Letters from the Lunar Outpost

Beauty is truth, truth beauty.
- Keats, English Poet (1795-1821)

Washington Is Broken

One simple change could fix 90% of what’s wrong in America’s political system today – I know this sounds like a grandiose claim, but I honestly believe it’s true. It’s not a new idea, as a matter of fact, it’s an idea as old as Democracy itself, dating back to around 508 B.C., but to our modern minds, it’s almost hard to fathom things working with such beauty and simplicity.

First we should define what’s wrong with the way things operate in Washington, D.C. and you can narrow it down to two incredibly large failings – corruptions that borderline on evil.

First, politicians go to Washington, and even the most idealistic of politicians eventually begins looking at their re-election prospects and abandons the ideals they campaigned on in favor of campaign cash and kickbacks from unions, lobbyists and special interest groups. The politician becomes a prostitute for big money and more power at the expense of the constituents he had once sworn to serve.

Now big money buying the souls of politicians is as old as American politics itself, but the second major failing of our political system is something that’s worse now than it’s ever been since the issue of slavery split the nation in two, and that’s the polarized state of our elected government. The politicians are sent to D.C. from districts that get redrawn by the state politicians in ever more contrasted lines. This process of gerrymandering has created districts split into more and more demographically opposed and politically opposed representation. Add to that the death of journalism and the fact that news channels have found better ratings in partisan reporting and you have an increasingly polarized electorate which sends highly partisan politicians to our nation’s capital. Where once there used to be a healthy dose of goodwill and compromise, we’ve ended up with a Congress of complete intransigence and gridlock.

Cleisthenes, "The Father of Athenian democracy."

Cleisthenes, "The Father of Athenian democracy."

So how do we fix the two-headed monster of big money corruption and partisan gridlock in our national politics?

It’s called allotment, selection by lot, and it’s the system that was born in Athenian Democracy. You throw out all the career politicians in place of a lottery, and representatives in the legislature are selected randomly from America’s entire population. Before you immediately cast this off as some crazy scheme, consider the fact that this is the exact same method we use to determine the fate of a defendant in a death penalty case whose very life is placed in the hands of a randomly selected jury of their peers.

You select randomly from the population a group of citizens to serve in our nation’s Congress – lawyers and plumbers, garbage collectors and doctors, airline pilots and bus drivers, all selected by lottery to serve their nation, a group of individuals perfectly representative of our national demographic, and for most of these citizens, it would be the highest honor they would ever have as a citizen. Pay them a salary better than most of them will ever make in their lives, but give them one term and one term only and they will never become slaves to the perpetual re-election campaign.

It would put an end to career politicians, an end to politicians whoring themselves out for big money donations from groups that do not represent the interests of the nation as a whole. Give them one term and they’ll do their duty to the best of their ability just the same as any jury does.

Leadership under the new system would be no problem any more than finding a foreman on a jury. (In this case there would surely be multiple positions of leadership selected by the representatives themselves.) And if you wonder about people selected who are mentally incompetent or mentally ill or whose hearts just might not be into it, you have a basic aptitude test (with no politics on the test whatsoever) and have an alternate group selected as a backup, just like you have a group of alternate jurors.

It would be beautiful, my friends, because instead of having a Congress elected of nothing but rich elites who either have always been detached from the average American or for whom this detachment is only a matter of time, you would have a Congress representing the people of America, a Congress that would look exactly like the face of America.

There have been 27 amendments to the Constitution, 12 in the last century alone. The only problem is, those in power like to hold on to power, so it may sound like a pipe dream to imagine the entrenched politicians giving up their power to system of representation by allotment, but just visualize it . . . a government that would be truly representative of the people. If only I had a magic wand, I would wave it, but maybe it’s not such a pipe dream after all. Maybe we can get it done in Texas, secede from the Union and show America how real a real representative Democracy is done.

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24 Responses to One Simple Change Could Fix 90% of What’s Wrong in Washington

  • So you take a corrupt system and replace it with a system of complete randomness, taking away the right people have to decide who their representatives are? The best word I can think of for this is silly.

    • Let me ask you this – when a defendant in a death penalty case has their very lives placed in the hands of a jury of their peers, would you call that silly, too? Because I think the random selection of a jury of our peers is the greatest system that we’ve ever known, and it would translate perfectly to the interests of the nation just the same as it does to the interests of justice.

  • Solomon,

    > silly

    That’s a kneejerk reaction. Such a system is unfamiliar, but it is certainly not silly. Would you say that having a jury decide court cases is “a system of complete randomness”?

    No – this a system of direct representation of the people’s ideas and interest through random sampling – the same principle that is used in opinion polling.

    Have a look at the wikipedia entry for “sortition”.

  • My son is a student of ‘history’ and has long advocated this very idea. The Founding Fathers knew this would happen. The two party system fails because politicians will always work to help themselves. Human nature has not changed through the centuries.

    • Obviously, your son is a brilliant man!

    • I agree totally with your son, and the proof is in the pudding as my granny likes to say… Washington D.C. will never change UNLESS we change it for them… So lets help the politicians make the change that is needed …

  • I just had an image of Senator Snookie flash through my mind like a synaptical misfire

  • seems To Me You Would Still Have Lobbiests That Would, Like Vultures Waiting In The Wings, Continue, To Run The Show. (Playing Devils Advocate)

    • There wouldn’t be any campaigns to fund, so you could just pay them a healthy salary and make all outside money and donations obsolete or even ban it.

  • When I was a computer programmer, I used write programs to write programs for me. After digesting my designs my program spit out most of the code for me.

    So I suggest we do the same thing with the Constitution. Read it into an AI (Artificial Intelligence) decision engine and have the country run strictly by the Founders’ original intent.

    Is this less plausible than Mike’s idea?

    All the best -rafi

    • I like that idea, there’s no way we can improve upon The Constitution, so as long as the programmers know what they’re doing, just leave it up to the code to figure it out.

  • Not nearly as random as one might think. Eliminate those unqualified and what you have left is an entire population hoping to win ‘life’s lottery’. The corruption would remain but it would just become more widespread – as it did in Athens.

    • All systems are destined to collapse, it’s just a matter of time before the masses can be convinced that they’re better off selling out their freedoms for government largess. We’re at that tipping point now, but at least with a government run by the people instead of career politicians, you might actually get a representative Democracy that isn’t 100% beholden to lobbyists and special interest groups.

  • The United States of America is NOT a “Democracy.” A “Democracy”= Mob-Rule: 51% of ANYTHING EVIL CAN COME IN THE USA & CRUSH & DESTROY WE THE PEOPLE’S God-Given Unalienable Civil Rights, Liberties & Freedoms, If We Are The 41%!

    The United States of America is officially a “Constitutional Republic.” a gov made up of representatives who are SUPPOSED TO HONOR, UPHOLD, OBEY, PROTECT, AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION AND THE BILL OF RIGHTS AND THE JUST RULES OF LAW IN THE USA, and not be career politicians entrenched in corruption and enlarging their own wealth and STAYING IN POWER to steal from and LORD OVER the people as Dictator Tyrants. (Which is what happened in the USA, the USA is operating now as a Totalitarian Dictatorship Democracy.

    I recommend We The People Start an Immediate 50 State Succession Movement, FIRE The Entire Completely Corrupt USA Fed Gov, End The Federal Reserve, CHARGE OFF the Nation’s Debt as DEBT WE THE PEOPLE NEVER contracted to pay and do NOT owe anyone, & use the current USA Constitution, Bill of Rights & Declaration of Independence to write a NEW Constitution with Explicit LIMITED POWERS of Gov, Explicit TERM LIMITS & EXPLICIT Power into the Hands of We The People WITH Strict 100% Paper Ballots sitting in see- through transparent glass containers that are constantly on Live Free Camera & Guarded with Armed Guards & Live Feed Camera’s 24/7 & NEVER Out Of Site of The People. The Ballots must be Immediately counted on camera & kept publicly 24/7 on camera. This is the ONLY WAY the USA elections will be “of the people and by the people and for the people & fair” in the USA.

    We do not have legal elections now in the USA. Foreign & Domestic Enemies of the USA like Soros & The HIRED Insane Megalomaniac Gangster Serial Liar & Delusional, Criminally Insane Power=Mad Pure Evil Psychopaths, are using the current Foreign Illegal Alien Communist Muslim Brotherhood Member Dictator, Foreign & Domestic Enemy Terrorist, Daily Law Breaking, Daily Serial Criminal & the Pure Evil Serial Killer FOREIGN USURPER Soebarkah AKA Soetoro AKA Harrison J. Bounel AKA Obama to Illegally Usurp The Powers Of the USA Gov through the Illegal Usurpation Of The EOP (Executive Office of President) to Wage Coup D’etat War Against The USA To Loot, Bankrupt, Destroy & Overthrow The USA Gov from within the USA! These lawless, power-mad, serial criminals are committing daily long-lines of abuses, daily high crimes spree in the USA with their felonies, high crimes, mass-murders, high treason’s against We The People because they want to Overthrow the USA and create in place of the USA a New World Order/One World Gov Globalist, Communist, Muslim Brotherhood One World Bank Gov over all nations to consolidate their INSANE POWER as WORLD DICTATORS! The Antichrist is already on earth, standing in the wings, ready to come forth. We Are Living In the VERY LAST DAYS before the SECOND COMING & RETURN of the MESSIAH Jesus Christ Emmanuel, Yahshua, GOD THE SAVIOR of Humanity, in GOD The Father, Son & Holy Spirit.

    The only hope for American & Humanity is ALMIGHTY GOD, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!! Please read the Holy Bible & Obey the Words of Jesus in the Obey. We Will Be JUDGED By THe Forever Living Infinitely Powerful Words Of Jesus Christ, The 10 Commandments & The New Testament Words & Warnings Of God. Turn away from evil crimes and sins against GOD and obey and follow Jesus!! GOD IS ALWAYS FAITHFUL & TRUE, SO WE CAN HAVE INFINITE CONFIDENCE IN GOD! trust in Jesus Christ

  • The United States of America is NOT a “Democracy.” A “Democracy”= Mob-Rule: 51% of ANYTHING EVIL CAN COME IN THE USA & CRUSH & DESTROY WE THE PEOPLE’S God-Given Unalienable Civil Rights, Liberties & Freedoms, If We Are The 41%!

    The United States of America is officially a “Constitutional Republic.” a gov made up of representatives who are SUPPOSED TO HONOR, UPHOLD, OBEY, PROTECT, AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION AND THE BILL OF RIGHTS AND THE JUST RULES OF LAW IN THE USA, and not be career politicians entrenched in corruption and enlarging their own wealth and STAYING IN POWER to steal from and LORD OVER the people as Dictator Tyrants. (Which is what happened in the USA, the USA is operating now as a Totalitarian Dictatorship Democracy.

    I recommend We The People Start an Immediate 50 State Succession Movement, FIRE The Entire Completely Corrupt USA Fed Gov, End The Federal Reserve, CHARGE OFF the Nation’s Debt as DEBT WE THE PEOPLE NEVER contracted to pay and do NOT owe anyone, & use the current USA Constitution, Bill of Rights & Declaration of Independence to write a NEW Constitution with Explicit LIMITED POWERS of Gov, Explicit TERM LIMITS & EXPLICIT Power into the Hands of We The People WITH Strict 100% Paper Ballots sitting in see- through transparent glass containers that are constantly on Live Free Camera & Guarded with Armed Guards & Live Feed Camera’s 24/7 & NEVER Out Of Site of The People. The Ballots must be Immediately counted on camera & kept publicly 24/7 on camera. This is the ONLY WAY the USA elections will be “of the people and by the people and for the people & fair” in the USA.

    We do not have legal elections now in the USA. Foreign & Domestic Enemies of the USA like Soros & The HIRED Insane Megalomaniac Gangster Serial Liar & Delusional, Criminally Insane Power=Mad Pure Evil Psychopaths, are using the current Foreign Illegal Alien Communist Muslim Brotherhood Member Dictator, Foreign & Domestic Enemy Terrorist, Daily Law Breaking, Daily Serial Criminal & the Pure Evil Serial Killer FOREIGN USURPER Soebarkah AKA Soetoro AKA Harrison J. Bounel AKA Obama to Illegally Usurp The Powers Of the USA Gov through the Illegal Usurpation Of The EOP (Executive Office of President) to Wage Coup d’Etat War Against The USA & To Loot, Bankrupt, Destroy & Overthrow The USA Gov from within the USA!

    These lawless, power-mad, serial criminals are committing daily long-lines of abuses, & daily high crimes sprees in the USA with their felonies, high crimes, mass-murders, high treason’s against We The People because they want to Destroy & Overthrow the USA and create in place of the USA a Globalist, Communist, Muslim Brotherhood New World Order/One World Gov Totalitarian Dictatorship & One World Bank Gov over all nations on earth to to INSANELY consolidate their INSANE POWER as WORLD DICTATORS!

    The Antichrist is already on earth standing in the wings – ready to come forth. We Are Living In the VERY LAST DAYS before the SECOND COMING & RETURN of the MESSIAH Jesus Christ Emmanuel, Yahshua, GOD THE SAVIOR of Humanity, in GOD The Father, Son & Holy Spirit.

    The only hope for American & Humanity is ALMIGHTY GOD, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, the SAVIOR of HUMANITY who has literally ALL POWER IN HEAVEN & ON EARTH & IN ETERNITY! !! Please read the Holy Bible & Obey the Words of Almighty God, LORD JESUS CHRIST EMMANUEL in the HOLY BIBLE. As People, We All Will Be JUDGED By The Forever Living Infinitely Powerful Words Of Jesus Christ, & the 10 Commandments & The New Testament Words Teaching & Warnings Of God. Turn away from evil crimes and sins against GOD and obey and follow Jesus On Earth In Obedience In Words & Deeds & Thoughts!! GOD IS ALWAYS FAITHFUL & TRUE TO HIS PROMISES & FOREVER LIVING WORDS IN THE HOLY BIBLE, SO WE SHOULD HAVE GOLD & INFINITE CONFIDENCE IN GOD! Trust in the Messiah, God Almighty LORD Jesus Christ Emmanuel, Yahshua, so you can get into Heaven Forever Life the Kingdom Of God in Eternity & be SAVED From Hell-Forever Fire in Eternity that was created for devils who rebelled against GOD and who refused to obey and honor God! We The People MUST Choose To Obey & Honor God on earth!! We The People MUST REFUSE To Do ANYTHING That Violates Our God-Given Religious Freedoms & Religious Conscious!! REJECT ObamaCare and ALL of the Laws The Usurper Obama Is signing as they are all Null & Void. He is NOT a Legal USA president. He is an ILLEGAL ALIEN INSANE DICTATOR MADMAN TYRANT who is working to loot, bankrupt, destroy & Overthrow the USA from within the USA, as evidenced and seen by his waging DAILY constant attacks of Coup d’Etat War & CRIMES against humanity & High Treasons & Usurpations Of Illegal Power against the USA from within the USA!!

    Wake Up America!! The prophesied “Mark of the Beast” that is in the BIBLE is contained in ObamaCare!! This is what WE MUST DO IN THESE LAST DAYS: COMPLETELY REJECT OBAMACare. COMPLETELY REFUSE TO PARTICIPATE IN – IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM IN ANY PART OF OBAMA Care & NEVER, NEVER, NEVER AGREE TO PAY FOR THE ILLEGAL DICTATOR OBAMA’S ILLEGAL NON-LAW CALLED OBAMACARE!! WE MUST COMPLETELY REFUSE & COMPLETELY REJECT OBAMACare 24/7/365 In PERFECT TOTAL & COMPLETE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE!! WE MUST NEVER, NEVER. NEVER take the Mark of The Beast in ObamaDEATHCare!!

    WE MUST STAY TRUE TO JESUS CHRIST who is Always Faithful & True In His Promises & Words To Us In His Bible. GOD Commands Us In GODS’ FOREVER LIVING, INFINITELY POWERFUL Commandments & Laws & On Earth To Serve & Obey GOD, and this means WE MUST OBEY GOD On Earth!! WE MUST NOT obey evil and WE MUST NOT agree to commit any evil crimes & sins against GOD on earth!! WE MUST NOT OBEY EVIL DICTATOR’S, NOR AGREE TO FOLLOW THEM! WE MUST OBEY, FOLLOW & TRUST WITH BOLD CONFIDENCE – ALMIGHTY GOD THE SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST EMMANUEL, YAHSHUA ON EARTH!! GOD COMMANDS US TO NOT OBEY AND TO NOT SERVE EVIL, SINFUL CRIMINALS ON EARTH, BUT TO FIGHT EVIL AND OVERCOME EVIL AND & TO OVERCOME CRIMINALS ON EARTH!!! AMEN!!

    • Wow.

      You have passion that spreads over two posts, I’m trying to do some casual forensics on your posts and it’s not entirely the same post posted twice, there’s some copy and paste there, but you’re riffing on a theme between the two posts, which means you’re entirely given to your beliefs.

      I think a couple of states seceding from the union would be a positive thing, a wake-up call that would not only put the federal government in check, but provide a nice scientific experiment for the union to watch and see if a state with limited government could prosper better on its own without the massive federal government intervention, which I do believe is possible, but when you say we should just absolve ourselves of our debts to our debtors, what you don’t realize is the greatest thing America has going for it is the power of the dollar as the world’s global currency. If we just try to walk away from our debts, we will lose the power we have with the entire world trusting the American dollar more than any other currency. As bad as our debt is, we are able to borrow cheaper than any nation on the face of the earth. As bad as it is to be borrowing, we’ve got that going for us.

      I love it when you type in ALL-CAPS by the way, because I can feel the conviction in your beliefs. I really don’t think Jesus is worried about America turning into a third world country, which is exactly the course we’re headed upon, but Jesus could care less about if America goes up in flames and ends up like a dirt-poor third world nation. Why? Because it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to end up in heaven.

      If the voting public does not wake up and realize that we sell our souls as a nation to a government that promises to be the great provider, then we will continue on Obama’s course where the poverty levels rise with every passing year. That is Obama’s legacy, he is turning our country into a nation of dependents and selling out our children’s future for a mountain of debt.

      Maybe the destitution and poverty of a once great nation is all a part of Jesus’ plan.

  • Well I must say there are some differing views here but we all seem to be like the parties themselves on the whole and that is, polarised. We have the same system in the UK generally speaking and I for one have always know who to vote for, until now. I totally agree with Mike C as we could benefit from that here in the UK….salary hikes, bailing out corporations, taking from the poor to give to the rich, and the main goal of re-election seem to be the name of the game….CHANGE is needed….why not give Mik’s system a fair go….

    • The powers that be are pretty entrenched, but tomorrow marks the 100th anniversary of the 17th Amendment here in the US, which transferred the election of the Senate to direct elections from the state legislatures. So CHANGE is possible, although it would take a very dynamic group of politicians to even make an Athenian Democracy a possibility.

  • Like your idea, Mike! Those Ancient Greeks were a brilliant lot!

    How could this be made work in a Republic such as the United States of America? Limit terms for Representatives and Senators? After all, the President serves for a limited term.

    • Term limits are the first goal, a lot more realistic than my dream of Athenian Democracy. That would be the first step because 90% of what’s wrong with D.C. is the career politicians.

  • The politicians are a symptom of the electorate. We must treat the culture not the symptom.

    http://youtu.be/ac9j15eig_w

  • I recently had a long conversation about these issues with a businessman here in Washington State. He asked me if I knew anything about the ‘Technocrats’. It sounded familiar but I knew nothing. To make a long story short he proceeded to explain the philosophy which sounds close to the scenario here.

    Read up on Technocrats and the Technocracy movement. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technocracy_movement A world without politicians and a government of the people

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