I’m becoming increasingly frustrated with the talk during this year’s presidential elections about the unfairness of the status of “superdelegates” in the primary process. Of course, this issue has only arisen in the Democratic party contest this year, as the Republican race is all but settled in favor of my candidate, John McCain (I was a McCain supporter at the beginning of all this when he was only polling 10 percent, I might add).
In the Democratic race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, of course, superdelegates are likely to play an important role (this, from the Washington Times, is some evidence). This seems to have many people upset, as they see this as intrinsically “undemocratic”. The flames of this fire are, of course, fanned by the news media. However, I’m not sure why Americans should be upset about superdelegates and their status. Consider first this fact (often insisted upon by fellow Republicans): The U.S.A. is not a democracy, in the pure sense of the word. It is is a federal republic. We practice representative government, not direct democracy. We do not take national votes on issues of the legislature, and we vote for people to hold offices in which they are entitled to make decisions affecting the actions of the government. Second, consider this: superdelegates are (mostly) elected officials, part of whose responsibilities are to exercise their own judgments (not those of the polls) in order to come to decisions on whom to support. If their votes “count more than ours”, it is because they have responsibilites beyond ours for which they have been selected by vote. It is similar to the case of Presidents selecting Supreme Court nominees.
So please, my Democratic friends, please…stop complaining about the superdelegates or expecting them to “validate the will of the people”. Ought they not, as we would expect of a responsible person, decide what they think is best, rather than following the tide, changing with the wind?