Last post we diagnosed the cause of this malaise in the American Spirit that has produced this most unpleasant election. Most would agree that this campaign has been a low point in modern political life. America is sick at heart and in spirit. Time to call the Doctor!
Working class America feels betrayed and left behind, that is clear. Whether their feelings are justified does not really matter. Feelings are feelings and must be addressed when those feelings are coming from 52% of the electorate.
Working class America is feeling like the “stepchild” of the body politic in America and they are very angry. They feel like attention has been paid to every constituency in America but them and they demand our attention. With the nomination of Donald Trump they got our attention in full measure.
With a better messenger, the message might have changed things for the better. Alas, Working Class anger brought us an angry, unfit demagogue and it has cost us dearly as a nation and a people
I am writing this post on November 7th. Tomorrow we will know if we have chosen the first woman President, complete with a semi-truck load of baggage, or a deeply flawed reality show star and minor celebrity who is reminiscent of the demagogues who took over many European nations in the 1920’s and 30’s.
What has brought us to this Hobson’s Choice and what can we do to ensure that it is never repeated?
How do we knit the nation back together after this most divisive election and create a climate where every one feels that their concerns are addressed and that they are heard? A few simple changes are needed. These changes won’t return a high paying union job for every “rust belt” worker who lost his job in the last 20 years. The one constant in the Universe is change. The world has changed, America has changed and too many working class Americans are still living in the past.
But the ideas I am proposing will make our government more responsive, stop the ridiculous “beauty contest” of the primaries, shorten a campaign season that never seems to end and once again provide candidates that we can be proud to support.
Presidential Primaries are a very bad way to choose the nominee from each party. In this Republican primary election, we had the specter of 16 candidates and ended up with a Republican nominee who had never been a Republican in his life, never held office, never served his country in any capacity, went bankrupt 6 times, has never divulged his tax returns and still is not a registered Republican. And that is just the tip of the Trump iceberg.
Today’s primary system is a you all come proposition where people with no qualifications or character can run for President and even become nominated. Would Franklin Roosevelt been nominated by primaries? Would Abe Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington or Teddy Roosevelt? Harry Truman? Dwight Eisenhower? Would John Kennedy? Ronald Reagan did make it through the primary system but that is the exception.
The solution? Go back to real party conventions that actually nominate the standard bearer of the Party. It is the job of the parties to pick their presidential candidates and the people then choose between the 2 chosen ones. It is not the people’s job to sift through 30 candidates that they know nothing about.
The Party knows who has worked hard for the Party, they know who worked their way up the ladder. They know his or her character and they know who has the depth to be a successful candidate. In other words, if you are nominated by either party you are a proven winner, have been thoroughly vetted and have “paid your dues” working for the party and for America
President is no job for an amateur!
The next fix is to introduce partially or wholly Federally funded Senate, House and Presidential campaigns. This takes the “big money” influence out of our electoral process. This would be the best money we could spend to save our democratic process. In my plan, the people could contribute tax deductible contributions to the Federal Campaign Fund to help keep the tax burden down.
A further requirement would be to tell the truth in all campaign advertisements and speeches. Ads would be independently fact checked before airing. Presently we are electing the most skillful liar, since so much of what we see and hear is is patently untrue. Our freedom and liberty are too vital to entrust America to a Liar-in-Chief.
I would limit Federal Election Campaigns to 20 Weeks (5 months) The campaigns would start 5 days after the end of the last Nominating Convention.
I would also abolish early voting. Voting is a sacred privilege and duty in a democracy and we should all go to the polls in person and participate in the most important ceremony of an American Citizen. This will also ensure that no tampering occurs with weeks of early ballots.
I would issue each U S citizen a Federal Voter photo ID Card which would also serve as a Social Security Card. All Americans would have a tamper proof Federal ID for use in voting, airport security, check cashing, etc.
These ideas would simplify elections, ensure that good candidates are produced for our selection and take the big money and fraud out of our election process.
We might even get candidates with honor and character instead of the “best of the worst” that we too often get in our Federal Elections today.
Just my thinking, but I believe it would work wonders with our electoral process.
In Love and Light,
Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, Florida