By Trevor Law
I love politics, I mean I really love it. For me the entire process is exciting and interesting as season of football, or hockey. I watch every play, every mistake, diving into the raw data and researching every little thing that is brought up. It is fascinating to me and I love it to death. Election night is so much fun for me because I get to see my predictions proven one way or another. So when I say that elections have become too long, drawn out, and stupid then I hope it carries more weight than most.
The 2016 election is in full swing and I have been eating it up. Watching the rise of Donald Trump, as the media trips over themselves to catch every ignorant and rambling moment. As Bernie Sanders as risen like a mighty lion of liberalism and as the liberal press have fawned over every little thing of his doomed candidacy. As I watch another round of a horde of conservative politicians arguing with each other about who is the most conservative, like kids fighting on a playground and saying “My dad can beat up your dad.” And of yet another Clinton, groping from scandal to scandal, as the GOP can fathom why any would support one.
So what is the problem you ask? Well last week I got an email from the Democratic party (as a side note never give to a party campaign committee, you will be on an email list until Ragnarok.) telling me how we are now one year away from the nominating convention. I thought this was strange since they are alway the last week of August or the first week of September. I had to check and sure enough the nominations are going to be the last two weeks of July. I scratched my head, wondering what was going on and low and behold every primary would be wrapped up well before then, for both parties.
I haven’t screamed like that since the debt ceiling fight in 2011, or when Sean Bean died in season one of Game of Thrones.
The reason being is that we are now locked into a two year election! Two years of both parties geared up to fight within themselves and then to bludgeon each other to death with ads designed to make you feel outraged. Two years of long shot candidates throwing bombs and hoping for some of that sweet, sweet media attention.
More from front runners dodging questions about the promises they have failed to deliver, or the scandals that have plagued their careers. If that sounds like a tremendous waste of time, energy, money, brain power, and oxygen, then congratulations, you have some common freaking sense.
This is only going to get worse too. The Senate and the House will be more concerned with the elections than actually governing so they will do everything they can to: 1) Not change anything at all so as to offend as few people as possible, or 2) Propose garbage that has no hope of passage to rally their base.
So then how do you solve this problem? How do we keep from the country being in a never ending election and rewarding politicians from getting exactly jack and squat done? Simple, right now states have the authority to decide when they hold election and parties control when they hold theirs. This has created a labyrinthian process that states are encouraged to push primaries up so that national candidates will be forced to pay attention to them more. What is needed is more federal control of the dates of these elections, forcing primaries to be no early than six months before november. There is a lot more that could be done but because of the way elections are run in the country it would be very hard to change them and would require a political consensus to emerge about a point of order that the average American doesn’t think about, and the political class profits from too much. There is a lot of money in advertising, speaking roles, consulting, and book deals and a long elections cycle promotes all of that. But hey its not all bad, at least SNL will be funny for a little while, that’s worth a crippling increase in political dysfunction, voter apathy, and a media so obsessed with gotcha moments they rarely cover anything of meaning anymore. Sorry, tried to be funny with the last bit, but I got an email telling me the Democrats need my help, and that time is short! They only have 469 days left until election day.