What America Needs is A la Carte Democracy

What America Needs is A la Carte Democracy February 22, 2019

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.

I know that so many people feel compelled to vote based upon party affiliation. Many of them, often Christians, feel handcuffed by the perception that one party has their faith-based interest in mind because of a stance on one or two particular issues–such as abortion. An a la carte democratic election would free those people from their political party shackles and allow them to vote their conscious on each issue separately. Many Christians must hold their nose when they vote as it currently stands. I know many who vote for Republicans based almost solely on the abortion issue, when they might have strong feelings about issues such as health care, immigration, education, LGBTQ rights, gun control, just to name a few, that otherwise might align them more closely with a Democrat. Yet, that abortion issue trumps all else. Wouldn’t it be liberating if those Christians could vote a la carte on issues and find independent candidates that better matched their overall opinions and convictions?

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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