Posted on the train from London to St. Andrews

Reform the Process of
Picking Those Among Whom We Can Pick To Be President


Leonard Zwelling

         The results of the New York primary are in. The two
frontrunners swept the delegate count in their home state and, in so doing, may
have sealed their respective victories at the top of their parties’ tickets.

         I wasn’t struck by that.

         Here are some of things I heard that were more concerning.

         In 2008, 58% of the Democratic voters classified themselves
as liberal. This time it was 70%.


         Interestingly, the same number percentage upsurge obtained
on the Republican side although these were conservatives, not liberals.

         Finally, I read today that only about 10 million Americans
actually voted in all of the primaries. That’s a rather small percent of the
actual eligible voting public. This number seems awfully small.

         My conclusion with all of this is that there is a widespread
agreement that there is something deeply troubled in our nation. The government
is no longer working. Fewer people are determining who actually gets to run for
public office and we are more polarized in our solutions as we are more in
agreement that there’s a Yuge problem.

         Let’s start with the GOP as that party seems most likely to
blow itself apart. This is no longer the party of Reagan or even Goldwater, both
of whom would be left of Ted Cruz and saner than Donald Trump. If anyone
reminds us of Reagan, it’s Kasich and he only has a prayer if the other two
guys cannot get to 1237 or self-destruct, not entirely impossible.

         If the GOP nominates Cruz, at least they will finally learn
that the reason they lost in 2000 (yes, they lost), 2008 and 2012 was because
their candidates stunk, not because they were not conservative enough. Cruz
will be conservative enough and lead the GOP into a Barry Goldwater loss territory.
Hell, his colleagues can’t stand him.

         If Trump gets the nomination they learn nothing because The
Donald is such a wild card that he bears no resemblance to any of the GOP’s
prior losers and when he loses, they will just blame it on his hair.

         On the Democratic side it seems all but over. Bernie cannot
catch Hillary and he certainly won’t get any super delegates by denigrating the
establishment of the party. Who does he think the super delegates are? I
suspect Hillary will indeed become the next President in an ugly, negative
campaign that will make Lee Atwater proud. Willie Horton here we come.

and Clinton will become unrecognizable they both will be so clad with the
other’s mud.

         The country is in desperate need of a unifying force which
can only emerge from a process of choosing candidates that is much less
polarizing. If we keep using small states to start the process rather than have
regional primaries; if we let the process go on for over a year; if Citizens
United stands; and if the process itself is dominated by the most partisan
forces in each party, we will get—well—this!

         I suggest whoever wins the election put election reform high
on the priority list for the next Congress. We can reform who we choose for the
choices for President and how. Then we can work our way down to the Congress
and redistrict randomly rather than through gerrymandering based on the last
census. What a concept! One man, one vote, two candidates, neither hated. Is
that even possible? I think the last time was 1956. I was 8.

Leonard Zwelling