Our weird and irrational campaign process legitimates the status quo in other ways. In early modern Europe, kings and other rulers made a habit of “progresses,” moving from town to town or castle to castle through the countryside, allowing ordinary people to see them and putting local officials and magnates directly in touch with the national authorities. Not only did this allow the rulers to get a little distance outside the bubble and see just how scrawny the peasants were getting in a given year, it made the state visible and palpable to ordinary people and stirred feelings of attachment and support. The admittedly ritualized and often phony process of candidates sitting in pancake houses and living rooms in Iowa and New Hampshire and moving on through various events reinforces the bond between governed and governors in our society, exposes candidates to the diversity of the American electorate, and reminds everybody where the ultimate authority lies. All this is good.