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Smacked to Activism

November 6, 2013

The sub-title of my much-neglected blog is, “I have some things to say before I die.” I seem to have found new inspiration to write from an unlikely source – the U.S. government. No, they are not paying me. I am not, after all, involved in defense products or eavesdropping. I am not related to any elected official as far as I know, and I bring no cash nor constituency to gain their interest. I have been inspired by the incredible devaluation of honesty, integrity, and common sense exhibited by our government, and by the U.S. Congress in particular.

Before I go much further, let me share my credentials. They are simple – until recently I didn’t give a damn about the Congress or government in general as long as they just deducted my taxes from each paycheck and left me alone. So I am the prototypical American voter, and I have decided to speak out for all of us.

This wasn’t always the case. In college in the late 60’s, I was involved in the anti-war movement, civil rights, and the rest of the turmoil of the times. But then I got a job and got married and had a son and embarked on a very good life that did not include protest. Until recently, I was content to continue that life, but several things have happened to push me over the tipping point. I’ll try to discuss those in detail in future posts, but for now it is sufficient to lump all the reasons under governmental irresponsibility. So, as I wrote to my Congressman in a recent e-mail, they have turned me into an activist when I was perfectly comfortable in apathy.

This is not going to be a political diatribe. I am policy-neutral. I don’t care if you are a Democrat or a Republican, a Libertarian or a Communist. I do not intend to take a stand on a single political issue. I only ask one thing, and if you can convince me of that I’ll vote for you no matter what your stand on abortion or Obamacare or the War on Terror is. I ask that you represent your constituents, the citizens and residents of this country, with honesty, integrity, knowledge, diligence, selflessness, and transparency. That should not be hard to do, but not one of you seems to be able to achieve it.

There are a lot of theories why this is so, and I am likely to spout a few myself before I’m done. But I’m less concerned with why we are where we are than I am about how to get to where we should be, must be, if we are going to continue to lead the world by our example. As I see it, there is only one reason for our situation, one problem for which I will propose two solutions and explain and defend them if anyone cares to read my opinion and respond.

The problem is, of course, money.

The solutions are, one –  a way to deprive any donor of political advantage for donating his or her money. And two, a simple way to hold those who sell the political advantage accountable.

On a recent Facebook post, I responded to a very valid statement my son made on the insanity of the government shutdown. In it, I reminded him of my solutions, rants he’s heard from a very young age. Here they are in brief, and I will expand on these in future posts.

None Of The Above.

Every ballot for an elected official, from the lowest local position to the President of the United States, shall have a selection labeled “None of the above” and the votes cast for that category will be counted and reported alongside the votes for each individual candidate.

The Campaign Finance Laundry.

Anybody, anywhere can donate as much money as they please to the candidate of their choice for any elected office. The check will be made out to the non-partisan, independent, Campaign Finance Council, earmarked for the specified candidate, added to the account of that candidate, and paid out without attribution to any specific donor along with all other donations so earmarked.

It’s all very simple. Make candidates accountable by some means other than withholding your vote, and take away the political rewards given to those who would buy influence rather than earn it.

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