Fred Schwarz on why the party conventions are such relatively boring affairs:

Let the voters decide for themselves, and in most cases they will flock to a single favorite, or at most two opposing ones. In the old days, this wasn’t true; bosses would publicly back a candidate with no chance as a holding tactic, while waiting to sell their real support to the highest bidder. But individual citizens, unlike bosses, control only one vote and get only one chance to cast it, so they’re reluctant to waste it on someone they know won’t win. If they can tolerate the front-runner, they’ll vote for him in hopes of wrapping the contest up early; if they can’t, and if they’re not particularly zealous about a single issue, they’ll vote for his strongest rival.

The expectation that every race will boil down to two candidates is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and the resultant rapid winnowing-out means the battle will almost always be over long before the convention starts. That’s fine for empowering the masses and giving the people a voice and all that civics-class stuff, but from an entertainment standpoint, it robs conventions of all their drama.

Read the rest at National Review Online


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