I spent Thursday afternoon explaining to Alan Stock on his TV show — “Eye on Vegas with Alan Stock,” airing next Wednesday and Thursday on KTUD-TV-Channel 25, Channel 14 on Cox and Channel 25 on DirecTV — that state-run primaries on behalf of the two major political parties is a usurpation of the rights and powers of those parties to select their own candidates and a restraint that holds back other parties from rising in popularity.
Today my Ely Times column on this topic arrives online.
In it I again quote Columbia School of Law professor and election law expert Nathaniel Persily who in 2008 observed, “The move toward primaries has transferred power away from political parties to the media, who are then in a position to describe someone as having momentum.”
Primaries turn serious political contests with serious consequences into beauty pageants and/or reality TV competition with ill-informed dullards from the lowest common denominator sitting on their couches texting their votes for the best quips and the worst gaffes of the past 30 seconds.
I say bring back the smoke-filled rooms and let serious people with studied philosophies put forth the best candidates for each party. But if a party wants to conduct a primary, they should pay for it themselves and run it themselves and pay the consequences of getting pretty candidates with pretty slogans and an utter lack of competence and capability — as the past three years testify.
I want no part of a party dominated by summer soldiers and sunshine patriots.