The Participation Trophy Party


Last week, I blogged on Hillary Clinton’s lack of young supporters. During the writing of that blog, I was thinking that Bernie Sanders is a Participation Trophy Candidate. That said, I have a spinoff article.

His whole plan is to confiscate wealth from top earners, and to dole out a little bit to every person in the country.  This wouldn’t work and it wouldn’t fix anything, but millions of his supporters haven’t figured that out yet. They’re buying what he’s selling.

By labeling Bernie the Participation Trophy Candidate, I missed something: This is bigger than Bernie. The Democrats are the Participation Trophy Party.

Bernie Sanders trounced Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. And for his big win? He’s rewarded with…the same number of delegates as Hillary Clinton.

They’re working on the same group project – that project being, elect a Democrat to the White House. He’s worked hard on his presentation; she’s shown up and had to be coached, guided, polished just to be passable in front of an audience. And because group projects are The worst, the one who did the work and the one who makes everything more difficult will get exactly the same grade. That grade, in a primary, comes not in the form of points but in the form of delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

The Democrats have “superdelegates,” who are former Democrat office holders and party leaders. They’re “super” since they can vote however they want – as opposed to pledged delegates, whose votes are allocated based on the results of primaries and caucuses. It should tell you something, that the Democrats prefer a system in which the elites can do whatever they want, not bound to the will of the people. A system in which thousands of regular people may be represented by one delegate, and can have that delegate’s vote canceled out by the vote of one person – a superdelegate.

Anyway, the vast majority of these party elites – the 2016 DNC superdelegates – are voting for one of their own, one Hillary Clinton. 

How does that feel, Bernie fans, to earn something and then have it taken from you and given to someone else? It’s a dose of your own socialist medicine: A group of political leaders get behind closed doors and decide what each person deserves. It’s not transparent, nor is it fair. This is heavy-handed interference in a marketplace (this is the marketplace of ideas, which – it could be argued – is far more expensive for our society than the marketplace for goods and services).

A week ago today, Sanders was a rock star and Clinton was a dud in New Hampshire. They virtually tied in Iowa, since she won on coin flips. This is a closer race than either of them probably anticipated. And as it carries on tighter than ever, voters will see how Democrats do things – the Participation Trophy, group project model. We’ll be watching – and I know that we won’t like what we see.

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