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I believe that the government of the United States can be saved. It is currently irreparable, but that can be changed with five drastic but necessary steps if democracy can be saved.
I think we can all agree that both the legislative branch and the judicial branch in Washington do not work and have reached complete dysfunction.
The legislative branch has become so extreme in its positions on the important issues, sincere and honest deliberation and compromise have become nothing but a memory. One party attempts to serve the needs and wishes of the people and the other protects the desires of special interests: the super-rich and large corporations along with the demands of the Christian Religious Right.
Solution number one: place term limits on members of the House and Senate. In the business world, longevity is mostly considered valuable to both employer and employee. However, in government, it is destructive and stifles productivity.
Length of time in government guarantees only three things, increased power, wealth, and placing personal interests ahead of the people. If these men and women cannot or will not accomplish great things in 10 years or less, send them home and find someone who will.
This also applies to the Supreme Court. It has become entirely political in opposition to the design and intent of our founding fathers. In 2022, the Court has become the worst in American history opposing every issue supported by most Americans. The majority of today’s Court serves the positions of right-wing extremists who are moving our nation closer to rule by fascism.
Solution number two: eliminate political parties. This would put an end to red and blue states, make elections about the issues and not political parties, and place the people in priority number one. The ridiculous and outrageous cost of elections would be greatly reduced. Parties divide our nation, and elections are more about the party than the people.
Solution number three: return congress to what it was in 1789, a group of Americans who serve their country on a volunteer basis. Taxpayers should pay their expenses, but nothing more. Our government was never intended to be composed of professional politicians.
Solution number four: repeal the Electoral College. Every vote should count, and the Electoral College prevents this from happening. States currently elect our nation’s leader. This is in opposition to the intent of the Constitutional Convention. One government party favors the Electoral College for a very specific reason. If only the people’s vote counted, not a single Republican would have lived in the White House since 1993. Only once in 29 years has a member of the GOP won the popular vote. That George W. Bush in his 2004 reelection bid, which would not have happened if in 2000 the winner of the popular vote, Al Gore, would have become president.
Solution number five: pass legislation protecting the voting rights of all Americans in all 50 states. This is the most important change of all. Earlier this year, Republicans voted against the John Lewis Voting Rights Bill. The truth is, the larger the turnout, the more likely Republicans lose. At least 14 red states have passed voter suppression laws focused on low-income, poor Americans, and people of color. This must end. Voting is our most important right and our only weapon against a corrupt government.
Op-ed by James Turnage
Edited by Marrissa Kay
The Heritage Foundation: Term Limits: The Only Way to Clean Up Congress
American Bar Association: ABA Legal Fact Check: Can the Electoral College be abolished?