To The Daily Sun,
In 2016 America, we are witnessing an upheaval in our political systems, both Democrat and Republican, the likes of which we have not seen in many decades, if ever. Both parties are seeing populist movements that are shaking up their respective establishments to their core, especially the Republican Party. Neither party establishment has adequately served nor represented "we the people" and we will not take it anymore.
Federal elected officials and their political parties have been too preoccupied serving their true masters, the large-money donors and special interests. The American people have tolerated this for decades, but no more. They see their lives, their liberties, and the pursuit of their dreams become irrelevant to politicians, their parties and the ever-expanding and intrusive federal bureaucracy. Politicians make all sorts of promises before elections but then are unable or unwilling to keep them for one reason or another.
However, they do not have a problem keeping promises to the big-money donors. Before you know it, it is time to run for re-election, collect large-donor monies, and the cycle continues while they receive wages that are substantially higher than the average American income and collect benefits and retirement packages that are almost criminal.
Additionally, they have no problem voting in pay increases for themselves, whenever. In what parallel universe can employees increase their own wages, whenever? Our nation is truly on a fast suicide track into the abyss unless we implement some drastic but very basic measures. I believe, there are two essential measures that must be taken, using the amendment process, in order to reverse the downward spiral.
Americans need to resurrect the term-limit debate. All federal elected officials need to have the constraints that term limits would impose. Such constraints are not only necessary for our nation's highest federal elected official — the president — but for all politicians. Justifications for such constraints can be similar to those made in the 1940s when term limits were imposed after the death of president Franklin D. Roosevelt. This is an issue that must be pursued until it is accomplished, even if it takes 10, 20, 30 years or more. We cannot allow conditions that permit corruption of our elected officials, to occur so readily.
Legislators would be elected, serve two or three terms then return to private life. The longer politicians serve the greater the influence exerted by the pressure groups. With term limits in place, legislators would not be so concerned about their re-election rollercoasters. They would be more concerned about serving the people and doing what is best for our nation and not what is best for special interests.
Along with term limits, our legislators in D.C. should be part-time servants. They should serve three to four months per year and paid an average American worker's rate, plus per diem. The amount of actual productive work that today's politicians accomplish can easily be done by good typical American retirees who would provide their constituents and the nation that essential selfless service without those career and monetary ambitions of today's politicians.
We require that our military servicemen and women sacrifice and provide selfless service to our nation. Yet, for some reason, our federal legislators are not held to any similar standards. We should demand similar dedication, sacrifice and selfless service from those who lead and represent us. Maybe then they would earn a higher approval rating then the single digit ratings they currently have. Only then will we have representatives worthy of our republic and the nation they serve.
In addition, perhaps it is time to re-evaluate the American two-party system. If, indeed, it has served our country and its people well in the past, it is clear that it is not serving our people well today. Ever since President Eisenhower warned of the dangers that the military-industrial complex poses to our republic, the gamut of additional complexes posing similar or greater threats has multiplied almost exponentially.
It seems unreasonable to imagine that a two-party system, which served our nation 200 years ago when our population was about 10 percent of its current population and significantly less diverse, could adequately serve us today. There is no way that today's two parties can accomplish such a task no matter how large their proverbial tents. "Taxation without representation" is, arguably, more true today than it has ever been including pre-Revolutionary War days when King George III governed us.
We have two political parties, which are attempting to appeal to a wide variety of factions by including all sorts of diverse groups under their tents. They are not succeeding. From the left to the right, we have the following factions, as a minimum:
1. Democratic Socialist, 2. Liberal/Progressive Democrat, 3.Traditional Democrat, 4.Libertarian, 5. Moderate Republican, 6. "Common Sense" Conservative, 7. Constitutional/Tea Party Conservative.
There is no way that a Traditional Democrat can adequately serve and represent the needs and desires of a Democratic Socialist. On the opposite spectrum, a Moderate Republican will never satisfy nor fight for the needs and desires of a Constitutional/Tea Party Conservative.
The only people that are benefiting from the status quo are the wealthy donor classes, special interests, Democrat and Republican establishments, and the federal bureaucracy. Any political faction that can receive 12 percent to 15 percent or more, in a national election, should be allowed to form a national party and be included on all ballots in national and state elections. America, we need to make some serious changes before it is too late. Let's wake up.
Bo J. Rudzinskyj
- Category: Letters
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