I despise political rants where the writer calls you stupid if you don’t agree with their politics. I always said I never do a politics related post here. But “Never” is a long time, so I’m breaking that promise to you, and myself. But I still won’t call you stupid, won’t talk about the… Never mind.
Relax, though. No axes to grind here. My issue is with the process, rather than the participants. At least as far as this post is concerned.
So, you ask, what about politics has compelled Kenra to take a break from writing? After all, I’m only ONE scene from finishing what I sincerely HOPE is the FINAL round of revisions and edits of Blood Dragon I, now tentatively titled Safe Heart. Sometime this week, hopefully my critique partners, Azure Boone and Jennifer James, will have had time to give it a quick read and make sure there aren’t any gaping holes. And then, it’ll be on its way, zipping through cyberspace, searching for the right editor and publisher.
Given all that, why on earth am I taking time to even THINK about politics?
Well, here it is.
My party won’t have a presidential primary this year, but it wouldn’t matter if it did. You see, I live in Kentucky. Kentucky residents, as well as anyone who lives in a state that holds its primary election after early to mid-April, need not bother to vote in the presidential primary.
Well, the candidate who will represent the GOP in the general Presidential election has already been decided. And Kentucky Republicans have absolutely NO voice in the decision. They only have ONE candidate from the original… however many, to choose from.
Someone, please, tell me, how is that Democracy? Instead, a few states with early primaries and big populations get the lion’s share of the say in who will represent the party in the fall. No surprise then, that lots of money gets spent in those states, is it?
The area I live in is a Republican stronghold – well, as much of a stronghold as a town with one stop light can be, anyway. Politics are second only to religion and basketball here as topics of conversation. Campaign signs get plastered on every fence post, hell, every weed, for that matter. Even hand-lettered signs. So, why have I not seen even ONE Romney sign in the whole county? Well, because he’s the only candidate Republicans here have to choose, so he’s well assured of their votes. He’ll get their delegates without earning them, without spending one red cent of campaign money, without one single appearance. How is that fair to either the voters or the candidates? It isn’t.
See, in the days when it took significant time to count votes and send information, having the primaries in different states on different dates made some sense. When candidates needed weeks, or even days, to travel from state to state in order to campaign, it still made sense.
Today, we often have official election results within moments of the polls closing, and projected results before polls close. Winners are declared before all the votes are counted. A candidate can go from one side of the country to other and back in a matter of hours. Hell, a candidate can even meet, face to face, with constituents from all over the nation at one time, via telecommunications. A candidate can speak, publicly or privately, to any one voter in nearly any location, right from the office, or address millions at a time while taking individual questions. The candidates can debate from separate venues.
So, will someone please, tell me… Why the hell do we bother with primary elections if a significant percentage of the voters have no say, can’t select from ALL the candidates? Why not just let the handful of states who actually decide the nominee go ahead and do it officially? It would save a big chunk of change, that could be put to FAR better use.
If we actually want a democracy, where every voter has an equal voice, it’s time for major reform of our electoral process.
- One day of national primary elections. Let the states decide when to hold primaries for their state and local races, but the races affecting the entire nation should be decided on the same day to allow all voters an equal choice.
- Eliminate the Electoral College as the antiquated, corrupt mechanism it is. The candidate who receives the most votes from individual voters wins. Period.
- Reform campaign finance laws so that candidates with huge personal fortunes can’t just buy their way into office – disallow the use of personal funds in campaigns.
- Enact campaign ethics standards – well, new ones. How about candidates only speak about themselves, not their opponents. Hold candidates accountable for the statements and actions of their main campaign staff.
- All those PACs and constituency groups and whatever the hell they want to call them – no lies or half-truths. If they quote a candidate, make them provide the context. Make them back up what they say – provide verifiable sources, cite reputable publications (not op-eds), prove the authenticity of documentation. If they’re telling the truth about the ‘bad guy’, they should be happy to prove it.
- And while we’re at it, let’s give a little incentive for voting. Something more than preventing the erosion of liberty yada yada yada. Something simple. Like, in order to qualify to receive government benefits and services, you have to participate in that government by voting. Want your kids in school? Vote. Want to draw unemployment? Vote. Want your street paved? Vote. Whatever, as long as it puts an end to the apathy so many Americans feel today about their right and responsibility to vote.
Most Americans are intelligent enough to make a decision of that magnitude if given the facts. Trust us.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled smut. More on that later!