One of the lunatics Arkansans routinely sends to the State Legislature wrote an opinion piece on the new Health Care Reform legislation that has pushed me over the edge. This bozo is so out of touch with the lives of ordinary Americans that I am convinced that our electoral process must be completely rigged--or that voters are too stupid to separate fact from fantasy. You can decide which one makes the most sense, but I'm choosing 'completely rigged.'
I propose that we abandon our every two year and four year elections--those multi-billion dollar freak shows--and replace them with the jury selection process. Compensation will be the usual: $35 a day and lunch in a cardboard box.
Lest you think I am fantasizing or just being sarcastic, please consider the advantages:
First, we would end our endless political campaigns and the waste of billions of dollars; the only lies told would be the dodges offered by candidates trying to get out of legislating.
Second, Congress and State Legislatures would be filled with people who genuinely know that public service is a burden and not a feedbag. Because they want to get back home as soon as possible they would conduct business expeditiously, get things done, and we'd be able to skip all the tearful and fearful commercial advertisements--disguised as legislative deliberation--performed by bad actors.
Third, the occasional juror suffering from narcissistic personality disorder would, however much they might enjoy legislative life, be forced home after their brief time of duty. Happily, they can write their memoirs: 'My Term in Congress.'
Fourth, we would be spared the crocodile tears of the likes of poor Charlie Rangel. True, it will be sad not see future Tom Delays frog marched off to the Big House, but no reform is perfect.
Fifth, people who know what they're talking about will delineate and discuss the issues before the legislative body. These outside experts will argue the pros and cons of policies and ideas on their merits. When they conclude, our jury of peers will vote the matter up or down. If we did it this way we'd be spared watching George Bush try and find Poland on a map, or Barack Obama explaining how and why war in Afghanistan safeguards Kalamazoo.
I can't really think of any disadvantages. It is true that the town drunk might get picked, along with the occasional Bernie Madoff, but State Legislatures and Congress is already full of drunkards and defrauders; this plan does not professionalize pathology: both the town drunk and the Bernie Madoff character will certainly want to get back home pretty quick.
A final word if you will:
Our jury system promotes and permits the idea and practice that our peers can send us to prison for life, or can pass a death sentence on our sons and daughters. Since we have agreed as a society that our peers can judge and change our futures in so personal a way, I see no practical objection to them voting up or down on the matter of corn subsidies, a military draft, or the utility of tax cuts to 'unleash American's entrepreneurial spirit' for the purpose of creating living wage jobs.