On endorsements and superdelegates: let the people decide

By Nathaniel Smith, Columnist, The Times of Chester County, April 19, 2016

I don’t need elected officials to tell me who to vote for

I try to be appreciative of elected officials and the work they do. And I wouldn’t want their jobs, not for the money and perks, not for the fame and glory. But right now I’m annoyed.

Officials elected by vote of all the people of the state should, in my view, once elected, continue to represent all the people of the state. Those officials belong to one of the two major parties, of course, because with rare exceptions, Independents can’t hold public office (thus shutting 1 in 5 Americans out of the system; no wonder people are disgruntled). But I don’t think those statewide officials ought to engage in partisan campaign operations. It just doesn’t look good.

Therefore, I don’t think they should serve as unpledged “superdelegates” at political conventions and put themselves in potential conflict with the will of the voters in their own party. All that power is tempting, but they should resist it. In the presidential convention, 10% of the Pennsylvania Democrats’ votes will be at the whim of the superdelegates. That’s less than the total convention with 15%, but still could make a big difference… against the will of the people.

And those superdelegates particularly should not try to play kingmaker by endorsing candidates for office. Candidates work hard and many are committed to the public welfare, possibly even more than those who hold office currently. People donate money to candidates and work hard for their favorites. Many voters are very concerned about particular issues. Americans should be encouraged to run for office, pay attention to issues, and vote-not to follow the desires of their current elected officials.

Here is the immediate cause of my annoyance. I now have received two missives from Senator Bob Casey endorsing Katie McGinty over Joe Sestak, whom I greatly prefer for many concrete reasons. So I went to Senator Casey’s web site, as our elected representatives always plead with us to do so they can “serve us better,” and I wrote a brief objection….

continue reading at The Times of Chester County

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Filed under 2016 election, US Senate

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