An Open Letter to Candidates for Public Office

(While this letter is addressed to politicians in New Jersey, The Curmudgeon suspects that residents of many other states share the same sentiment.)

Dear Candidate,

I’m tired of being on the outside looking in when our country picks its presidential candidates and I want to know what you plan to do about it.

Congratulations on running for mayor/town council/state legislature/Congress, governor. Good luck in your campaign. Sooner or later you’re going to be asking for my vote, and when you do, there’s one question you’re going to need to be able to answer, because unless you do, I won’t even consider voting for you.

That question: If elected, what are you going to do to give me and my neighbors a voice in the selection of our parties’ nominees for president?

Here we are in late March and neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have chosen their nominee.

In most presidential election years the decisions have been made long before our state’s traditional June primary, so the people of our state have no voice – zero, zilch, none, nada – in who is going to run for president.

voting machineThis time around, both parties are having highly contested races and it’s possible that no one will have clinched a nomination by the time our New Jersey primary rolls around. Every week a few more states get their chance to influence the course of the race, yet here we sit, on the sidelines, voiceless, just as we do every four years. When it comes to national politics, the residents of our state simply don’t count.

And I’m sick and tired of it.

Sick and tired of the yahoos in New Hampshire and Iowa being the most important people in the country.

Sick and tired of that damn Super Tuesday, when people in the south, with whom we have absolutely nothing in common, get to cast votes that send some candidates skyrocketing in the polls and send others back to their old day jobs in defeat.

Sick and tired of seeing candidates I’d consider voting for having their hopes dashed months before I have a chance to make that decision for myself.

And I want to know what you’ll do about this if I vote for you.

Before you respond, understand this: the answer “People in the office I’m seeking have no voice in when our state holds its primary” won’t cut it. If you’re an elected official you’re part of a major political party and you’re part of what that party does. You do have a voice, and I want to know how you plan to use it.

Because I’m sick and tired of being on the sidelines while voters across the country get to play in the game, and if you don’t tell me what you plan to do to get me and my neighbors into the game, too, you’re going to have the same chance of getting my vote as I currently have of selecting my party’s presidential nominee.

And in case you missed it, that’s “Zero, zilch, none, nada.”

Yours,

The Four-Eyed Curmudgeon

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