Oh, What A Screwy System

Is this any way to choose a candidate?

Lounging around on Cloud 1787, a few of the Founding Fathers are conducting a seminar on the handiwork of 201 years ago. "The thing I cannot understand," says Franklin, "is why they keep quarreling over this nomination business." Madison, ever the detail man, replies, "We told them how to elect the President, but we didn't suggest how to decide who the competing candidates would be." Adams, the Boston lawyer, raises points of order. "The Constitution didn't even use the terms candidate or parties or political convention. Now they talk about 'nominating windows,' 'front-loading' and 'super-delegates,' a language that seems designed to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!