Passionate Instigator, Dynamic Problem Solver
July 4th, 2014 05:00:00 am
There are a few things that make July 4th special. As you can see in this video, I'm all dressed up in my red, white, and blue. It is the day our nation was born, and it's the day that I was born! So, for me, it's kind of a double-header. Those who know me have heard me say: I came in with a bang, I'm gonna go out with a bang and I'm gonna bang my way all the way through, and that's what it means to be born on the Fourth of July!
You know, I truly have always been a rebel, and I think July 4th is the perfect rebel's day. Yet there have been times where I've been questioned about whether or not I'm a true patriot. Some of you have seen my poem, “Yours No More,” about the idea of taking back the flag from those who wave it with an agenda that has nothing to do with being American. For today, I wanted to share my way of being patriotic this July 4th, 2014, by offering up the following:
Ten Tips to Creating a Better Government
Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdYtZDsTrKs&feature=youtu.be
Each of these tips would help create a better government; a government we deserve, rather than one we've gotten stuck with. Yes, I say this on the most patriotic day of the year. Because true patriots speak out, pointing out when something foul is happening. And if you want to see something foul, all you have to do is check out Washington, D.C. these days.
This is not an endorsement or political announcement. It's not about Democrats or Republicans. It's about the whole lot of them.
End lobbying. Uber wealthy people and corporations own Washington. #WhoOwnsWashington? Not the American people anymore. The things that are being enacted serve the few, not the many. Lobbying is at the core of that, and it needs to stop. Altogether. Go away. Nonexistent. Somehow, lobbying is legal, when it's really just a legalized bribe.
Minimum of five parties. Two parties pass the American people back and forth, turning us into ignorant sheeple that go “baaaaah, Republican. Baaaaaah, Democrat.” There are too many gridlocks and back end deals. The only people today that are really making out are the top 1%--corporations and politicians.
Level the playing field for campaign spending. I love the state of Maine; not just because I come from the state of Maine. Every candidate that gets someone to endorse them gets the same amount. One tiny pot of funding. The same for everyone. That's all you get to spend. No multi million dollars spent on smear campaigns that confuse the issues and brainwash the American public.
Term limits. I don't think these jobs were created for people to die in their chairs, and that's what's happening. I don't think we should have tenure in public education. I think we should question whether supreme court justices should rule until they're dropping dead on the bench. I think there are a lot of things that made sense 200 years ago, that don't make sense today. The lack of term limits is one of those things.
Tie salaries to how constituents are doing. If you knew that your salary as a Senator was tied to how your state was performing, how the people you're serving are benefitting, then maybe you would make different decisions.
Single issue laws. Complete transparency. No pounding on the ol' budget to get an extra million, fifty million—I don't care if it's five bucks! The American people are tired of getting screwed. One law is a law, and that law should be a thumbs up, or a thumbs down. No more wheeling and dealing in back rooms. We can't afford them anymore.
Ethics, morals, and values contracts. There has been a lot of nonsense recently saying it doesn't make any difference whether or not elected leaders lie. “They get voted out of office if people don't like their lies.” No, no, no, no. It does make a difference. When you are accepting taxpayer dollars to do a job that you were voted in to do, I think that you should be kept to a higher standard. I think that higher standard means you can attack an issue, but not anyone else, in or out of office. If you are caught lying, clearly lying, that's it. You have lost your ability to serve the people. And whatever you did—accept a bribe, lie, mislead the people intentionally, or just to slam and mudslide your way, clawing to stay in office—you're out. And you should have to pay for what was done. I'm not usually one for mandatory sentences, but this one should be it. The people put their sacred trust in you as a politician, trusting that if they voted for you, you would serve them. And if people find out that you've only been out for yourself, that you've been lying and doing whatever it takes to stay there, things that can't be defended or backed up, then it's time you were held accountable.
Benefits in line with people that you serve. Politicians shouldn't get a special healthcare policy. They shouldn't get ridiculous pensions, regardless of how long you serve—pensions that last the rest of your life. They cripple corporations, our country, and not only in Detroit, but also in Washington. It's time that we said, “hey, look, you're a public servant. These are the benefits that all public servants get, so why are you getting one that's worth more, have more length, value, and breadth?” Why? Time to get rid of that!
Get rid of electoral college. We have the technology today. We can get a populous vote. It can be recorded. And I think there need to be quick, severe, and harsh punishments with anyone who interferes with election systems. It shouldn't be a slap on the hand or an, “oh my! Sorry!” No, no, no. It should be a federal crime, on the same level as bank robbers, felons.
Vote of no confidence. We really need to be able to vote out all of Washington, to start all over again. To say, “you're not doing your job, you're doing what you need to do to stay in office. You throw us a few bones and you dine on the rest of it. I think it's time to stop.
Hope you're all having a great Fourth of July! Happy to share my birthday with you, and hopefully, you'll share my words with other people.