February 14, 2017
“Politicians are a lot like diapers. They should be changed frequently, and for the same reasons.”
So full of floating turds, someone needs to pull the flush handle
I think we can all agree that American politics – and politicians in general in this country – has become so corrupt as to be far more than an embarrassment, but actually an abomination. Our founding fathers put together a document (our Constitution) that was – and is – nothing short of genius. They did their very best to ensure our country would not be another England, where religion was mandated by the government. They wanted us to be free to practice (or not) any religion without government interference. In addition, they endeavored to construct a system wherein the citizens would be able to protect themselves from government corruption and tyranny.
This system worked pretty well for a very long time.
Many improvements were made to our country over the last 2+ centuries. Women won the right to vote, all colors and races have earned some semblance of equality (this last election cycle has proven we have a very long way to go on this score) and recently even LGBT rights have been established. These are all excellent examples of how our system should work.
The most recent (2016) election cycle should be a source of embarrassment to every adult in this country. The complete lack of civility and subsequent explosion of hate crimes is nothing short of an abomination. Fifty years of progress went down the tubes. The entire world watched as we matched the two least-likely candidates against each other – at our expense. Two candidates that were terrible choices. We were screwed. No matter who won, we lost. This was the best we could do? Seriously?
But back to my original topic…
Unfortunately, our elected officials have cleverly subverted the brilliant system put in place by our founding fathers to their own advantage.
- Numerous politicians have had their snouts in the public trough for over three decades (four in some cases).
- Lobbyists and special interest groups line the pockets of our representatives at ridiculous rates.
- Our representatives “retire” with anywhere between $41k and $74k per year for life even though they only actually “work” 133 days per year and spend a lot of that time raising reelection funds.
- (They spend 30 hours per week telephoning potential donors for campaign funds.)
- They are only in session around 133 days per year. You and I work around 240 days a year.
- The average pay per representative is $174k per year. More for party leaders.
- This averages out to $163 / hr, (most of which is spent trying to raise re-election funds.)
So what do we do about this?
According to Abraham Lincoln, this is supposed to be a country “of the people, by the people, for the people“. Currently is is more like “OF the wealthy, BUY the people, FOR the wealthy“. This needs to change. We are currently in a system where the wealthy are paying 15% of the people to control the other 84% (rough estimate but you get the point). The 15% who work in US government do the bidding of the top .1% whether they know it or not. “Follow the Money” will always get to the truth of any conundrum.
Did you know that in Iceland after a 2008 financial crash like ours, the citizens took to the streets en masse, demonstrating until the conservative Prime Minister and his entire party resigned? They jailed bankers and re-wrote their constitution to ensure this would never happen again. Haven’t heard about this? The mainstream media certainly never covered it, did they? Why do you think that is?
Again… What do we do? Several things.
- By a vote of No Confidence we recall every single elected representative.
- We try the lot for treason. A firing squad for those found guilty.
- We vote in an entirely new batch of people who swear to actually uphold the Constitution and represent us fairly.
- We eliminate the Federal Reserve which prints money faster than anyone can count it.
- We start jailing everyone responsible for the 2008 subprime lending debacle.
We put some Constitutional Amendments into place:
- Congress shall make no law which applies to citizens differently than Congress
- Repeal Citizens United
- No elected representative shall make more than 5% above the mean of their constituents as a result of their position
(sucks if you represent Appalachia – pretty good if Manhattan is your district)
- Abolish lobbyists
- Put a bounty on lobbyists
($10 an ear should be sufficient)
- Term Limits – the President remains unchanged. 6 years for everyone else.
- Establish a 3rd party. A 3 party system ensures no single party can lock up the entire process with a majority.
- Election campaigns will run exactly 6 weeks.
- No candidate pays for campaign ads.
- As a requirement for access to the public airwaves, all TV and radio stations must give a finite amount of time per week to local / national candidates for this time period. This gets a lot of the money out of the political process and levels the playing field.
- Zero tolerance for negative campaign ads. Anyone trying such tactics is disqualified.
- Replace “In God We Trust” with “E Pluribus Unum” as our national motto.
(back to the way it was prior to 1956 when religion was injected into politics)
- Remove the tax exemption for churches. These are legitimate businesses. They should pay tax on what they collect.
Separation of Church and State was something our founding fathers viewed as critical.
- Repeal outrageous tax breaks for the very wealthy that enable people like Donald Trump to pay ZERO taxes.
- Reconstruct our welfare system so those in need of help are fast-tracked out of the “system” and on to jobs that will support them and their families.
- Single payer health care should be a right, not a privilege in any developed country.
- Eliminate Common Core in public education. Start building a system that actually teaches children to learn as opposed to teaching children how to take tests.
- 2 year college degrees funded by the State.
This way we find out if someone is serious about higher education.
- 4 year plans available to those who apply themselves in a productive field.
(no free liberal arts degrees)
- College loans go back to zero interest as an incentive.
- All current college loan interest forgiven.
- Start an immediate draw-down of troops in any other country. We need to stop being at war. This is only beneficial to the military-industrial complex. President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against this in 1961. Our country benefits from war and conflict to an extent we should be ashamed of. Enough!
- Immigrants who truly want to assimilate should be welcomed. This characteristic is what made America great. Those who want to establish sub-cultures should be discouraged.
- Zero tolerance for bigotry and racism. Germany has done a pretty good job of this. We should follow their example. Hate speech should NOT be protected by the first amendment.
I could go on a lot more (and I might), but I think this is a pretty good start.
What do you think?