The more I watch the current batch of losers running for public office, the more I think the system is broken beyond repair. Maybe politicians first running for office are relatively unsullied by the electoral process, but that doesn’t last. They must accumulate enough money to pay for the advertisements and other campaign expenses, to have a chance to beat their opponent(s). Of course the opponents are doing exactly the same thing. As I said, even if you give first time politicians the benefit of the doubt, they are corrupted by the need to immediately start accumulating funds for their re-election. It quickly becomes expedient to bow to the wishes of the big contributors (corporations, unions, extremely wealthy individuals, etc. – most of whom aren’t even part of their constituency) by doing them favors, passing legislation that benefits them, so they will contribute to their campaign. Forgotten are the people they are supposed to represent. Serving in congress, the White House, or where ever, quickly becomes dedicated to getting re-elected; not doing the job they were elected to do.
Being more of an anarchist than anything else, my first choice would be to greatly reduce, or simplify, current form of government. Government should, at most, serve an administrative function. But that just isn’t realistic, at least for now. So we are stuck with our current system of government. We are stuck with elected officials passing laws that bind us. But we don’t have to be stuck with the current unfair election process. Those elected to office do not serve their constituents, instead they serve those who helped them get elected. Of course those are the big campaign contributors. Politicians work for them, not for us. They pass laws to benefit them, not to benefit us. They approve foreign policy to benefit them, not to benefit us. They ratify treaties to benefit them, not to benefit us. In spite of my opening statement, I do believe that is something we can change. It will be very hard, very painful, very frustrating, and it will take a very long time, but it can be done. We need to increase the current efforts to identify candidates for public office who are committed to working for us, the people. We must continue to build upon the grass roots movements to convince the voters, in every district and precinct, that they must start to vote for candidates who are committed to change the election laws. And to agree to vote them out if they don’t act on it immediately. We have to get the money out of elections. Elections shouldn’t last for two, or more, years. Campaigns should be limited to (for instance) 90 days prior to the election. Media should be required, as part of their licensing costs, to give all candidates an equal access. There should be no donations to any election campaign.
Once we change the election process, then we can insist that our public servants truly work for us. We can insist they start to solve the many social and infrastructure problems that exist in this country. And please note, this is not a liberal or conservative, right or left, republican or democratic issue. It would benefit all equally. We would still have the same partisan politics we have today. Fixing that is a problem for another blog post.