My mother had rules for everything. And it wasn’t just the nothing white after Labor Day rule. There were spring colors, mostly pastels, that couldn’t be worn before Easter and after August. There were fall colors that could be worn judiciously into winter, but never after the first warm spell…no matter how early. Rings could be worn on both hands, but only on one finger. An empty house meant the beds were made, and no dirty dishes in the sink.
Those were just a few of the rules, and I don’t think it was beyond Mother to make up new rules as she saw fit. She was, quite literally, a one woman Rules Committee. Make that a one lady Rules Committee, because there was a rule that one would ever refer to a lady as a “woman” unless one meant to be a bit snide. You know…the difference between “the lady who lives on the corner” versus “that woman who lives on the corner.” See what I mean? And being a bit snide is NEVER a rules violation.
I think rules are often unfair and arbitrary. And come to find out, a lot of people in this current campaign season are hearing about rules that they think are unfair, even undemocratic. But really…only teenage girls should ever be allowed to say that something is unfair (right before her parents roll their eyes and take the car keys away from her). As for undemocratic, I’m afraid that some of the results of the recent primaries have me thinking that maybe democracy isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
Let’s get real. The purpose of political parties, in America and everywhere else and throughout history, is to achieve, consolidate, maintain, and exercise political power. And that can’t be done by leaving things in the hands of voters, for heaven’s sake. Do that and you get nominees like Barry Goldwater and George McGovern, both of whom led their parties to historic defeats. After all, we got Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks as a result of the popular vote. And, don’t even get me started on when Oscar got it wrong.
It looks like the Democrats will get their candidate on the first ballot, since there are two candidates. The “undemocratic” superdelegates may be the ones casting the deciding votes…but those are the rules. The Republicans on the other hand have a pretty kettle of fish, don’t they? See, the thing about the rules is this…they are basically temporary at this point. They won’t be final until they go through the Rules Committee and get approved by the delegates at the convention. And that’s when we’re going to find out just how badly the Republican establishment wants to stop Trump. Or Cruz for that matter. It’s uncertain how much pain will be inflicted on the party’s brand and its voters, but the one thing you can bank on is someone will be yelling that the process was unfair and undemocratic. Boo hoo hoo…tell that to Democrats in Texas and Republicans in California…two groups of people whose votes haven’t counted in presidential elections since God was a boy. You can thank our Founding Fathers for that little bit of undemocratic thinking, courtesy of the Electoral College and the United States Constitution.
I know Mother would be perfect to serve on the rules committees for both parties. There would be a “Use of Language” rule that would disqualify Donald Trump for sure…not because he used certain language, but because he used it in public. There would be disqualifying rules concerning color choices, too, so I’d need to get with Hillary fast. You see, men can wear navy this time of year but ladies…not so much. Makes a lady look “warm.”
I told you the rules were arbitrary. Didn’t you believe me?