So I’m often asked by the voices in my head to try and come up with a solution for the world’s ailments. I tell those voices that this is not my job and that I’m hardly cut out to be giving advice for such things, but I’ll be damned if they just keep buttering me up till I come back to the internet to make a silly fool of myself. It is time for a chat, I’ve got a smoothie in my belly, an hour of relative cognitive potency, and a funded webpage.
Sounds like the perfect storm to me.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the worst thing in politics is elections, I’ve bolded that so that it can be easily taken out of context. I actually mean re-elections, but people like bold insanity. Basically voting is a wonderful thing, electing people is a wonderful thing, and politics itself can be delightfully efficient if people truly want it to be. But elections themselves are destroying the system. So let me explain in short order why elections are destroying America [a hyperbolic statement I’ve always wanted to use].
Over the last two to three decades the nation at a state level has been getting modified quite deeply. That modification is known as gerrymandering, the process of redistricting a state so that you get more votes and power ‘for your team’ out of the same population. This is actually a negative thing for both the party it is being used against and the party that is doing it! That is important, most people think that gerrymandering only hurts the opponents but it actually hurts everyone. As you redistrict more and more you begin to shift everything to polar points, when districts become strongly “left” or “right” you are left with extremes that require elected officials to make a choice. That choice is to either do what they believe in and lose the next election, or to do what the districts demand and remain elected.
What you are left with is fifty states that are run by hyperbole and a US population that is largely not hyperbolic. When people wonder why their votes don’t seem to “change anything” the answer is two fold, the first fold of this magnificent flower of sadness is gerrymandering.
The second fold is elections, our officials are in office for too short of a time. Two years for congressional members is absolutely insane, the second these people are elected they basically need to start their re-election campaign. Because of gerrymandering this means pandering to the absolute extremes, effectively 3 decades of politicians have absolutely ruined any chance for unity among Americans. Have you been curious how a small group of highly vocal fundamentalists could hold the Republican party by the scrotum, Gerrymandering. They redistricted over and over so that these conventionally Republican voting Americans would be more powerful during elections.
Unfortunately they didn’t take into account giving a loaded weapon to crazy people. Once you find yourself defending rape, its over.
Gary Johnson, the poster child for hopeful “smart people”, has said himself that he didn’t do everything he wanted to do in his first term because he knew he’d not stay elected. So he waited till his second and final term to be more adventurous, to do what he feels is right.
This is the crux of the issue, when you leave politicians in a constant struggle to appease states that have been redistricted to be either red and blue instead of a nice purple, you are left with politics utterly crippled.
So what do I propose? It’s a two fold process, the first is designing a redistricting system that randomly redistricts regions. Perhaps try and design it so that it randomly collects an even amount of population for each region, as long as the system is not guided by people in any way and updates every few years to stop any kind of abuse. It will take a while to fix 30 years of legal corruption, but you need to have strictly random redistricting (this is presuming that we must have districts).
Secondly I suggest getting rid of re-elections, congressmen and presidents both only have a single term of 6 years. You are elected and you serve your term for 6 years and then you are done. This completely gets rid of people like Mitch McConnell, it completely gets rid of fear of losing your job, and it leaves people the freedom to not do what they feel is right for re-election, but what they truly feel is right, period.
Nearly every President in History has been fairly light on their first term and then utterly gung-ho in their second. The exceptions that I can think of are Presidents who lead during times of war, or in the case of Bush are hit by an attack on US soil, had this not happened he would have done little if anything in his first term. Iraq would not have happened till his second term, certainly, and I doubt Afghanistan would have ever happened at all.
6 Year Terms + No Re-Elections.
Slap these two bad boys in and I think you’ll have a much more positive political sphere. Districts will not be extreme by design (only by chance) and you’ll find that politicians and any parties that may exist will have an easier time acting like normal human beings.
Most Americans are moderates, we need to design the system to support moderate thinking persons. Reasonable, rational, and fair.
The moment a person looks at politics as something you can win, as opposed to a means to better the world, they are no longer qualified for politics. We should change the system so that these people have less, or no, power.