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For decades we have been given this advice about our system for electing Presidents: “If it’s broken, don’t try to fix it.”
People get nervous about elections and major changes are automatically assumed to create new problems…and it’s true. Any change will create new issues; however, the question is whether or not the new issues are really significant, or whether they are just the Elmer’s in the room who try to find a problem even if it is absurd.
First, we have to accept that our current political system works for some people. People with money and power really, really like the current system because it is easy to manipulate. In addition, people who have more pull in the political system than they should have really, really like it because the current system gives a handful of Iowans and New Hampshirites much more of a punch to our political system than they should have under an all voices are equal” system.
But the United States of America is spiraling out of control because our system of electing our leaders has become a type of reality TV show where entertainment is rewarded and common sense is punished. So how do we fix it?
ONE: Corporations Are NOT People
It is hard to fathom how absurd the justification was for the Supreme Court to rule in favor of Citizens United. Free speech is our greatest foundation of democracy. Each person has a right to voice his or her opinion. What the Supreme Court did was to dilute our voice and say that not only do individuals have free speech rights, but some privileged individuals can amplify their voice to have a greater access to free speech than the common individual. It’s a perversion of the First Amendment and everyone knows it.
The ruling has to be reversed if our political system is to be restored.
TWO: Tax Big Donors
The mega-contributor to political campaigns is now the tail wagging the political dog. Our country’s dignity has been slowly eroded by the wholesale purchasing of politicians by wealthy individuals and organizations. Yes, that means unions and corporations.
Contributions that exceed $500 in a two-year period given directly or indirectly to a campaign or cause should be taxed at 100%. Give a million dollars to a campaign, pay an additional $999,500 to the government entity the candidate or cause will serve or impact.
THREE: Government Established Primaries
The idea that political parties can establish any method of choosing a candidate is ridiculous. It plays into the hands of the buffoon who suddenly decides that the method was unfair and then we are off to the courts. Every State should have a Primary, not a Caucus and it should be done under the same rules in every State.
FOUR: Fifty Primaries in Fifty Days
By lottery pull the names of each State. The first State pulled holds their primary on February 1st. The second State pulled has their primary on February 2nd, etc. Candidates can begin campaigning in a State three weeks before the primary for that State.
FIVE: Use both Internet and In-Person Voting
Voting is going to be done by the Internet. It’s coming. Why not start with the primaries? Keep the in-person option available, but allow people to vote on a secure website.
Each registered voter is given a unique code for each election. They register for the election website and set up a password. On the election date they sign in, enter their unique code, and vote.