Today we are going to Muse about our political system. If this is your first visit, welcome to Musings. If you have been here before, welcome back. Over time we are going to talk about many things: the past, the present, perhaps the future, travel, art, society and more. Wherever my musing takes me. I hope you will come along with me.
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“A good politician, under democracy, is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar” — H L Menchen
Are you kidding me?
We have watched the debates as they have played out over these past weeks and months. Unbelievable! Thursday was the most egregious. Candidates shouting at each other, talking over each other, calling each other “Liar” and dishonest. And later talking about an opponent wetting his pants, or standing in a puddle of water. With every zinger and insult a loud cheer roaring through the arena. RAAAAAHHH! It was like a gladiator sport, something out of a Cecil B DeMille movie.
This spectacle is worthy of the Presidency?
The Media Makes it Worse
I think the media is as responsible as are the candidates. The networks promote this lunacy because it is good for the ratings. It used to be that a newscaster presented news in a factual manner, free of bias. That is all gone now. Today the networks present a team of “experts” with opposing views, whose function it is to voice an opinion different from the others. Conflict and partisanship is the goal. It drives ratings. There is too much money to be made.
The mainstream Republicans are afraid that Trump may be unstoppable. This is a result of the primary system we have developed. It can be hi-jacked by the populist enthusiasm of the mob. The Democrats recognized this threat and have attempted to mitigate the problem by developing “Super Delegates”, senior party officials or officers who get a vote in addition to those awarded by the primaries. This gives the party some ability to put on a brake if they see the process will produce someone who is unsuited.
The United States is one of the few countries to chose its political nominees through popular vote entirely. Most countries vote for candidates who have been vetted by their party leaders. In the U.S, up to the late 1960’s Presidential nominees were chosen by their party convention, with deal-making and smoke-filled rooms. It was not perfect. Not all Presidents were a credit to the country. But most were, some even great, and the system was less divisive.
Beginning in the 1960s, presidential primary elections began to take root.
Today our election cycle goes far too long, nearly two years and costs far too much, hundreds of millions of dollars. If the candidates are serving in government as Sanders, Kasich, Cruz, Christie and Rubio are today, we are paying for their services and not receiving them. They don’t seem to have a problem with that.
It is time to change the system
I think it is time to redesign the process. The pendulum has swung too far empowering the primary system. Give delegate power to state party officials and senior party operatives in addition to the delegate power garnered through the primaries. Give neither group enough delegates to unilaterally pick the party nominee at the party convention. Require compromise.
Smoke-filled rooms and deal-making have to be better than the circus we have now.
On a different note,
today a cat found itself onto the windowsill outside my studio. I have seen Mr.Cat there before. But this time Teddy, our Norfolk Terrier, saw Mr. Cat as well.
Teddy was quite interested. He held this pose for nearly ten minutes.
More to come:
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