Florida Rep. Alan Grayson (D), one of the leading progressive voices in the Democratic party, has launched on online poll asking for voters to determine who he will endorse for the Democratic presidential primary in 2016.
Grayson, one of the Democratic Party’s infamous “Superdelegates,” released the following statement on his decision to use the poll for his pledge:
Instead of selling my superdelegate vote to the highest bidder — like most members of the unDemocratic party these days — I am offering up my vote to you. You decide: Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. The choice is, literally, yours.
Grayson will release the results of the poll on March 15th, the day before the Florida Primary. He is also running for one of Florida’s open seats in the US Senate this year.
Although Democratic super delegates are free to choose whoever they want, regardless of who wins the greater share of delegates in their state, Grayson is clearly going against the grain with his DNC privilege. He has decided to pledge for and endorse the candidate of his choice through the will of the people, rather than through his own interests. His actions would thereby fulfill the terms of a functioning Democracy. Now isn’t that a bold idea?
Grayson told the following to BuzzFeed News, who were the first to break the story:
“There is a divide between grassroots Democrats and establishment Democrats. It’s troubling. There’s a negation of the popular will when you say that a block of delegates can vote regardless of what voters want.
The whole system causes me concern, the idea that if all the super delegates line up behind one candidate, the other has to win by 59 to 41 in order to have a shot at the nomination, their candidate has to win by 18 points.
All I’m saying is I want to let the people decide. I think that the way to win this election is to choose the candidate that has the support of the people, that, by its definition is the most electable candidate.
The point of this is very simple: the point is power to the people. We’re not gonna let the politburo decide this one.”
DNC Chairwomen and fellow Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz basically confirmed the fears of many grassroots Democrats recently when she explained the purpose of the Superdelegate system to CNN’s Jake Tapper. She told the host, flat-out:
“Unpledged delegates exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists.”
So yes, basically the system is there to cushion the establishment candidates whenever the loud, mean voices of the populace actually assemble and perform their democratic duty, putting a candidate forward that they actually believe in rather than settling for whatever they’re offered by party elites.
Needless to say, Alan Grayson isn’t a fan of this system. He believes that the ultimate power to determine who best represents the party in the general election belongs to the voters themselves. By releasing this poll, Grayson is hoping to set an example for other Superdelegates to follow, reminding them where there authority is truly rested: the people.