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I really wanted to stay out of this fight, but alas, I cannot.  Ever since Operation Hilarity was proposed, there have been diaries, both for and against this action that have been both poignant and well-thought out.  Sadly, not well thought out enough.  It has been fun watching the anti-hilarity folks rise up in righteous indignation and clutching their pearls at the thought of hijacking our beloved democracy.  The pro-hilarity folks, in response, have spent all of their time scouring the internet for any signs of articles that would justify their position as just and true.  It's been fun, but you're both missing the point.  Join me on the other side as I explain to you just why all of you are wrong.

From the Merrian-Webster dictionary

democracy: b: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.
So what exactly does this mean?  It means the people ultimately choose.  Many of you prefer a closed primary system as a way to keep republicans from any kind of chicanery that we all know they would undertake.  After all, they have done it before and they will do it again.  As for me, I've never been a fan of the closed primary system.  The idea of having to choose a party to participate in my democracy has always bothered me.  It's like choosing party over country.  In these very partisan times, the closed primary seems the way to go, but let's be honest, whomever wins still has to represent all the people.  At least, in theory.

The open primary, however, let's us participate fully in our democracy.  The idea, and this is for the anti-hilarity folks, is to choose the best candidates that both parties have to offer.  Once those candidates are chosen, we listen to the ideas of both candidates and make an informed decision as to which path the majority would wish to follow.  Now, I'll be the first to admit, that we no longer live in a bipartisan society, nor do I truly believe that Americans are even capable of making an informed decision, however, an open primary system allows us the opportunity to choose the two best candidates and hear the policy debate that both parties wish to initiate.

Am I naive enough to believe that people participating in an open primary won't play around with the system?  Not at all.  I am fully aware of the kind of tricks that can be played in an open primary system.  However, to suggest, as some have, that Operation Hilarity abuses the democratic system, well, you'd be wrong.  The intent may be inappropriate and the action may not be to your liking, but it isn't an abuse to democracy.  Free and open elections can be messy and everyone votes in a manner that meets their personal best interests.  Whatever those may be.

Now for you folks on the pro-hilarity side, you're making all the wrong arguments.  Your position doesn't really need to be defended by running around and saying, "these guys say it's okay, so get over it."  Your position is actually the easier to defend.  You actually are making a pro-democracy statement even though you have a desired outcome in mind.  Of course, some may just be offended that you would brazenly announce your intentions on the front page.

So, for those of you who live in open primary states who choose to participate in the GOP pie fight, rest assured, only you can determine what your motives are.  If you, like Lawrence O'Donnell, wish to hear a true debate between the liberal-light ideas of Barack Obama and the true conservative ideas of Rick Santorum, pull the lever for Santorum and let's have that debate.  If you'd like the debate to focus on why the 1% should be valued more in our society, pull the lever for Mitt Romney and let's have that debate.  Whether you choose to stay home or not is irrelevant.  Either way you're living up to the ideas and principles you hold dear, but in this pie fight, both sides are wrong.

Originally posted to tdub901 on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 04:47 PM PST.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

Poll

So, which do you prefer? The floor, as Vyan says, is yours.

66%12 votes
33%6 votes

| 18 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    People shouldn't fear their government. They should fear the corporations that own their government.

    by tdub901 on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 04:47:23 PM PST

  •  Here we go again. Clutching our pearls. (6+ / 0-)

    Something tells me that you didn't actually read the anti-OH diaries.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 04:56:38 PM PST

  •  Koch Brothers Show the Rich Don't Need Parties. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Avila

    We can see the Kochs choosing nominees, electing candidates, passing initiatives and legislating all by themselves spending tiny fractions of their individual fortunes.

    Political parties are needed by the people to be competitive against the rich and their businesses. It's all the same principles of force parity that explains the need for unions.

    Political parties are private organizations. It's no more proper for a state to force a private political party to allow its opponents to help choose its nominees than it is to allow a corporation to help choose its workers' union officials.

    Where I part from almost the entire community here is in feeling that if a political party itself throws its primary open, it's fair game for outsiders to drop by and vote for the candidate they feel would be the weakest against their own party.

    In the case where a state forces open primaries on the two parties, that's something I regard as very wrong, and crossover voting in that situation should be done as an act of protest aimed at repealing open primaries so that we the people can choose our own nominees with minimal interference.

    In this case there's no point in pressing the dubiously named operation because Democratic activists are overwhelmingly opposed to the idea, so there's no chance of reaping any benefit from the obvious risks.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 05:18:28 PM PST

  •  As a "pearl clutcher" I must say (5+ / 0-)

    I think it is up to each party in each state how they want to negotiate their primaries - open or closed. (I happen to live in a state with open ones.)

    I also have no problem with any individual voter making whatever choice they like for whatever reasons they individually find worthy.

    I do have a problem with any organized attempt to encourage and coordinate "mischief" voting; especially when it is spearheaded by a group I am affiliated with.

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 05:27:18 PM PST

  •  Parties are formal organizations... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lost and Found, BoiseBlue, Avila

    ...and they have formally affiliated people.  Those people should choose the party's candidates, who are then presented to the general electorate.  I don't see anything wrong with that, and I have never understood the claim of people who aren't affiliated with a party but nevertheless want a say in choosing the candidates that are presented to them under party banners.  

    But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

    by Rich in PA on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 05:32:13 PM PST

  •  Hmmm... (0+ / 0-)

    Given that I've never liked the idea of political parties (or would prefer a parliamentary, proportional-representation system at least,) I sort of get what you're saying.  But what I liked was:

    If you [...] like Lawrence O'Donnell, wish to hear a true debate between the liberal-light ideas of Barack Obama and the true conservative ideas of Rick Santorum, pull the lever for Santorum and let's have that debate.  If you'd like the debate to focus on why the 1% should be valued more in our society, pull the lever for Mitt Romney and let's have that debate.
    That's a way I like looking at it.  Hell, I'm planning on voting Paul because I'd love military interventions, the war on drugs, and monetary policy to get some play, but I'm afraid Paul's other, quite-major flaws would overwhelm the issues.

    Those who support banning cocaine are no better than those who support banning cheeseburgers

    by EthrDemon on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 11:06:59 PM PST

  •  Voting is a responsibility I take seriously... (0+ / 0-)

    Too many people have fought and died for the right to vote.  I can't treat it as a parlor game.  If you want to vote in the Republican primary, go ahead.  But I think it's hypocritical to cast your vote for a person you would never want to see in office.

    My vote gets cast for people whose values and policies are consistent with mine.  Nobody else.

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