In response to a Nat Parry blog on the Smirking Chimp, glynnkilara responded with this paragraph.
Never Ever Was a Democracy
Part of the problem is that we promote our country World-wide as the oldest Democracy and the truth is it has never been a democracy in any way shape or form. It’s been a Republican Plutocracy from day 1 1789. Before that it was a Confederacy of Independent States. The founders didn’t want a democracy in the worst way and a close look at who was allowed to vote in 1789 proves that. It took 250 yrs. to extend the franchise and hundreds of thousands of lives in a Civil War. Today, we still don’t have a democracy because of the way both Representative bodies are divvied up. Ever ask yourself why Rhode Island with less people then Newark, NJ has two Senators and NJ with 8 mil. people has two as well and Calif . with 45 mil. has two also? Then there’s the gerrymandered so called House of Reps. which basically allows the ruling party to set up voting districts that make it damn near impossible to ever get one party or the other out of office. It goes on and on how the rules are rigged against the average voter. Add to it the open sewer of corruption called Free speech and campaign contributions and you have a lock on power by the well heeled and their super people Corporations.
I wouldn’t change a word.
All signs point to a Clinton-Trump showdown for president of our democratic republic, despite the fact that they each have miserable “favorability” ratings. Some choice! Of course, as the lefty liberal that I am, I’ll be rooting for Hillary in this two-horse race. Oh, there will be candidates from other parties, e.g., the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, etc., but as usual they will have no impact on the actual election.
I don’t know what it will take to bring democracy to America–the political arena is so rigged by the democratic and republican parties. But here are a few ideas I think would help.
- Term Limits. Members of both houses are placed as heads of committees based strictly on time in office. This is nuts. Seniority should not be the main criterion for appointing leaders. Six years and out for both chambers.
- Limit Lobbying. Retiring members of Congress should not be allowed to go to work as a lobbyist. Ever. Let them go home, instead of feeding out of the trough that sits on the curb of K Street.
- Junk Gerrymandering. Outlaw this criminal activity that slices electoral districts up like jig-saw puzzle pieces.
- Eliminate PACs and Super Pacs. Get big money out of politics. Restrict donating to individual people–no bundling.
- Affirm that Corporations Are Not People. Forbid donations from non-human entities.
- Abolish Life-Time Pensions. Perks like pensions drive too many of our senators and representatives to pursue personal goals (reelection) than to do our work. Let their congressional pension be the equivalent of working at a law firm for six years at a fixed salary for all.
- Set Sensible Salaries. Set the salary of all congresspersons at five times the minimum wage. If the minimum wage were $15, the equation would be:
15 x 5 = $75 per hour
75 x 40 = $3000 per week
3000 x 52 = $156,000 per year
It’s a start.