This is my fantasy: For 24 hours, I’ve been given supreme power to make any change to the American political machine that I want. I submit to you that my plan would liberate us from this confounded divided cesspool in which we are hopelessly mired.
Here is what I would do.
Step 1: Outlaw Political Parties
Poof! They are gone, never to return.
Step 2: Eliminate the Electoral College
Poof! It’s gone–good riddance.
Step 3: Create a New System by Which Political Candidates Register to Run for Office.
All that is required is that a candidate, completely independent and free from any party’s platform (remember, they don’t exist), fill out an issue-by-issue questionnaire about where they stand and how they would act upon each. These answers would be compiled and stored in the electoral database. This system would be very similar to a computer dating service.
Step 4: Create an A la Carte Democracy Election Process
Instead of going in, like most people do, and pulling a lever to vote a straight ticket, people would answer questions about what they want done, issue-by-issue. There wouldn’t even be names to vote for, let alone parties. In this manner, a voter’s answers to these questions would be matched to the candidate who responded to those questions in a manner most like them.
It’s as simple as that. No money would need to be spent to campaign, nobody would be beholden to any shady, behind-the-scenes powers that be, nobody would need to be in bed with special interests or corporations. It would be totally based on issues.
So many Americans identify as moderates or centrists, not because they don’t hold strong opinions, but because they do have strong opinions, some of which might be conservative and some that might be liberal. Election time is particularly stressful for these folks. They are guaranteed to have to vote for someone with whom they totally disagree on something major. An a la carte democratic election process would be just the ticket for them.
Yes, this is the stuff of fantasy, but oh how I would love to be granted this power.
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