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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Re-Thinking Our Country

What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance (Thomas Jefferson)

He surely was thinking of the OWS movement, a resistance to the present cozy alliance between politicians and bankers.

Considering all the problems that are presently affecting the United States, why don't we ask a group of the greatest thinkers to re-think America; they would be chosen among philosophers, scientists, writers, historians, poets, comedians, teachers, and a few farmers, engineers, military guys, and ordinary people such as common sense imbued senior citizens. The membership would have only one condition: no politician, present, past, or future.

Colbert For President?
The idea came from an unexpected source: the candidacy of Stephen Colbert, the well-known entertainer who launched an exploratory committee toward the presidency. Why a comedian, some people would ask? Well, why not? One cannot have "experience" as a president, one must learn on the job, which is why Obama will be a much better Commander-in-Chief the second term if reelected.  A professional politician like Romney or Gingrich brings a lot of "baggage" to the task. They have extended their tentacles over Washington for the last 20 years at least. They have "obligations" or IOU's all over the place, which they would "repay" if elected. A brand new civilian would have no such load on his/her shoulders and could thus concentrate on governing rather than finding positions in the government for his cronies.

No Elections?

The "thinking" group mentioned in the first paragraph would be charged with re-inventing the United States, and that would include a new way to s'elect (sic) a president, if they judged that our present republican system is adequate for our needs as a super power. Maybe a king would be better (just kidding); but a Parliament might work better than our present Congress. Just look at the British Parliament in action to see the Prime Minister being grilled mercilessly. I would love to see our president respond for his actions and decisions the same way. Perhaps the "elite" group could be trusted with picking a new president from among the most successful businessmen, or academics, such as a Nobel prize winner. We could even do away with elections altogether!! Oh Democracy, how much wrong has been committed in thy name!

Nefarious Polls

Meanwhile, is there any way we can have political campaigns without polls? No, of course not. There is too much money at stake; but the trouble with polls is that they have become extremely accurate; what's the point of voting if the results are already known? Who is to say that voters are not influenced by the polls in such a way that they finally pick the candidate ahead in the preferences? If true, it negates the very foundations of a democracy, just as super PAC's are destroying the fairness of elections. Just pour enough money into a candidate and even the most incompetent politician can be elected. Furthermore, with today's instantaneous communications through smart phones, the first voters are able to tell the later voters and the media whom they selected. The whole system is flawed and the "super group" should find a new way to restore our democratic ways.

I don't believe for a moment that my idea will bear fruit; political and financial interests are so entrenched in the present system that nothing of importance will be changed, nothing that could give us back a real democracy. The same people who must be eliminated are the ones who have the power to do it. No respectable (if not respected) Congressman (woman) will vote for self-immolation. It would take a popular tsunami to realize that dream, much more than the Occupy Wall Street movement.


Marcia C said...

Jacques I am in total agreement with this line:

"They have extended their tentacles over Washington for the last 20 years at least. They have "obligations" or IOU's all over the place, which they would "repay" if elected. "

And that my friend is the problem in a nutshell; it is also what makes cynics out us. One ceases to believe politicians have our best interests at heart.

I support our president and am all for re-electing him; let him get the job done and stop blocking every idea he prosposes. If congress members were to be honest, they'll admit they have spent the last three years doing nothing but blocking initiatives that negatively affect their pockets not ours.

All about repaying those IOUs.

Jacques Sprenger said...

Marcia, thank you for your insightful comment; yes, it is difficult to ignore the shenanigans going on in Washington. Humans are fallible, of course, but the problem is with the system, not the individuals