EDITORIAL: The problem with primaries...
The problem with primaries is that they directly affect the general election. Both parties are shooting themselves in the foot by moving progressively further left and right. The farther they move to the fringes, the more they alienate mainstream America, which forces them to steal votes from the middle. The system of the primaries has to be questioned because we are still in a two party system and mainstream America is centrist. Therefore Centrist America does not have a party with a strong foundation to represent its interest. The center is being ostracized and alienated in the primaries, which means that many of the candidates that represent mainstream America are not making it on the ballot for the general election. The overall integrity of the vote is weakened.
The mainstream electorate needs to get more involved in the primaries, or we need the Centrist Party on the ballot. We are caught between a rock and a hard place. Let's say the rock is "lack of involvement", and the hard place is "lack of motivation" or "voter frustration". Candidates that claimed hard left or right positions to win the primaries (against centrists), will have to change their tune for the general election, and claim to be centrist, or campaign on Centrist issues and positions in order to win the general election. The spin from party agendas and candidates is spinning integrity right out of reality. The end result is that we all lose.
Why? Fewer voters vote during the primaries. The type of people that vote in the primaries are often more dedicated to their respective party as opposed to the mainstream electorate. It stands to reason that Centrist candidates would not get as many votes in primary elections, especially in our current climate. Some centrists are making it to the general ballot, but many are not. Therefore, many of the candidates that are nominated for the general election are less likely to represent the mainstream view. This all goes against the purpose and intention of the primary, to elect candidates that represent the views and needs of the majority of the people.
"Houston, we have a problem." Be aware when you vote in the general election, because the candidate you may have most liked, or may have been most appropriate, may not have made it to the ballot.
We need to look at the local, national and international aspect of how our vote will affect us now, and in the future. We need to sift through the spin and the smiles, the campaign ads, and the personal attacks of the 527's, and ascertain the needs of the region and the nation. Just because someone appears to be a nice person is not a good enough reason to vote for them. Of course this goes against the grain and method of campaigning with its handshaking and baby kissing love fests.
There is a phrase referred to as Ockham's razor, by Sir William of Ockham, "entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem" (Entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity). Nor should things be oversimplified as Einstein pointed out, "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler."
In a way, these great thinkers are saying there is a middle ground, and a reasonable manner of addressing any problem. We will have to look past the attack ads and the bias which dominates the election campaigns these days, because the middle ground still does not have terra firma under it. Since the Centrist Party will take some time to gain mainstream awareness and the ballot, we must do our best to figure out whom to vote for by looking deeper through the fog and haze of bias and manipulation that is by design clouding our vision. Nobody said it was going to be easy.
At worst our votes are the only way we can make a difference in our governance and the way things are done. At best we can bring the Centrist Party to the ballot and form the foundation for Centrist candidates which will reduce the ability of the left and right parties to keep stealing from the middle. We must not become so complacent as to think that we can't change anything, nor so naive that we believe what we are being told at face value. If we pay more attention, and get more involved, we can turn the tide and make a difference. We live in a democracy, now all we have to do is exercise it to a greater extent, and while we're at it, we could use a bit more exercise anyway just to get the blood going again. It's just common sense.