The new presidential nominating system, the one unofficially dominated by national polls and national debates months before any balloting, is a sad spectacle.
Remember that primary and caucuses were democratic innovations that would take some power away from the corrupt party bosses in early twentieth century America and give it to common sense voters.
The appeal of local caucuses and primary elections was their democratic virtues: ordinary citizens meeting with candidates for the highest office in the land before they cast their judgment at the polls.
Now the tyranny is not with corrupt party bosses but with a democratic debasement of a process that trolls the base elements of our polity. Polling determined who got the limelight in Thursday night’s Fox primary.
You can forget the primacy of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. National polling is the new first primary.
It is, in effect, a pre primary election decided by name recognition and media attention. And that attention is determined in no small measure by the need for ratings and viewership.
Consider who was left off the stage for Thursday night’s "debate":
- The longest serving Governor of our second largest state.
- A former three term Governor of our fourth largest state.
- The former Senator who won the second most delegates in the last GOP nomination and almost four million actual votes.
Et cetera, et cetera.
What we got instead was incessant coverage of one of the most demeaning figures in the history of presidential politics in the lead up to a mid summer faux debate hosted by our nation’s leading tendentious "news" source.
Well let’s just pat ourselves on our back.
We’ve become a parody of democracy with a system of presidential nominations that should be a source of embarrassment.
If embarrassment is something we’re still capable of.