Monday, September 07, 2015

Mark Meadows Launches Mission to Fix Broken Congress

Mark Meadows Launches Mission to Fix Broken Congress

If I were starting from scratch:

Since only the most narcissistic (mentally ill?) would run for office, we would eliminate all elections Federal level. States can do what they want).

We would keep our current structure, but the offices would be filled by lottery. A computer would randomly pull up SS numbers. The person would be required to have had a household income of at least 1/3 average (proving at least a minimum level of responsibility and sanity) and be registered to vote. Maybe they would be required to pass a test proving a high school equivalent education. They would receive a salary (200% of average for the country?), computer and free high speed internet for the duration of their term. Like with jury duty, they would not be able to refuse service except for cases of extreme duress (and for the majority of Americans, why would they want to refuse?).

All business would be conducted through the internet. No more going off to Lala Land (DC) where they are isolated from the real world. We have the technology so there is absolutely no reason to not make them stay in their home district. In fact, a lot of business could be conducted in such a way that if they wanted to they could keep their old job, too (such as in the case of farmers who couldn't just ignore their land for 2 years without major repercussions)

Who ever won the lottery for president would get a higher salary and would have to move to DC for the duration of service. So lets offer them 4x average for their salary.

The Senate would be filled as originally intended by our founding fathers through appointment by the state governments.

No one would be allowed to serve for more than one term in each office (they could do president and rep, but not either one twice).

There would be problems, of course, but less, I think, than we have now.


  1. I've had the *same lottery idea* for filling public offices!

    I mean, so did the ancient Greeks, so y'know. I cribbed it from them.

    But. I didn't have any income test, or education test, or even a literacy test -- my reasoning was: if we're rolling with a lottery, we're doing it *to get office-holders who are representative citizens.* We don't get to define the citizenry as "everyone who's not TOO poor, and knows how to read, and has a little book learnin'." The citizenry /is what it is/, and we take it as we find it.

    Why is that a bad approach? Or, if you prefer: why is yours better? Inquiring minds want to know! :)

    -- David

    P.S. When I was designing my fantasy republic, I admitted that having a /large number/ of illiterate legislators would be a problem, but this is statistically unlikely in America. I was much more worried that legislators who aren't lawyers and don't really understand how the law works would write *terrible* laws that are hard to implement or even nonsensical. . But my solution to both of these issues was simple: the whole House shares a group of legislative aides who *are* lawyers, and who draft the actual laws for the representatives.

  2. You make some good points. Maybe there shouldn't be any qualification but US citizenship. What would be the odds, do you suppose, of getting a criminal and him being able to do harm?

  3. Fairly low, I think. And frankly, even if a career criminal did end up in Congress, so what? Any individual Congressman can't hurt the republic too badly, and I doubt they'd even try. I mean, I don't think criminals are wicked moustache-twirlers who wake up and go, "HOW CAN I RUIN THE WORLD FOR EVERYONE TODAY???" -- I think they're basically trying to maximize their gain with minimal effort, and would be *delighted* to suddenly draw a comfortable salary for two years, guaranteed. Why burn down the house when they're sittin' in the kitchen, eating snacks?

    I'm WAY more worried about incompetence than I am about malice or criminal behavior -- as a neat real-life case study, the US Virgin Islands had a constitutional convention with some regular Joes. What happened was... not pretty. You can read about it at, but you can get a sense from just looking at the article titles: "Constitutional Convention marred by loud shouting, personal insults and delegates
    storming in and out"; "Convention spends another day arguing"; "Delegates' day spent waiting, eating, squabbling"; and of course "Convention to consider tax breaks for 'native Virgin Islanders'."

    So... after I read about that, my zeal for filling offices by lottery? /It done waned a bit/. I ended up modifying my fantasy republic to have a different electoral system -- one that made it cost-prohibitive for special interests to buy people's votes. But this is your blog, not mine, so I'll leave the details to your imagination. :)

    -- David

    P.S. Are you *sure* you want the President chosen by lottery, though? Remember that he has his finger on the nuclear trigger. If he gives a launch order, missiles *will* fly within minutes, and depending who he's launching /at/, it could be the end of all civilization as we know it. So in a very real sense, I think the President holds the power of life and death over all of us, and for me, someone who does that /has/ to be elected -- I just *would not* trust that office to random chance.

  4. Well, your right, of course, about criminals. And really, how much worse could a career criminal be than what we already have? Is there really that much difference? (Feeling especially cynical and disgusted with politics today. Just realized that due to the tax increase in BO care when my dad goes to the big party in the sky, my family may have to sell everything he has worked his whole life to build to pay the inheritance taxes. And the financial upheaval all that will cause us [my personal family, not my brothers. They're in different places than we are financially.] will be felt for years. And all this for what? So my husband can get an abortion if he wants one?! Grrrrrrrrr.)

    Anyway, would having the meeting through the internet instead of in person solve some of those problems experienced by the Virgin Islands? No matter how they get in office, I think we should go to that system. It would cut down on the cronyism since their daily personal contacts would be with the people in their own district instead of buddy buddies in congress. They would have to look me in the eye when we meet in the grocery store, knowing they approved a tax increase that sent Hubby's boss's money to them instead of to us as a raise :-(

    Well, not sure really how to choose a man to have his finger on the button. Remember the current finger stationed guards around national sites that don't normally have anyone to monitor them (like seasides) when he didn't get his way (costing MORE money in the name of not having enough) like a two year old throwing a temper tantrum. This is better than the common man having his finger on the button? Not so sure about that.

    You know, this might not be a good day for me to be talking about politics.>:-<

  5. Oh man, I don't think *today's* a good day to talk about politics *either*. Poor thing! Every machine in your life is broken, isn't it? :( -- D

  6. Pretty much.

    Hubby woke up at 4:30 and replaced the water tank, though (he brought a new one home from work last night). So I do actually have water now. Of course, if he had waited a couple hours my older boys (the smallest of whom is 5'10") would have helped him and I would have had the room cleared out to make his job easier. But oh well. He did the whole thing himself and then went back to bed, lol.


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