Political parties are private organizations with membership requirements and they should be left alone to facilitate their own method for nomination. Let the party nominate and then let the people select the representative. That is how a republic should operate.
The other side of the argument favors state-run primaries. A state-run primary is direct intervention by the government into a private organization for the purpose of running a specific part of the party’s operation. I don’t see what is conservative about needing the government to operate a private party’s nomination.
Together with the primary argument comes the ill perceived idea that we need party registration too. I don’t see what is conservative about having to register my partisan opinion with the government.
The arguments from each side are all too familiar to blog readers so let’s skip over the usual suspects and discuss the new perp in this; the violent radical.
Party process has the freedom to exclude, which should be used when dealing with violent radicals. Party process really comes down to simple algebra; Repugnant Individual X must file to be a delegate with Local Unit Y in order to participate in Convention Z. If X files for Z, then Y can shut him out. The party can champion this publicly or not. Keep in mind, you don’t sign-up to be a delegate, you file to run as a delegate for your locality. And if X doesn’t file, then the chairman of Y can still publicly disassociate with X, if they choose to, by releasing a statement saying that Y would reject X. And then Z would lack the unwanted participate.
Only party process can accomplish this. With party registration Repugnant Individual X can publicly claim to be a member of Party A or B, and that poor party would just have to take it. And with state-run primaries X can openly mobilize for a candidate or party to turn out the vote of his friends.
Party process keeps the party a party. State-run primaries and party registration take away control of how we are exercising our freedom of association. Only party process keeps things in-house while keeping the violent radical, or repugnant individual, or unwanted participate, out.