Sunday, August 5, 2012

Three Steps to Save America from the Politicians

America is being destroyed by its own political system.  So to save her, we must attack the root of the problem rather than the symptoms.  Problems with the banks, the education system, the health care system, the border wars, the deficit spending and on and on are symptoms.  The disease itself is the political system.  Reasonable people can certainly debate these symptoms and the best way to treat them, but they cannot argue what the root cause of it all is.

But I think the solution to this, our primary problem, is actually quite simple.  In fact, I propose a simplification of everything using technology that did not exist at the time many of our existing policies (read: primitive traditions) first became so ingrained in our society.  By not moving forward and adapting the way we govern to the new capabilities we have, we look every bit as backward as those communities in rural Pennsylvania and Ohio appear to us, pretending that progress arbitrarily stopped in the year 1845.

Our political system assumes that progress ceased in the 1970's.  Team Obama just spent $400 million in the last 18 months, a big chunk of which went to - I kid you not - phone banks ($24 million) and direct mail and postage ($46 million).  And he's supposed to be the tech-savvy one, lol.

Rather than writing another 1000 words on all the corruption and bribery of the lobbying process...I'll just lay out my fixes now.  The sooner they are published, the sooner they can be ignored.

Below I fix the political system (and, by extension, America) in just three steps. 

1.  No More Electoral College or Polling Locations.

We vote directly for candidates on the internet from now on.  We register there and vote there and spend whatever money/time necessary to clean up the security and technology to make this possible.  We're already doing this nationwide for American Idol candidates, please don't tell me the Federal government can't pick up that football and run with it, logistically speaking. 

2.  No More Campaign Contributions Period. 

The current state of campaign financing makes our elected officials dumber and favors an already untouchable cabal of the powerful, connected and wealthy elite.  There is nothing wrong with being wealthy and successful, there is everything wrong with using that wealth and success as a weapon against those who are looking for a similar opportunity to attain such status.

3.  Referendums rather than influence peddling. 

By bringing the election process onto the web and out of the backrooms, we immediately gain an upper hand in the age-old fight against corruption.  We can also vote directly on specific issues themselves, thus removing a lot of the decision-making process from elected officials whom we've historically entrusted to "vote on behalf of their constituents."  We know now that they will typically vote based on who kicks in the most money to keep them in office or on powerful committees.

So there you have it:

Get the money out of politics, end the influence peddling and remove a huge layer of bullshit bureaucracy from the elections themselves. 

Sure there will be unintended consequences and a transition wouldn't be simple.  But your alternative is the world we have now.

How's that working out for everyone?

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