Here we are in October and less than 30 days from the 2010 midterm elections. Two years ago, I thought it would never get here, and now I'm all a-twitter nervously awaiting the results of what I would classify as probably the most exciting election in my lifetime. I know many will say, "How can that be?" What about 1960, with Kennedy versus Nixon, or 1980, with Reagan against Carter, or even the 2000 Bush/Gore battle. Those were undoubtedly interesting races, but this midterm election, in my opinion, has "real change" written all over it. No matter where your political allegiances reside, I believe you'll have to admit these are certainly interesting times in the political arena.
We have public confidence in our elected officials at an all-time low, irrespective of party affiliation. Why is that? Could it be the subprime mortgage debacle orchestrated by the government's desires for everyone to have a home with no strings attached (like making a mortgage payment!)? Or could it be the enactment of a national health-care program that the majority of Americans didn't like or want, or was it possibly the massive stimulus packages with limited effect that increased our national deficit to unbelievable and unsustainable levels? Or to frustrate you a bit more, consider some other issues such as illegal immigration, unemployment and ridiculous taxes. Any guess if the politicians will even address any of these "hot potato" issues much rather than pass legislation the majority of Americans want? Unlikely, and I believe the simple fact is our politicians simply do not care what their constituents think.
At about this point, you're probably saying to yourself, "I know all that, but what's the solution?" Well, I didn't bring you all the way down this path just to see if I could get you as depressed as the mainstream media. No, alas, there are solutions, and in my pea brain, they seem to involve a bit of common sense.
First, we round up all the politicians in the same room and … Good thought, but that won't work. I propose a more radical plan and perhaps more humane.
During this midterm election and the next thee elections, we should re-elect no one. As Albert Einstein observed: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insanity. Existing politicians have had enough time to get it right.
Elect only candidates who will support a two-term limit. I believe this will have a positive effect on policing or controlling issues being determined by politics, instead of sound reason.
Politicians proven to have committed a wrongdoing or for being "just plain stupid" (including games with interns or weekends in South America with a mistress) are not permitted to complete their term and cannot be re-elected.
Eliminate the "special" health-care plans, lifetime pensions and other exclusive benefits politicians have voted for themselves. They must live under the same conditions as their constituents.
Politicians, including the president, must operate on a restricted travel and entertainment budget. If I don't get to spend an intimate evening with Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett or The Foo Fighters, they shouldn't either. News reports say the White House spent an estimated $10 million for entertainment functions in 2009, at the height of the recession. That's a cool $2 million more than I spent last year on entertainment.
To be elected, every candidate must have had to work for a living, paid taxes and eaten bologna sandwiches for a minimum of 10 years.
Politicians should take no pay just for the privilege of representing us in the greatest country in the world.
I know many people, not just political hacks and scholars, might be able to shoot holes in my plan. But you know what …. I don't care because I'm happy in my own little fantasy world, and my dog loves me.