Who Will Select the GOP nominee?
By: David Bozeman
While nothing written here is intended as a diatribe against open primaries (where voters of any or no affiliation are allowed to vote in the party’s primary of their choice), I do submit that in 2012 (with no apparent challenger for Barack Obama’s re-nomination), Republicans alone should pick their nominee for president.
Supporters of Ron Paul are counting, in part, on anti-war Democrats to secure the GOP nomination. At least seventeen contests, including the delegate-rich states of Michigan and Texas, and the all-important South Carolina, provide some sort of open-primary option for voters (Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts and Tennessee are among the others). While crossing over to stir chaos and help nominate the weakest candidate on the other side has been employed by both major parties,as well as third parties, the fact remains that any Democrat who wants to vote in my party’s primary does not have our best interests at heart. In 2000, Democrats and independents elevated John McCain over the perceived more-conservative George W. Bush, arguably costing resources that could have been banked for the general election.
Sadly, also, name recognition factors too highly in any party’s nominating process, though Democrats seem more likely to choose an up-and-comer (Carter, Clinton, Obama), while Republicans notoriously pick the ‘next in line’ (namely Bob Dole and John McCain). Professional prognosticators and bloviators color public perception, thus voters believe that Michele Bachmann is unelectable before the first vote has even been cast. It must be true, because George Will and Charles Krauthammer say so.
Not to imply that GOP voters are incapable of independent thought, but the top-heavy nomination process leaves too many citizens without a voice. By the time North Carolina held its 2008 primary in early May, John McCain had already secured the nomination in March, leaving our votes not even worthy of a footnote, which means we must speak even louder, both verbally and with our contribution dollars.
Some Democrats are admittedly pining for an Obama-Trump showdown, because, according to their wisdom, the president would mop the floor with the billionaire showman. Frankly, too much air time is wasted with whom liberals (be they commentators or ‘objective’ journalists) advise the GOP to nominate. Speaking as a lowly foot soldier in the conservative movement, just give me the facts. Give me the voting records. Give me the candidates themselves. I want political commentary to enhance my judgment, not to speak for me.
Whatever benefits one can derive from open primaries, the left still largely molds our nation’s political culture. ‘My party, my choice’ makes a great rallying cry for Primary Season 2012. So, to liberals, keep your near hegemonic control of news dissemination and political thought, we’ll keep our ideological purity, thank you, and see who really connects with the American people.