Election Manipulation Problems
If a “non-privileged” candidate runs the gauntlet imposed by the states and secures ballot access the major parties embark upon Phase II of their “control the election at any cost” strategy: Election Manipulation.
The parties wield tremendous leverage and are not hesitant to use it. Their favoritism is obvious and it influences the media. Both parties are multi-billion dollar operations and they have enormous advertising budgets; a point that is not lost upon for-profit media outlets.
If a major party wants a candidate included in a national poll, the candidate will be included in the national poll. Conversely, if the party does not want a candidate included in the poll, heaven and earth will have to move to force the media to challenge the will of the party.
This matters because the parties use the national polls as an excuse to publicly discriminate in favor of their “politically privileged” candidates and to the detriment of “outsiders” within the party. It allows some candidates to receive national exposure while denying it to others. The exposure translates almost directly into fundraising and votes for those who are blessed to receive it, and it serves as a death knell for those who are not included.
Feeble excuses are offered, such as “We need to draw the line somewhere.” It becomes embarrassingly apparent when one party can feature 18 candidates but another can only find room for two or three. Of course, both parties join in blocking “choice” during the General Election. You need look no further than the Presidential Debates.
The few “non-privileged” candidates with the courage and stamina to “fight on,” are exposed to a new wave of election manipulation:
- “Non-privileged” candidates are denied mention on the State Parties’ webpages, which negatively impacts their exposure and perceived credibility
- “Politically privileged” candidates have their pictures and bios featured and are provided with links to their pages; “non-privileged” candidates remain politically anonymous from a party perspective
- “Non-privileged” candidates are denied critical logistics information (such as caucus and poll location information) that is routinely provided to the “politically privileged” candidates the parties favor
- State Parties in caucus states can be expected to place their fingers on the scale in the following ways:
- By invoking last-minute rule changes that strip the names of “non-privileged” candidates from caucus sign-in sheets and lump them together as “Other”
- By refusing to permit “non-privileged” candidates from having signs and literature at caucus locations while permitting it for the “politically privileged”
- By refusing to permit “non-privileged” candidates or their surrogates from speaking at caucuses while permitting it for the “politically privileged”
- By refusing to provide physical areas for the supporters of “non-privileged” candidates to form their preference groups while always providing areas for the “politically privileged”
The list could continue, but I think you get the picture.