I feel like a voracious eater who is finally full up to here.
Like an alcoholic who suddenly believes there is too much booze in our lives.
Like a wealthy man who is sick of pocketing more money.
Like a frisky person who is exhausted from so many women throwing themselves at him.
I feel like what I am – a political junky who finally feels overdosed on his drug of choice – politics. Though I have loved politics throughout my sordid life, I reached the end of America’s longest election this fall crying softly, longing for sanity and pathetically repeating, “Enough! Enough! Enough!”
I also like football but I wouldn’t want to watch a nine-hour game.
I write these sadder-but-wiser words two days before the election, not knowing whether my hero or yours has won. I mention that in case my hero lost and you think I am just another sour loser unhappy because the election didn’t go his way.
Win or lose, what I want is shorter campaigns. To that end, the first thing we must do is ask Iowa and New Hampshire to leave our country. Their self-indulgent exaggeration of their importance is the prime cause of endless elections.
And I don’t mean I want them to move to Canada just because that’s nearby. What have the Canadians ever done to us? They are the best neighbors in the history of the world and they should not have to take in our sick mistakes.
Instead, we should ship Iowa and New Hampshire to Vladimir Putin’s Russia where it is normal for a small, willful faction of the nation to decide everything for the rest of the population.
Iowa and its first caucus in the land, plus New Hampshire and its first primary election, gradually move their votes earlier and earlier. That moves the start of the presidential election process earlier and earlier, thereby lengthening the agony of democracy gone wild.
Wikipedia, the blessed source of all knowledge in the universe, notes that state law requires that New Hampshire’s primary must be the first in the nation.
State law? Do you believe that? One pompous little state informs the nation as a whole that its people alone shall be the deciders of when our national election begins.
And then that state constantly moves the primary earlier and earlier to exercise its imaginary divine right to be first. (Iowa, running a truncated primary gets away with preceding New Hampshire’s voting by keeping its process small, inept and calling it a caucus rather than a primary.)
Between the two of them, they and they alone do the original sorting of presidential candidates for the rest of the nation, eliminating several contenders in both parties before the people in the other 48 states get a vote.
This year, New Hampshire had the characteristic gall to start the presidential voting on Jan. 10, giving us the terrible gift of an election that begins officially10 months before the finish line. And of course that gets the frantic candidates started a year and a half before November of an election year.
Haven’t we finally had enough?
There is a remedy, in addition to shipping New Hampshire and Iowa to Putin’s Russia. The Constitution should be amended to require that no caucus or primary can begin any sooner than May 1 of the election year.
But what, you ask, about states’ rights?
No state has the right to decide unilaterally for the all the other states which presidential candidates should be sorted out early and which should be sent to the finals. Only someone like Putin would agree to something as democratically degrading as that.Bill Hall can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1012 Prospect Ave., Lewiston, ID 83501