Favorite Westerns Of Filmland #2, August 1960 cover art by Jack Davis
Methinks it would behoove both the Democratic and Republican national committees to adopt something along the following for their 2020 presidential primaries:
No one may enter the presidential primary unless:
- They have been elected governor or lieutenant governor of a state
- They have been elected mayor of a city with a population of at least one million (threshold may be reached at any time during one’s term)
- They have been elected to either the Congress or the Senate of the United States
- They are a retired field grade military officer who has led troops in combat
A person is banned from entering the primary if:
- They have entered and dropped out of a previous primary (while the national committee may choose to grant an exception to specific individual cases such as those involving a health or family crisis, or being recalled to active military duty, the committee is not obligated to grant such exceptions)
- They have lost a previous primary or convention ballot with less that 30% of the total votes cast
Point #1 is to block the dilettantes, the egomaniacs, the attention hogs, the mouthpieces for individuals and groups with ulterior motives.
Make candidates demonstrate their self-discipline and their party loyalty by campaigning for a smaller office first.
If you can’t win some custom tailored gerrymandered backwater district, you don’t belong on the national stage.
Exceptions are made for retired career field officers who have served their country all their life and know the enormity of the responsibility they’ll bear as president.
Point #2 is to eliminate those who waste the party’s time and resources.
If you haven’t got the stamina to finish the game, you don’t deserve a place on the bench; think long and hard about your chances and how it will affect your own political future before you throw your hat in the ring.
If you can’t get even one third of your own party to back you, you don’t deserve that party’s support in a national election.
Now, some folks will claim this only allows a select few to run for president under their party’s banner.
If it’s time for somebody outside the system, start a third party; set your own rules.
But if you’re going to be one of the big two, then do a better job of vetting candidates.