Democracy carries a great deal of weight in our country. It is so important to us that we have gone to war to protect and defend our democracy. Not only have people given their lives over many decades to protect our democracy, but we also have sent young men and women to war in an attempt to protect other countries' democracies. Taking a giant step even further, we have sent young people to war in other countries in an attempt to spread democracy throughout the world.
The system that people have fought and died for is known as representative democracy. Citizens delegate authority to elected representatives and ask them to make decisions that are in the best interest of our country. If the elected officials don't do a good job with this assignment, periodic elections allow us to replace these people.
This system has operated in our country for more than 236 years. With a few adjustments to the details, the foundation has remained the same. We still elect presidents, senators, and delegates to the House of Representatives, and even fill local positions by the same election process. It has been a relatively successful process, and our country has thrived under the system that combines a representative democracy with capitalism.
However, both our political system and our economic system are in danger. For democracy and capitalism to survive, we must maintain an important ingredient in both. The political system and the economic system will deteriorate if they are not combined with honesty. We have reached a point in the evolution of these systems that rocks our country's foundation.
As years have passed, the economic side has turned down a frightening path. Our capitalistic system has lowered itself to accept, as standard practice, two dangerous mantras: "Profit at all costs," and "Let the buyer beware." Honesty has been pushed aside. We discovered how dangerous this mentality has become as we heard what safety standards were sidestepped on an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico in the name of profit. The mantras must be changed. We must replace "Profit at all costs" with "Honorable and honest profits." "Let the buyer beware" must be replaced with "Let the seller be honest."
The quest for the dollar at all costs in our economic world is dangerous enough, but the dollar link to our political system has monumental catastrophe written all over it. Greed combined with ridiculous amounts of money spent on political campaigns has opened the door wide to the purchase of politicians. It is not a new game, but the prizes have grown bigger, and more people seem to want to play. Undisclosed donations allow those with the dollars the opportunity to buy elections. Politicians have become perpetual campaigners. It has been said that they spend so much time thinking about the next election that they have forgotten about the next generation. It is no longer about doing the job. It has become about keeping the job.
As a piece of the solution, I am asking all voters to fight for term limits for our politicians. They will fight it, because they are currently on a gravy train. The reality is we can no longer afford to fund their gravy train. Many candidates have run for election with a term limit promise as a part of their platform. Once elected, they seem to become quiet about it. I am also asking that campaign contributions be fully disclosed once again. If an organization wants to run a political ad in an attempt to influence an election or a vote on an issue, its entire donor list should become public record.
These actions might take a while to become law, so in the mean time, I propose a temporary and relatively inexpensive solution. All politicians will be issued jumpsuits on the day they are elected. A patch will be sewn on the suit for every sponsor the politician has, just like the NASCAR drivers. These patches may often help us understand why politicians have voted a certain way. The politicians will be required to wear the jumpsuit at every public appearance. I am sorry for this inconvenience, but if America is for sale, I want to know who is buying.
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