FINALLY, A REVOLUTIONARY
It has taken 70 years, but, I am finally a revolutionary.
Born in 1946 I was a prime demographic for rebellion in the turbulent 1960’s, but, I mostly sat it out. Oh, I observed and I pondered, but, did not take real action. I even became a reluctant soldier from 1968 to 1971. However, as a squad leader I did play Bob Dylan’s Masters of War to my troops so the seeds of discontent were there.
Then I came home and lived a life. Those who know me would probably say I am a mild mannered, middle of the road, let’s find a way kind of guy.
Now, as we enter 2017, I am ready for a revolution. Events of the past 16 years have had an accumulative affect and I have reached my tipping point.
Certainly losing a close relative, and his wife, in the horror of September 11, 2001 could be seen as the first crack in my comfortable acceptance of the world as it was. But, it is more than singular events, dispiriting elections or global problems which have made me a late life rebel. It is the realization that the United States of America’s system of government is broken. Broken in a non-partisan, they are all to blame, a pox on all their houses way.
We have had wars based on lies. We have had political parties publicly declare their primary goals were to undermine newly elected presidents, not to best serve the country. Senator Schumer just went lower case Senator McConnell in recent interviews. We have had a Congress with a pre-election favorability of just 19% have most members who were up for re-election voted back into the quagmire.
Because of both parties intransigencies we have the possibility of having a vacancy on the Supreme Court for almost 2 years. Compare this to the fact that in 1986, Antonin Scalia, a controversial selection, was unanimously confirmed for a seat on the Court.
All chances of compromises on issues for the greater good have been abandoned in the current vitriolic political atmosphere.
These are not minor details. These, along with numerous other examples, are clear signals that our system of governing is broken. Major overhauls are the only answers.
Bring on the revolution!
First, abolish political parties. I’ve waited a long time, so why not start with my most radical proposal? All candidates will be unaffiliated. Having a “D”, an “R”,or even an “I” next to a candidate’s name carries preconceived notions, built-in biases . I do not want me, or the populace, to make voting decisions based upon biases. If you want my vote tell me what you stand for, even better show me what you stand for by how you have conducted your life.
Second, term limits for all office holders. Winning candidates should make a sacrifice with their limited time in public service then return to the reality of being a private citizen. To the naysayers who will wail, “..but what if we have someone really good in office?”, I ask do you have such little faith in the ability of a nation of 320 million people to produce a stream of competent representation? The present system creates fiefdoms which beget corruption and stagnation.
Next, strict, reasonable limits on campaign spending based upon the positions being contested. This change would also include limiting contributions and reversing the dreadful Citizens United decision. Money has corrupted the system for decades.
Finally, fair and equitable voting districts in every state which reflects the actual population base not the horrid gerrymandering mess fostered by both parties.
Are these proposals a stretch? Of course but the need is now too great to settle for placating incremental steps or kick the can inaction. I personally will do all I can to begin the process of this political revolution.
Does a 70 year old, with a full head of hair, look foolish wearing a red bandana?
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