A note on today’s primaries…

If you have yet to exercise your oligarchic democratic privilege right to vote in today’s primary, then please, by all means, do so, and do not forget: It’s your duty as a tool of the bourgeois and ruling classes patriotic American citizen to do so. Just a reminder: The polls close (and alcohol flows) at 6 p.m., so hurry up, slacker.

Assuming you haven’t been paying attention, don’t worry:Grand-Wizard of the Bluegrass Blogosphere Joe Sonka over at the Lexington-based Barefoot and Progressive has you covered. Just dig around his site for a spell and you’ll find what you need (for good or ill; this is a Kentucky primary, after all). Oh, and if you’re too high to know where you’re polling station is and you’re somehow registered to vote, click here.

Yet if you’re like me, no matter how much you care or pay attention to the race, you cannot vote today. Why? Diarrhea got you down? Perhaps foolishly, I’m a registered independent, and under Kentucky’s closed-primary system, which only allows members of either the Republican or Democratic parties to cast ballots, independent voters like myself who nonetheless pay taxes to subsidize this charade time-honored tradition of primary candidate selection aren’t given a moment’s thought, much less hideously pandered to … until, of course, it’s time for the general election, when we become the most coveted voting bloc around (aside from NASCAR dads, of course).

So in that spirit, please allow me to repost an exchange I had with former Kentucky governor-cum-State Senator-cum-burgeoning coot Julian “RAAAARWHHHRRRRRAAGGHHH!” Carroll, D-Anderson, that touches upon this very topic:

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?

So, there you have it. As of post-time, I’m hearing from the innernettes that turnout today is extremely depressed, but since people like Sen. Carroll like things just as they are, we’re all saddled with candidates who reflect but a marginal slice of the overall electorate.

One Comment

  1. Steve Magruder
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Carroll is right. I’m an independent. If one is an independent, one has decided to not participate in party processes. If you want to participate, then join a party.