CategoryPolitics

Small Town Values – Taking Cold Showers

Photo by @randyolson – Garden City, Kansas – Beef Empire Days – This photo is about small town values on parade but also about the railroad tracks under these children’s feet. Those railroad tracks used to take corn out for sale all over the world… now it’s bringing corn into Garden City for the feedlots that ring the area. Which means they are also importing water from other parts of the world in the form of feed corn. If America's appetite for beef waned or even switched to bison we would save water on the plains and enhance our own food security. Scarcity of water, fragile infrastructure, small dust bowls, the family farm crisis, Big Ag, and global urbanization leave some behind with few options. Small towns are disintegrating around their residents. There is rampant meth and opioid addiction in some of these places. If your hot water heater breaks, there isn’t anyone in your entire county that can fix it. I am from the Midwest, and the pain rural folks have gone through showed up this election. I saw this frustration first-hand working on the Ogallala aquifer story that ran in the August 2016 issue of National Geographic, but I never thought the level of frustration of these communities would manifest itself in this way. @natgeocreative @thephotosociety

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Small towns are disintegrating around their residents. There is rampant meth and opioid addiction in some of these places. If your hot water heater breaks, there isn’t anyone in your entire county that can fix it. I am from the Midwest, and the pain rural folks have gone through showed up this election.

I saw this photo and its caption just before the November election. I bookmarked it hoping to write about it someday. Today is that day. As 45 unveils his Executive Order on H1-Bs today, I bring your attention to the highlighted line in the above excerpt. Just imagine the potential of the market demand in the area of water heater repair. Why isn’t anyone in the entire county trained to fix it? It’s not a job that needs a graduate school education. In fact, it is one of those jobs that trade schools specialize in and these jobs cannot be outsourced. So why aren’t “native-born Americans” fixing water heaters? Is that the pain that the author refers to in the next line? People bathing in cold water turning up to the election booths to vote for Trump.

It’s easy to blame immigrants who often play an important role in the economy i.e. doing the jobs the native population isn’t willing to do much less qualified to do. There are job-training and re-training programs for citizens but the current administration is even slashing funding for those.

Ideally, native-born Americans would be setting up water heater repair businesses and competing to fix them in a county where no such repairperson currently exists. If the native-born aren’t interested in those jobs, maybe some immigrant from a neighboring poorer country will move there and do that job. But what you have now is reluctance to do that job yourself plus resentment for newcomers based on factors that few in the media will dare to speak out aloud. These folks in Garden City, Kansas with “small town values” finding joy in children’s parades while suffering from meth & opioid addiction and apparently cold showers. I wonder what those “small town values” really are about? *thinking face emoji*

What Are Third Parties Doing?

I could be wrong here, but third parties in the US seem to show up exclusively for the presidential election. They put up candidates, they complain a lot about how there is no space for alternative voices and then they disappear for 4 years. This seems to me to be no way to build an alternative. If they really need to build a party, there’s a lot of organizational work that would be needed. I would expect them to focus on winning lower level elections first and then work their way upwards. They are either not doing this, which means that they are not serious; or they are trying to do this and failing, which supports my point that there is really no need for them [Source: The Examined Life]

Ravikiran is definitely not wrong here. These third parties show up exclusively for the presidential election because a) they actually have no plans or intentions for winning the elections and b) they never can. As he notes, if these parties really wanted to win, the logical thing to do is to first focus on local elections. There even is precedent for a random independent person to be Governor (e.g. Jesse Ventura in Minnesota). But further down ballot as constituencies get more & more insular, third parties can win races. Even beyond school board and city council elections, the Congressional Races are ideal for getting your foot in the door.

Why doesn’t the Green Party or the Libertarian Party target certain House seats that are closest to their ideology? Is it because they’ll soon find out that the two major parties are in fact big tent parties that have members with a diverse range of beliefs and help nominate people with ideologies in line with their constituency? If the excuse is that incumbents have an unfair advantage in networking and social capital within their constituency, then how do they expect to overcome that at a national level? But if the real intention is not to win anything but simply raise a stink and effectively be a spoiler then yes, third parties do just that during Presidential elections, as they’ve the right to. But only if their supporters would admit this reality at least.

Even at the federal level, currently, there are two independent Senators (Bernie Sanders & Angus King) who even though caucus with Democrats have leverage to further their progressive agenda. In the age of narrow majorities, even a couple of third-party elected officials in the Congress can yield tremendous influence just like in the Indian parliament. Currently, the Senate is controlled by the Republicans by a 52-46-2 majority. Imagine the leverage a couple more progressive Senators would’ve enjoyed instead of betting it all on an improbable Presidential election. Bernie Sanders understood the realities of a Presidential election and hence ran in the Democratic Primary. He could’ve easily run as a third-party candidate like Jill Stein & Gary Johnson but he would’ve peeled off Hillary Clinton’s votes instead giving Trump a even larger victory margin.

Or as Ravikiran suggests as an alternate reality that the country in fact doesn’t need a third party. Russ Feingold who had no private email servers issues or never gave speeches to Goldman Sachs and by any measure is considered a solid progressive and was an ex-Senator still lost his election in Wisconsin. He was endorsed by Bernie Sanders who even campaigned for him. Still he lost to an unpopular incumbent Republican by more than 3 points; more than the margin of Clinton’s loss in the state.

At the Congressional level, another beloved progressive and a campaign finance reformer Zephyr Teachout lost to a first-time-running-for-House Republican in a country that Obama won by more than 7 points in 2008 & 2012. She was also endorsed by Bernie Sanders and endorsed by progressives-favorite groups like Sierra Club & Emily’s List. She was a volunteer at Occupy Wall Street. You couldn’t get any more progressive unless you got Ed Begley Jr to run. Yet she lost by 9 points in a battleground district in New York.

On the libertarian front, as soon as marijuana is legal in all 50 states, there will no libertarian movement left; at least among white people.

Hope Strikes Back

Hillary Clinton lost the Electoral College and thereby the Presidency. There are no two ways about it. There are attempts currently underway by the third candidate to ask for a recount Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan [1] but that’s not going to change the result. However, on the popular vote front, votes are still being counted and 18 states are still pending to be certified including California, New York, Maryland, New Jersey, etc. On this measure, Hillary Clinton is leading right now by 2.7 million votes i.e. by 2 percentage points.

Some say that this is a useless exercise since the outcome may have been different due to changed strategies had popular vote been the measure [2] But I disagree.

I find solace in this measure not as a way to countermand the result but simply as a barometer of popular opinion. Days after the election, I was depressed primarily because I thought this country as a whole had decided that progressive policies of the past were no longer welcome including immigrants such as myself. This measure gives me hope that the majority of the country doesn’t think so. Even the margin in those three Rust Belt swing states has been steadily falling and at last count, is fewer than 80,000 votes out of more than 13 million votes. The margin in each of those states was fewer than 1 percentage point with the lowest in Michigan at 0.2 percentage point or just under 10,000 votes.

Just imagine, a marginal shift of those 80,000 votes and we would now be talking about how those racist bigoted working class whites were finally rebuked and cast into the darkness of history. Nearly 600,000 people in those states cast their votes for the third party so clearly they weren’t voting for Trump. So even in those woebegone Rust Belt states, most people did not vote for Trump and his racist bigoted policies. The ‘First Past the Post’ system simply helped him claim victory. That’s fine and we’ll have to live through the consequences of his victory this may be the extent of the GOP victory even while being blatant racist. If that’s the only way you can get those people to turn out and the margin was a measly 80K votes in states with a combined population of nearly 28 million people, there may still be hope. You just have to wait four more years and wish the world isn’t destroyed beyond repair by then.

As far as enthusiasm for Obama in 2012 vs. Clinton for 2016 goes:

Footnotes:
  1. I hope this blatant ruse to grift from grief-stricken and panicked Democrats doesn’t go far. []
  2. Critics claim that we don’t know what the outcome may have been but given the voter trends and regions where people live and the current margin of victory, chances are that Democrats would still get more votes. In the last seven presidential elections, Republicans have won the popular vote only once but the Presidency three times.

    People often don’t vote because they’re disillusioned that their vote doesn’t matter. They may be Democrats in deeply red states or Republicans in deeply blue states. In large red states with growing populations (TX, GA, and AZ), Democrats gained votes; even to the extent of 7 percentage points in Texas.

    Also, if popular vote was a measure then the concept of protest vote diminishes and third-party vote share would fall. You would effectively voting against a candidate. []

Betraying LBJ

I’ve lived in three cities in the U.S.; all three have been home to a Presidential Library. I still regret not visiting the Carter Center in Atlanta during my five-year-stay there but I did take plenty of visitors to the Bush (senior) Library in College Station. So finally after living in Austin for three years, I visited the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library on the University of Texas campus. It’s an impressive monolithic structure featuring a cavernous atrium within, adjacent to the Public Affairs school with its name. The library, like any other, features the work and life of Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th President of the United States. LBJ, as he was known, was a Texan native and grew up not too far from Austin in Johnson City.

LBJ Pens for Legislation

As soon as you enter the Library, you see a row of pens corresponding to the legislation it was used to sign it into law. That sight sets the tone and impact of his presidency featured extensively in the displays at the library. The amount of progressive legislation signed into law in just 5 years was enormous and continues to shape our lives to this day. Check out the following legislation he moved through Congress:

LBJ Legislative Achievements

Look at that list and think about the impact it has had on your life. I can literally trace my presence in this country (and to be writing this post) all the way to the Immigration Act of 1965 and it wasn’t even his signature legislation. Other progressive landmarks included Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid, Public Broadcasting (NPR & PBS), the Clean Air and Clean Water Act, and plenty others in highway safety (seat belts), urban housing (Fair Housing Act), criminal justice. Even as an Indian, I can thank the Johnson administration (& of course Norman Borlaugh) for saving over a billion lives by facilitating the Green Revolution.

So with that impressive list of achievements, you would imagine Johnson is still feted as the greatest President ever by the Democrats, right? Plus he would easily win a second term. Not so. Johnson got bogged down in the Vietnam War and didn’t even seek a second term. The anti-war progressives protested vociferously and eventually pinned the Vietnam War mess solely on Johnson’s shoulders and we ended up with a Nixon presidency who eventually expanded the war into Cambodia and Laos after having to withdraw ignominiously from Vietnam in 1974. The ‘secret plan’ to end the Vietnam War as promised (does that remind you of someone today?) was never revealed and in fact, it’s now known that the Nixon campaign treasonously sabotaged a peace plan in 1968 to prolong the war and deny the Johnson administration any credit.

So even with those solid progressive victories that liberals continue to cherish and enjoy even today, Johnson was relegated to the history books as a failed President and passed away without any fanfare. Given this precedent, why would any Democrat work for any progressive agenda if he or she knows that one error in judgment in a war-related decision would take you down (again, does this remind you of someone?) The progressive Left would never stand by you and would instead let a demagogue conservative win just coz their candidate wasn’t as perfect as they demanded. Eventually, all the liberal environmentalists from the 60s ended up driving SUVs in the suburbs that they fled en masse to get away from the minorities. If nothing else, the progressives love two things – protesting in perpetuity and acting in ways that eventually underscores the goals that they are protesting against. Wait, add one more thing – being goddamn hypocritical. Holier-than-thou progressives will always complain about not getting their perfect candidate and will blame the rest of us for nominating a flawed candidate but eventually it comes down to who gets the most votes. The other side turns up but progressives don’t.

If nothing, conservatives understand electoral politics. Remember the 2010 midterms after being nearly wiped out in 2008? You can achieve your goals but you have to first get elected to introduce and pass legislation. As a Democratic presidential nominee once famously said, you cannot change minds but you can change laws. That’s how we got desegregation, civil rights, and even gay marriage. You are not going to get everything at once but you can lose everything at once. Unfortunately her words fell on deaf ears.

Be it 1968 or 2016, the progressives love snatching defeat from the jaws of victory just because they didn’t have a perfect candidate. Even when they were shown that the conservatives have fielded the most imperfect candidate you could imagine. But will we learn? I hope so but I fear we will not.

Math of the Democratic Primary

Finally, our long national nightmare is over. Yesterday, the last of the states voted in the Democratic Primary. Although Washington D.C will vote on the 14th, no one cares about them because, one, it will vote overwhelmingly for Clinton and two, because taxation without representation still holds true for the nation’s capital ironically. Anyway, to summarize the results of the primary:

Hillary Clinton now has:

  • Won a majority of the popular vote count
  • Won the most states
  • Won the most primaries/contests [1]
  • Won the most closed primaries
  • Won a majority of the pledged delegates

Bernie Sanders has:

  • Won a majority of caucuses

Ergo ‘super delegates’ will and most already have pledged support for Hillary Clinton (571 to Sanders’ 48) pushing her over the edge for securing the Democratic nomination quite comfortably.

Caucuses versus Primaries

As Five Thirty Eight projects, if the caucuses were primaries instead i.e. voters cast a ballot instead of spending time debating for a few hours before casting their vote, Hillary Clinton would end up winning a majority of those as well. A grand total of 10,000 people caucused in Alaska. If it was a primary, an estimated 57,000 would cast their ballot.

But why estimate when Washinghton State provides the perfect experiement. It held an official caucus that awarded the delegates on March 26. Bernie Sanders won 73% of the vote compared to Clinton’s 27%. Nearly 237,000 votes were cast in this caucus. The state also held a primary on May 24. This time, however, Hillary Clinton won 54% of the vote compared to Sander’s 46%, and even though these results wouldn’t matter and it was purely a symbolic primary, more than 800,000 votes were cast in this primary. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which method gives the opportunity to the most people to exercise their choice.

Even though Clinton won most of the open primaries i.e. open to non-Democrats, I would argue that all primaries should be closed. If you want to elect a nominee for the Democratic Party, you should be a member of the Democratic Party. It’s that simple. If you want to claim youself as an Independent, you’ll have to wait until the General Election to cast your vote. There are umpteen third-party candidates in the fray if you are not satisfied with the two major party candidates.

On to the General

However, remember that, given the structure of the country’s winner-take-all Electoral College, unless your third-party wins the majority of the electoral votes, your vote will benefit the eventual winner from the two major parties. This year, such votes will help elect Trump. You can still exercise your choice but that’s the unintended consequence whether you like it or not and nope, this is not being passive-agressive. It’s just the way things play out.

there is a chance

This Democratic Primary wasn’t really close although it went through to June. But that was mostly because California hadn’t voted hence giving the person who was behind a probable although very unlikely chance. If California had voted on Super Tuesday, we wouldn’t be having this conversation today.

Congratulations to Hillary Clinton. Now onward to beating Trump in the general.

Footnotes:
  1. includes territories that vote in primaries but not in the general. A total of 57 geographic contests were held this year []

A Third-Party Run for Sanders?

By now, Bernie Sanders has all but exhausted his options for winning the Democratic nomination. Even after his win in West Virginia today that had its inordinate share of idiosyncratic voters [1], he trails Hillary Clinton by 285 pledged delegates. He would’ve to get three-fourths of the votes in California to even get tantalizingly close.

However, the super delegates who often vote in favor of the candidate who wins the majority of the pledged delegates, will put Hillary over the top and some more. After dissing the super-delegates as undemocratic and as ‘the establishment’, he cannot count on their support especially if it is to countermand the majority of voters’ wishes [2]. So what’s the next step for Bernie Sanders?

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Footnotes:
  1. Registered Democrats who are in fact Republicans and have been for a long time []
  2. Hillary Clinton currently has nearly 3 million votes more than Bernie Sanders []

A Zero Sum Voting Game

I love Glenn Greenwald and his work. He is one of the more honest journalists out there and heck, I even agree with most of his Clinton criticisms although these days he’s a tad too obsessed. In the tweet above, he’s correct, criticism of Clinton doesn’t equate support for Trump but when it comes down to voting, if you don’t vote for Clinton, it’s effectively a vote for Trump. In most multi-party democracies, that wouldn’t be true but in a republic like America where there’s effectively a duopoly, that’s an unfortunate side effect.

As much as Bernie or Trump supporters would say, it’s not exactly a conspiracy by the Republicans and the Democrats to maintain their stranglehold. The main culprit is the winner-take-all electoral system in the general election. Given this system, voters align themselves strategically and you eventually end up with just two main options. Even if it may seem that the parties themselves have at least two factions, eventually both factions vote for the party nominee and the election boils down to the few battleground states with the small number of undecided swing voters. It’s not easy to change the system since it depends on each individual states to do so. Right now, only Maine & Nebraska divvy up their electoral votes. If any large states especially battleground states like Ohio or Florida choose to do so without others following suit, they would instantly lose their importance. It can only be done if all states do it which seems highly improbable.

The Democratic primary is a proportional system and that’s why Bernie is still in the race because theoretically although highly improbable, he can still win. If the Democratic primaries were also winner-take-all, Hillary would be the nominee after New York. I made the following tweet just before New York primary and New York has 29 electoral votes [1].

The Republicans have a mishmash of proportional allocation, winner-take-most, and winner-take-all. This was done primarily after 2012 when Romney couldn’t lock down the nomination but now it has come back to bite them in the ass coz it’s helping Trump. The race would be wide open if it was proportional allocation.

Getting back to Greenwald’s tweet, this general election, it’s going to come down to Hillary or Trump. Either you vote for one of these candidates or you’re effectively risking seeing the other person winning even if you choose to stay at home. It all boils down to which candidate you do not want to win and how bad and not really about whom you want to see as President. This time the stakes are that high.

This Quora answer makes a great case on whether voting for someone because they’re the lesser of two evils is a good reason and the author says that, “it’s not just “a good reason”. It’s the only reason“; mostly because whether you vote or not, someone among the two is going to be President. So if you along with your purist friends don’t vote while waiting for the perfect candidate, you may end up with a candidate who is the greater of the two evils. In that case, you along with others suffer the consequences for a long time [2]. There is no perfect candidate and even if there is, unless you’ve the majority of people thinking that, you’ve to make hard choices and go with the pragmatic choice. If you don’t show up to vote, you’re part of the problem and would’ve no legitimate reason to complain later.

In this election, it’s more than clear on who is the lesser of the two evils although I don’t think she’s in the same ballpark to even compare. Hillary Clinton would still be better than any generic Republican candidate in today’s era. That said, if you still find faults with here, there is no reason to stop criticizing Clinton even after she is sworn in as President. But vote you must.

Footnotes:
  1. She’s at 315 right now []
  2. The next President may nominate as many as four Supreme Court Justices thus leaving a legacy for more than a generation []

An excellent refutation or rather expression of skepticism of Bernie Sander’s top hits. Even from my professional point of view, the ‘free college’ promise is fundamentally wrong.

Running to Not Win

Bernie Sanders has performed admirably. That’s a fact. He has given Hillary Clinton, the presumptive nominee before the primaries began a figurative and even a literal run for the money. But I’ve always believed that he was never in it to win. Going back to his “I’ve to get back to work, let’s get this over with” announcement for the candidacy of the Democratic Party, his half-hearted campaigning until the primaries began never gave me any inclination that he wanted to be the Democratic nominee much less the President. We were given confirmation in this NY Times article that used quotes from within his campaign staff.

Competing aggressively against Mrs. Clinton in 2015 was not part of the Sanders strategy when he announced his candidacy last April. Rather, in early campaign planning meetings, Mr. Sanders made it clear that he was focused on bringing his liberal message to cities and towns across America while also fulfilling his duties in the Senate. Advisers said they warned him about the travel demands that a serious presidential bid would entail. They noted that Mrs. Clinton, who had left the State Department, would be working around the clock to campaign, raise money, nail down endorsements and develop policy plans.

All those decisions stemmed in part from Mr. Sanders’s outlook on the race. He was originally skeptical that he could beat Mrs. Clinton, and his mission in 2015 was to spread his political message about a rigged America rather than do whatever it took to win the nomination. By the time he caught fire with voters this winter and personally began to believe he could defeat Mrs. Clinton, she was already on her way to building an all but insurmountable delegate lead.

Without getting into the minutiae of Clinton’s and Sander’s policy positions although there are plenty of differences (in the means rather than the ends), the first and foremost criteria of any Presidential run is that you should want it bad enough to let it dominate every aspect of your life for at least 2 years. If there is any other motive for running for President then chances are that you’re not going to be President. Trump may be similar in that sense that he too never expected to catch on fire like he has within the GOP but the very things that made him popular amongst the GOP are the reasons he’ll never win the Presidency. If Sanders has succeeded then it is in pulling Hillary to the left, which ironically was the intent he began with. Considering the delegate math, by the time he realized that he wanted to win, it was too late. He pats himself on the back by saying he took on the Clinton machine and got nearly as popular. But if 2008 was any indication, it showed us that it was possible not only to take on the Clinton machine but also beat it. In that sense, he fell short. Difference is that Barack Obama wanted to win as soon as he stood on the steps of the courthouse in Springfield. You can probably become Speaker of the House if you don’t even want to, like Paul Ryan has, but running for being the President is a different beast and given the intricacies and arcane rules of the process, you better plan ahead.

Otherwise, you’ll be spent explaining away your losses by saying that you lost because you never campaigned there. Sure, I didn’t win the World Cup coz I never competed. The first rule may be is to show up but the qualifying rule is to want it really bad. I like Bernie Sanders, like most Clinton supporters but the man hasn’t given much thought to how he would govern if he won. That’s probably because he never expected or even wanted to win.

Responding to authoritarianism with segregation

With the rising popularity of Donald Trump; at least within the GOP, I made the following observations on Twitter:

Responding to the tweet, Supremus sent me this link documenting the rise of American authoritarianism. Rooted in political science research, the article makes an effort to understand this recent fondness for Trump. It’s the perfect storm of having just the right bigoted/racist individual running at the time when racial diversity is on the rise.

In an influential 2005 book called The Authoritarian Dynamic, Stenner argued that many authoritarians might be latent — that they might not necessarily support authoritarian leaders or policies until their authoritarianism had been “activated.” This activation could come from feeling threatened by social changes such as evolving social norms or increasing diversity, or any other change that they believe will profoundly alter the social order they want to protect. In response, previously more moderate individuals would come to support leaders and policies we might now call Trump-esque.

Other researchers, like Hetherington, take a slightly different view. They believe that authoritarians aren’t “activated” — they’ve always held their authoritarian preferences — but that they only come to express those preferences once they feel threatened by social change or some kind of threat from outsiders.

But both schools of thought agree on the basic causality of authoritarianism. People do not support extreme policies and strongman leaders just out of an affirmative desire for authoritarianism, but rather as a response to experiencing certain kinds of threats.

I found this interesting because not only does it confirm our fears of what is happening right now in the Presidential race but it also confirms a theory in housing and neighborhood change; something that’s up my alley.

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College tuition is not the reason for student debt

One of the cornerstone issues of the Bernie Sanders campaign is free college for all. This part seems to have excited many young people or as they’re now referred to as millennials.  I was in fact surprised that the ‘free’ part extends to all students regardless of their household income so technically a household earning a million dollars can also send their kids to college for free even if they can afford it. Sanders plans to fund this ‘free college’ scheme through a tax on Wall Street speculation. While I’ve never heard of numbers even in the ballpark range, this post is not about feasibility or economics of his campaign promise. This is primarily if making college free addresses the student debt problem that seems to be at the root of making such a promise.

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The Need for the Perfect Candidate

February 8th, 2016 - Hudson, New Hampshire

Increasingly, voters in America, more so for the Democrats than for Republicans, are asking for the perfect candidate in terms of what they say and what they promise to do when elected. At times, what they promise to do may not even be realistically possible but I’ve already tweeted about that. This is more about demanding something from the candidate that he or she isn’t.

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Sadly, I agree. Even the most optimistic person may pause and think that this is plausible. This is the state of the GOP today.

Look for America – Bernie Sanders Campaign Ad

A lovely ad by the Bernie Sanders campaign. Such a stark contrast to the sky-is-falling Republican ads. I like Bernie but I don’t think he’s going to win against Hillary Clinton. Hillary is not perfect. I had supported Obama against her in 2008 but compared to the GOP field, she’s the best we’ve got.

The mess that’s the primaries

When I first came to this country and got interested in the politics[1], I was impressed by its primary system. Coming from the land of the Gandhis, the idea that any member of the political party could run for President, appeal to the party base, and effectively be nominated as the party’s nominee for the highest office in land was as democratic as it got.

To be fair, the system has worked well and although it’s not as democratic and fair as most would like it, it still got Barack Obama nominated against the Clinton machine.But increasingly, it has gotten ridiculous. Candidates announce their intentions to run almost 1.5-2 years before the actual election date and the subsequent months is just an endless drama of poll numbers. Governors are rarely in their states, Senators barely register their votes in Congress, and other do-nothings are simply peddling their future media and book campaigns. Running in a primary is basically outsourcing your personal expenses on the gullible donors for at least two years. No other reason exists for Huckabee and Santorum running almost every election cycle.

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Footnotes:
  1. After all, it was the year of the infamous recount []

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