Do you want me to solve the problem of our broken government — be it local, state, or federal?
“Hey Ken, YES! Tell us how we can fix it!”
Okay, here we go…
First, let me briefly explain the major “root” of our problem with government.
That is, the politician and their motivation.
Mrs.J and I were talking about this over coffee this morning after reading an article about some state governor exhibiting their “inner tyrant” (thus my inspiration for this post).
In this particular example (there are so many), the governor of Wisconsin is mandating all state employees must wear a mask during virtual meetings on their computer.
Most all of you are aware of countless additional examples across this nation of mayors and governors exposing their “inner tyrant” during this time of Covid. But it’s not just that. It’s everything (we just don’t always see it).
Let me explain further…
Motivation For Political Office
What is the MOTIVATION for a person to run for selectman, representative, or ANY political office?
It’s not the salary. The salaries are typically very low comparative to the work, headaches, and hours put in. So what’s the motivation? What kind of people are attracted to this?
The exception seems to be the person whom our founders intended. A representative of we the people – whose motivations are for the common good.
Perhaps that’s a person who has a particular strong enough desire to run and change something that in their view needs addressing (for the people being represented).
Or, maybe a person who wants to keep things as they are in their political AO while fending off an agenda towards undesirable change.
In my view, these types of people are more the exception than the “norm” when it comes to the majority of those in political office.
In my estimation, a more likely motivation for most in political office is their inner desire to control others. There ARE types of people who feed on this. Power. Control. Someone who understands the potential for making more money than their salary — due to having the power of office itself.
A “normal” working person will have little or no interest to run for office. The pay is not enticing (unless you “work” the system). The probable headaches exceeding the corresponding paycheck.
Additionally, a “normal” person with some semblance of morality (right vs wrong) will not fit well within the existing (mostly) corrupt political system(s). So, there’s really not much or any motivation for them.
However, what may be considered “headaches” and comparatively low pay for the normal person — would be considered opportunities for the power-hungry “closet tyrant” or crook. What tremendous opportunities to build a network of dependencies. A pyramid of power. There are personalities that salivate over this type of control.
I know I’m casting a big net here. However in my opinion the majority of “politicians”, regardless of their position or office, are in it for the position of power and authority — whereby it can be (and is) advantaged for gain.
Therefore their interest is primarily for themselves. Most of their attention and time is applied towards people and entities who may bolster their power, monies, and control. The average voter is only secondary to this (except during election season).
You see, it’s about their motivation in the first place. The present system breeds corruption.
So how do we fix it?
How To Fix Our Government
TERM LIMITS FOR EVERYONE
I believe one of the best ways to fix our government is to apply term limits for every political office.
During 1994 the Republican leadership brought to the floor of the House a constitutional amendment that would limit House members to six two-year terms and members of the Senate to two six-year terms. It is believed that this platform of the Republican Party’s “Contract with America” significantly contributed to the Republicans gaining control of the United States House of Representatives from the Democratic Party for the first time since the United States 1952 elections.
But it failed.
Think about it. Of all the members of the House and Senate, how many are going to vote themselves out of office? That’s right — pretty much none.
Some states have varying extents of term limits. I believe that’s only 15 states at the moment.
Most all local / municipal governments have no term limits that I’m aware of.
Pretty much only the president has term limits. At most, two 4-year terms.
So many politicians are in it for life. During this time they build HUGE bureaucracies of power, influence and control. Their interests are primarily for themselves. Their wealth. Status. Their dealings are with those with big money (before those with little money). In essence they represent big money. Not we the people.
Will we ever be able to get term limits for these people? No, I don’t think so. We had a shot back in 1994. But we’re not the same country any more.
If I could wave a magic wand, that’s what I would do (for starters) to fix our government. Limit the ability for these crooks to build their empires. We could all debate on the acceptable term lengths. But one of the glaring root problems are career lifetime politicians. It doesn’t take long, and most forget about we the people.