The latest round of Americans Elect nonsense is at CNN.com this weekend as a technocrat appeals to the iGeneration about voting, the Sensible Centrist Austerity way. Now with technology!
This digital revolution is more than just innovating for convenience. Something deeper and more significant is at stake: the integrity of our consent, the underpinning of our government’s legitimacy and authority.
“Consent of the governed” only exists if it can be expressed, and that is an increasingly difficult task. When we vote for president, we don’t simply vote for the best candidate; we vote for the best candidate who has previously been ratified by one of two political parties.
This creates a philosophical “blackout” space in which no candidate, because of his or her beliefs, will ever be elected president (see Jon Huntsman). This blackout space should concern all of us, because of its appeal to the general electorate, who will never get that option. What’s worse is that this space is growing with each cycle. It’s not clear that either Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton would get through their primaries today.
That’s why the Americans Elect innovation is so exciting — because it relieves us of anachronistic structures that harm our political system. It’s the iTunes of politics.
Status quo apologists and those who benefit from partisan gridlock might pooh-pooh this idea, particularly if the candidate doesn’t get to Ross Perot levels in November. But these critics miss the point. Americans Elect is not just about running for the White House in 2012. It’s about electing our leaders in a new way so that the governed are truly consenting.
Right, because removing the political party middlemen from the traditional process of the rich buying our elections makes it that much better solely on the purity factor, except for the fact that they are lying about doing it. Primaries are for suckers, now engage in our primary!
That particular cargo shipload of manure up there was written by Nathan Daschle. You know, son of former Dem Senate Leader Tom Daschle. Just a reminder that it’s not just wealthy, obnoxiously centrist Republicans flogging the Throw Your Vote Away movement here in an attempt to make the “reasonable” case for crushing austerity amid tax cuts for the one percent because it’s our duty, being good serfs, to pay for our lords. It’s feel-good political euthanasia, designed solely to put down resistance to the status quo of “We’re your betters, now here’s what you need to do for us.” To help you remain tranquil in the face of almost certain electoral death, smooth jazz will be deployed in 3…2…1…
Daniel Larison nails these guys to the wall:
There is a powerful case to be made that a two-party system that operates within the very narrow confines of bipartisan consensus on many major policies is harmful to the country. Americans Elect isn’t making that case or anything like it. What the Americans Elect project represents is an effort to produce the distilled essence of everything that is wrong with the current two-party system and then pretend that it is an exciting, new alternative.
S’truth right there, folks. By comparison, Paul Ryan is at least somewhat honest about his plans to Soylent Green us all. And let’s remember that there’s nothing Centrist about the GOP.