No sooner had last November’s midterm election concluded than the next round in the electoral circus, focused on choosing the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in 2020, got underway. After having worked triple overtime for nearly two seemingly endless years (since even before Trump’s Inauguration), by New Year’s Day, the nation’s junk mailboxes were full of it again, gathering in candidates’ pleas for money full throttle, along with the usual never-ending spam.
In the political culture of the United States, electoral politics is like an invasive weed that crowds out everything else. Indeed, to many Americans, all politics is electoral; politics and electoral politics are one and the same.
This is obviously false. Nevertheless, there are quite a few Americans — labor and community organizers, polemicists, agitators and others – who are as politically engaged as can be, and who therefore ought to know better, but somehow don’t.
Presidential elections are especially invasive; they even crowd out interest in other elections — for lesser federal, state, and local offices. They suck up so much political oxygen that it is hard even to get militants interested in activities, like party building, that affect electoral outcomes in ways that are not immediately obvious.
This is one of many reasons why, unlike in most other liberal democracies and very much to our detriment, “third party” and independent electoral…