30 July 2022

The Attack of the political gadgets

I live near Chicago, Illinois. On June 28th, Illinois' primary elections to determine candidates for the general elections in November. These elections are often ignored by many voters, but they are incredibly important. Chronically low turnout by independent and moderate voters empowers rascals.

That low turnout, endemic for primaries, has allowed the radical right wing, (that is the white evangelicals,) to turn "primary" into a verb. When Trump or his cultic followers, wants to attack a moderate, or even a conservative, the vehicle is a wacko candidate, (consider Marjorie Taylor Green) endorsed and supported in a low turnout primary. To be, "primaried" is to face such an onslaught. This explains why reasonable, compromise oriented Republicans have been retiring from Congress.

All of Which leads to the current moment. The "Lincoln Project." the Democrat party, and the Democratic Governors' Association have found a new (to me at least) way to influence general elections. They have been campaigning electronically for fringe candidates they think they can defeat. So in Illinois, Darren Bailey who is a State legislator from the rural Sothern part of the State, and a defiant Trumper, was the recipient of significant advertising in the GOP primary. Not because he has a functioning brain, I doubt he does, but because he appears to be an easy target in liberal, union dominated Illinois. I was struck by seeing exactly the same ads running in Maryland.

What I think I am seeing is a new strategy a sort of electronic gerrymandering. This is a way to pick your opponents, precisely what politicians dream of. If, and the GOP is helping here, the opposition primary has one or two real idiots, and the democrats have a solo candidate the democrats can set up a strong general election position.

For me, this is a problem. As a progressive, I cannot imagine voting for Darren Baily who self identifies as a Trump supporter. At the same time, I consider gerrymandering immoral. As I have until November before I have to decide how to vote, I will be interested to see my choice!
St Laika's

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