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 Post subject: February 1, 1968 - Former Vice-President Richard Nixon annou
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 2:37 am 
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February 1, 1968 - Former Vice-President Richard Nixon announces candidacy for President

It is with no little chagrin that I note this entry in my February 1st post. Here we are forty years later and our system of picking a president has not improved at all. Today, no candidate could announce at this late date and expect to be elected.

In 1968, the New Hampshire primary was not held until March 12. By that date this year, both political parties are likely to have already decided their candidates. The then current president, Lyndon B. Johnson, did not announce his withdrawal from the race until March 31.

There was a time in this country when the National Conventions were not anointing ceremonies. The conventions actually spent time drafting and voting on a party platform not spending the whole time in public relations gimmicks to support their candidate and tear down the opposition. Delegates went to the conventions with some sense of representing the populace from whence they came. They were really elected and could not just buy their way onto the convention floors.

What this means is that there is a general disenfranchisement for many voters across the country. Talk of a national primary, in which a grassroots candidacy could succeed, are squashed. Instead of making things more supportive for the average voter, they are made more difficult. This has led to the general election being a case of holding one's nose to vote for the lesser of two or sometimes three evils. I know the Karl Roves of the country are perfectly content with this situation and it just makes it all the more shameful. It also led to the election of best Republican president in recent history, Bill Clinton. This country needs real choices, not the beauty contest or horse race that presidential politics has become, but I see little or no hope on the horizon.


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