One thing that we can all agree upon is that our government needs fixing at all levels. It is clear to everybody that the need to drain the swamp has never been greater. OK, but what, exactly, needs to change?
There are four totally nonpartisan issues that we must insist that our representatives address if our governmental systems are to become functional: term limits, voter registration, gerrymandering and Citizens United. Politicians in both parties are equally guilty of abuses in these four areas, all in the name maintaining themselves in their elected position.
If a politician wants to make a lifetime career out of representing their constituents, that’s fine, but they should be required to skip a term after two terms. And no president of either party should be able to load up the Supreme Court for decades to come. Back in the day people only lived to 60, not 90. Our system must acknowledge this reality.
While there is virtually no hard evidence of voter fraud in America, it is totally reasonable for all voters to demand a voting system that insures that all votes cast are legitimate. Again, that’s fine, but any system that provides such insurance must also insure that all eligible voters have equal access to the system to the same degree that it excludes ineligible voters. Putting all our focus on the handful of ineligible voters while turning our backs on the millions of disenfranchised voters is unethical and immoral.
Gerrymandering directly violates the one-person, one-vote principle upon which our democracy is built. Computer programs exist today that have created totally unbiased voting districts reflecting actual resident locations, so there is simply no excuse for the abuses that both parties perpetrate in this area.
It is appalling that Americans have allowed the Citizens United ruling to stand. It may be that politics in the 21st century will continue to be driven by how much campaign money a candidate can amass, but to allow the majority of that money to come from a few individuals who have built their fortunes on the backs of middle- and lower-class workers is surely causing our founding leaders to spin in their graves. Abolition of a ruling aristocracy was what the American Revolution was all about!
If we really want to make America great again, then all voters must demand that their elected officials and candidates state exactly where they stand on these four issues, and then vote not according to party lines, but according to the principles upon which the greatness of our country depends. Presidents don’t make a country great, informed voters do.
Baileys Harbor, Wis.