Access to election ballots are determined by each individual State. How each State determines their own election processes and procedures is based upon the dominant parties in their legislatures. Take a wild guess which political parties actively control legislatures? You guessed it, Republicans and Democrats. So how difficult is it to imagine why it is so hard for third party or "others" to gain access to ballots? More importantly, primaries and caucuses are mechanisms political parties use to determine their own nominees for President. They are not public elections! But how can I say this? Easy! Primaries and Caucuses are political party functions only. To think otherwise is to ignore the number of States that have Closed Primaries - wherein only members of each specific Party may vote, while others (Independents like me) are not allowed to vote. Why? Once again, Primaries are Party affairs, not the "Peoples" affairs.
Whenever I hear Bernie Sanders supporters complaining about Super Delegates endorsing Clinton I shake my head. Sanders has never before been a Democrat. He chose to run as a Democrat because he knew he would never have a chance (or be able to afford) to run as an independent. Clinton on the other hand, has been a Democrat for over 40 years. Of course the Democratic Party's establishment would prefer her. Does it defy the "Will of the People?" Not unless those people are card carrying activists within the Democratic Party. Once again, primaries and caucuses are Party affairs, they are not Public ones. So to those new to the process, learn about the process before threatening to boycott any Party for not "hearing you." You have little voice when it comes to actual intra-party policies and mechanisms.
Now with Trump leading the GOP field, the Republican "Establishment" faces another huge task. How to cope with the momentum Trump has over actual "Establishment" candidates? Bush has left the field. Carson will follow soon. Kasich may hang around until the Ohio primaries, but Rubio is neck and neck with Cruz - another outlier from the GOP. Obviously, the GOP would prefer to have Rubio as their nominee at this point, but the "People" are beginning to speak for Trump. What to do? Unlike the Democrats, the Republicans have a real dilemma on their hands. Sanders will begin to fade and Clinton will move towards the moderate middle. Trump may now begin to "pull away" from the Republican field, but Cruz and Rubio will have to attack each other in order to close the gap with Trump. But to many Republicans, Cruz is unacceptable (and many will admit that they would prefer to vote for Trump over Cruz). Now that Bush is out, can we expect Trump to re-tool his campaign rhetoric so he can begin to focus on Cruz and Rubio? You can bet Trump is already onto that strategy. The more the GOP Establishment complains about Trump they run a palpable risk if they seriously attempt to push Trump aside at a "brokered Convention" - one where the Establishment prevails over their own voters.
Knowing Sanders alone could not sustain a third party run for the White House, Sanders supporters may insist Clinton cling to some of his campaign promises in the General Election. And some of his supporters may just ignore Clinton in the Fall and simply not vote at all. But Republicans? If they "broker" Trump out of contention and he has an overwhelming lead over Rubio (their latest and greatest "favorite son"), what may happen is quite different. Trump will have the ability to bolt the party and effectively run as a third party candidate. Remember, Trump pledged not to "bolt" the GOP unless he felt the Establishment "disrespected him." If he has a wide majority of Republican support for the nomination and it is denied him by the Party's elite, what would stop him from running outside the GOP? An independent Trump run could diminish the GOP's chances enough to hand the Democrats a presidential victory (See election of 1912). So buckle in folks, it's about to become a fun ride to the Fall Campaigns!
As an aside, yesterday I was asked a few questions about Trump and Cruz. When I answered them, someone commented "But what about your side?" My reply? "What side are you referring to?" "You know, your side!?" Which now seems to be more prevalent than ever. Anyone who comments about politics is automatically assumed to be from "one side or the other." Why? Because our politicians and their supporting Media have made all politics a personal, hyper-partisan issue. As I have been writing for years...can we get away from "we" and move instead to "us?" Case in point. Charles Krauthamer recently penned a piece entitled "We Can Win It For Nino" claiming "we" need the Senate to block any Obama Supreme Court appointee because otherwise "we" did not win anything when "we" won the Senate in 2014. He goes on throughout his piece about how "we" need to win. But who is the "we" he consistently refers to? The "we" is certainly not "US." Which makes my point. Political Parties have been portrayed by their supporting Media as reflective of the "Will of the People" yet they never have and never will. They simply use the people to claim their policies and related rhetoric is the only true American vision and their opponents are simply "misguided" or "dangerous for America." But what about "US?" Don't we deserve what is best for our Nation first, and then worry about Political Parties later...much later?
Ironically, Krauthammer quoted Scalia in his piece allegedly saying "I would not like to be replaced by someone who immediately sets about undoing everything that I've tried to do for 25 years." Gee, what a wonderful sentiment. But another Supreme Court Justice said virtually the same thing when asked about his potential replacement. I doubt Krauthammer felt one ounce of concern when Clarence Thomas replaced an icon of the High Court - Justice Thurgood Marshall! So let's begin to stop claiming political parties reflect the "Will of the People" and start recognizing the inherent hypocrisy the purveyors of these beliefs assert.
As President George Washington once warned us, "The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism." Isn't it past time "we" take revenge on the political parties that have hijacked the real interests of "We the People." Have a great week!