Even though I exist only to convey the fact that people would like to see someone else lead the country, I still exist. Indeed, one could just count the votes and let the result stand for itself. One could use a piece of paper, or even write it on the back of their hand. Once could even ask, Why use a delegate at all?
I ask the same question every day.
Yet here I am, a purely symbolic symbol. Not symbolic like the Queen, whose face and body and shiny crown have real weight and must be clothed and transported and photographed. I mean purely symbolic — I function only as a vessel for a numerical outcome, an echo of others’ decisions. Even the numbers themselves have greater personality, as any episode of Sesame Street can attest.
The gap between myself and a superdelegate is like the difference between a man and a superman. No, that’s too narrow of a gap. It’s more like the difference between a man and a supernova — no, an empty bowl and the Super Bowl.
Supers not only have the right to choose who they vote for, they can ignore the will of an overwhelming majority of voters as well. Some see this as a flaw in the electoral system, but I see it as a raucous celebration of the human spirit.
Oh, how I wish I were a Super.
I was elected, you know. Well, actually, you probably don’t know that. You see, years ago you stood in the election booth and, if you knew what delegates were at all, you voted for the first name on the ballot: me. Or did I run unopposed? I cannot remember. There is no written record of my campaigns, that’s how inconsequential they were. I am like a tiny mechanism in the Rube Goldberg machine of elections, except that even if it fails it bears no consequence on the next step. Keep in mind that the importance of each element is the entire point of Rube Goldberg machines.
Did you know that I can vote in House committees? I can vote in House committees. This might seem like a powerful privilege, but when the bill goes to the floor, I am shunted back so that the real representatives can use language to debate the bill and vote on it. Most of my fellow delegates choose to remain in their stasis chambers until primary season.
What desires for power and glory led me here, to haunt democracy without affecting it, like a ghost janitor? I do not remember. I am the shadow of a dream of a hope of a flower from a dandelion, floating into obscurity. I am a delegate.