Showing posts with label Election. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Election. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Independence Day

As we celebrate another 4th of July in the United States, I cannot help but think back to the first 4th of July I was a part of, in 1990. I was in this country for exactly 5 months, 11 years of age, and understood English only to the degree the network cartoons and 2 months of public school could teach me. I had very little knowledge of American history, and honestly was mainly drawn in by the fireworks.

As time passed, I learned a lot more about Independence Day, my English improved, and this country that welcomed my family and I with open arms became my own. I was proud to become a citizen of this great country and understood that its system of government was far better than the country where I was born.

This country was born out of the desire to break through oppression from an overseas ruling party and an idea to govern better, with the majority of the country's population playing a factor in how it is run. It is this spirit of defiance, perseverance, and self-improvement that we celebrate on this day.

Our system of electing public servants may not exactly be categorized as a Democracy. In fact, with the electorate college, two party split, and the electoral college system that comes with it; we would be more correct to call it a Polyarchy. By Polyarchy we mean the elite few, who represent the many, making decisions within our government regarding how our country is ran. Nevertheless, it has held a standard for some time since its establishment on how modern Democratic style governments function.

Within the past few decades the system, which I have proudly been a part of since that first 4th of July back in 1990, has become more immobile, ineffective, and inadequate; for the American people to even consider it a representation of the United States population. In effect, the only thing this system of government performs well is create career politicians that are within the fiscal fishing nets of the American corporations for the duration of those careers.

As a result, the elected officials have no desire to serve the people, but just appear to do so enough to get elected and re-elected. We need a better way. In honor of the country I love and care about, I suggest the following basic points to reform our government to return it to its stated form: "...of the people, for the people, and by the people".

1. Abolish political parties - a politician must represent the people whom elect him or her, not the party money or corporate money that determine an ideology that does not resonate with majority of the American people. Multiple points of view will also force politicians to work with each other to reach a consensus, rather than the current stalemate in American politics.
2. Abolish corporate and private contributions to elected officials (or any proxies that exist for those officials). They are supposed to be officials elected by the people, not bought by the corporations.
3. Equality in elections - pass a law that gives each candidate with a certain amount (deemed significant for their home population) of signatures to be given equal amount of television, print, and radio exposure. Obligate network news corporations to provide objective equal airtime to candidates, without any commentaries, opinions, or editorials. Publicly provide the candidate's career records in the same fashion.
4. Civic Duty Holidays - introduce 4 new holidays a year (Civic Duty Days) that obligate the American population to familiarize themselves with local and national candidates and their record.  We, as the American people, should be seeking out the candidates that represent us best, and not allow the best looking image full of hollow promises to push their campaigns onto us. Each one of us must take a certain degree of responsibility for the politicians that represent us.
5. Abolish careers in politics - term limits in politics that force politicians to come back into the workforce after serving their term(s), which the laws they passed have impacted. Currently, the career politicians are detached from the general workforce, which in many ways leaves them isolated from reality.
6. Performance Reviews for Elected Officials - on the aforementioned Civic Duty Days, the voters that elected the officials into office will hold them accountable by conducting a public review of the politician's performance with respect to campaign promises made and any unforeseen decisions made. This will keep elected officials honest to the people. If the politician suffers two unsatisfactory performance reviews in a row, their seat will be vacated during the next election cycle and a new set of candidates will compete to fill it.

There are more nuances to each of these points, which I am more than happy to discuss. So leave me a comment to suggest what you think or any ideas you may have. We need to do better, and all of us must be responsible in doing so.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Trumpier than Trump

With our nation's president going on the offensive with everyone from foreign allies, dictators, media, to professional sports and more; we have become accustomed, if not completely numb, to some of the things he says that are deprived of any intelligence whatsoever.

Fast forward to this past week in Alabama, where a firebrand conservative Roy Moore won a Senate seat by igniting the flames of the intellectually less fortunate. We should be concerned with this development, if we are ever to progress our country out of the educational and intellectual decline, or else we risk tumbling ever further into the phenomenon known as Idiocracy.

Roy Moore is a more audacious version of Trump - a Trumpier Trump, if you will. He doesn't do Public Relations remediation of anything he does that is viewed as a negative, because he doesn't believe anything of the kind exists. This is a man who has conviction that all of society's ills boil down to the people forgetting about God. He believes that God incurs wrath on all of us, because of those among us who have strayed from the almighty.

He also believes that homosexuality is illegal, all law comes from God himself, evolution is a hoax, Obama is not an American, reds and yellows are fighting, and Islam is a false religion. He even idolizes Vladimir Putin and likens himself to the character of the Russian leader.

But if that wasn't enough, he was fired from his previous job on the Alabama Supreme Court for refusing a Federal order to remove the massive stone Ten Commandments statue from inside the courthouse. While he believes all law comes from God, it is evident that he picks and chooses which laws to follow on a case by case basis.

While the media and the people here on the East Coast may chuckle and laugh at his election, it is not a reason to laugh. It is a rather sad event that we have to tolerate such people representing any community as elected officials. He is by far not the only one present in the Senate or the House of Representatives. Various representative degrees of the intellectually challenged sit and preside over laws that impact us nationally.

We all are responsible for this. We must take our education system back, enforce separation of church and state, communicate with our representatives, keep aware of legislative news, and vote intelligently. If we brush off the election of the Moores with a chuckle and a laugh, it won't be long before Idiocracy is realized.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Breaking Up Parties

Now is the time and a chance to become a more civilized functioning country with a government that more closely represents each and every one of you - American citizens.

As long we have the two-party stranglehold over the USA government, the average American citizen will never be truly represented by the politicians we elect. Let me explain this in several simple points.

1) When only two parties control the political landscape, you have polarizing black and white views on each side. This makes it nearly impossible to make a nuanced choice of whom to support and for whom to cast a vote, as neither side will ever represent the vast majority of the American population. As a result, most American citizens do not participate in the election process. The majority that do wind up voting are left with a terribly choice - which candidate do I dislike less? When the candidates for any office are not even close to representing your views and values, there is no meaningful choice even when you have the right to choose.

2) When either party has the majority of Senate and House of Representatives, while also having the Presidential seat, the opposing sides don't have to negotiate. The controlling party can simply pass legislation and push through its policy without any regard for the other side. In the majority of other democracies in the civilized world, there are multiple parties that more closely represent the differing views of their population. In these cases, a party may win an election with a 25% percent of the vote, sometimes as high as 35%. But it almost never results in a flat out majority. This means that the winning party needs to negotiate with other parties, form a coalition, discuss and amend their proposals to fit the desires of the majority of their population. It is a much more true to form representative democracy than what we currently have to endure.

3) It is incredibly easy for big money interest groups to control the political landscape. There are big money lobbyists that play a heavy hand in influencing our government's policies via monetary contributions to the two major political parties and their candidates. Pharmacy, Insurance, Banking, Tobacco, Gun and various other lobbies have our American government in their back pockets. It is really easy to do - just donate money to both parties. Whoever wins the controlling seats in our government, the big money contributors are guaranteed that their interests are protected no matter what. If there are multiple parties that have to negotiate with each other and be held accountable to the actual views of the people who elect them, the lobbyists will not have as much sway over the legislation.

I believe that we are living in an extraordinary time of unprecedented opportunity, on which we owe it to ourselves and future generations to capitalize. The 2016 election has exposed and opened up the fault lines in both the Democrat and Republican parties. The Democrats screwed up big league by internal collusion in favoring one candidate in the primaries over another, while the Republicans were fighting among themselves and rolling down the hill into disarray, until they miraculously emerged on top of the orange mountain.

As a result, the Democrats have internal battles that are pulling the party into Progressives, Traditional Democrats, and those who now identify as Independents. The Republicans have an even more fierce battle among them between Traditional Republicans, Tea Party, Evangelicals, Reformers and Hardcore Conservatives.

We, as American citizens, must force these political fault-lines to crack these parties apart into smaller more specific ones. How do we do this? Through putting pressure on our elected officials with our votes. We need to make each and every politician recognize that we will, from this point on, hold them accountable for their action (or inaction) as our representatives. After enough politicians realize that the status quo no longer suits their office, the polarizing methodologies of the two-party stranglehold will be left in the rear-view mirror of history.  Make your vote count in every single election, no matter how small, from this point on.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Will The People Speak?

I hate to break it to all of you, but it's over! The people of the United States have spoken in our imperfect, geographically weighed, electorate driven system of Democracy we have accepted to be legitimate and teach the rest of the world about. The winner is Donald Trump and there is nothing you can do about that anymore.

However, that does not mean that you should limit your responses to outrage and witty posts of opposition for the next four years. It is time to take action, because this election cycle has reduced our election process into the reality television show that is viewed as a circus around the world.

What we need to do is begin to hold our politicians up to their stated agenda, opposing them where it is unconscionable and unethical. But also, supporting them where it is reasonable and beneficial. What any responsible American should do is learn what your President, Senator and Representative have on their agenda. And do not take it second-hand from the lens of polarizing media, but from the politician's own complete statements.

Let's take our president-elect as an example. One of the things he has promised to do is to curtail freedom of the press through promoting specific libel laws, which would make it very dangerous to publish any editorials and effectively silence opposition. Clearly, this is a serious violation of our nation's constitutional principles. With this kind of agenda, the citizens should fervently oppose his administration through their regional representatives in Washington.

Another item he has promised is the establishment of term limits for elected, as well as appointed, government officials. This would prevent the career politician in Congress, which is currently a person who remains in his or her post until they die, making them a consistent steady target for special interest groups and their lobbyists. Reasonably set term limits would allow these elected officials to be closer in touch with their electorate and with the reality of modern times.

We need to start seeing our politicians the same way they see us (their voters) - what can this person do for us and what should this person not do to us? What the American people can no longer afford to do is oppose a politician's entire agenda, because of certain items that we deem to be unconscionable or unethical. We have done that with George Bush Jr. and Barack Obama for the past sixteen years with the result being a Congress that can hardly get any legislation passed and a bitterly divided nation over a silly ideological boundary. Every politician has points that are good and others that are bad.

So speak to your regional Washington representative. Voice your opposition to the politician's terrible ideas, voice your support for the politician's good ideas, discuss the details of each - you may learn something. But don't sit out the next four years because you are unhappy with the result, do not oppose 100% of any political agenda and do not support 100% of any political agenda. In my experience, almost every politician is a mix of bad ideas and good ideas.

Remember, only a certain type deals in absolutes.

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