It’s primary day here in Washington, DC as well as several other states around the country. A lot of national attention will of course turn on Senate primaries like the fight in Delaware, but I do want to encourage everyone out there in the audience to spare a thought for your state and local races, whatever those elections may be. One feature of the American political system is that the bulk of domestic policy is made at the state or local level. Another feature of the system is that there’s an incredible proliferation of separate elections for state and local officeholders.
One can — and in the past I have — raised questions about the wisdom of this system. But whatever its merits, it’s the system we have and I think those of us who write about politics for a living don’t do enough to emphasize it. Greenhouse gas emissions are severely impacted by land use decisions taken at the local level. Education policy is primarily made by states, municipalities, and independent school boards. Everybody ought to try to take the time to think about these things and to think about their local elections.