The Invisible Primary

Invisible Primary Image

By Dr. Randy Arrington –

Shortly after casting his final vote on the fledgling American Constitution, as Benjamin Franklin walked away from the Philadelphia Convention Hall in 1787, a woman approached him posing this provocative question.

“What sort of government have you given us today Dr. Franklin?”

Fully understanding the inherent threat to liberty caused by political parties, special interest groups, power-hungry politicians and unrestrained growth of Federal Government, Franklin replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

In this regard, Thomas Jefferson taught us that an educated citizenry is of vital importance to the continued longevity of America as a free country.

There can be no patriotism without liberty; no liberty without virtue; no virtue without citizens. Create citizens and you will have everything you need to construct a successful nation that will enjoy freedom in perpetuity. Without citizens, you will have nothing but de-based slaves from the rulers of the state all the way down to the foundation level in society.

I argue that this schooling of our citizenry must be a proper, truthful, rational, conservative education; not the “Mind Rape” Communist brainwashing of susceptible, gullible, disgruntled citizens that happens far too often in our political culture.

Therefore, ‘Strong Leadership’ in the democratic model of governance, must be leadership that leaves its citizens more capable when the leader departs than when he first arrived on the scene. The peculiar irony of leadership is this: too much personal success means you have failed as a leader (Benjamin Barber).

A leader not only solves problems, he likewise assists others in realizing their full potential as human beings. Unfortunately, contemporary America is sorely lacking in patriotic statesmen and true mentors of the body politic.

Today, most of our politicians believe as Gene Hackman stated in his movie Runaway Jury, “trials are too important to be left up to a jury.” Meaning that a jury lacks the requisite amount of wisdom to be trusted with making the correct verdict.

That is precisely why ‘Rankin Fitch’ was paid so handsomely to handpick the jurors in order to manipulate, rig and win the important gun control case as depicted in that screenplay. Hackman’s nefarious movie character is aptly describing the exact feeling that politicians, party officials, donors, and activists have about the American public, the true reservoir of power and the ultimate jury inside our political arena.

As I have taught previously, behind those hallowed closed doors these so-called elites of each political party refer to us as the unwashed masses. As such, they literally loathe the general population because they are forced to reach out to us every couple of years for our ‘ballot box verdicts’ (our votes).

With that in mind, if politicians, partisan hacks, the media, lobbyists and benefactors can successfully control our behavior, without us knowing it, that is the preferred behavioral dynamic they’d choose out on the campaign trail. These self-identified elitists want people in the bedrock level to be marionettes, while they pull the strings as puppet masters.

In his seminal work A Semi-Sovereign People, Elmer Schattschneider theorized that democracy is a competitive political system in which the competing leaders and organizations define the alternatives of public policy in such a way that the public can participate in the decision-making process.

These alternatives of public policy are the conflicts that have made it to the final agenda from a list of potential conflicts that is quite large in all free societies. As such, control over ‘agenda setting’ represents the real power in any political battlefield.

In his paradigm, Dr. Schattschneider assigns a primary agenda-setting position to our two political parties. Partisan competition, both visible and invisible, is the core mechanism of democracy and it is what ultimately determines the structure of the final political agenda. If you want to know who has power inside a political arena, look for individuals and groups who have the power to set the agenda for the rest of us.

A recent example of that would be Donald Trump. In the course of one week, ‘The Donald’ boldly spoke the truth about the dangerous aspects of illegal immigration, successfully changing the discourse for all participants in the current presidential campaign. Trump effectively set the agenda for the entire campaign cycle, at least for the time being.

His actions mean that every candidate will be compelled to give real answers to questions he has dragged kicking and screaming to the table about hot-button issues; topics they’d rather avoid or merely give softball responses to. Of course, Trump is now being forced to endure the inevitable consequences for having the courage to speak the truth, while other agenda-setters scramble to divert public attention away from his revealing, divisive issue, campaign platform.

Remember, political power brokers, the kingmakers in America, don’t really care who casts a ballot, as long as they pre-determine the choices we have to select from, thus limiting the possible outcomes beforehand.

With that in mind, we must never forget what Edmund Burke taught us. In politics, hypocrisy and deception can afford to be grandiose in the promises made, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing but the disappointment of society and false contrition of the politician.

The premise being set, let’s examine the presidential selection process in greater detail, as an area of politics where elitists set the agenda for the rest of us.

In 1976, Political Scientist Arthur T. Hadley introduced us to the term ‘Invisible Primary’ to describe the modern era of presidential campaigning in America.

The Invisible Primary is the clandestine method by which partisan officials, candidates, elected members in government, Political Action Committees, interest groups, the media, wealthy donors, and issue activists attempt to reach a joint accord as to which candidate they should support in the Presidential Nomination process.

Behind the scenes, these various players engage in the Invisible Primary well before the beginning of the customary electoral cycle and the traditional calendar of campaign events. And they do so without any input from the electorate.

The Invisible Primary came to fruition shortly after the Democratic Party nominated Hubert Humphrey as their presidential nominee at the contentious, 1968 convention in Chicago. The Democrats did this after a few power brokers, behind closed doors, decided that Humphrey should be the party’s nominee, despite him not having participated in a single presidential primary that year.

This type of secretive endeavor effectively took decision making out of the hands of the grassroots members of both parties, thus setting the agenda for the final election. Unwise and unwashed members at the bottom of the political party stratum were allowed to cast a ballot, as long as these elitists told them beforehand whom they could vote for.

Up until 1968, this was the standard practice for both political parties. But in 1972 the rules of the game were changed to make winning a majority of delegates in Presidential Primaries and Caucuses the new nominating vehicle for candidates. As such, Primaries and Caucuses flourished in each state.

This altered electoral dynamic was supposed to have stripped away the influence of those king makers in each party, bestowing power back to We the People, making the process much more democratic in its approach and style. But the new rules did not have the desired effect. They only increased the influence of all the partisan elites mentioned above, while allowing common members of the electorate to merely ‘think’ their Primary votes actually mattered.

Grassroots votes in the Presidential Primary mean almost nothing because the agenda is still set in advance, thus limiting the available choices of the final winning candidates.

Today, Jeb Bush has the consummate backing of the most powerful Republicans, and Mrs. Clinton has captivated the most influential Democrats. Out of view of the public, their status at the Alpha Male and Female, running at the front of the pack, has been pre-ordained by the elitists in both political parties. It will take a few huge scandals and slipups for these two candidates to lose their front-runner footing come November 2016 (a few MORE scandals to dethrone Hillary).

All the other candidates are merely competing for name recognition, their own re-election, a possible spot on the final ticket as VP nominee, or a political appointment in the new Presidential Administration. Watch as the formal campaign unfolds to see where the bulk of the money, media attention and partisan support is shelled out.

That will speak volumes about the existence of The Invisible Primary, because the decision has already been made in the back rooms of The Beltway. Decided upon in secret, by people we never hear about in the news.

Here’s Dr. A’s analysis:

The decision-making agenda is set for us by un-named elites on a variety of issues in this country.
It doesn’t really matter who votes, as long as somebody else decides beforehand what your possible choices are.
America is actually an oligarchy that self-identifies as a Democratic, Constitutional Republic.
But most of us don’t know that.

In the United States, We The People retain our sovereignty so long as we do exactly what the elites would have us do.

But never forget, having access to Truth and boldly proclaiming it is power.

As a political science professor, true conservative patriot, and Naval Aviator warrior/poet, I will always stand up with courage and fight to save America from anyone who wishes to destroy our nation.

We must ignite a virtual firestorm underneath our rear ends people.

That’s exactly what we need to occur in our conservative ranks all over this great nation.

We must get aggressive and take our country back from those who would abolish it.

Never surrender. Never give up. Never stop fighting.

Let Freedom Ring.
God Help Us.

Speak the Truth.
Endure the Consequences.

Randy Arrington, PhD

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