Dear Crabby, Why Do We Have an August Primary?

Dear Crabby,

I don’t know about you, but my mailbox is overflowing with political flyers, I’ve stopped answering my phone because of so many calls asking if I’m voting for so-and-so, and I mute my TV every time a political ad comes on — and it’s not even November yet! Why do we need a primary in August? Can’t we just have one election in November to decide everything?

Sincerely, Ron Republicrat

Dear Ron Republicrat,

I hear what you’re saying. All the political flyers, ads, etc. can get to be a bit much — especially as it gets closer to the actual August election. But there is a good reason we have primaries. Its origins go back to the progressive movement in the 20th century. The world was changing thanks to all the modern stuff that was being invented and large corporations and railroads were growing at a pretty fast pace. People were also pretty DearCrabbyscared of American politics becoming corrupt. Crazy, right? Like that would ever happen. Anyway, these folks wanted to put the power of candidate nomination in the hands of the people instead of the out-of-touch party leaders. And let’s face it; having a primary is also a great way to narrow the field of candidates, so we’re all not spending so much time in the voting booth. Imagine if there were eight people running for one office. Come November, would you rather sift through all eight candidates to decide which person to vote for, or would be happy just choosing from the two names that won the August primary? Now, I’ve never been great at math, but I think I’d rather go with the smaller number of candidates so I’m not wasting all day filling in those silly circles on the ballot. I also read somewhere (at my age it’s easy to forget where) that certain countries limit the amount of time before the actual election that political ads can be aired and I definitely wouldn’t mind going that route. That way the candidate gets his or her message out, but I don’t have to hear about it for months on end. Regardless of how you feel about all the political messages coming at us from every direction, remember one thing: being able to vote is a great privilege. There are many other countries that would love to be able to vote freely like we do and voting is a way to honor the men and women who have died protecting our freedom; and the ones that are currently serving on the front lines. So, my suggestion is to read over all the flyers and make the best decision you can. And come November, we’ll do it all over again. Ain’t the political process grand?

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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