. That is not a bad thing, but some will become more apathetic. If they are led to believe that Hillary is still the inevitable nominee, they may lose interest in the primary process and decide not to vote.

I saw this sentiment displayed prior to a related post on IVN. In another venue, I saw someone post an article explaining the role and relevance of superdelegates. It was reassuring to those who may have given up hope on the viability of Bernie’s candidacy.

When I saw IVN’s post of February 12, 2016, I read many comments lamenting the fact that the primary was rigged and asking whether voting was an exercise in futility. I began responding to those comments by posting a link to the article I had seen earlier. The comments in this vein were numerous, so I posted the link many times as individual responses.

It was not long before I received a notification to slow down, because my activity might be considered spam. I did “slow down,” but was ultimately blocked from sharing the link further. Facebook gave me an option to comment on why their action may have been unwarranted, and I did -- on three separate occasions.

As of this writing, I am still unable to share the link on Facebook. So, having heard of the passing of a champion of free speech (Antonin Scalia) I offer the following link for anyone who may be overly concerned about superdelegates within the Democratic Party: click here.

Photo Credit: Derek Hatfield /

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