Imagine if you will, having a private club that collects its own members. Now think about a rival club that has its own members. What would you say if someone from outside the clubs wanted an opportunity to vote for new members?
Pennsylvania is considering allowing voters in primary elections to vote on candidates no matter what party the voters are registered. Some people love to complain that they are unable to vote in primary elections because they’re not registered as either a Republican or Democrat. (They may have already changed the law since I’m writing this for an early deadline.)
During the primary election, you must be a registered Democrat to vote for Democratic candidates, and you must be registered as a Republican to vote for Republican candidates. The regulations also apply to third parties such as the Green Party.
Some states go so far as to allow a registered voter to choose what primary ballot they receive. For example, the Democrats could request a Republican ballot and the Republicans could ask for a Democratic ballot.
I think this is a bad idea because either side could attract people wanting to pick the weakest candidate so they will show up on the November ballot and their candidate wins easily in November. It all resembles the junior high mess of deliberately voting for the least likely or least qualified candidate just to surprise everybody.
The eventual Democratic primary, judging by the record number of the presidential candidates, might attract all kinds of voters looking for the absolutely worst candidate who would have no chance of beating Donald Trump.
There are now 25 Democratic candidates for president and that also shows why you can’t just eliminate primary elections. If we let people vote on a general election ballot, just imagine how many choices there might be in that election. With so many people on the ballot, almost anyone has a chance of winning.
Maybe it should be easier for third parties to get on the ballot, but that also would require the third-party candidates to gain more visibility and offer something more than the usual primary candidates.
Anyway, Russian influence in the last election was identified. I’m not sure how much actual hacking took place, but the misinformation campaign mirrored what was done in the Second World War but grew much more sophisticated due to all the new options for spreading lies through Facebook and similar outlets through paid advertising.
The main problem with the Russian interference in the 2016 campaign was that people actually believed what they were reading and then shared it with other people, so the lies grew and grew.
There is no doubt that fake news is the problem, but the real enemy of the people is the fake news spread through social media. Rumor mongering seeks to disrupt how we live. The next time you read something and think that’s hard to believe, it probably is.
However, we should not label any reputable reporting that is not what we want to hear as fake news. Declaring fake news all the time is about as trustworthy as saying the dog ate your homework.
There used to be an advertising slogan for Memorex-brand recording tape. That was back when if people wanted to record something, they would do it on a separate device and the type of tape you used often influenced the quality of the recording. Now, you probably just use your cell phone. The slogan asked the question: Is it real or is it Memorex?
The Memorex question it’s about the quality of what you just heard. We could benefit from asking that type of question today. Was it real or was it Memorex? Stop and think.