Earlier this year, Nick Vaughn began writing guest columns (“Within City Limits”) for NAC. For various reasons, he was unable to continue doing so, but let it be known that Nick always has a place to write here if he so desires.
Following are his ruminations on yesterday’s primary election.
Money and Power: My Primary Election Synopsis
Well, Indiana has spoken, and with Indiana, Floyd County has spoken (well, at least 37.49% of Floyd County’s registered voters have spoken). The age old adage of “elections have consequences” has never felt so near to me before until after watching the results come in last night.
What we saw last night was a disturbing shift, that some will argue has been happening for awhile now, from substance and General Election electability to the unquivering and ultimately resounding strength of name ID and money.
When vague platitudes and millions of dollars can propel someone out of a primary instead of a proven record or substantive plans, something is truly wrong. When simple name ID propels you out of a primary at the local level instead of hard work and elbow grease, something is very wrong.
The real question is: why do we settle for this? Why is it that we allow ourselves to be butt of this big joke that is our current political system?
Call me crazy, but I believe that we should vote for the candidates who meet the following criteria: 1. Has substantive plans for how they will affect change in office, 2. Has the best chance of winning in the General Election, and 3. Works the hardest, knocks on the most doors, and meets the most people. Does this candidate win sometimes? Yes of course, a few of them won last night. A few.
The overwhelming majority of candidates who won last night, however, won because they had more money than everyone else and therefore the most name ID, or they were the product of the uninformed voter picking them at random because they had a good ballot spot or because they had seen their name before.
It is time for us to rethink the primary process. Don’t you think we ought to stop settling for what we deserve? Because I think it is. We need to stand up for ourselves and be informed voters. We also need to hold our candidates to a higher standard viz. what their plans are, why they are best fit for office, why they are best to beat the opposition in the General. These are the things that matter.
To reinstill integrity to the offices held by the people we elect, we must reevaluate the type of people we elect. We need to stand together and say vague platitudes won’t do anymore, just having a lot of money and a Super PAC won’t do anymore. Why should we be the victims when we have the ability to change who we vote to represent us?