Democrats should change their primary system

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What do Democrats have to lose?

The DNC took a beating last year with the primary process they oversaw and essentially botched, if not rigged. No matter how much Democrats talk about the Russian influence helping Trump win last November, the sad reality is the DNC have themselves to blame and they know it — they just won’t admit it. No amount of house cleaning will help them in 2020 unless they convince the nation they really are more interested in transparency than back room politics.

There will be changes the party makes when the next presidential cycle comes around, but I am willing to bet, they will not be as bold as they should if they want to win over a large segment of a dissatisfied voting populace.

If I were advising the DNC, or the GOP for that matter had they lost last year, I would suggest they scrap the primary process all together for something far more bold and advantageous. Best of all, it’s a simple plan that when carried out leaves little to question about the party and their candidate.

Beginning on the first Tuesday of November 2019, one year before the next presidential election, I would hold the first of eight nationally televised debates among their candidates. Each month, on the first and third Tuesday, a debate would take place in a different part of the country and focus on a different set of topics. The final debate would take place on the third Tuesday of February and then be followed by a national primary vote on the first Tuesday of March.


Should no candidate receive more than 50 percent of the national democratic vote, a debate would take place between the top two vote getters on the third Tuesday of March with a runoff vote on the first Tuesday of April.

Doing this eliminates the antiquated concept of delegates and the potential impression of corruption for the use of super delegates. It still allows candidates to crisscross the country, something they absolutely dread doing, while others can choose to campaign in a far more cost saving way making them less reliant on big money donors.

2016 proved Americans will tune in and watch debates. I have yet to meet a person who has said they voted for a specific presidential candidate because of their stump speech, but I have known scores who were swayed by the answers they provided to debate questions.

Now for those who will say this takes away the influence of the smaller states with early primaries and caucuses, it doesn’t. You’ve been misled by the media. The vote in California, New York, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio matter far more to politicians who have eyes on the White House; Iowa and New Hampshire, sorry, but you are just necessary evils to candidates.

With a candidate selected no later than early April, Democrats will give themselves at least seven months to plan a strategy to defeat an incumbent Trump. This leaves plenty of time to raise massive amounts of money to run ads in major markets aimed at defeating Trump while still allowing the party nominee to hit the smaller states at a much less hectic pace to meet and chat up close with the people.

Not only will this give the party’s candidate time to vet their choice for VP, it can also allow him or her time to introduce their choices of cabinet members who in turn can be unleashed to dissect the performance of Trump’s cabinet. In other words, to use terminology Mr. Trump likes, you would be going nuclear on him and everyone associated with him.

Whatever Democrats decide, they must remember half of the nation couldn’t be bothered to vote last year because neither candidate or party excited them and had lost the their trust. Democrats have to prove to the public they not only have learned from the errors of their ways, but they also have no intention of repeating them by selecting a candidate under the system voters question.

If Trump proved voters want someone different, then perhaps the DNC needs to show all voters how progressive they can be. Social issues are one way, but that wasn’t enough in 2016 and might not be again in 2020. No matter what he says, Trump does not want a large voter turn out. He thrived on apathy this time and will need it again if he is going to be re elected.

However, if voters believe Democrats are the more open and transparent party to Trump and, with what appears with each passing day (his henchmen), they should garner far more independent and new voters, which should put their next candidate in the White House. What do they have to lose?