Lindsey Graham – Political Philosopher Extraordinaire

Liatris 002In the mariner’s garden, one can always tell when it’s the fourth of July. The sparkler-like Liatris stalk lights its flame within a day or two of the holiday. As any gardener will attest, gardens require labor intensive commitment. The small moments of reward stay for awhile. The delicate purples and blues of Liatris, Scheherazade Japanese Lilies, Alium, Blue Phlox, and the tall Dianthus grow among robust Black-Eyed Susans, naturalized Stella De Oro lilies and large, bright yellow Marigolds. The colors are brightened even more by scatterings of white Phlox, Impatiens, and Verbena. It is a special time in the garden and one must pause for the reward.

Back to the world outside the garden, the mariner is in a wait state. The Supreme Court recently provided a flurry of activity with its decisions on homosexual marriage, the Affordable care Act, and Arizona’s redistricting process. Now we wait while a new set of events unfold: the nuclear program of Iran, the resurgence of activity in Ukraine, the unveiling of TPP, Greece’s economy versus the EU, and the oddly under-covered wars in Iraq, Syria and Nigeria.

Then there is the US campaign by Presidential hopefuls. In all the mariner’s years, there has not been a more entertaining national campaign. There are representatives from every form of democratic philosophy. Guess the appropriate name(s) for the following: libertarianism; democratic theocracy; capitalism; pragmatic democracy; liberalism; democratic socialism; and egocentric authoritarianism.

In spite of himself, Senator Lindsey Graham has revealed a significant change in the importance of primaries for the republicans. Graham says that the control of the debate process should never have been given to Fox News. The measure of who will attend the debates is dependent on national polls, not state by state primaries. The Senator is right when he says the debate selection criteria diminish the importance of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, as well as later primaries if Fox oversees subsequent debates. “Who wants to go to Iowa if the important decision is based on national recognition?” the Senator said.

The mariner tends to agree with Lindsey. Graham reached into a bush to retrieve a bone of contention and grabbed a philosophical rhinoceros. The flaw in the US primary system is that no one state represents the political demographic of the entire nation yet the states vote in sequence by calendar date rather than by a meaningful demographic approach. In its current sequence, the early, more conservative states have undue influence in media, fund raising, and the ratio of conservative to liberal ideas that drive the campaign.

A lot of the smoke has cleared by the time a demographically representative state like Florida has its primary; it is even less meaningful for California.

For many reasons, this rhinoceros will not go away. The democrats, too, are part of how we stack primaries among liberal and conservative states. Certainly, the mistake of turning control of the process over to an unbiased media outlet won’t happen again…

Lindsey didn’t intend to open the whole manner by which states participate in a national campaign. He was just trying to keep South Carolina as a key decision maker once Iowa and New Hampshire had their primaries. His other motivation is not to allow Brad Pitt to be President. The mariner should have counted from the beginning the number of times the Senator mentioned his name.

Ancient Mariner