THE AMERICAN MODEL OF DEMOCRACY IS BEYOND REPAIR
It is frustrating to watch the political process play out in this country and hold out hope that things will improve. Lies, corruption and every imaginable form of deceit rule the day. Some might say that this is the way it has always has been and they point to scandals and scoundrels that have ruled the day since the birth of the republic.
One can give up on the political process completely and not vote and not engage in any activity of a political nature and try to ignore the mess of the current political state. Others may work to change things and look to a brighter future where common sense and decency prevail. I don’t see a lot of hope for optimism when it comes to politics.
On the other hand, an argument might be made that politics has always been a messy business and that all of the bad that comes of political work is the price we have to pay in order to accomplish the work of government. If we buy that argument then we give a pass to a lot of bad people doing bad things and I just can’t accept that kind of thinking because it only makes it harder for many of us to engage in the world.
Is there a solution to the problems of democracy? I don’t know. Do we need to have a revolution where people take to the streets and overthrow the government and install the leaders of the revolution? I don’t see that as an American alternative, despite the recent insurrection
at the Capitol. We had our revolution centuries ago and it is unlikely any action on that scale could ever happen again.
If the current form of government was working as intended then there would be majority rule where the will of the people is reflected in the courts, in Congress and in the White House., We have devolved into minority rule, as evidenced by recent decisions of the Supreme Court and the political constipation that prevails in Congress.
The privileged white male slaveowners who founded this country and wrote the Constitution could not project the effects that a ruling class would have more than 250 years later on their ideas for a democracy. The American way of life is based on the accumulation of money and power and the Darwinian principle of survival of the fittest. Those values are what rule this country and that is why we have seen the gap between the have’s and have not’s widen so much over the past decades.
We are on the brink of another election on November 8 and a lot of money is being spent to elect candidates. Imagine what we could do with those millions of dollars if there was a different way for people to ascend to political office. Imagine how our world would change if a person did not need an obscene amount of money to run for just about any public office.
I will offer one possible solution. It will seem ridiculous to most people, but we need to come up with new ideas to move beyond the current political mess. The first thing we need to do is to alter the process of political campaigning by changing the election process.
What I am proposing would be similar to what happens in a parliamentary form of government. People would still run for office on the state and local level. Campaigning would be limited to two weeks and there would be spending caps.
When the time came for national elections state legislators would present a slate of candidates for House and Senate seats to represent them and those legislators would vote for anyone who expressed an interest in holding an office. Any registered voter would be eligible to put their name in nomination.
The same process would play out in Congress in Washington in order to elect a president and vice president. All of this would require rewriting state constitutions and the national constitution. It would be a massive undertaking. Unless we promote radical changes to government, nothing will ever change and all of the evil in our political world will thrive and rule the day.