Last night, while getting drunk at a fundraiser for 38th Democratic Senate District candidate Marty Meyer (to whom I contributed nothing financially), I ran into Sen. Julian Carroll, D-Anderson. Or rather, he ran into me.
You may remember that Carroll was featured in a CNN story earlier this year about Kentucky’s closed primary system, wherein the ancient legislator barked “if you don’t like it, then move to another country!” When I reminded him of this, Carroll, who sources say never travels without a “handler” (there was one individual who never left Carroll’s side that many people in attendance had pointed out as being such), attempted to deny that he ever said he wanted people to leave, then backpeddled when I mentioned the CNN story.
“I should’ve never said that,” he told me before launching into a spiel about why I, a registered independent, should nonetheless join the Democratic party if I want to vote in a primary. When I pointed out to him that the closed system disenfranchises tens of thousands of voters who (A) don’t like either party but who (B) are nonetheless saddled with those parties’ candidates in general elections, he told me I should (wait for it…) join a party if I don’t like it.
“But that defeats the purpose of being an independent,” I said. “I shouldn’t have to join a party to have an influence on primaries, which squeeze out anti-establishment candidates anyway and force the electorate with a false choice come November.”
“That’s not how democracy works,” he replied.
Hmmm. Maybe he’s right. What the hell do I know, anyway?