There are some things to be happy about on this election day (in the states where elections are being held). The most prominent reason to rejoice is that political commercials will finally stop (for a while). Howard Kurtz provides some narrative and a little insight into what seems like the never ending nightmare that is American political news these days.
I would like to propose a lasting solution. This is not an original idea with me, I got it from a group of guys who came up with this thing called the US Constitution 230 years ago. They really believed in a government directed by the people where the ones elected to office were the servants rather than the celebrities. Jefferson, Adams, and most of the rest of that crowd (with the possible exception of A. Hamilton) would have cringed to hear media pundits refer to the President as “the leader of the free world.” There was a good deal of debate about whether this “one who executes the laws we pass” was even the chief leader in this nation, let alone the free world. In my own state of Virginia, we are electing a Governor today. This person succeeds the likes of Patrick Henry (first Governor), Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler. I cannot help to think no matter who wins the election today, how far we have fallen in the leaders we are choosing.
The same is true on a national scale. Not only did the 2016 Presidential election eclipse the skulduggery of 1896, but sadly, a year later, as Kurtz points out, the losers haven’t quit, and the winner has not yet taken full control of power.
So here is my solution. I want to see how many liberals and conservatives would be willing to make the following pledge. Here goes.
As a citizen of the United States, I pledge to work as hard as I can to see that every eligible citizen is registered to vote, and that all registered voters actually go to the polls on every election. If that goal is achieved, I further pledge to never complain about anyone who is elected anywhere in the country ever again, because they are the people chosen by ALL of us.
Now, we all know this is an unlikely goal to have. Today in Virginia, the crucial decision about who will take power in our state will be decided by less than half of those registered, and that those registered comprise only a little more than half of those eligible. To put it another way. The next Governor of Virginia will be chosen by 12% of the population (population minus eligible voters, reduced by registered voters, divided by actual voters and taking 50% of that number).
How many of liberal Virginians will agree to work toward a better way of living with one another and start encouraging participation in what is the freest expression of our civic will to be found anywhere in the world? Are you in?