A place to play with my world view. A space to pontificate, ruminate, and cogitate. A home for words that somehow escaped my mind.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Draft Our Leaders-
I have a standing personal joke regarding the President and Presidential elections. I suspect it is not funny. Which, of course, challenges its classification as a joke. I will leave all of that up to you. I intend it as a joke, so at least consider it as such even if it is really just a bit of jetsam from my mind.
"The President should be drafted." I would say. "A person who has run a Mom and Pop store somewhere on the South Side of Chicago for the past twenty years would be ideal." Of course, I don't know anything about the South Side of Chicago. I am assuming that it is a tough place to run a Mom and Pop store, and that in doing so both Mom and Pop exhibit qualities of tenacity, toughness and a very fundamental practicality.
Let's just forget the whole joke thing. What I am saying is that we need people like that running our country. I don't care if it is Mom or Pop. For that matter, in the case of President they will both be going to the White House. Let them work as a team. They already have demonstrated that they work well together. Running a store on the South Side of Chicago just doesn't sound easy.
My point is that the ongoing popularity contest that is our electoral system fails on that particular point of popularity. The politicians have to pander to diverse individuals and groups and please the populace rather than commit themselves to doing something that more than appears to be the right thing. It is expensive to try and appeal to the multitudes. It is time consuming.
A draft would be cheaper, and not take so long.
The initial selection could be quite random. Just one big national lottery, selecting a pool of candidates. It would probably be best that they be selected to represent their own districts, since the vested interest would compel them to seek what is best for their own friends and neighbors.
The initial pool could be thinned by eliminating persons with extensive recent criminal histories, any obvious mental illnesses that cannot be adequately managed with proper medication, persons too young or too old to handle the responsibilities and pressures. I would imagine that some kind of test of general knowledge would also help. It would not do for leaders to be unable to find the United States on a map, or look up and be able to read information needed to answer some simple questions.
So, now we have a smaller pool of suitable candidates from which to select the next person to sit in a particular seat of government. I would say that they should meet with the incumbent, who will relate the nature of the job and select three individuals who demonstrate some aptitude for the job. To motivate the incumbent to select well would be the stipulation that they would be brought back to the job if their selection lost a vote of confidence after a year of service.
From the final three the next person to assume any open seat of government would be selected. How? They could roll dice, or play Monopoly, or arm wrestle. At this point the final selection is reducing the best three to one, with a roll-off for second choice. Kind of a back-up in case of untimely death or some form of madness.
The lucky draftee now will serve ten years. Seats can be filled on a staggered schedule to maintain continuity. The ten year term is also for continuity, to allow for a period of training and a longer period of service. Each drafted public servant will be submitted annually to a vote of confidence by the other members of their particular governing body, and continue to serve for the next year should the pass that vote.
Draftees shall, of course, be permitted to refuse their term of office. They will then serve ten years in a high quality and nicely managed prison, processing government surplus cheese and the like. Public servants who fail to pass their annual vote of confidence will serve the balance of their ten year term in that same prison. It wouldn't be much of a draft unless the alternative was less pleasant than service.
Upon completion of their term in office the public servant shall receive some suitable tokens of gratitude. I would suggest a free home in the poorest and most crime-ridden area under their jurisdiction, and a pension equal to the average salary earned by working people living in that same jurisdiction. They would also receive lifetime health care equal in quality to the average afforded by constituents. That average would include in the calculation the persons who simply cannot afford health care and necessarily do without.
Just to keep things fare and equal in the event that the government initiates any war, the offspring of our public servants who are of service age shall be immediately drafted into military service and fast-tracked to the field of combat. Veterans of the military with combat service or who served a total of ten years in the military shall be excluded from the public service draft.
To provide some motivation to take good care of constituents, the public servant will receive as an annual salary the average salary of a working person in their jurisdiction. Their benefits package and perks will also be similarly defined and calculated. If they want to drive around the capitol in something other than a 1958 International Harvester pick-up with custom rust exterior, it will be necessary to do things to insure that the average Joe back home has a better option as well.
Keep your eyes on the mail for you public service draft notice. You may be the next President.
I am currently 62 years old. At present I am a retired correctional officer with 20 years of service. (My real job these days is being a Grandpa.)
I am married to my long-suffering wife, Linda. I have three children; Matthew, Beth, and Jon. I currently have six grandchildren; Alexandra, Madelyn, Wyatt, Lucas, Abigail and Landon.