A few minutes ago MSNBC interviewed two uncompromising Sanders delegates from Iowa (whose caucuses, Bernie lost). The network host repeatedly questioned why neither was unifying behind Hillary, who, the host reminded them just as repeatedly, happens to be their party's nominee. One of the delegates offered that Iowa's Sanders camp "elected" Bernie way back, hence she and other of his supporters are holding firm.
Is there any verb misusage that better exemplifies these Sanders delegates' tragic, and indeed childlike, misunderstanding of the primary season's process? About
half of Iowa's caucusgoers voted for Bernie, but neither they nor Clinton supporters elected anyone. Holdout Sanders supporters — a minority, thankfully — seem unable to comprehend the difference.
To them, their votes were somehow superior to mere preference-expression; their partisan passion, in their righteously quixotic world, should somehow compensate for any deficiency in actual numbers; and thus having voted for Sanders means having elected Sanders — so yes, they're now being cheated, abused, and silenced.
Some may dismiss this as a minor matter of semantics. And that's fine. To me, though, imprecision in language suggests sloppy, imprecise thinking — which played out last night on the convention floor, and again aired this morning on MSNBC.