The whole presidential primary system makes me want to scream. I’m not talking about a wimpy, half-hearted scream, but a Howard Dean style, top-of-my-lungs, hold-nothing-back scream. If I lived in Iowa, I might be very happy with the system. However, I live in California, where I am very happy that I don’t live in Iowa – except for this whole primary thing.
It really is a disheartening experience. Earlier this year, as I watched the coverage from the caucus events, I began to formulate opinions on who I thought might be the best candidate to take the tattered reins from Dubbya. However, as the results from each primary and caucus rolled in, the candidates began dropping out like flies. By the time it got to California, only two realistic candidates were still in – John Kerry and John Edwards.
Sure, Al Sharpton and Ralph Nader were still in the race, but I wouldn’t trust Al as far as I could throw him (not very far), and hasn’t Nader already done enough?! It was his votes that put Bush in the White House the last time around. While Nader has some good ideas, he’s not helping the Democratic effort to dethrone the incumbent.
My parents always told me that life was unfair, but it still bothers me that I never got the opportunity to vote for Wesley Clark or Howard Dean. Their fate was already determined by the states that came before. Not that I would have voted for them, but I wanted the choice. Isn’t that what America is all about?
Despite my frustration with the process, I went to the polls on March 2nd. At least I had two candidates to choose from them – or so I thought. By afternoon, John Edwards announced he was dropping out. And people wonder why so few people vote.
I admit that I’m no expert when it comes to politics – in fact, you’re more likely to find me reading Entertainment Weekly than the New Yorker. However, I think there needs to be a better system. Here’s a thought – how about we run the primaries like the presidential elections? You could have all the nominees tour around various states debating the issues, and then on one date the whole nation votes. That way, people in obscure places like California, New York and Texas might actually have a say in matter.
It’s a pretty radical idea, that’s for sure, but perhaps we could all vote on it. We could start in Iowa…