Friday, January 31, 2014

No more elections, only a 'jury duty' style of government can save the U.S.

A simple solution to ending partisan gridlock and stopping a power-hungry executive branch

Posted by Chris Haire on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 10:56 AM

click to enlarge Nothing to see here, Lindsey - WHITE HOUSE PHOTO
  • White House Photo
  • Nothing to see here, Lindsey

These are dark days, my fellow Americans. We've got unprecedented partisan gridlock in Congress, a true hall of horrors where nothing ever gets done that will help our great nation get out of its present malaise. The Republicants hate the Hemocrats, the Hemocrats hate the Republicants, and the Tea Pasties hate anyone who sucks from the federal teat, and that goes double — nay, triple — for themselves. At heart, they're just cutters crying out for help on the taxpayer dime. But we've been bleeding for way too long.

Even worse, the office of the president is in an imperial harms race with all the other world leaders, each one desperately trying to out despotize the other. Laws are created by presidential fiat and Fiats remain really fucking shitty cars. There are few rules that the POTUS is unwilling to break to advance his agenda, which seems to change on a seasonal basis. Right now, for instance, income equality is the new black, although immigration reform, the closure of Guantanamo Bay, and scoring a pair of tickets to the next Grammy's Jay Z-Beyonce bedroom pay-per-view appear to be making a comeback.

I don't know about you, but this isn't acceptable. In fact, it's high time to fix our government. And if you know me, you know I'm a problem solver. Drinks, dogs, junkies — I fix them all. So believe you me, I'm the man to bring the United States of America back from the brink.

Unfortunately, the American people are going to have to make sacrifices. But in the end, we'll have a more efficient, more effective, and more empathetic federal government, one that looks out for our best interests and not the interests of the unholy triumvirate of special interest groups, Big Business, and those fundraising fluffers we call career politicians.

So what's my plan you ask? Well, it's simple, it's easy, it returns power to the power, but it doesn't look a damn thing like our current representative democracy. Truth be told, it looks a lot like jury duty. My plan is this:

One, we stop holding elections right now. And that goes for both Congress and the White House. If anything is certain about our government, it's that we absolutely suck at picking elected officials. In fact, we suck so bad that the only people who run for office are people who know that we are simply unable to pick the most rational and responsible candidate. For whatever reason, we only elect narcissists and charlatans, rubes and rabble-ralphers.

Two, each month we will select 535 Americans seemingly at random to serve in Congress. Each one will be notified when their term starts, but they won't be told when that term will end — and it will all be done on short notice. There will be no paid leave from work, and only a pittance of a government stipend. And throughout their entire term, they will be sequestered in a hotel without TV, radio, newspapers, or the internet. They will seemingly be cut off from all society. Yes, vacations will be canceled, doctors appointments will be missed, and dance recitals will be videoed for future viewing, but it's all for the better. 

By filling Congress with people who do not want to be there, we will be creating a Congress whose members simply want to get in and get out. Our elected officials will no longer have to solicit funds for votes. They will no longer have to make empty promises to gullible supporters. They will no longer feel the need to vote as their fickle constituents demand. They will finally be free to vote according to their own beliefs. And what could be more representative than that?

But what about the president you ask? Well, that's even easier: the Lottery.

Across the country Americans will be encouraged to buy a presidential lottery ticket — men, women, millennials ... it doesn't matter as long as they buy that ticket. And if they win, they not only win a fat stack of dead presidents, they get to be president. But — and here's the catch — they can't get any of their money until their term is over, and the length of their term is decided by Powerball. So it could be anywhere from 1 month to 35 months. 

But what's the incentive for the lottery winner to do a good job if they're getting paid anyway? Well, there isn't any. The presidency will largely be a ceremonial position. The only thing that the president will actually be required to do is shake hands and take photos in the Oval Office. It could be with foreign dignitaries, the members of the Hanahan 4-H club, or the cocaine cabana boy for the cast of Southern Charm. It just doesn't matter. Everything that needs to be done will be handled by Congress, and they'll do whatever it takes to make the time go by faster. That means, work, work, work. 

Now, I know that even though this plan is simple and straightforward, there will be plenty of people out there who will oppose it. But these people are not looking out for us. They are looking out for themselves. They are the supporters of the status quo. They are the beneficiaries of a corrupt and cowardly system that only rewards the sycophantic and the slimy. As wise as our forefathers were, they didn't know that universal suffrage would only led to universal suffering. 

I don't know about you, but it's time for that suffering to end. Please join with me and encourage Congress to save our great nation, by enacting this plan. Thank you.

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