The way elections are done in the United States look pretty straight forward on paper and in history lessons. You get a chance to vote, if you are a citizen, for the presidential candidate of your choice and if that candidate wins the vote, he or she wins the election, right. WRONG!
In the primary part of a general election, you have the candidates running around the country trying to sell you a pre-perceived platform of what they stand for and the direction they want to take the country. If they are a candidate of one of the bigger political parties, that platform will encompass the ideals and support of that party. In the United States, you usually have candidates from the two main parties and have the backing either perceived or real with all kinds of support. If they are not part of the mainstream establishment, the independent candidate is trying to gather support and funds to continue his or her campaign. Unless they have their own money to spend the do not have much of a shot. This country really likes underdogs or brash upstarts that are willing to fight the system but usually do not like to go out on a limb to support them.
Once the primary elections have been accomplished for the two main parties, you have their respective conventions. The winner of the primary voting is or will not be the parties’ candidate for the upcoming General election depending on the party’s elite bosses. The bosses have to be very careful not to upset the base voter too much or everything may implode on them and the last thing they want is to lose any and all support they have garnered over the years in both public and backroom support. A popular candidate that does not win the presidential bid from a convention has the option to run as an independent afterword and if they have enough general support from the masses may steamroll over either parties’ choices. If an independent does win the general election, he or she must continue to grow and maintain that support of the masses to run the presidential term or become an ineffective leader after that.
Now to make sure that the general voter does not jump on the bandwagon of a popular or charismatic candidate that has little else to offer or is to extreme a shift from the status quo, there are many checks and balances in place. First is the news media, who are supposed to ferret out the real truth in any story and report responsibly. Lately they have failed at this and a majority of the stories placed in front of the masses have leaned for or against a candidate with very little real information. The second is the individual party conventions after the primary. Whereas the party elite can either back or throw their support to a candidate that may not have even been in the primary elections. The third is that after the General election, the Electoral College may either confirm the populace vote for a presidential candidate or put in place an alternate that fits the views and platform of the political bosses.
The political elite or bosses of our political establishment may or may not be elected or someone with deep pockets. So if you hear laughter in marbled halls, you can bet it is not from a general citizen voter.