"I'm either getting 'smarter' or older (easy choice....older). None of the current candidates are really very appealing to me. I'm disenchanted with my 'choices' and will be even more disenchanted this time next year. Issues are 'debated' in 15 second commercials or in 1.5 minutes at televised 'debates.' Every quarter we hear about how much money everyone has raised, so crucial to getting your message out about the issues......which are, of course, lost in the media frenzy of who's favored in polls. Now [Obama's] 'free speech' is controlled? I feel like politics is but a play/movie. Aren't all campaigns won or lost by the team behind the candidate more so than the candidate themselves?"
From start to finish, the election system has failed us for over seven years. But aside from riggable machines and billion dollar attack ad budgets, the factor separating voters from all real clout is the labyrinth comprised of regional and local party bosses, state delegates (that pesky electoral college), campaign liaisons loaded with cash, the so-called 'free press' and shadowy donor groups, themselves comprised of Special Interests, PACs, defense contractors and the lobbyists who love them. Basically the same hawks who have bought the sitting Congress so effectively. These hoods are separating you, dear voter, from almost any influence you might have over choosing our elected leaders - provided you buy into their system and register with a party.
The super-duper-callafragillistic primary day states are all blatantly stealing voter power from Americans all over by jockeying for earlier positions. When the candidates spend time in your state, they spend loot: local TV and print media, wonks, banner printers you name it. Local party staffs swell in size and the "walking around money" is passed out more freely then the shrink-wrapped skids of cash in Iraq. They talk to local industry, labor, governors, mayors, kissing babies till their lips are chapped. Because of this, competition between states has escalated beyond the ridiculous.
Party bosses in Michigan and Florida have agreed to candidate black-outs in exchange for internal concessions. That means your favorite candidate may never come to your state, nor will your primary vote be tallied. But you can buy face time if you are making major contributions. Believe it or not, this is the face of the political parties. This is Democracy American Style - the same brand we are pushing onto other countries by force.
The maze of "state committees" controlling party rules are rarely covered by the press. With dozens of them hiding behind titles and confusing hierarchies, few are ever accounted for. These are the same groups who brought us voter disenfranchisement in 2004 and 2000, the 1990s Pan-Asian donor scams and much more.
Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, formerly allowed free run of the early primaries because of their traditionally cute, "homey" state status are now looked at with scorn by states like Tennessee, Wyoming, Michigan and Florida who tried to move up their primary dates to increase their voice (and pull in the free-flowing early-season campaign dough. As a result of these states negotiations, your vote cast may never translate to an actual delegate executing your wishes during nomination.
Even Supreme Court challenges have upheld the rights of parties to set their own rules (so far). With this in mind, ask yourself what you're getting in exchange for registering with one of these parties. You have no voice in the organization or running of the party at any level, and in the end your vote goes only where they want, if at all. The current Congress, specifically elected to end the war and sweep out corruption has failed to respond to clearly-defined voter sentiment.
Perhaps the one thing you can do is abstain and make the candidates address you with some respect.
Ironically, independent voters are often most highly coveted anyway. Don't give your voter mojo away!