Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Crazy? No.... Revolutionary!

Of all the articles I've seen related to the dates of presidential primaries, I have to mostly agree with a recent commentary article on CNN.

The writer Roland Martin makes a lot of points that seem valid if sometimes flippant. For instance, why should are Iowa and New Hampshire be first? Did their governors beat the other governors at chess? Were they the big bullies of the early government? I'd like to quickly quote the article:

"But that respect for tradition -- Iowa and New Hampshire have always been first in line -- has gone out the window, and the Republican and Democratic national committees have struggled to keep order.

Folks, this cat is out of the bag, and it's never going to be the same again. And frankly, it shouldn't." -- Roland Martin, CNN

Of course, my main issue has nothing against Iowa or New Hampshire. It doesn't really matter to me who the first 2 states are. Although I agree that it is going to quickly get out of hand with states changing their dates like kids trying to be first in the lunch line. However, I also agree that in the end forcing change may be for the best. I'm not a political scientist but I feel like the long primary time span was designed so that candidates had time to travel around the country in an era where airplanes weren't exactly commonplace. Do we have that problem now? No. Do we need to have candidates travel to Iowa for those people to see them debate? No. We have TVs, radios, and Internet. Word travels exponentially faster than it did when the primaries first started. So why are we still doing things the way they were done hundreds of years ago? Since when was the status quo the best way to do things? (Ah yes, my liberal strain emerges...)

Mr. Martin seems of the opinion that having all primaries at the same time would just be crazy. But why? I think it's a great idea (revolutionary, even!). Now no state will heavily influence the voters in other states. Everyone will actually vote for who they want to win, as opposed to who they think has the best chance of winning. *gasp* People actually making decisions for themselves? I know that is actually a crazy idea, but I have a hunch that if the media was forced to focus on all candidate's platforms more than who won Iowa or New Hampshire, it might actually work better...besides, it's only the delegates that really have a say in the end anyway, so why not give it a shot?

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