Emmett Tyrrell

Progressives once saw the primary system as the latest advance in the democratic process: Thrust the party bosses aside and let the citizenry vote for the presidential candidates. The consequence is that the casual voter overwhelms the committed party member -- often the one-issue voter overwhelms the committed party voter with several issues and the good of the party in mind. Large amounts of money go to local media to coax out the casual voter once or twice in an electoral cycle. The result is that a transient mob -- and sometimes a very small transient mob -- gives us our presidential candidates for the general election: Barack Obama for the Democrats, probably Mitt Romney for the Republicans. In neither case is the candidate a typical Democrat or Republican.

Under the present system of caucus- and primary-voting, the great states of Iowa and New Hampshire are given disproportionate voice in who will be chosen for the presidential race. Frankly, I like the galoots from Iowa and New Hampshire. From all I can tell, they look and think pretty much like me, especially on politics. Yet there is something wrong here. I think that way back before the progressives were ever heard of, state conventions made a lot more sense than the present system. As I see it, most Americans are coming to agree.


Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
 
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