“The media has created the perception that the voters choose the nomination. That's the conflict here." - Republican National Committeeman Curly Haugland
Don't be naive. It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who follows politics that parties are private organizations run for and by their longstanding leadership (hello, "Super delegates!"). But in this wacky presidential political year when primaries and caucuses are running so much longer into the political calendar than either party expected (or wanted), it's truly amazing to read of the partisans' brazen disdain for voters. In this week's Politico magazine, Jeff Greenfield asks, "
Can GOP Elites Really Turn Back the Clock in Cleveland? Sure, they can pick Paul Ryan if they dare. But it isn't 1920; how are they going to convince voters to pull the lever for him?
Thinking about the three-ring Republican circus/convention about to descend upon Cleveland in July, Greenfield ponders the fate of the Grand Old Party should its establishment/#NeverTrump bent go full Monty and try to force/nominate someone who hasn't run in a single primary/caucus in 2016 (like Paul Ryan).
As wacky and wild this presidential season has already shown itself to be, perhaps the good that can come from this nomination lunacy is that more and more rank-and-file voters will begin to hear their partisan leadership loudly and clearly: they don't care about you.
What many of us in the independent political reform movement are fighting for is exactly what "Curly" and the partisans are diametrically opposed to (and now more openly admitting): elections should be for and about voters instead of the political parties. And as long as the system works to support the partisans' backwards understanding of elections we'll never have the truly representative democracy we think we have...