Dear America, Yes, the parties pick their nominees, not the general public. It has not only always ...

| | Comments (0)
Dear America,

Yes, the parties pick their nominees, not the general public. It has not only always been this way, but it must be this way.

For a presidential candidate to get on the general election ballot, they usually have to pay enough money and provide enough signatures to do so. Anyone can do that, and that's why you often see lots of candidates for President on the ballot. In each case, private people have -- either individually or as a group -- used their resources to get that person on the ballot.

For a major political party nominee, the parties -- which are private organizations -- use their own private resources to put together the fees and signatures required to get the party's nominee on the ballot.

So the question is: who should decide which candidate gets on the ballot with the party's private resources?

Obviously, the party should decide that; the Supreme Court has been very clear on the matter (see California Democratic Party vs. Jones). And the way it's decided is that each state gets a certain number of delegates to the national convention, and the party decides how those delegates are allocated.

The state parties could randomly allocate the delegates, or it could allocate the delegates by simply having the state chairperson handpick them. But they don't: because the parties want public participation, they have public primaries or caucuses where virtually anyone who wants to can have their say (even in a "closed" process, anyone can affiliate with the party if they choose to).

So you do have a voice if you want one, at the state level, but only because the parties let you have one, and because you choose to exercise it.

If you don't like it, well, start your own political party. But unless we have the government deciding who our candidates should be, rather than private citizens working together to decide who they want to support, then this is the only way it can work.


Leave a comment

<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by pudge published on March 17, 2016 7:09 AM.

I used to go to McKees Rocks to visit my grandparents in the summer. My mom grew up there, as did John... was the previous entry in this site.

If Trump is treated fairly, that means he cannot be the nominee without a majority of delegates. is the next entry in this site.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.