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Alabama's Closed Primary: Moore-Strange Just More of the Same

by Steve Peace, published

Alabama's closed, partisan Republican primary pits two candidates, Roy Moore and Luther Strange, that prove the value of open, nonpartisan primaries.

Put simply, the "I'm a bigger right-winger than you are" themed campaign is exactly what works in closed, partisan primaries. This, of course, is also true of the "I'm a bigger left-winger than you are" campaign that flourishes in closed Democratic primaries.

The overwhelming majority of US lawmakers were selected through these closed, partisan primaries. The couple of states with nonpartisan, open primaries are a very recent innovation. As a result, most of the incumbents, even in these states, are products of the old system.

So, it should come as no surprise that US lawmakers can't get anything done. Members of Congress understand getting re-elected if they understand nothing else.

Judge Moore vs. Luther Strange simply reinforces the "fear of compromise" embedded in the DNA of every member of Congress, their staffs, and their political advisors and financiers.

The election process rewards intransigence and gridlock. Until we change that, nothing will change in Washington.

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