For a country that prides itself on being the one to show the rest of the world how to have a representative government, the USA sure has some messed up elections. I won’t even go into the electoral college, that is written into the Constitution and would require major changes and amendments. Instead, I want to focus on the elections themselves and the never-ending campaigns that we are subjected to.
The ONLY thing regarding elections that is covered in the Constitution worth noting is that Congress will set the date for national elections. This has been done to be the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November. That is it. Case closed. Nothing more.
How did we get to the never-ending campaign of primaries that go on forever? I have my own theory that the primaries were developed by the political parties in order to present their candidates to the potential voters in a time when mass communications were not possible. Given that environment, it made sense for candidates to travel to each state and make their case for being elected if they were running for national office.
With the advent of mass communication and air travel, this has become redundant. Now we have states that are positioned to hold their “primaries” first because they are following some tradition that no longer fits the needs of a modern society. Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina are all wonderful places to live, I am sure, but they hardly represent the nation as a whole. Remember that South Carolina only recently pushed itself towards the front of the list and would have gladly gone first but for resistance from the politicians and parties from Iowa and New Hampshire, plus the traditionalists around the country. The attempt by South Carolina proves that there is really no legal reason for any of these primaries to exist because if South Carolina had been successful, then another state would have eventually tried to go before them, and the endless campaign cycle would truly be endless.
Since there is no longer a need for candidates to travel to each state due to lack of communication, I believe that these “primaries” should be abolished. There is nothing in the Constitution that protects them. The primaries are the tools of the political parties themselves. They serve only as a means of publicity and fundraising. The media treats them as the Oracles of Delphi, when history clearly shows that there is no true correlation between early primary performance and eventual winners.
I wish that the American people would simply say ENOUGH and demand that these primaries be abolished in favor of a shorter national campaign. This bullshit started last fall, well over a year before the election. Personally, I think that 3 months would still be too long, but at least it would spare us from all the BULLSHIT that we currently have to wade through. I would suggest a 30-day campaign, no longer than that.