I’ve already explained why I think open primaries like the ones we have in Tennessee are stupid and suck. But a whole bunch of Bernie people are complaining that they were disenfranchised by New York’s closed primary this week, and they are saying all primaries should be open, which I think is idiotic. So it seems I need to do some more explaining for the newbies.
1- First of all, primaries are to elect a party’s candidates. If you are too independent to join a party, then stop whining about not being able to pick the candidates of the party you refuse to join. It’s like insisting on choosing the main dish of a dinner you refuse to attend.
Nobody has to vote in a primary. You’re not disenfranchised if you can’t. The primary is not the election. You independent thinkers get to vote in the general election and when you do, you will get to pick from about a dozen or more candidates. Not just the top Democrat and Republican.
It really is incomprehensible to me that people are complaining about this. And yes, it’s the Bernie people. You wanted to vote for Bernie in the primary? Then guess what: Your beef is with Bernie. He’s the one who chose to run for president as a Democrat, when he’s been an Independent for his entire political career. If he hadn’t made that decision, then you’d get to vote for Bernie in November … and you’d get to vote for him against Hillary, Jill Stein, the Republican nominee (Trump or Cruz or whomever), etc.
2- And speaking of Jill Stein, how come all of this complaining is just focused on the Democratic primary? I don’t hear people saying they want to pick the Republican nominee, too. Or the Green Party nominee. Or the Libertarian nominee. Hey, here’s a news flash: they have Green Party primaries, too! Guess what, you weren’t invited. Whaah! Disenfranchised all over again!
Again, all these folks really are complaining about is that they couldn’t vote for Bernie, and that onus is on the candidate, not the process.
2- Election day problems in New York have nothing to do with whether the primary is open or closed. Showing up to vote in the primary and finding your registration was mysteriously changed or disappeared happens all the damn time and it has nothing to do with the primary being opened or closed. Have we all forgotten that time former Congressman Lincoln Davis showed up to vote in Tennessee’s open primary and found he’d been purged from the voter rolls? Have we forgotten the 2012 Tennessee primary when Democrats were given Republican ballots, even though — and I repeat myself — we have an open primary? Hell, I remember working the 2006 general election and voters telling me they were asked a party preference … for the general! That’s a huge no-no.
So yes, stuff gets fucked up, and that’s wrong, and it needs to be fixed, but it isn’t like open primaries and generals don’t also get fucked up.
3- How hilarious is it that the candidate who claimed from day one that he’s running “to bring new people into the process” and “bring back those who have given up on the process” actually forgot to tell his voters about the fucking process? I’m just laughing my ass off on this one. What a major fail this represents for his campaign. Nobody in his campaign thought his voters might need to be told how to register? When to register? All of those rallies he held with thousands of people attending, were there no voter registration tables set up? Was it all just for the cameras and the soundbites? Guess so. Seriously, nothing screams “not ready for prime time” like overlooking basic GOTV stuff in your campaign that’s supposedly targeting newbies.