We humans adapt well.
When things no longer serve us, we make changes in order to survive and thrive.
During the 19th century, horses met our needs as the primary mode of personal transportation. Then the automobile was invented in the early 20th century, and it was clear that the horse had been forever replaced.
Fast-forward to the 1970s when a marvelous invention called the calculator hit the streets and the slide rule was gone for good. Heck, why would you not use the most effective and available tool to get a job done?
Finally, in the late 1900s, an ingenious device called the mobile phone was introduced and we all had to have one, eventually leading to the almost-extinction of the landline phone. Salespeople no longer need a roll of quarters and a drive-up pay phone to make an appointment to see customers.
The three previous offerings were the best we had and served us well for hundreds if not thousands of years (in the case of the horse). But with a new and better method of getting something done, we must adapt, or we won’t be able to compete or possibly even survive.
The same is true with our current method of government here in the United States, which is now the horse-and-buggy of our time. Simply stated, it can no longer serve us effectively and needs to be modified or replaced. It matters not if you are a Democrat or a Republican; most every elected official today votes with their party except for a few courageous souls like our late Senator John McCain. The status quo is unacceptable.
Here are two fundamental changes we need to make in order to change the status quo:
1. Single-Term Elections
Let’s start with single-term elections for our public officials. This one simple change could effectively take money out of politics and help make our elected officials more accountable and productive. Starting with a groundswell movement with local and national voting propositions that change our House and Senate candidates by allowing only one-term elections.
For example, a member of the United States Senate being elected to a six-year term gets things done mostly in years one through four and then spends the last two years working on a reelection campaign. With single-term elections, that would all change and we’d then get productivity during all six years of their term.
What seems to be holding our legislature back from changing important issues that are certainly reelection-related would also be gone and whoever contributed to get them into office would no longer be a pressure point for future money for their reelection campaign—because there wouldn’t be one. Thus, they could vote their conscience versus the party line.
To make it more acceptable for those investing in a career of public service, we could increase or even double the elected term, as the length of their service is not the problem—it’s the money trail from campaign donations.
2. Revise Lobbying Laws
Next, let’s make it a felony for former members of Congress to work as lobbyists and/or for companies such as defense contractors that have much to gain with a political affiliation.
This is the case in many European countries, so why are we different? It’s just common sense!
When combined, these two simple changes, which are long overdue, will bring us back into clear focus (something we’ve let slip by), and we’ll actually be able to get things done for America. It will finally then be possible for our legislature to focus on long-overdue issues such as immigration, healthcare, and gun control.
Can you imagine having a government that worked for its people once again?
Frankly, it’s a simple approach to a fix and something we’ve used for dozens of years when fighting crime—follow the money trail and you’ll fully understand where the real problem is.