A Modest Proposal for Overhauling Our Corrupted Political System
We would like to stress that the following proposal could never work in real life. It’s an impossible fantasy that could never work in real life. Never. Like Medicare-for-All.
Since ridding our thoroughly corrupted political system of money appears to be an idea slightly more ludicrous than reducing our war-making budget, we’ve been forced to think creatively (for once in our life). Maybe it’s too much THC, or maybe we suffer from an over-active imagination, but somehow we think this actually could work — even though we understand it’s all a silly pipe-dream.
The idea: Scrap the electoral college. Scrap elections. Go random.
Works like this: To prevent the rich from buying their way (or their smiling servants’) into office, we replace voting with a random draw, like a lottery. To prevent the unfit — the habitual liars, the misogynists, the racists — from seizing power, anyone whose ticket is picked must undergo a rigorous Character Examination before taking up their public duties. This CarEx is conducted by a large, heterogeneous group known as The Council.
The Council’s main questions: Did you serve in the military? Are your taxes paid in full? Are you free from scandal and crime?
Many folks, of course, will not pass this stage of the process.Those that do further guarantee their absence of corruption by holding their personal property in an escrow account during office; upon completion of public duties, they return home — unless they’ve taken bribes or “gifts.” In that case, they forfeit their house.
Every month, those who have been chosen for supreme positions — such as the President — must obtain a vote of confidence from Congress, the members of which are also chosen by lots.
At the end of every lawmaker’s and administrator’s term, all her official acts, email accounts and documents are reviewed by a Transparency Board, which reports to The Council. Severe penalties shall be given for serious misconduct, including imprisonment and the dreaded domicile forfeiture.
Those who last a year in office may graduate to The Council. And every citizen, from the dishwasher to the hedge-fund manager, may expect to serve the republic at least one year of his life.
Preposterous? Fatuous? Probably. Such a system could never work. This is the United States of America, circa 2019 A.D, after all, not democratic Greece, circa 487 B. C.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?