Big problems with how we nominate our president

December 3, 2007 | By | 1 Reply More

Marty Kaplan writes about big  problems with our political primary system:

What I’m trying to get at is the stupendous sense of powerlessness among our citizenry that our current political system has created. It’s as though the best democracy can do is to cough up this beast that we’re being required yet again to ride. The nominating system, despite the folksy patina that quadrennially makes reporters swoon, is thoroughly idiotic, and it’s gotten worse every time than the cycle before, yet we treat it like a force of nature, not an act of hacks. Money is more important than ever. And though the Web has enabled unprecedented citizen pushback on candidate deception and media spinelessness, its reach feels puny, compared to the paid messages that special-interests can buy in the marketplace; its impact feels impotent, compared to the partisan fearmongering posing as news and the circus acts masquerading as information on our mass media.

Electability is much on Democrats’ minds. But no matter who runs against the GOP next fall, the political system we pretend to have inherited from the Founders could still produce a President Giuliani, a President Romney, a president more Bush than Bush, more Cheney than Cheney. This is not the genius of American democracy. This is the pathology of a terrible systemic illness. Some people may be too busy waving flags or scarfing corn dogs to notice the symptoms.


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Category: Corruption, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Dan Klarmann says:

    As long as "we, the people" keep expecting "them" to take care of things, this will be a problem. Want lower taxes? Stop voting for more benefits, like toll-free roads and cheap gasoline. Want cleaner air, better fuel efficiency? Find out who makes what you want, and buy from them. The free market may not be perfect, but it is one of the tools we, as citizens, have available to us. Want peace? Stop arguing that war must be good because the president thinks so.

    As to the presidency: The majority of those who bother to vote (U.S. is #34 in voter turnout) vote for their family party. The taller candidate, who presents himself better, generally is elected. If the president would act like the figurehead he is supposed to be by law, this would not be a problem. Unfortunately, the last 100 years gave our presidents much more power than that. Congress, the supposed lawmakers, are now at the mercy of the White House, where many laws both begin and end. We have allowed our "representatives" to do this.

    Pogo best expressed the root of the problem: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

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