Election Reform

I’m suddenly absolutely, completely burned out on politics. Just as we get close to the finish line I need a break! I have the awful feeling that I’m not the only person suffering from this, either. By the time we finally vote, who gives a damn?

Enough money’s being spent on this election to feed and house all the homeless in this country for life. Or to provide a free college education for every child. Or health care for everyone. This is no longer a Democratic process. Nobody who isn’t independently rich and/or backed by powerful interests can possibly run for a national office. This is now true even on a local level, at least in states like New York and New Jersey and cities like New York. People spending this kind of money expect it to be a good investment. There’s no better basis for corruption. Worse, no matter how much money is spent, the candidates for the party not in office are essentially invisible. Equal time on radio and TV for each party’s candidates used to be required by law. We’ve got to restore the fairness doctrine.

Because running for office is now so expensive, and because of the electoral college, only the “swing states” count. The rest of us are not exactly being told that our vote doesn’t count, but it couldn’t be more clear that we’re written off as unimportant, so why should we bother to vote? There’s got to be a better way to do this.

We could analyze how we got ourselves into this mess from now until doomsday. Gigantic plot or unexpected results of previous honest attempts at reform? Undoubtedly some of each, and so what? We have to deal with the mess we have now. Reform has to begin on the local level and especially the party level. Congress isn’t going to do anything that cuts its own throat.

Once the election is over, regardless, we’ve got to start thinking about reforming the process. What we’ve been doing is crazy! No campaign should go on this long, and the sad truth is that the next campaign starts the minute the last one ends. Which means that nobody is taking care of business and the country just drifts.