John Oliver Takes on the “Electoral Clusterfuck” of the Presidential Primaries and Caucuses

“This is a system that clearly needs wholesale reform.”


Ah, presidential primaries and caucuses, or as John Oliver described them on Sunday, “the electoral foreplay that we have been engaging in since February, which will culminate in the mass balloon ejaculations of this summer’s conventions.”

Despite the fact that both Republicans and Democrats have all but decided their respective nominees, as the recent chaos that erupted at the Nevada Democratic Convention demonstrated, emotions over who will make it to the general election are still running high. Much of that can be blamed on a deeply complicated set of rules that tend to differ from state to state, and it can leave voters with the suspicion that the entire process is rigged.

“To be fair to both parties, they are basically private clubs and they can set their own rules,” Oliver said. “But if you play by a system of complex, opaque rules that nobody understands and that you could use to your advantage, even if you don’t, you are going to alienate voters.

“This is a system that clearly needs wholesale reform,” he added.

Watch above to see the Last Week Tonight host break down the convoluted system.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest