Is it just me? No, it’s not.

I saw Jimmy Carter on TV last night (the Tonight Show with Jay Leno).  Jimmy Carter used to be the President of the United States of America.  Now he is a superdelegate.

Jay asked him who he and his wife would nominate, but he would not say.  He did mention that his 11 grandchildren prefer Obama.  He also mentioned that his four children and all their spouses prefer Obama.  But as for he and his wife, they will wait until all the primary elections are completed (June 3, I believe).
Jimmy is a good man.  He says he will nominate whoever his constituents have voted for in the primaries.  But what about the rest of the superdelegates?  
There are a total of 799 superdelegates (this is a moving number) casting a total of 795 votes (don’t ask).  And in theory, these SDs are not selected based on qualifications so much as status, which explains why Jimmy and Rosalynn are SDs.
But here is my favorite part:  There are no rules.
Pretty much, every SD can nominate whomever they darn well feel like.  Makes me proud to be an American.  It reassures me to know that all these primaries (excluding Florida and Michigan) pretty much can be rendered meaningless.  
I can not speak for anyone accept me, but I know I went to the polls after work in a pouring rain because I really believed that my vote counted.  Silly Pooh bear.
Which brings me to this weeks story about Aflac.  Clearly, one of the top companies in America. Properly run and profitable and a great place of employment.  And I was THRILLED earlier this week to find that Aflac has allowed its shareholders to actually vote on top executives’ pay.  This is GREAT news, phenomenal news.  Finally corporate America is acknowledging that executive management will be held accountable.
Then again, no.
Although 93% of Aflac’s shareholders voted in favor of the proposed compensation package (which they likely deserved), nothing would have happened if the same percentage voted against the package.  In other words, the votes are meaningless other than to tip off the board and management and the general public that shareholders are not happy.
Aflac, you are so close to doing something meaningful, and yet so far away.  
But this isn’t all about superdelegates or Aflac, both of which are fine ideas (or institutions, if you prefer).  It is about the blatant willingness to discount the average person from having any say in what’s going on around him or her.  
My vote must mean something, otherwise, what is my incentive to vote?  In the end, I will either walk away disillusioned or I will revolt.  Is that really what we want?

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.