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It seems that each day provides a bit more into the thinking (if you can call it that) of the Left. In Wednesday’s Washington Post (“Democracy Dies in the Darkness”) there was an op-ed written by an associate professor at Marquette University titled “It’s time to give the elites a bigger say in choosing the president.”

The article states that a “better primary system would empower elites to bargain and make decisions, instructed by voters” and that having “intermediate representatives” who are elected and “understand the priorities of their constituents” would be far better than the system we now have.

Let’s see now; what might those “priorities” be? Ah, got it! Tighter gun control! More illegal immigration! Government-run health care! We just needed folks to tell us what our priorities should be.

It’s a sign of our times that an article such as this could even be published. Not an encouraging thing.

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  1. Arahant Member

    CACrabtree: The article states that a “better primary system would empower elites to bargain and make decisions, instructed by voters” and that having “intermediate representatives” who are elected and “understand the priorities of their constituents” would be far better than the system we now have.

    We call that “The Electoral College.”

    • #1
    • February 19, 2020, at 8:24 AM PST
    • 18 likes
  2. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    The priority of the elites is serfdom for the masses–work hard and comply to provide luxuries for your betters.

    • #2
    • February 19, 2020, at 8:24 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  3. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Arahant (View Comment):

    CACrabtree: The article states that a “better primary system would empower elites to bargain and make decisions, instructed by voters” and that having “intermediate representatives” who are elected and “understand the priorities of their constituents” would be far better than the system we now have.

    We call that “The Electoral College.”

    And a Republic.

    • #3
    • February 19, 2020, at 8:24 AM PST
    • 14 likes
  4. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    The article isn’t linked, but it doesn’t seem like a ridiculous system to me. It sounds like a representative system with some checks and balances. You know, like a certain Constitution that we tend to like.

    I don’t see any particular reason that a political party should be required to select candidates on the basis of a primary election. This is particularly true when the primary election is open to people who aren’t even members of the party. In addition, even in a closed primary system, voters could game the system by changing party registration.

    I find the situation to be complicated, but I do not believe that a simple “let the people decide” is the only viable solution.

    I should add that I don’t have an objection to the use of a primary system. I just don’t think that it’s the only reasonable method. Personally, for example, I would be inclined to require long-term party registration as a condition of voting in the primaries.

    • #4
    • February 19, 2020, at 8:42 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Whenever a person says we need more elites, they are always for a progressive agenda. After all, the elites are with academia. They know lots more than stupid farmers who just have to plant seeds.

    • #5
    • February 19, 2020, at 8:46 AM PST
    • 13 likes
  6. Dave of Barsham Member

    The sentiment certainly seems to be one increasingly popular with elites these days. Even among elites on the right it seems that, “defer to the experts,” is preferable to leaving people to their own decisions. I’ll grant that the average person on the street doesn’t keep track of politics and issues enough to make really informed decisions about things, but I believe that says more about how politics has too much sway over every day life that it does about the average American. In a Republic I should care a lot more about who my mayor and State governor are than people at the Federal level. Sadly, that’s not the case anymore. Still, an Ivy league education doesn’t seem to make people elite anymore, if it ever did. High placed and wealthy connections along with “blue checks” on twitter and celebrity confer that now. God help us.

    • #6
    • February 19, 2020, at 9:02 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  7. Dave of Barsham Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Whenever a person says we need more elites, they are always for a progressive agenda. After all, the elites are with academia. They know lots more than stupid farmers who just have to plant seeds.

    It is interesting how history seems to come back around isn’t it? More than one leftist in the 20th century made the mistake of thinking that farming was a simple thing, and then killed millions of their own countrymen proving they were wrong.

    • #7
    • February 19, 2020, at 9:12 AM PST
    • 15 likes
  8. Jager Coolidge
    Jager Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/18/fix-primaries-let-elites-decide/

     

    • #8
    • February 19, 2020, at 9:19 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  9. Paul Erickson Member

    CACrabtree: a “better primary system would empower elites to bargain and make decisions, instructed by voters”

    I spit out my coffee on this one. Can you name one “elite” who would deign to be “instructed by voters?”

    • #9
    • February 19, 2020, at 9:42 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  10. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The problem with the proposal is the term “elites” (and those it’s referring to), not the proposal itself.

    Edit: Rephrase – The problem with the proposal is who gets to be “the elite”. As pointed out in other comments, this is practically the definition of a “Republic”.

    • #10
    • February 19, 2020, at 10:19 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  11. Songwriter Member
    Songwriter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    So, I guess we would first have to have an election to determine who is “elite.” But we would need “elites” to help us poor bumpkins know how to run the election… sigh.

    • #11
    • February 19, 2020, at 10:25 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  12. Arahant Member

    Songwriter (View Comment):

    So, I guess we would first have to have an election to determine who is “elite.” But we would need “elites” to help us poor bumpkins know how to run the election… sigh.

    It’s a vicious cycle, man.

    • #12
    • February 19, 2020, at 10:28 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  13. Full Size Tabby Member

    Songwriter (View Comment):

    So, I guess we would first have to have an election to determine who is “elite.” But we would need “elites” to help us poor bumpkins know how to run the election… sigh.

    No, we already have a system – college attendance. In other countries, the aristocracy was based on who your parents were. Today in the United States the aristocracy is based on the college you attend (which is at least in part determined by who your parents are, so the aristocracy remains somewhat parent-based). 

    • #13
    • February 19, 2020, at 11:00 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. Stad Thatcher

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Personally, for example, I would be inclined to require long-term party registration as a condition of voting in the primaries.

    I agree.

    • #14
    • February 19, 2020, at 12:28 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree

    Dave of Barsham (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Whenever a person says we need more elites, they are always for a progressive agenda. After all, the elites are with academia. They know lots more than stupid farmers who just have to plant seeds.

    It is interesting how history seems to come back around isn’t it? More than one leftist in the 20th century made the mistake of thinking that farming was a simple thing, and then killed millions of their own countrymen proving they were wrong.

    Yup, between Stalin’s “Five Year Plans” and Mao’s “Great Leap Forward”, a lot of those pesky “non-elites” were eliminated.

    • #15
    • February 19, 2020, at 1:48 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  16. I Walton Member

    Of course elites, but we have to have some sense of what that means and doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean a corporate or government bureaucrat with a few academic degrees whose never held any other job. It can’t mean folks ensconced in Washington for decades in 8 to 9 hour jobs five days a week. But folks who’ve held real jobs, lots of them actually have opportunities to learn real things that matter, even as government bureaucrats which I was. I had a variety of degrees in different subjects and they helped me learn on the job, but that attitude was more from the 6 or 7 jobs I held during school summers, from 15 on, and jobs during school. I also found over the years that the folks who impressed me when I just started a new assignment soon proved to be empty headed folks who knew how to appear well informed. That turned out to be the case with almost everybody who was left of center, including me, but the thing is you accumulate ideas from academic subjects and teachers and it takes a while for some of us to sort it all out. Some folks never go through the trouble of figuring things out, as if a half dozen or so of a variety of classes teach us much, besides they’re always welcome in ever larger in-groups of others who never understood what education was really about. 

    • #16
    • February 19, 2020, at 1:55 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  17. Jason Obermeyer Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    The problem with the proposal is the term “elites” (and those it’s referring to), not the proposal itself.

    Edit: Rephrase – The problem with the proposal is who gets to be “the elite”. As pointed out in other comments, this is practically the definition of a “Republic”.

    I came here to say something similar. Functionally, its a return to the pre-progressive era “smoke filled back room” nomination style. Now, the people in control of that process were not necessarily “elite” in the way she is advocating. 

    I know people like primaries because it seems so small “d” democratic, but considering the adoption of that type of nominating system and the progressive era seem to coincide it is not impossible that they need to be reconsidered. 

    • #17
    • February 19, 2020, at 2:35 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. Jason Obermeyer Member

    I Walton (View Comment):

    Of course elites, but we have to have some sense of what that means and doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean a corporate or government bureaucrat with a few academic degrees whose never held any other job. It can’t mean folks ensconced in Washington for decades in 8 to 9 hour jobs five days a week. But folks who’ve held real jobs, lots of them actually have opportunities to learn real things that matter, even as government bureaucrats which I was. I had a variety of degrees in different subjects and they helped me learn on the job, but that attitude was more from the 6 or 7 jobs I held during school summers, from 15 on, and jobs during school. I also found over the years that the folks who impressed me when I just started a new assignment soon proved to be empty headed folks who knew how to appear well informed. That turned out to be the case with almost everybody who was left of center, including me, but the thing is you accumulate ideas from academic subjects and teachers and it takes a while for some of us to sort it all out. Some folks never go through the trouble of figuring things out, as if a half dozen or so of a variety of classes teach us much, besides they’re always welcome in ever larger in-groups of others who never understood what education was really about.

    This seem to touch on what Yuval Levin talked about on last week’s flagship podcast. People don’t go to elite institutions to actually get better. They believe that mere attendance makes them elite even if they took nothing positive from the experience. 

    • #18
    • February 19, 2020, at 2:38 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  19. Addiction Is A Choice Member

    Any party that uses “Super-Delegates” forgoes the right to complain about the Electoral College.

    • #19
    • February 19, 2020, at 3:20 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  20. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I Walton (View Comment):

    Of course elites, but we have to have some sense of what that means and doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean a corporate or government bureaucrat with a few academic degrees whose never held any other job. It can’t mean folks ensconced in Washington for decades in 8 to 9 hour jobs five days a week. But folks who’ve held real jobs, lots of them actually have opportunities to learn real things that matter, even as government bureaucrats which I was. I had a variety of degrees in different subjects and they helped me learn on the job, but that attitude was more from the 6 or 7 jobs I held during school summers, from 15 on, and jobs during school. I also found over the years that the folks who impressed me when I just started a new assignment soon proved to be empty headed folks who knew how to appear well informed. That turned out to be the case with almost everybody who was left of center, including me, but the thing is you accumulate ideas from academic subjects and teachers and it takes a while for some of us to sort it all out. Some folks never go through the trouble of figuring things out, as if a half dozen or so of a variety of classes teach us much, besides they’re always welcome in ever larger in-groups of others who never understood what education was really about.

    However you define “elites,” you can bet your bippy that the proposer considers him/herself one of them.

    • #20
    • February 19, 2020, at 5:01 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  21. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):
    However you define “elites,” you can bet your bippy that the proposer considers him/herself one of them.

    Everyone who proposes a new order always things they’ll be one of the members of the Politburo, and not one of the Kulaks.

    Just like everyone who claims to have lived a past life always thinks they were someone rich and famous, and not a peasant who died at the age of 12 from dysentery.

     

    • #21
    • February 19, 2020, at 6:15 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  22. Bruce Caward Thatcher
    Bruce Caward Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Songwriter (View Comment):

    So, I guess we would first have to have an election to determine who is “elite.” But we would need “elites” to help us poor bumpkins know how to run the election… sigh.

    No, we already have a system – college attendance.

    College attendance? You mean that thing where kids get channeled into living together on a great big campus where they study nothing useful, learn nothing useful, get out and take a job alongside their old highschool classmates – who didn’t make it into college and so now have four years seniority at the pizza shop – and have $200,000 in student loans that they want the rest of us to pay for? Those elites?

    God help us.

    • #22
    • February 19, 2020, at 6:42 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  23. Arahant Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):
    Just like everyone who claims to have lived a past life always thinks they were someone rich and famous, and not a peasant who died at the age of 12 from dysentery.

    Why not both?

    • #23
    • February 19, 2020, at 7:21 PM PST
    • 1 like
  24. Full Size Tabby Member

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Songwriter (View Comment):

    So, I guess we would first have to have an election to determine who is “elite.” But we would need “elites” to help us poor bumpkins know how to run the election… sigh.

    No, we already have a system – college attendance.

    College attendance? You mean that thing where kids get channeled into living together on a great big campus where they study nothing useful, learn nothing useful, get out and take a job alongside their old highschool classmates – who didn’t make it into college and so now have four years seniority at the pizza shop – and have $200,000 in student loans that they want the rest of us to pay for? Those elites?

    God help us.

    Sorry, not quite. Not any college, just the specific colleges of the aristocracy (Ivy Leagues and certain others). If you get into one of those specific college, you make the connections that get you hired into the government bureaucracy, the media, the think tanks, and the key financial companies. 

    • #24
    • February 19, 2020, at 7:29 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  25. Ryan Renfro Member

    Yeah, there may have been some added value in the old process of having to physically paste one’s newspaper headlines under one’s masthead.

    • #25
    • February 19, 2020, at 7:40 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  26. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    The problem is that our elites are mostly garbage. They are not inspiring in the slightest. They lack any sense of physical courage, have a track record of failure, and they don’t actually have a claim to fame.

    • #26
    • February 20, 2020, at 6:01 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  27. Songwriter Member
    Songwriter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):
    However you define “elites,” you can bet your bippy that the proposer considers him/herself one of them.

    Bingo.

    • #27
    • February 20, 2020, at 7:14 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  28. RightAngles Member

    We can’t have the voters interfering in our elections, now can we. 

    • #28
    • February 20, 2020, at 7:32 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  29. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Party insiders and big money donors choosing the candidates in a smoke-free back room.

    • #29
    • February 20, 2020, at 7:32 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. Tex929rr Coolidge

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    The article isn’t linked, but it doesn’t seem like a ridiculous system to me. It sounds like a representative system with some checks and balances. You know, like a certain Constitution that we tend to like.

    I don’t see any particular reason that a political party should be required to select candidates on the basis of a primary election. This is particularly true when the primary election is open to people who aren’t even members of the party. In addition, even in a closed primary system, voters could game the system by changing party registration.

    I find the situation to be complicated, but I do not believe that a simple “let the people decide” is the only viable solution.

    I should add that I don’t have an objection to the use of a primary system. I just don’t think that it’s the only reasonable method. Personally, for example, I would be inclined to require long-term party registration as a condition of voting in the primaries.

    This is the same reason why motor voter bills are so bad. Sure, let’s increase voter participation by people who don’t think it’s worth their time to register to vote. Having minimal tasks required to register to vote and sticking to them is at least a minimum filter to ensure somewhat more informed citizens. 

    • #30
    • February 20, 2020, at 7:35 AM PST
    • 3 likes