While discussing the somewhat disappointing world of politics this morning (yikes!), my friend - who I shall call BB - had the two best ideas I've ever heard. His ideas have the potential to improve our political process and allow us to regain some confidence in the people we elect. Call it a politician upgrade.
Dumbstruck at its simple brilliance, I literally looked at him and said, "You are a genius and I'm going to blog that."
Require all politicians to take a vow of truthfulness and follow up with perjury charges the minute it is determined that they were dishonest to their constituents.
The first thought that came to mind is "why hold them to a higher standard than anyone else?"
Well, for starters, they represent so many of us and their decisions are far reaching. We need all the clarity, transparency and truthfulness we can get. Frankly, some days it doesn't seem like we're getting much. If you don't want public trust to erode and you know the public is depending on your answers, you better make sure you are giving them correct information.
And while we focus on the important issues, steer clear from the non-important-none-of-your-business details. We have to quit tearing them apart for every little detail of their private life, unless it involves an abuse of the public trust. If your kid was caught smoking pot in high school - you have a problem, but it doesn't have anything to do with me. Parenting has a lot of bumps in the road (or potholes). On the other hand, if you paid off a judge to fix that little problem for your homegrown darling - I have a huge problem with that.
I can't really complain about my local representation at the time being, I'm pretty content with them. If I have questions, though, I expect them to be just as congenial as they were when they were campaigning.
Require all politicians to wear brand stickers for every business or special interest group that provided money for their campaign - think NASCAR.
What would be wrong with knowing exactly who put money in the political coffers or pockets every single time you looked at your representative (that's everyone: senator, president, etc.)? I realize that this information is available by law, but it's not as easily accessed as I'd like it to be. Put that front and center!
Picture yourself discussing the real issues of your community or state with your representative...you peruse his (or her) many logos and bumper stickers he (or she) is now required to post...you note something that seems a conflict of interest between his jacket and his pants. Now, the good questions can really begin.
And don't forget, we pursue perjury...
I think my friend is a genius. This is almost better than term limits - no waiting time.