A couple of years ago I heard some Washington pundit or another say that the first thing on any elected official's mind when they get to Washington is how to get reelected.
Nice. Electorate? What electorate?
When this country was in its infancy, service in Washington was just that, service. It was not a career. Citizens were praised for serving their countrymen as representatives in Washington; then they went home to the farm and got on with life.
Not so today. Becoming a politician is a career. And why wouldn't it be? It's one of the highest paying jobs in the country. I mean, the salary wouldn't raise a Wall street mogul's eyebrow, but the perks....
Which is why America no longer belongs to Americans. It belongs to the guy with the deepest pockets, and we all know who they are. They are not us.
But....dream with me for a moment. What if elections were paid for by public taxes? And I don't mean new taxes, I mean just take the monies out of existing public funds. Or perhaps shut a few loopholes for big corporations. Whatever. What would happen?
- The first thing on an elected official's mind would no longer be raising the funds for his or her next campaign
- They might even think of their electorate
- Ordinary citizens might get face time with their reps, not at the end of the line behind the lobbyists
- Campaigns might be a bit duller, since they would all be funded the same
- And might have to actually focus on the issues
- As a matter of fact, politicians might have to keep at least some of their promises, or hell, they just might not get reelected!