The Virtues of Smoke-Filled Rooms

Source: The American Conservative
by Frank DeVito

“In the past, political parties had internal processes to select their candidates and there was no caucus or primary by popular vote. Candidates were selected by party elites in proverbial (and often literal) smoke-filled rooms. In the name of popular participation and the input of more voters, the process evolved into the modern primary election. Even as primaries emerged as the norm, political parties continued to put a thumb on the scales by exerting political pressure to push weak candidates out, directing donors toward particular candidates, and formally endorsing the party-preferred candidate. There is a massive downside to the evolution of the modern primary system …. our primary elections consist of vicious attack ads, shallow stage debates, and quite a bit of pandering to the party base. It’s hardly a recipe to get the best overall candidate for a general election.” (11/15/22)