The news pundits and the Republicans are tripping all over themselves trying to tell us how they, the Republicans, will take back the U.S. House and Senate in 2022. This is the historical perspective as well as the wishful thinking of the party that is out of power. Historically the president’s party loses seats in the legislature in midterm elections.
Historical trends break in times of crisis; and this is one of the greatest moments of crisis that the United States has ever been through. The pandemic that never seems to end. The failed coup d’état. The slow trickle of damning evidence that emerges about the failed coup from the January 6th investigative committee.
What I am interested in is seeing the government act on the best ideas; and the only way to get the best ideas to rise to the top of the structure and get acted upon is to engage the wisdom of the crowd. Notice that I say best ideas and not correct ideas? Correct is subjective. Best is, or can be, objectively defined. This should not be a right/left issue or a conservative/liberal issue. This is an issue of good governance and only a fool or an authoritarian would want to make sure that the country continues to have bad governance through the enactment of bad ideas. This is why the jungle/blanket primary is the first thing we need to see established, nationally. It will take away the power that enables Trump because his ideas are demonstrably very bad and very unpopular.
Time changes everything. Wait a couple of beats and see what happens next. I think we need to start working on supporting our local Democratic candidates right now. Pushing back on this same old normalization narrative that the Trumpists have spun out repeatedly since the “grab ’em by the pussy” tape emerged (I have never understood why “Mexicans are rapists” didn’t make a dent, and that was the first speech he gave) It is the leadership that is truly reprehensible here, not the rank and file average self-identifying Republican. They can’t bring themselves to vote for Democrats, and they can’t find any other choices to make.
I’ve been saying this for years. We have to start pushing the California model across the
49 47 44 (if you include Louisiana) other states in the union:
- Jungle primaries – Republicans frequently don’t even get into the general election in California anymore because their ideas simply aren’t popular with the majority of the citizenry. Jungle primaries opens the process up, prequalifying only the top two vote getters for the general election. We have to be bold. We have to be certain that we will be the choice of the majority of the voting populace.
- Redistricting commissions – Completely remove politics from the drawing of districts. X number of people in a congruous geographical area represented equally across the board, that number needing to be smaller than 1 million people. With unbiased redistricting that can be demonstrated as fair, the person who actually gets out and finds out what their constituents want, and fairly represents that desire, will win.
I would also add automatic voter registration to the list (I’m not sure if California has this yet or not) so that the population knows it can vote because just doing normal business with the government registers them to participate in the process. Again, we need to be bold and have faith that the citizenry will reward us for doing the things that need to be done to make sure that they have a voice and that they will be counted. Exactly the opposite of what the Republicans are peddling right now.
In Texas we have to start with the people who can vote, but don’t. They don’t vote because they don’t believe anything can change. They outnumber the Republicans two to one. Two to one. We have to convince them to vote for us on the promise that we will make these changes.
If we don’t do this, then the war of attrition will continue until the United States ceases to exist through its own inability to act. Separate camps fighting over the reducing spoils until we are no more than the American Balkans that we deserve to be. Choose.
I’m just going to start dribbling out the pieces of the Politics 101 article that is never going to gel into a single article. Maybe it can be marshalled into a page, or maybe I should lend my efforts to Indivisible. Food for thought.
This post was published because I ran across another set of comments (these from 2018) that were in the same vein, and I was in the process of adding them to this article when I thought to ask “what other articles are out there that have these phrases in them?” I found two. This one was essentially complete, so I just hit publish on it. It was a year old already anyway.
It is no surprise at all that the biggest opponent to blanket or jungle primaries would be the groups that profit the most from closed or other forms of party restrictive primaries. The party organizations sue every time that the primary system is altered in such a way that they cannot dictate who will appear on the ballot in any given state. This just underscores the fact that political parties are the problem and not the solution.
Featured image: screencap from Khan Academy – Open primaries, closed primaries, and blanket primaries