There are a number of serious problems in the system with which we elect our President. I’ve discussed a couple of the big ones before. But the worst problem with elections is that people keep playing politics with them.
I just learned that the Daily Kos has been encouraging Democrats in Michigan to tamper with the Republican primary. Kos wants voters to cross-over and help Romney win Michigan; not because he respects Romney, but so that the Republican primary remains an open battle without a frontrunner, forcing them to continue spending their money and wearing each other down. He figures that the Democrats can only benefit from a prolonged war within the Republican primary.
Kos justifies this sort of shenanigan because the Republican party has monkeyed with Democratic primaries many times over the past forty years. I doubt the Democrats have been pristine over the same period, it doesn’t matter even if they were heretofore innocent of such political games. Kos should remember the words which his mother, like all mothers, must surely have spoken when he was a child: “two wrongs don’t make a right.” I don’t care what the foes of liberalism have done; I’m concerned with what we liberals do. I’d rather lose with honor than win by betraying the very principles of a liberal democracy.
I have no problem with the concept of cross-over voting itself. As a liberal (though not a registered Democrat), I’ve done it myself. I was rather impress with Bill Bradley during the Democratic race, but felt that Gore had an insurmountable lead. So I chose to vote in the Republican primary (back before the Utah Republican cabal closed their primary). I voted for McCain, because I felt he was the best remaining candidate among the Republicans. I was not committed to voting for him, but I wanted the best possible choices on either ticket, so that no matter who won, the nation would be in good hands.
Why can’t politics be conducted with integrity? Why must so many plot and connive? Democracy is about strategyThat sort of cynical approach is what corrupts a party in the first place. Call me naive, but I truly do believe in the goal of a nation where we participate in the Democratic process in good faith, whether voting or campaigning, and fulfill the potential of democracy.