I realize that the parties like to choose their own candidates. I would not care to have outsiders define who will be the leaders of organization to which I may be a member.
I started out as a youth favoring the Democratic Party. That was well before I could vote. I followed the national conventions on the radio. I was all for Eisenhower because he "won" World War II for us. I did not know Stephenson. In 1956, I would have voted for a Democrat for president, but the right one was not nominated. In 1960, I knew Nixon would run. The media made Kennedy sound great. Then I listened to him and, reluctantly voted Nixon. Remember Kennedy? He said, "Ask not what your country will do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." Then, when a city in New York required welfare recipients to work a little for their help, Kennedy said that welfare people should not have to work. I decided that I would, from then on, vote for the better of the two worst candidates put forth by the parties.
I did favor Republicans and went to the county meetings. It was then I suggested after a meeting that we should have sent a recommendation for a resolution to emphasize the 10th Amendment. The person with whom I was speaking was then appalled. Later, the national Republican leadership seemed more interested in helping a liberal Democrat win than a conservative Republican. I went Independent.
Therefore, my favorite primary is the wide open or blanket primary. If I see a Democrat who is better than a Republican, I can help the Democrat win. If the Republican is better, there is my vote. The best president in the 20th century was a Republican, the second best was a Democrat. The best governor in the last 50 years in Washington was a Democrat. I have not been too impressed with the others of either party. The big argument against a blanket primary has been that Democrats would vote for the weakest Republican or the Republicans would vote for the worst Democrat. It has been threatened at times but the two parties do such a great job doing it themselves.
I think the worst primary is the closed primary. You tell the whole world which way you will vote. I will make up my mind after I see who is running. Maybe it is not too bad a system though. I went to the state Republican convention. During the part where the certification of delegates was carried out, I kept track of how the votes went. I was telling a person sitting next to me how each county delegation would vote. When the vote was for Spokane County, the rump delegation won, as I expected. That small group was so dedicated that when the group selected at the county convention was thrown out, the rump delegation went home and took no further part in the convention.
In the top-two primary, there is not representation from the other parties in the general election. We used to have representation from about 12 parties for president. Some were serious, some had important points to make. They expanded the choice of governor and other state positions. Anyone remember the OWL Party? The broad representation was great in 1972. I refused to vote either Democratic or Republican for president or governor. In that election, I voted for candidates in four parties.
This year, for the first time, we have two Republicans running for the U.S. House. I am surprised it has not happened in King County every year since the system was adopted.
-- BILL HANSEN, Othello