The midterm election cycle of 2010 has distinguished itself with a theme of anti-incumbency. I get it. Traditional candidates are failing us, so why not turn to nonconventional ones? If we’re going to do it, however, let’s do it right. Not all nonconventional candidates were created equal. There are those transcendent nonconventional candidates like Barack Obama, who in the midst of rancorous party bickering can remain clear-headed and above the fray. There are also the prerational nonconventional candidates, who are just a more insane and ignorant version of what we already have. They’re the ones who know the solutions to our problems even before they investigate the facts. I would opt with the former choice, but America seems to be going the other way on this one.
I hear so many criticize President Obama for not fixing the economy . . . as if McCain and Palin would have brought unemployment below 5%. We did seem to avoid that imminent second Great Depression, at least if you believe the majority of economists on economic matters. If you don’t believe economists on the economy, who do you believe anyway? I already know the answer to this. It’s the voices on TV, which are clearly never ever wrong. The problems in Washington are complicated and multi-faceted. If we want effective solutions, our only chance will by electing pragmatic, intelligent people.
The Tea Party claims to have the answers though, and we’re supposed to follow them because they’re angry. Listen, anybody can be angry. Five-year-olds get angry all the time. It’s much more important to be angry for the right reasons. So go ahead and believe that Tea Party candidates who say that socialism and health care reform have driven our nation’s truck into the ditch. Or, get angry at something that’s really worth being angry at.
So what should we be angry at? How about the fact that our government continues to run with incredible and obvious conflicts of interest? It’s been doing it for a really long time. Our legislature is no different from (and probably worse than) the financial sector, which was also essentially allowed to regulate itself. There’s nobody watching the watchmen, and as it stands, our ambitious representatives and important elections remain exposed to powerful corporate and special interests. Just because something is Constitutional does not make it OK. That’s a cop-out if I ever heard one. We simply can’t trust most of our elected leaders until such embedded conflicts of interest are addressed.
Second, we have to stop partisan-clumping in Washington. I don’t understand why we divide the houses of Congress down partisan lines by having majority and minority leaders. It is a bad idea. Let’s instead have one leader in the House and one in the Senate and leave it at that. Members would retain more of their independence, and as a result we could avoid much of the needless congestion that comes with block voting. Second, we’d have a great chance of getting moderate leaders each time because the leader would likely need support from both Democrats and Republicans to win. This maneuver underhandedly increases the chances things would get done. Remove congestion, increase the power of the moderates, and watch out.
These are two easily grasped ideas that we should be getting angry at. Now go forward and spread the rage!