Every election year, you hear people complain about the selection of candidates and how they’re never good enough. You ask these same people who they voted for in the primaries and they respond that they didn’t. This is a common theme in American elections, and one that needs to change if we are to have a vibrant democracy that fulfills the ideals of our republic: the primaries are important, and people should vote in them.
In the 2016 Presidential Election, both the Democratic and Republican candidates were highly unpopular, yet millions of Americans didn’t participate in the primaries. It was highly possible that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton would not become the nominees of their parties had millions more voted in the primaries. In the future, radical and distasteful candidates could be blocked from ever reaching the presidency if enough people vote for their opponents.
The primaries also shape the direction the parties are going to. In 2016, the Democratic Party took a turn to the left, as Bernie Sanders forced Hillary Clinton to adopt more progressive polices, while the Republican Party adopted more nationalistic polices and ideas with the rise of Donald Trump's Presidency. If we want the parties to truly represent the people of this country, we need voters to participate in them. The primaries also help us understand what our fellow citizens think and feel about the situation in the country. By looking at how many votes each candidate receives, which states they win, and the responses from exit polls. We are provided with a multitude of information about our country, because of this, these analysis' can help us better relate to each other and to better comprehend just how much intellectual diversity our country has to offer.
So, the next time an election year roles around, don't just stand at the sidelines watching other people vote. Get registered in time and do your American civic duty, vote in the primaries.