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What’s up with the Demolicans? Or the Repubocrats?

So I’ll admit that I was around to see Jimmy Carter beat Gerry Ford in the 1976 election.  I don’t remember any of the pertinant details of course, but I do remember the excitement and then the following term by what history proved to be a mediocre president.  Here we seem to have an impending election in which two candidates with equally ambiguous claims to the office seem to be hurtling headlong towards filling the void that will be left when the current administration vacates the premises (I hope that at least this first family will leave the silverware that needed replacing after the previous tenants skipped town for their new posh digs in New York).  Honestly I wish that in every election there would be on the ballot an option to vote for “none of the above,” so that we could force another election with more qualified candidates if we so choose.  At least that would send the message that says: “hey, we’re watching you guys, and we don’t like what we see, so you’d better tow the line, mister!”

As much as these two guys try to show that they are different, they seem so much alike in some ways and yet even in their differences they aren’t all that different.  I guess what I’m saying is that it would be nice to have term limits so that nobody could be a “career politician,” and so that even those who are really qualified would work hard to do what the electorate sent them to Washington to do, knowing that they would be tossed out soon enough anyway, never to run again for that office.  I mean, sure, a president should be someone who has had some years of experience in running an office of that scope, whether a governor or a senator (or even the occasional representative of distinction), but should someone serve 30 years on the hill before running?  No.  Should we have someone who has spent 3 years serving and done little more than vote, “present,” for most of the votes of import?  Again, no.  That’s one reason that I voted for our current president.  He served his state as governor, did a great job for two terms, and then moved on to something else.  All after being successful at running a business.  He has proven executive skills.  Of the two guys running this time around, I’d sooner vote for Mrs. McCain.  At least she knows how to run something.  These other two guys are consummate politicians.  And I’ve got only a little respect for that sort.

Let’s get someone to run who will make US policy to help the helpless when we can, provide for the underprivileged within reason, and reward the successful based on merit and nothing more.  We can have this as both domestic and foreign policies.  I’m not saying get everyone on the dole who doesn’t want to work, because I see that enough as a doctor.  I mean more to make sure that the hungry kids in this rich nation have food to eat so that they can go to school and pay attention to the teaching rather than empty bellies.  At the same time I think that we can distribute the burden of taxation more equally so that we can both maximize government revenue while minimizing individual obligations.  How in the world can we do that?  By taxing goods and services rather than income so that the more one spends, then more one is taxed rather than by income.  That rewards the worker who wants to provide for the future, which in turn stimulates the economy with increased investment, all the while giving the government what it needs to do its job, which should decrease over time anyway as society improves economically.

I’ve blathered on long enough.  Maybe another time I’ll solve the “health care crisis.”  Oh, but look out, “Global Warming.”  You’re next.


Comment from Moms
Time: 21 July, 2008, 4:21 am

Preach on son, some very good ideas.

Comment from Jason
Time: 21 July, 2008, 6:22 am

way too much truth in this. i also wish “none of the above” was an option. it is sad that our freedom to vote is often wasted on the perceived lesser of two evils.

Comment from The Doctor
Time: 21 July, 2008, 6:47 am

I have to admit that the “none of the above” idea was not my own. Kudos go to Michael Forth for sharing that one with me.

Comment from steven
Time: 22 July, 2008, 8:40 am

Nice ruminations. I would defend our system a bit only by pointing out that the two-party system protects us from the extremes of either, at least in theory. Hence, the current choices. (Ironically, Barry may be the most extreme politically of all who ran on the left, but that’s an aberration. McCain is the more typical sort of compromise candidate that the system tends to nominate.)

I’m as unhappy as you. Perplexed really. I expect McCain to move to the right and throw us a bone, but who can trust that? It would likely amount to a meaningless gesture. (Although if he selects Bobby Jindal as VP, there is real potential, provided things do not go well for …)

One more thing–some argue the media annointed these two candidates by their selective coverage. I haven’t studied the question, but it is certainly plausible. The power of broadcasting and the ubiquitous and visual nature of the medium are things our brilliant founders could never have imagined and made no provision for. Obama’s strength as an orator would never have gotten him far in a print-only election. But broadcasting is all about production values and casting a messianic spell on the crowd. Were we reduced to reading his speeches in the paper, I doubt they’d get very far.

Last, I have to dissent on the “none of the above” option. The chaos that would create (if elections could be regularly overturned, maybe several times in a row) would be a threat to our national security and morale. A better solution is to vote for protest candidates. Texas, for example, will go to McCain. But I may vote for someone else just to show my displeasure with the enemy of all proper border wisdom.


Comment from The Earthling
Time: 24 July, 2008, 7:30 am

I agree (as usual) with SW’s comments above.

The main reason I might vote for McCain is the likelihood that he would nominate textualist/originalist/strict constructionist jurists to the Supreme Court. Recent decisions of the Court show how important that would be. Whether or not those nominations stand or not is a different question; a Democratic Senate is likely to hold McCain’s feet to the fire just as hard as they have to GWB and it’s not clear to me that McCain wouldn’t capitulate on this issue. His bona fides on foreign policy are decent, and his military command experience indicates that he’s got at least some executive experience–more than a “community organizer” has.

I wouldn’t call GWB a successful business man, though serial failure is probably a better teacher than success. He did a better job in Austin than the current Governor Goodhair, though.

As for empty bellies and empty heads, and filling them both up, that’s not really the Fedral Gummit’s job in the first place. Those tasks can best be tackled by the state and local governments, to the extent that the State (in the general sense) can ever deal with them.

Any electoral contest between mortals will always be the lesser of two evils.

None-of-the-above credit should really go to Richard Pryor and the screenwriters that adapted Brewster’s Millions for the screen.

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