THE BLOG

2016: Can America Defeat Big Money?

05/07/2015 10:58 pm ET | Updated May 07, 2016

It's finally primary season and what an odd landscape we are seeing as it begins. On one side we have a classic free for all with lots of Republican hats bobbing in the ring. On the other we have one Democrat surrounded by the eerie silence of solitude of no one willing to challenge her. And we have a press seemingly far more intent on figuring out who can buy this election with the biggest television advertising purse. It seems that the quest of the American People to find and elect the person best suited to lead the United States through the next stage of very difficult foreign and domestic challenges has been put into a shoebox in the back of a dusty closet.

It really bothers me that in an age where social media virally explodes information and issues that when election time rolls around all you can find about it are noisy made up story line caricature memes and waves of snarky commentary that serve mostly to obfuscate the money behind who's trying to buy control of the country. People complain about 1 percent but turn a blind eye to challenging the circus of it. When's the last time you asked "What's behind the curtain?" When did we become unable to ask tough questions? That's kind of the job of an informed electorate at least the way I learned civics.

I mean what the heck is up with the Democratic Party fielding one candidate backed by a silent army. Since when was the boisterous variety of opinion that was the hallmark of the Democrats since John Kennedy been officially replaced by an imperial model that looks more like Putin and his Politburo in drag? When you ask the common sense questions, it does not make sense for an instant that Hillary Clinton is the only Democrat qualified to run for the presidency. It does not make sense that there aren't members of her party, even now brooding, who ponder with some resentment that she's locked up all the available campaign cash in an all or nothing bet that could fail before November 2016 arrives. True enough that Hillary Clinton is brilliant; but, is she any more brilliant than any other experienced members of her party? And she can be kind of controversial, her detractors would say caustic, which does matter to Americans; we pick who to vote for because we like them. What's to say that a Republican with decent experience who isn't as "caustic" could very well evaporate her eight-year master plan in the making?

It seems a huge risk for the Democrats given that the Republicans gained control of Congress in the mid-term election because of a grassroots wave rebelling against big iron politics. I've seen nothing that says that national sentiment will disappear in the next eighteen months. If anything, it's increasing. Does concentrating the entire wealth of one party riding on a single financial iceberg make strategic sense? Where are those other Democrats that will weed out and hedge the party's bets? Would one not think there should be at least one Democrat alternative to the Clinton machine for say every 2 or 3 Republicans in the numerous field even now sorting out their platform?

The Republicans are presently many and their message is muddled but that's as it should be at this stage in the primary cycle. Strategically, this strikes me as a potentially powerful artifact that the GOP really is working a bigger grassroots tent going into 2016. Such a gaggle of opinions eventually coming together means many feet marching to the polls in cadence next year. They'll have a platform touching a broader cross section of the American people than the monotheistic views of a single message controlling candidate who was never challenged and tested by a healthy competitive primary process. Now there's a chess game investigative reporters should be looking into even from their "cubicle news" ant farms.

Americans have seen the cost of the polarity of the past eight years. We know the price the country has paid for political rigidity. We know both sides have been equally guilty. That's not new news to anybody. The national interest for 2016 is about hiring the side least likely to continue the malaise. The Republicans figured this out in 2012 and executed successfully on it in 2014. The Democrats need to figure this out before it's too late for 2016.