“One thing our founding fathers could not foresee… was a nation governed by professional politicians who have a vested interest in getting reelected. They probably envisioned a fellow serving a couple of hitches and then looking forward to getting back to the farm.” — Ronald Reagan
Ok, I feel a rant coming on…
It is 1 year 9 months and 12 days until the next Presidential election. And, once again it is campaign season and the political chuckle-heads are emerging from dark recesses and under their rocks to muster forces. They’re all gonna tell us how they plan on healing America’s woes if only we elect them rather than the other guy…
Is it just me or are others equally annoyed if not repulsed by the notion that while our country is imploding our President and other duly elected incumbent politicians are already taking time away from their appointed duties to pander for votes and campaign for re-election…?
Like our country’s financial system, is this campaign model broken or what?
In this day and age of social media and instant global communication is it really necessary for sitting politicians to “explore” , “campaign” and “stump” this early to make their case? I know my question is somewhat rhetorical regarding the “equal time” argument. But, I seriously don’t buy it. In my opinion sitting politicians have the advantage as incumbents and do not require equal time to make their case. They should make their statement by the work they complete representing us.
They don’t require more or equal time campaigning, pointing fingers, or presenting excuses for why they need more time to do what should already be done. To that point dear reader, were you not insulted that congress did not pass a “potential” budget agreement until literally the 11th hour of their final continuing resolution? WTF? Rather than worrying about political blow back affecting their potential re-electability, and thus doing nothing, congress should have resolved the budget last fall in the best interest of the people not their self interest.
Certainly, unknown challengers require some time to create awareness for their policy positions. These days, with social media technology at their disposal there is ample opportunities, venues, and forum for them to make their case. Having sitting politicians stumping on their behalf on the taxpayers dime is unnecessary and self indulgent. At this point, is it not clear to everyone with half a brain what our President and sitting congress members on both sided of the aisle represent to their constituents and potential voters? Do they not get adequate exposure for their legislative efforts by virtue of their positions? Furthermore, does having a sitting politician stump for a challenger really impact your voting decision more than that candidates platform which should be readily apparent to anyone willing to do minimal research?
To my mind we elect our President for 4 years and House and Senate congressional representatives to serve for 2 and 6 years respectively. They are elected for that period to tend to the problems of the day, not spend half of their term telling us what we already know and railing about transparency and what is wrong that they will fix if only we reelect them. What politicians are not doing to check the expansive reach and inefficiency in our federal government is the only transparency I see in DC these days. Again, WTF?
In the private sector we are expected to show up at work each day and are accountable for the work we do or do not perform. For those of us unprotected by unions, if we do not perform the consequences are swift and rarely are we given and additional 2-6 years to get it right.
I would like to see term limits and while we are at it would advocate for reform limiting the campaign season to a six month period immediately before any national election. For incumbents, their voting record and record of accomplishment during their tenure should speak volumes. If they did the peoples work that should give them the edge as incumbents. If not, oh. well. Either way the need to return home and live with the consequences of the legislation they help enact. Therefore I don’t buy the equal time argument and in my opinion greater accountability and a sense of urgency are additional solid reasons for term limits. Anything worth doing can get done in two to six years. Anything worth saying in defense of their records can surely be said in six months.
Until then get back to work, dammit…!