Know how Ted Cruz won Utah with 69% of the vote? And won most of the caucuses handily? And most of the Republican-only primaries?
Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz has offered a brilliant, near-term, totally doable solution to the problem of a “Dancing With the Stars” electorate, and it doesn’t involve any odious “literacy tests”… except it sort of does.
He offers what we may one day call “The Utah Solution” to stupid people voting and fouling up our Republic. He makes who votes bottom-up+self-selecting rather than top-down+we-know-what’s-best-selecting. He envisions a system 100% open to anyone who cares to participate yet by its very nature, separates the wheat from the chaff.
I offer a few salient paragraphs below, as it’s a long read, but when you have fresh coffee, take some time with it and read the whole thing. It’s great.
THE CASE FOR REFORMING PRIMARIES
Sound familiar to our time? Mass media and campaign advertisements determining the nominee among “the people?” As one groups of political scientists declared in a 2004 study on the effects of direct primaries, “the direct primary stands as one of the most significant and distinctive political reforms of the Progressive era in America.” While the 17th Amendment is what allowed progressives to ensure half the country would elect senators in line with the views the elites use to manipulate the masses, the institution of direct primaries ensured that even in conservative states only progressive Republicans would be able to survive the money/media/name recognition juggernaut. 100 years later, with a progressive oligarchy in Washington, they can declare mission accomplished.
But Aren’t Conventions Smoked Filled Rooms?
Progressive proponents of direct popular vote primaries complain that conventions allow the party hacks to choose the nominees behind the doors of “smoke filled rooms” without the input of the people. And undoubtedly in some states in the 1800s that is exactly what happened. But the convention model we are speaking of – “the Utah style convention” – achieves the perfect middle ground between the tyranny at both ends of the spectrum from oligarchy to pure democracy.
In Utah, every neighborhood holds a caucus meeting where people who are familiar with each other debate and discuss the races at hand. They select a delegate to represent the precinct at the convention. In the Beehive State, there are 4,000 delegates – all selected by the people in a process that tends to attract high information voters. This is true representative democracy our Founders envisioned, one which would foster an informed patriotism.
The benefits of representative conventions to choose party nominees include the following:
In most states the selection process would be dominated by grassroots activists.
Money and media would play a relatively minimal role in choosing the nominee.
Conservatives could put numerous Senate seats and dozens of House seats in play per cycle in the 25 more conservative states. The threat of numerous senators and House members in the South and Great Plains knowing that a Mike Lee-style conservative could down them at a convention the same way Senator Bob Bennett was defeated in Utah could instantly change their behavior. At present, primary challenges are so unsuccessful they rarely serve as a deterrent in the long-run.
The prospect of winning with a grassroots ground game, without the need for a massive money and media campaign, would attract better conservative talent to run for office.
The requirement to show up for precinct caucuses would automatically end the odious practice of “early voting” in primaries, which not only has a disruptive effect in fluid presidential primaries, but hurts insurgent congressional candidates who tend to surge during the final week – after “voting” has already begun.
Selecting state government officials through conventions would help build up a cadre of state governments that push back against federal tyranny. At present, Republicans control the trifecta of state government in 23 states, yet conservatives cannot count on a single state to consistently fight for conservative values because either the governor or state legislative leaders are part of the GOP establishment black hole.
Our Founders left us a republic – one which was divided between the rights of the individual and the powers of the states and federal government. The federal government itself was divided into three branches, which were supposed to serve as checks and balances against each other. That system has gradually been replaced with a political party system. Conservatives can’t even rely on a conservative party to save us, even as the federalist system has collapsed. …
(The entire article, well worth your time, is here.)