I have spent a thoughtful hour reading your on site book. I am not sure how I got there, but I am glad I did.
One of the things that bothers me about this election, and too many others in the recent past, is that no mater who wins about 50% of the population will be unhappy. Why do we always have to vote for the lesser of two evils. Why can it not be, in each persons opinion....the best of the best.
When a president takes office he must submit his selection of cabinet members to the Senate to be confirmed. And when he submits names for federal judges he must also submit his choices to the same body to be confirmed. This process can take weeks, months or even years in the cases of some judges. These appointees are being judged by men and women who themselves have never had to go through this process. And, I am sure that many of these men and women who are doing the judging would not be where they are today if they did.
I propose a new system where we would set up a non-partisan body, perhaps retired judges, that would confirm that each candidate for public office was sound of mind and body, and that there were no flaws in the man or woman's character that would prevent them doing a honorable job, and that all of their skeletons, hidden so well in the closet, were out for the world to see. Can you imagine what a pleasure it would be to be able to listen to both sides of their arguments as to who was best qualified to do the job without having to watch them drag each other through the mud and worse. All, we as voters would have to do was to determine, in our own hearts who we believed was the best of the two good men.
Today, in the age of technology we can search millions of archives and find out almost everything about a man in a few hours. There is no good reason why the voters are fed bits and pieces of a mans past, some important and most not, just weeks or months before an election. I say let it all hang out in the beginning...if a candidate has transcended his past and can live with it...just maybe the voters could live with it too. If they only knew the truth.
I would love to have your comments on this idea.
Thanks for your letter and kind comments.
I agree with you that it is distressing that we are usually faced with
voting for the lesser of two evils in elections and the campaigns are so
shallow and nasty. It seems almost impossible to devise a system which
avoids this considering the fact that these people make decisions involving
billions of dollars and special interests and greedy individuals will do
almost anything to influence how that power is used. They are not going to
sit back and play nice. There are probably many ways to improve the system
to reduce these abuses, but then we have trouble persuading the abusers to
change the system! As feeble as it may seem, the best thing I can think of
to improve the situation is to get the public to think more responsibly. If
the public recognized the political tricks and deceptions for what they
were, they would no longer work. Politicians could then best advance their
careers by working for the public interest instead of special interests and
telling people the truth instead of catering to fears and prejudices.
The idea you have for appointments seems like a good one. I worry about
whether groups can really be non-partisan although it seems to work in some
cases (I think the ethics committees and congressional budget office are
successfully non-partisan). The idea of retired judges is good - judges
seem less partisan than most others in government. The biggest problem
would be getting the politicians who profit by the present system to change
Thanks for the sincere reply to my letter. I would like to have permission to post your comments on my blog as a comment to the same question. The address is http://zutano.blogspot.com.
I currently live in Ecuador, in this small town that is almost like living in the past. The area is beautiful and it inspires thought about how civilization got so far from center.
I'd be happy to have you post my comments on your blog. I plan on posting this exchange in the "Responsible Thinking" mail section if that is OK with you.
I don't know if I'll ever get to Ecuador, but it sounds delightful.
Post away....I will stay in touch.