I agree that you have to participate in order to have a voice. However, we have to consider that perhaps our two Party, Electoral College, voting booth system is broken.
Rather than just complain I would like to offer a solution for the people to reclaim the path of becoming an elected official. There is a need to be reminded that they work for us.
I know my plan will not be popular with the politicos that are making their fortunes off the backs of you and me. They get into office and turn it into a career, complete with outrageous pay, perks and a fabulous retirement program.
It is time to reclaim the power and put it back into the hands of the people. The government is for the people, and most importantly, BY the people.
Here is my plan:
1) Eliminate the Parties and primaries. These take up a lot of time and resources. It creates a false loyalty and partisan bickering. The number one concern should be as an American, not a Democrat or Republican. Anyone that wants to run should be able to get on the ballot.
2) There will be a spending limit of $10 million. No more, no less, plus the expenses that are involved in getting on the ballot. This involves signature gathering. This would be a capped expense of $10,000, to be used for web sites, robocalls, fees to be incurred in municipalities etc. You can spend your $10 million the way you think best; all donor names will be submitted and no one can give more than $5,000 each. This will cut down on the obligation to any particular person or entity.
3) Presidential terms will be limited to one 6-year term. Then it is over. That way the entire time the president is in office can be spent wholly on solving the problems that are encountered, building the country, foreign relations and all that the job entails.
4) Congress and Senate will have the term limits of two 5-year terms. These will return to “honor” positions and stop being full time careers. There are those that argue that it takes a while to learn your way around. It does take a while to learn how to manipulate the system to your benefit. In two 5-year terms, the elected officials can concentrate on laws that they know they will have to live under. Salary levels will be set by the people’s vote, not by the elected officials themselves. They will have to pay into Social Security and Medicare just like the common man. They get no departure / wrap up budget when they leave. They wave bye and let the next person take over.
5) Lobbyist will no longer be allowed to be in the system. They will not be allowed to gift things or favors. They will have to be reduced to letter writing and petitions, just like the common man.
6) Power will shift back to the people. The elected officials will be forced to be interested in the betterment of the country, as their pockets are not fancily lined with special perks and favors. This will bring out those who truly desire to serve their country. They will be accountable to you and me, who are their bosses. Their voting records and attendance will be available as it is now, but they will return to their communities and answer for their decisions.
7) The Electoral College is an antiquated system that has outlived its use. It was brought about when communication and education were limited. Today’s people have many forms of information available to them. Communication is a split second away. The College is no longer necessary.
8) We will bring back the punch voting machines. Ballots can be counted mechanically. This will eliminate the ability to electronically alter any results. If a ballot is not punched completely, it will be thrown out. Be sure you mark your ballot well.
9) A picture ID is required by everyone. The states will make an ID for anyone. Maybe a person does not drive, but they can go and have an ID made at the DMV. I am sure that the elderly and infirm can be accommodated. We have many programs to help, and we could add assistance as necessary. Anyone caught voting more than once would face charges for fraud.
This is my idea for the reform of the voting and election system. Implementing it will take involvement from all of us. We cannot allow apathy to take our voice from us. Today, too many of our liberties are eroding due to those who would grab power. No one can be a victim unless they allow another to take from them.
If anyone has a better idea, let’s hear it. Now is the time to remold our country to our idea of freedom. We have the intellectual ability. Let us flex our free muscles and speak up.