Where do Republicans send conservative campaigns to die? Open caucus and primary states. Open primaries are the quickest way to turn a red state purple and a purple state blue. Does it concern you that both New Hampshire, a mixed primary state, and South Carolina, an open primary state, play such pivotal roles in determining the nation’s presidential candidate? It should. These states winnow the field almost immediately. Open primaries inevitably produce moderates who pander to the left, support big-government policies and have blurred ideology.
Can you explain why John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte are in the U.S. Senate? I can. Open primaries! Let me be clear. I have nothing against the senators personally. I’m sure they’re great people, but they’re not ideal Republicans – far from it. Open primary states cause you to settle for a candidate because you end up compromising, perhaps subconsciously, on principle with your Bernie Sanders-loving neighbor. By knowing that a socialist has the potential to dilute your vote, people in open primary states could be inclined to choose the most acceptable Republican to the left, rather than the one that’s best for the country. This is why “bipartisanship” is so dangerous; Republicans often choose their job security over their principles. Voters are no different. Not many people can stomach being disliked by friends and family, apparently even at the expense of freedom.
America has a mixed economy; we’ve intertwined socialism and capitalism with our entitlement programs, namely Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. Imagine the pressure that must exist for politicians in Washington to continue funding these programs. How much more for the beneficiaries of these programs that are dependent upon them? What can we do to ween so many Americans off the government teet? The answer is nothing, if we stay on our current course.
Listen, I know that there are proposals that exist to raise the age of entitlement recipients, but with more states turning purple, that’s going to be increasingly unlikely. Big government has become acceptable to Americans because we’ve incentivized compromise with things we have no business compromising on – compromise of values, compromise of principles, the compromise of capitalism, compromise on tax policy, compromise of our military power. Open primaries cause conservatives to argue from the middle.
What do I mean? If you understand the “Art of the Deal,” the concept is, you go for everything you could possibly dream of in a negotiation; if necessary, you let your opponent talk you down to everything you want. It’s a win-win! Unfortunately, open primary states force Republicans to start their “deal” in the squishy middle. Closed primaries allow the most conservative people in the GOP and the most liberal to iron out their differences, while avoiding the squishy middle. Therefore, in open primaries, to use Bill Buckley’s language, we choose the most conservative that’s electable. But, because of open primaries, the most electable conservative in New Hampshire is Kelly Ayotte. God help us! As a result, we chip away at our own ideology.
Does anyone know what the Republicans stand for nowadays? I know what Ted Cruz stands for. But today he’s considered an extremist for practicing the type of conservatism most people practice behind closed doors – faith, family, finances. Open primaries have contributed to blurring ideological lines. It’s impossible to defeat a liberal at the ballot box if you have to out liberal him. Why wouldn’t voters want the real deal if they’re not given a clear choice? Closed primaries encourage people to think through their belief system, because the choices are stark.
If Republicans hope to re-establish their brand, it’s time for them to open their minds and close their primaries!