Presidential Campaign Double Speak

in Election

Campaigners in presidential elections speak out of one side of their mouth in the primary election; then, out of the other side of their mouth in the general election.

In the primaries, the Democratic candidates reach out to the left wing of their party; and similarly, the Republican candidates take positions to curry favor with the right wing of their party. This is the strategy office-seekers must adopt to be nominated by their political party. If the members of the extreme wings of the Democratic or Republican party feel that the aspirant isn't liberal and/or conservative enough, he or she won't be nominated.

In state primaries, political contestants tailor their speeches to fit local concerns; sometimes contradicting themselves from state to state. The length of time for the primary presidential election has steadily increased; dramatically this election. Consequently, during the course of the lengthy campaign, aspirants have taken so many positions that make them even more vulnerable to criticism.

The majority of Americans are middle-of-the-road in their political tastes. Therefore, in the general election, nominated presidential candidates must redefine themselves, shift toward the center, away from being too liberal and/or too conservative, in order to win. The transition in their political posture from the primary to the general election is a delicate passage for the nominees. Moving away from positions assumed in the primaries, to their new posture in the general election, must be subtle and not too drastic, because any obvious changes are harmful to the nominee. Double speak, even though each of them is using it, doesn't stop candidates from accusing the other of flip flopping. This double speak technique is harmful to the public's perception of the candidates as well the entire election process. No wonder so many Americans are cynical and so few citizens vote.

The current presidential election system, contrived by politicians to preserve their power, not only deprives citizens' majority rule but also, is needlessly costly and inefficient. The current presidential race will consume over $1 billion, counting the money spent by all the candidates in the primaries, the nominees in the general election, and the political party nominating conventions. The new president enters office with serious obligations to special interests for the extensive campaign money collected for his electioneering. The primary elections empower and re-enforce the authority of each political party by allowing them to select the delegates to the nominating conventions. They reward party leaders and loyalists by picking them as delegates, giving them voting rights in the presidential election, which precludes winning the office of President of the United States by popular vote.

An open presidential election would be more efficient, establish winning by popular vote, lessen the influence of insiders, and save both time and money. Open elections allow any candidate to run for public office. Their names appear on the ballot without part affiliation. The winner must get more than 50% of the votes. If no candidate gets the required percentage, there is a runoff between the two with the highest vote percentages; the victor is the candidate with the most votes. There could be these added features to this type of election that would make it even more attractive to the American public. A provision to limit the field to serious candidates could require all public office holders, running for office, to resign from their current position. Further, setting a reasonable time limit to campaign for office of president will lessen the amount of money necessary to compete. Finally, candidates needn't double speak for the one general election, allowing them to be more forthcoming in their positions on the issues.

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A. Woodrow has 1 articles online

Art Woodrow, a veteran of World War II who is dedicated to restoring our democratic process, is the founder of The Democracy Conservator Foundation. DCF is a not-for-profit, apolitical organization seeking to increase the involvement of U.S. citizens in the political process and to encourage the discussion and debate of issues our society faces today. To learn more about how to make your vote count, visit http://www.democracyconservator.org

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Presidential Campaign Double Speak

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This article was published on 2010/04/04
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