Mom and I were talking today (yes, by e-mail because both of us have been under the weather and don't want to trade medical symptoms) about politics.
I realized that if I were in charge of American politics, the rules would change. How? Well, common sense would be rewarded for starters. Then I would:
Check a candidate's resume. What? You and I have to present a resume to be hired, why shouldn't they? And yes, I'd check for plagiarism and actually phone a few of those references, plus the candidate's high school English and History teachers to see if they paid attention in class. Not so much interested in SAT scores as the one for I.Q..
No candidate would be allowed to to run for office more than 3 months prior to the actual election. Those caught attempting otherwise would be placed in striped suits, complete with ball and chain, and made to literally clean the roadsides of America. Length of sentence commensurate with how many attempts he/she made to campaign early.
Absolutely NO PAC money. Period. Candidates in need of money are free to open their own Lemonade stand or have their Mommy bake cookies for them to sell. And no, they could not sell the cookies for more than the Girl Scouts get for selling theirs.
Candidates would be limited to 5 "people". As in "have your people call my people." A candidate isn't a rapper or rock star, therefore he/she does not need a posse to keep the rest of us at arm's length. I'm not heartless though; each candidate should have a shoulder to lean on and/or cry on; whether that's their spouse, religious leader or best friend since 1st grade is up to the candidate.
NO t.v. ads. (Because I'm pretty sure most candidates are allergic to radio or perhaps too young to know it's for more than entertainment on the morning commute). For 3 months prior to an election, all qualified candidates (See Item 1) would be invited to address the American public on a monthly program which would be carried on all methods of media at the same day/time each month. And yes, it would be mandatory for the media to run it. This would aid in keeping the candidates from becoming confused due to the new regulations. Each candidate would then have 15 minutes to outline their plan to “save us”. At any point should a candidate feel the need to badmouth or sling mud, the floor beneath the podium would open and swallow them whole. The offender would then be placed in "Time Out" until the next monthly meeting with the Public Who Pays The President's Salary.
There would be no Question and Answer period until the third and final session. Each candidate would then be tasked with writing an essay on “How I Would Like To Serve The American Public.” It would then be graded by their most feared childhood English teacher. Public vote in November would serve as the candidate's final grade.
Voters would do homework. Why yes, I do mean it. You can't complain if you don't spend the time to understand what your favorite candidate stands for. I figure without all the extra people around throwing money and mud at candidates, what he/she believes would be easier to figure out.
Of course if I was really in charge, there would be no parties. More work “for the people” gets done when groups are non-partisan. Truly non-partisan. Not just saying they are for the nightly news sound bite.
I have some reading to do. Just as soon as I get the mud off the cover of my magazine article.