Why am I writing this? Because politics is a favorite subject of mine. I've tried to avoid writing about it, sometimes successfully, but not always.
But I got these ideas the other night in a bar. (Where most really good ideas come from.) I don't know if you could call them ideas, just more strenuous restatements of things that have already been said. In any event, I present them now for your skewering.
First and foremost I think that America has created a political class that has one thing and one thing on its mind and that is reelection. Most senators and representatives in our state's legislatures and Washington are career politicians, hell there are even village presidents and mayors that are career politicians. Anyone remember King Daley the First who said when asked about presidential aspirations, "Why would I want to be president, I'm already mayor of Chicago. We've created an American aristocracy. Which if memory serves, the founding fathers didn't want.
These assholes care little about making things better, they don't really want any part of hard decisions because they are liable to get you booted out of office, and they have absolutely no interest whatsoever in anything other than protecting their own cushy jobs.
Solution: Term limits. Simple as that. Regardless of office, regardless of level of government. You get two terms at whatever it is, and that's it. Then you go back to work like the rest of us. Maybe that way we could get a couple guys in there that actually wanted to change some things and make a difference. Remove from these pricks the desire to get reelected to these amazingly cushy, do nothing jobs. They can be senators for 8 years and that's it. Reps for 4 years and that's it. No more Strom Thurmonds or Ted Kennedys who are in office longer than half their constituents have been alive.
Protect the people who run for office's regular jobs the same way they do the military. You go off to be a senator then your employer has to keep your job for you, or at least take you back at the same level when you come back.
Second Problem: F***KING money.
Dirty, ratty, nasty money. Wait, I'm a true blue, American born, Capitalist pig. And I'm damn proud of it. But even I have to admit there are some things that money just shouldn't be a part of. We could debate which ones till my ears fall off, but right now we don't have that kind of time. So let's just say that we all accept the premise that politicians in their present construct, have no choice but to be beholden to wealthy interests that finance their campaigns. There's really no way around it. He who has the gold makes the rules. Or in a politicians case, he who has the gold is the douche I have to suck up to and obey otherwise he keeps his gold. Or even worse gives it to someone else.
So how do we get money out of politics?
Solution: Publicly funded campaigns.
I know, I hate the sound of it too. But hear me out. Wait, this isn't a really new idea. So here's what it is...
A few bucks is added to everyone's tax bill. Say $10.00 Then some of that is put into a federal kitty, some into a state kitty, some into a county kitty, and finally some into a local kitty.
Now that's all the money that there is to campaign with. The campaigns are tightly controlled. No more bullshit ads that no one wants to see. The only thing you can do is put up websites that put your information out there. Every candidate is thoroughly investigated by a newly created government agency know as the CIA II. Or Candidate Investigative Agency, the II is just to distinguish them from the spies.
Candidates are no longer allowed to call your house. Matter of fact robocalls from any politician and/or interest group should be punishable by death.
Candidates will be required to attend and answer questions at open town hall meetings and their answers will be televised in their entirety, and transcripts will be available for all to read.
Debates will be held once a week for 8 weeks where a single issue will be debated. The debates will be proctored by military drill instructors. (To keep bullshitting to a minimum) In fact, any candidate that strays from the question in any manner or gives a fluff answer will be immediately and publicly chastised and reprimanded. Questions will be answered and those answers will only cover what was asked. No attacks or barbs can be directed at the other parties in the debate. YOU ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO TALK ABOUT THE ISSUES.
Aspiring politicians will have to present detailed plans, with step by step directions, and cost estimates (that are vetted by someone who at least took a freshman accounting class.) for what they would like to accomplish while in office. Obviously, they must be prepared to answer questions about this plan of theirs.
Aspiring politicians will not be allowed to accept anything of value from any person or entity because all their needs will be met by the government while they are campaigning. If they lose, they immediately return to their job. If they win, their job is held for them (just like military reservists.)
Also, I think the Presidency should become like a tournament. Something similar to the NCAA basketball tournament. It would definitely liven politics up, plus just think of the office pools it would generate!
Each state holds its own tournament to see who is going to be competing for the presidency from their state. Whoever wins that goes to the regional. Midwest, Northeast, South, Southwest, Northwest and West. They are divided into two divisions, 3 regions in each. The three winners of each region compete and one comes out of each division. Now we're down to two.
Those two run for president!
I don't care what you say, at least this way politics wouldn't be such a fucking drag. There would be some fun in there, there would be regional rivalries, there would be state rivalries, there would be some insanely lively debate, and I bet something like this just might get more that 20% of the eligible voters off their ass. If for no other reason than the fact that they've got money on this game!
Now I know there are probably a million holes in my argument here. Purposefully so. I want to hear what everyone thinks. Tell me I'm stupid, tell me I'm an asshole, tell me I'm wrong.
Just don't tell me the way things are is A-Okay...
I'll bet you 14 trillion dollars you're wrong!
I love you Mom...