Open Primaries, Party Registration, and Conventions

I do not believe that party politics have had a particularly positive impact on American governance. It leads to divisiveness, in-fighting, disenfranchisement, and a specific breed of drama akin to Reality Television. Political Parties serve, not to increase the representative power of the sovereign American citizen, but to establish hierarchies and the centralization of power.

I am not, however, so enamored with my own perspective that I am blinded to the inevitability and reality of party politics. This two party system is the reality and it isn’t going to change. Unhappily, I set aside a system of political individualism and accept that my two choices of political representation are the Republican Party and the Democrat Party. The Democrat Party represents just about everything to which I am opposed, leaving me but only one choice (and no, I’m not talking about a journey to Mordor).

What the Republican Party is, is a gathering of individuals opposed to Marxism and all its various manifestations and variations. This means that a variety of individuals who go to the Republican Party for representation reflect numerous political philosophies, social and economic values and priorities, and a nearly infinite number of differing opinions on an endless number of separate topics. So when people talk about the Republican Party, I honestly have no idea what they are talking about.

No one can adequately define the Republican Party in such a way as to represent all the views of the people that vote Republican and for this reason, the Republican Party cannot operate like the Democrat Party. Democrats, for the most part, believe in a set of pseudo-intellectual ideals about fairness and equality and view government as a kind of blunt object (sometimes) or scalpel (at other times) to shape and reshape society to conform with their set of ideals. The Democrats have 3 candidates for President that differ primarily in their age, height, weight, and gender, not along ideological lines. On the hand, the Republicans have 13 candidates on the ballot in Virginia who differ dramatically on nearly every policy matter.

This is why I believe that the Republican Party should remain as open as possible. The more centralized power and decision making becomes within the Republican Party, the more “republicans” are left out of the process and the more likely they are not to vote or get involved in November. In fact, the Republican Party has depended primarily, more than anything else, on Americans voting against the Democrat, rather than for the Republican. However, many Americans are tired of voting for Republicans, because the Republicans, while better than Democrats, aren’t, in their mind,  actually good for our country.

The Republican victories of late have not come at the hands of centralized Republican committees, but by public unrest and resistance to Democrat rule. We need as many of these non-Marxists (and that’s what most Republicans are, in truth) involved in the process of selecting our nominees. It is the most accurate way of determining the will and attitude of the American People, the people most likely to vote against a Democrat and for a Republican. Open primaries accomplish exactly this. Yes, it opens up our primaries to some amount of shenanigans from liberal Democrats crossing over, but many conservative Democrats cross over as well. (Don’t forget all those Blue Dog Democrats that voted for Ronald Reagan are still out there, even though they no longer have any representation within the Democrat Party).

Party Registration doesn’t help, since many people feel that registering for a particular party serves as a vote of support for the leadership of that party. I don’t agree with this attitude, but it is there nonetheless. I think every non-Marxist should happily register as a Republican in order to have a voice in opposition to the Democrat Party, but that isn’t what we’ve seen happen in States with party registration.

Conventions, while loved by the elites who bus in their constituent armies and by engaged activists representing the grassroots, do not give voice to the majority of non-Marxists looking for a Republican they can vote for. I have no problem registering as a Republican or attending a convention, but I have some liberties that many people don’t have. I write my own work schedule for one. I can afford transportation and a hotel. Many people, who would otherwise like to have a voice in selecting the Republican nominee, do not have those luxuries, and are shut out of the process. They also tend to stay home on election day in November.

Now, many of my friends and allies support conventions and others support party registration, and that’s fine. I’m not angry at people who feel that their engagement within Republican Party politics ought to be worth something. Decisions are made by those who show up. The activists in the grassroots work hard year in and year out, and I understand their being frustrated by the idea that people who don’t know anything except what they’ve heard on the radio or seen on the TV are showing up to vote and vote stupidly. I am entirely sympathetic to that. However, the conservative grassroots will always depend on bringing more and more people into the party, and the harder you make it for conservatives to get involved, the fewer conservatives you’ll have with you on convention day. Just keep that in mind. There are trade offs.

And essentially that is all this argument is actually over – trade offs. I do believe that we all want the same thing – to defeat Democrats and grow the Republican Party. We all simply think differently about it. That’s ok.

I’m not mad at’cha.


About Steven Brodie Tucker 183 Articles
Graduated From Virginia Tech with a Bachelors in Philosophy and a minor in Psychology. Studied Economics and History at George Mason University. Caroline County Resident and Activist.