need to be able to elect representatives with intelligence, insight and foresight commensurate with
the job of governing the greatest country on Earth.

That ain't happening.

Instead, our electoral system has been commandeered by 2 major political parties whose main concern is to oppose
each other. The direct result is that we are usually presented with candidates who have average or lower
intelligence, only borrowed insight and zero foresight. The chief requirements seem to be appearance and the ability
to talk to crowds. Add a little charisma and Hey! This guy could be President!

Worse, doing the work of governing the nation has become secondary to serving the party. It's like trying to run a
company when all your employees are members of warring rival street gangs!

The Republican party in particular has been in non-stop campaign mode since at least the mid 90's and doing
nothing but since Obama got elected. An honest motto for them would be 'we are not Americans, we are Republicans.'

They have shamelessly used their dedicated propaganda 'news' outlets, voter suppression, gerrymandering and every
trick they can think of to gain control.

Their work has paid off.

In spite of their presidential primaries being embarrassing clown shows, they won majority in the house and senate
in 2012 and now have put the clowniest of clowns in the White House.

It would be great if we could ban political parties. Many of the founding fathers, including George Washington, saw
the danger to democracy they pose. Unfortunately, judging by their existence in all democratic countries, it seems
they are an unavoidable side effect of the democratic principle combined with human nature.

I will continue to think about it, but probably the best that can be done is to limit their influence in elections
and compel office holders to do their jobs while on the clock.

Job # 1 - UNRIG THE ELECTIoN

Scrap the electoral college

Our most important vote, who will be The President, is a Rube Goldbergian atrocity which serves only to reduce our
control to virtually zero. Whatever reasons the founding fathers had for creating it rather than a simple majority
vote, it does not work for us. They goofed up. Their lojik was bad. It has been a clear failure from the true
start (the end of Washington's administration), but instead of scrapping it, they rejiggered it in 1803 only to fix
some lojistical problems. Apparently they did not have the foresight to see how the system could fail to
select the best candidate even when the voters did. And, even if they did foresee this and other potential
problems, their appetite for political power outweighed their ideals of democracy. The promise of a weapon that
can 'save the day' for their party's candidate blinds politicians to the fact that the opposing party can also use it.

A lesson to be learned from the Bush Jr. years is that the risk and cost of having an incompetent President
is too great. Although it's not entirely certain that he wouldn't have run his campaign differently and still
won, given a different voting system, he did in fact lose the popular vote to Al Gore, a far more qualified
candidate. Suppose we had President Gore instead and skipped the foolish financial deregulation policies and
the trillion plus dollars wasted attacking Iraq! Where would we be now? Where would YOU be?
Where would the world be?!

Now with Trump's victory due to 80,000 votes being counted by the system as more than 2,900,000, we have
undeniable proof that Alexander Hamilton's worry that somebody with no qualifications, but with a "talent for
low intrigue and the little arts of popularity" is actually aided by the electoral college system he created
rather than obstructed by it.

End Gerrymandering

Politicians being able to pick their voters is about as raw a deal as I can think of. This is how power gets
entrenched beyond the ability of voters to dislodge it, effectively nullifying the very concept of democracy.

The solution is to expand the role of the Federal Election Commission to drawing the district maps.

Federal election management

Taking the management of Federal elections out of the hands of often partisan states would put an end to all the
voter suppression activities currently making a mockery of American democracy.

Equal Time Law

Estimates put the value of Trump's media coverage at over 6 billion dollars! As outrageous as that sounds, it is
actually much higher if you are trying to compare it to the amounts his opponents spent in the primary and
general elections.

While Hillary Clinton and her supporters may have spent up to 2 billion in advertizing, the TV and radio time they
bought was commercials - the most despised and ignored of all output spewing from our TVs and radios. In
sharp contrast, Trump's airtime was IN the shows! The news, political programs, opinion programs, sitcoms,
entertainment news shows and general talk/interview/comedy shows were yammering about Trump literally 24/7/365.
This not only buried all other candidates combined in plain minutes of airtime, but each minute of his time was
like gold compared to scrap steel for them.

The Federal Communications Commission used to enforce the Fairness Doctrine - a law requiring politics and
controversial issue broadcasts to be presented in a fair and balanced manner. In 1985 it was quietly deleted by
- guess who - Ronald Reagan and the Republican legislators. It's no coincidence that this marked the
beginning of the dominance of right wing AM radio talk shows, and eventually the rise of Fox Cable News.

The law obviously needs to be reinstated.

I propose that the Federal Election Commission should be expanded to cover the entirety of the electoral system
instead of just campaign finance. The current arrangement would be a blot on The Nation if there wasn't so much
other shabbiness for it to blend in with.

horizontl line

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