Senator Bernie Sanders filed a petition protesting the Democratic National Committee’s quiet lifting of a ban on donations from federal lobbyists and political action committees. There are reports from the Washington Post that the DNC surreptitiously changed the rules at some point during the last few months. There are questions about the motivations of the decision when considering the tactic could provide a substantial boost to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, whose joint fundraising with the Democratic National Committee has raised approximately $27 million.
The Democratic Party establishment is panicking over the groundswell of support for Senator Sanders. Just as importantly, the uninterrupted, reliable paradigms of media and party dominance are on shaky ground. The DNC, up until now, has managed to stave off the emergence of a third party strong enough to threaten its monopoly of power.
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a Florida Congresswoman, is the current Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. Wasserman-Schultz served as one of Clinton’s National Campaign co-chairs in 2008. Currently, Wasserman-Schultz is facing calls for her resignation over her attempts to tip the nominating process in Hillary Clinton’s favor. Back in December, the DNC claimed a Sanders campaign staffer accessed voter metadata belonging to the Clinton campaign without authorization. A software glitch in the DNC’s voter database that allowed anyone in the know access to private voter information had existed for over a month, despite pleas from Sanders campaign leadership to patch it. The DNC only restored the campaign’s access after they filed a lawsuit demanding it back, along with compensation for damages.
Back in September, presidential candidate Martin O’Malley and two Democratic Party vice chairs complained that the DNC was limiting the number of scheduled debates; six in total. Only four out of those six debates took place before caucus voting started in Iowa. O’Malley, speaking-out at the DNC’s summer meeting in Minneapolis, announced that the debate schedule was “rigged” in Hillary Clinton’s favor.
According to a Gallup poll, most American adults (58 percent) say a third political party is needed because the Democratic and Republican parties “do such a poor job” representing the wishes of the people. The problem is, it’s very difficult for third parties to gain any substantial power due to the Electoral College system. This system’s structure almost requires a center-right and a center-left party that has the ability to obtain majority support in districts and states across the nation. Some states also have restrictive voting laws that make it difficult for third-party candidates to even appear on the ballot.
Bernie Sanders often says that a political revolution bigger than him is necessary to truly affect positive change. It’s become glaringly evident that the old, two-party system stopped working for the people a long time ago. Ironically, democracy would be better served if the Democratic National Committee were disbanded and broken up into 2 or 3 smaller parties. Not only are most red and blue politicians more loyal to their corporate lobbyists than their constituents but, in many cases, they pass laws that subvert the civil society our founding fathers put so wisely in place. Voters must express a desire to change the Electoral College system with a constitutional amendment so that the type of political variety essential to democracy can flourish. Otherwise, the change that is so desperately needed in this time of planetary turmoil simply won’t happen.