I’ve often wondered why we don’t do what a lot of countries do as far as presidential primaries are concerned. They hold one national election will all of the candidates running, all on the same day. That way they get it out of the way, and the Democrats and the Republicans, and whomever else wants to run a candidate for office is done in one felled swoop. And I finally figured out why.
Most people on both sides of the fence will tell you that 2016 is a year when we really don’t have a great choice for president. They hate Trump. They can’t trust Hillary. They don’t want a socialist in Sanders, and they are afraid that Cruz is hiding something. Kasich? He’s the guy that’s just hanging around in case nobody else gets the nod. And it finally hit me why we do the primaries like we do.
They are there to test the mettle of the candidates. Look at what would have happened if we would have had a one day, national primary. Say we hold it in March, and we have this campaign build up for 10 months or so. Hillary wins with ease on the Democrats’ side, and Trump wins, though probably not quite as easily on the Republican side. And we miss out seeing the cracks in the armor of both candidates.
Hillary Clinton has been on the campaign trail in a tough battle against a candidate who was originally supposed to just get her ready for the big fight this fall…no more than a sparring partner. She wasn’t supposed to get hit in the face, she wasn’t supposed to feel any pain. It was like watching Apollo Creed train for Rocky Balboa. Lots of cameras, lots of smiles, a couple of soft punches to the gut, and everybody is happy. She’s showing her true personality. Screeching at people in a rope line who came out to protest her. She’s screaming at protesters who interrupt her speech, saying, “They just don’t want to listen to anybody else!” She’s not acting like the “queen” we thought she was being crowned for.
And on the GOP side, we see Donald Trump. Had we had a one day national primary, we would have missed what appears to be the beginning of an implosion. It’s a little early to call it that just yet, but he’s certainly losing momentum. We would have missed the gaffe about how women who have had abortions should have to face some sort of punishment, and the overwhelming response against that remark by pretty much every living creature on the planet. We’ve seen him pledge to support the GOP’s eventual nominee when he was certain that it would be him…and now, because he wasn’t really experienced in national politics and doesn’t understand the rules to the game, we see him flip-flopping on that pledge, even to the point that he’s again arguing that he could indeed run as a third-party candidate, “depending on how I’m treated”. That leaves a lot open for speculation. And it once again, is a very telling character trait just as the screaming and screeching is a very telling character trait for Clinton.
And that’s why we need to slog through this 15 month ordeal. We need to get to know these people in such a degree, under such pressures and differing circumstances that we see the real person behind the mask. It’s not a matter of voting for the prettiest or the coolest candidate. We need to understand the nuances. This is after all for the biggest election on the planet. We need to understand who we are in fact, voting for!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!