With the New Hampshire primary just having been completed, it’s time to ask ourselves is the current primary system the best way we have to elect our nominees for both the Democratic and Republican nominees for president of the United States? As somebody who leans towards a libertarian philosophy in politics and life, I would certainly love to see what kind of common sense ideas and governance a real third party could bring to the table, that’s not what this piece is about.
For as long as anybody can remember, New Hampshire has been the first in the nation primary for presidential politics. Iowa decided they wanted to be first so they created caucuses to be first. The question we need to ask ourselves is country is do we want predominantly white, predominantly male, predominantly older Americans in relatively small states deciding who are going to be the most viable candidates going into the meat of the primary season? Even as a libertarian that does not ascribe to identity politics That divides people into race, gender, sexuality, and other divisive groups, even I think the answer to that question is no. But there is a better way.
Because whoever eventually gets elected president of the United States through the electoral college systemis going to be the president of the United States, we need the candidates that are going to be the most viable, that could have the most resonating message for all of America, and the candidates and their campaigns that can run the most effective Nationwide campaign making it through and being successful. The way we nominate our candidates now tends to allow less viable candidates that can narrowly tailor their platform to the issues and concerns of those individual states to be successful. These candidates then have to pivot to more national multi-state campaigns in a very short period of time that they are not prepared for.
I propose that instead of having Iowa caucuses as the first in the nation caucuses, and then a small northeastern swing state that is overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male, and overwhelmingly old, choosing our nominees, or at least our most viable candidates, that we eliminate the Iowa caucuses, and have five states hold primaries on the first in the nation primary day. The five states that we allow to go first need to come from a very diverse cross-section of America, therefore requiring candidates to address the needs of all the country, and develop platforms and policy proposals that will benefit all of America, instead of just a few select states that hold undo political influence over the rest of the country. (Why do you think that our corn subsidy structure in this country is so out of whack?)
I believe those five states that should hold their primaries on the first primary day of the primary season should be New Hampshire, Iowa, Arizona, Oregon, and while I think Alabama should be the southern state to go first, I would not be opposed to South Carolina being that state. These five states represents a good cross-section of the country, you have both conservative and liberal states as well as swing states and moderate states, you have a state from the Northeast, the Midwest, the West, the south, and the Southwest. you have states that are growing rapidly, as well as states that have stagnant growth or declining populations. You have states with diverse populations when it comes to race, gender, sexuality, as well as age, as well as socioeconomic status.
Setting up the first in the nation primary day in this sort of structure would require the candidates to focus on the nation as a whole when developing policies as well as running a nationwide campaign and setting up a nationwide grassroots structure that will serve them well in future primaries as well as the general election. It will also discourage lesser known, lesser funded, and fringe candidates from running for president that distracts from the actual election process.
This just how I feel will make the process of electing the president of the United States better, therefore giving us better presidents in the future.