Sunday, August 15, 2004

Mona Lisa Smile

The sad state of American Politics, sadly, is the result of the unparalleled success of American Politics. Let me try that again.

Used to be that simply by tossing your hat into the ring as either a GOP or DNC candidate would simply guarantee you 30% of the vote. It was calculated that 60% of Americans simply cast a straight ticket and that you, as a named party candidate, would get half of it. The campaign was over the remaining 21%.

I was called by a push poller from the Kerry campaign a few weeks ago. Spent a very enjoyable 20 minutes on the phone saying over and over again, "The war. I'm mostly concerned about the war."

When it was over with, the poller took my vitals - White, non-hispanic, male, 30's, family, self-employed professional, zip code 54501, you want my what?

"Your street, sir."

"Like hell."

She's punching all this stuff into a computer and that computer is deciding where to call next, where to send solicitations, and maybe even where to send door knockers.

They've figured out most of that remaining 21%. They're probably working on the remaining 3% - and the polls bear this out. Notice that almost all reputable polls are hip deep into their margin of error? Those 3% would be the uninformed, and at this point, uninformable voters. Shit, if you can't decide within the first six months of the campaign cycle, why even bother having the second six months?

Two ways to go about this in my mind: Option #1: Ban *all* electioneering within two months of any non-primary election. Hold the primary through the mails. Shoot whoever wins. Move to Venezuela.

Option #2: Draft people for elected office. Nobody should want to be elected to anything greater then city council or county board.
  • The Executive Branch: one six year term for anyone with an IQ greater then 120 and a graduate degree.
  • The US Senate: A single four year term. Elected from members of the State houses, just as the founders intended. These can still be morons and felons.
  • US House of Representatives: A single two year term. Anyone with a college degree or better. IQ at least 100.
  • Local elections: nothing that would effect the selection of National Office holders should be elected.

Beyond that, go nuts. Go feudal, anarchist, republican, theocratic, democratic, gynocratic or paleocratic. If the locals don't like, it, they can freaking leave and move somewhere to their liking. (Which is already happening)

Look, the bureaucracy in this nation is enormous - bigger then you can imagine. And they figured out somewhere around 1970 that all they have to do is skate along between elections and they get to keep their jobs. I'm not happy about this, but it works. The highways get built, the aircraft carriers get launched, and the little old ladies get their pensions. These are everyday feats of our bureaucracy - and there is no reason to stop that big machine from working.

Is this workable? I think so. The requirements for office should probably have to be juggled and I haven't even deal with the issue of salary and benefits - but anything would be better then the gravy train that service in Congress and the Executive branch has become.
Post is way too long. And I've edited the damn thing three times now.


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