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2002: Moving Day
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2005: Grief Work
2006: The Rest of the Story
2007: Being Inadequate Again
2008: Do I have to Join the NRA?
2009: The Art (and Frustration) of the Interview!
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SOLVING THE COUNTRY'S PROBLEM
10 February 2010
We discuss a lot of things, from the sublime to the ridulous, at cousins day. We talk about personal problems, health, kids, pets, memories, relatives, etc. We don't often talk about current events because we don't all have the same opinion of things and there is enough other stuff to talk about.
However, we all agree on one thing: this country is broken. We also are in agreement that it's probably not going to be fixed in our lifetime.
This time we started talking about the California gubernatorial race and how Ebay's Meg Whitman is running on a platform of knowledge about running a corporation and how what California needs is someone who has business experience and who knows how to balance a budget and hire and fire people and make a company successful.
I was telling the group about a discussion I heard the other day about the problem with business people trying to run for public office (seems to me Schwarzenegger ran on a promise of an ability to be fiscally responsible too). The people in the discussion were talking about the problem with successful business people is that they don't know how to do all those things PLUS deal with politicians and lobbyists. It's great to say you know how to balance a budget, but if you can't get congress to pass your budget and if you can't stay in office without money from special interests, you can't accomplish anything.
Add to that a congress that is so divided that one side refuses to bend as much as an inch in the direction of the opposition. Right now it's the Republicans. Even bills that they either introduced or co-sponsored they have backed off of as soon as Obama agreed it was a good idea. They aren't going to give the President an inch.
But I don't say this is the fault of the Republicans. When Bush was in office, the Democrats did the same thing. The days of bipartesan give and take seem to have ended when the days of television advertising became the only way that a politican can get elected. Without billions of dollars to spend, a candidate doesn't have a prayer. Abraham Lincoln couldn't get elected today.
After I got home, the discussion continued when Phil stopped by to visit. I love my in-laws. I love that we have two daughters-in-law and a son-in-law that I like so much. I especially appreciate Phil because he will stop by for a visit when he's in town. He's been here a week and is flying back to Boston tomorrow night, so he stopped by for a visit. Phil's a great one to discuss politics with.
We talked about all the things I had discussed with the others at Cousins Day and we were saying that they should ban electronic compaigning. Candidates should be forced to make whistlestop trips across the country, give speeches on the platforms of trains and in public meeting places. They should kiss more babies and do it the old fashioned way and give the finger to lobbyists and special interests who seem to own our government these days. And we should make a law that campaigning could only last two months before an election. None of this two-year campaign again!
But then I got a great idea for how we could change the whole electoral process and make the voters actually enjoy it. Plus we'd get an even better idea of the real candidate behind the pretty face.
Let's have no more campaigning.
Let's take all the presidential candidates put them in an airplane and fly them to a deserted island, where they'll be met by Jeff Probst and start Survivor-DC.
They'll live on the island for (how many weeks is Survivor?), have to find their own food, build their own shelter, participate in challenges (which could be politically-oriented, if necessary. First team that convinces a member of the opposition to actually vote their way wins immunity!). We'd get to see how they create alliances, whom they stab in the back--and why. We'd see how they react under extreme stress.
The teams would be divided into Republicans and Democrats and no "advisors" would be allowed. Just the candidates themselves. At the end of the time, there would only be two candidates standing and the public, who has followed this for all the previous weeks would then cast their vote and the winner will be President.
Hey--it's gotta be better than what we've been going through
for so long and we, the viewing public, would even have fun while the campaigning
was going on.
If you want to see this full size, you can check it here.