AuthorFarsad, Negin

American elections are designed to drive us crazy. It's truly remarkable what we've done to ourselves. It is democracy at its most irritating.

For starters, we have no formal election period. Candidates announce their intentions years before an election. In the last cycle, Ted Cruz announced 596 days before Election Day. That means we had to look at his office-seeking mug and hear his Star Wars election analogies for more than a year before he tapped Carly Fiorina as his running mate and then promptly dropped out of the race. For 2020, Congressman John Delaney announced his candidacy for President more than 1,100 days before the election. That's three years of constant election-ing! Three years, and by the time the first debate rolled around, most of us still didn't know who he was. (Of course, Delaney's main problem is that he's not a billionaire who can buy endless ads. He really should work on that.)

If you're running for city council in Japan, you have a campaign season of one week. In one Tokyo district, you are allowed to put up 190 posters on 190 designated wooden billboards. If you're running for Japan's equivalent of Congress, you get to campaign for twelve days. Our representatives campaign during their entire two-year term.

In the United States, while some candidates formally announce their candidacy, others announce an exploratory committee to test the idea of whether they should formally announce. That's like sending out a save-the-date before there's even an engagement: "Please save the date for our wedding. That is, if she says yes. We just need another three months to figure out if our relationship is sustainable, plus, I snore, so we've gotta see if she can handle that."

The effect of this timeline on the electorate is agonizing. You might have chosen a candidate--say, Elizabeth Warren. The media have written a bunch of stories about how she's on the rise, how she has crept up on Biden. They might even write stories about her many, many, many policy positions. Mostly, they want to talk about how she's creeping up on Biden or biting off chunks of the Bernie Bro' pulation.

But they can only write about that for so long. Eventually, they have to take another tack--so they start the second guessing. Is Elizabeth Warren electable? (Which is, of course, another way of saying, "We forgot, for 31/2 seconds, to mention that she is a woman.")

So you, the voter, start saying stuff like "I really like Elizabeth Warren but. . . I'm not...

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