Disastrous. Chaotic. Dysfunctional. Disorganized. Anachronistic. Fiasco.
Those words describe the recent Nevada Democratic Party and Republican Party caucuses.
My wife and I spent a horrendous four and one-half hours waiting to get our choices registered for president in a Democratic caucus at a Reno precinct. With a primary we could have done it in 10 minutes.
A Reno resident complained in a letter to the Reno Gazette-Journal: “A caucus is a broken voting system. I set aside two hours to caucus for Bernie Sanders. I soon learned that it was going to take at least three hours. I left without my vote being counted or my voice being heard. Yet voting is a fundamental right we Americans have under the Constitution.”
Another Reno resident wrote: “After seeing the disorganization and reading horror stories from around the state, I believe Nevada needs to return to a primary it dropped because it was costing the state too much money.”
The writer is right. The Nevada caucus is so badly flawed that the only way to fix is to replace it with a primary–hang the cost.
At my precinct gathering room we constantly heard the message: “If you are in the wrong precinct go out to the registration desk.” Another constant announcement: “If you want to change your mind raise your hand.” And still another constant message: “Wait, wait! Don’t leave. We have more to do yet.”
Waiting, waiting, waiting. In anguish, I buried my head in my hands and shouted to my tablemates: “I’ll never subject myself to this again.”
Statements were exhaustively read for all candidates and the pros and cons of voting for each. Senator Sanders, a true revolutionary, proposed a $15 an hour minimum wage. In contrast, Clinton, a true middle-of-the roader, lacked specifics. She would just raise wages.”
Hillary Clinton is beholden to corporate power, which has enormous influence. She served on the corporate board of Walmart. She rakes in $200,000 a speaking engagement. She earned $11 million in 2014 for 51 speeches to banks and industries. She took an outrageous $675,000 for speeches to Goldman-Sachs.
Clinton is called a liberal, but she is centrist as nearly all presidents are, including the incumbent, Democratic President Obama. She is the same-old, same-old moderate like her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
The Republican caucus reported computer problems and insufficient ballots in some precincts. One woman at Hug High School said the precinct caucus was supposed to open at 11:30 a.m. By 12:45 p.m. she was still waiting.
Another terrible caucus flaw that must be abolished is the proviso for Democratic super-delegates.
Super-delegates are mostly establishment figures. They vote heavily for a status-quo figure like Clinton. In short, they make it impossible for Sanders to win the Democratic nomination for president.
On the Republican side, Donald Trump is within easy reach of the presidential nomination. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey smells a Trump triumph: he has already endorsed him.
This has stirred speculation that Christie will be a candidate for vice president on a Trump ticket. Maybe. But Trump might instead consider the blustery Christie as transportation secretary for his cabinet.
Jake Highton is an emeritus journalism professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. (email@example.com)