I began this post last fall before the election and never finished it. I intended it to be much longer. A year later it seems fine the way it is. — rjms
I have recently reread the Declaration of Independence, and have begun to reread the Constitution and all it’s amendments. I believe that is something everyone should do, especially in a national election year. I believe they should be required reading for those elected or appointed to national office.
In many circumstances where the public good is best served a person must pass some kind of test or exam; to acquire a job, to enroll at university, to practice law or medicine, to drive a car. Why not politicians and political appointees, whose actions and decisions can and will decide the life or death of citizens, let alone foreigners.
A 100 question comprehensive test on both should be given to anyone who wins an election or is appointed to national office, before they are allowed to take the oath of office. A score of 90% (90 correct answers) or better will be passing. Failure to pass will mean the next runner up will be allowed to take the quiz. If no one passes, the previous officeholder will be reinstated, or another election will be held, or another appointee nominated.
I am registered to vote as an independent, and have been so my entire life.
I will decide who and what to vote for without regard to the affiliation of any party.
I typically review the policies of the Republicans, the Democrats, the Greens, the Libertarians, and the Tea Party.
I find merit and problems in some of the policies of each of them.
I believe considerations of religion should be left out of the political system entirely. I believe this was the intent of the framers, as they recognized the powers of the church to incite and inflame the passions of a people, and wished to avoid such influences upon the people of this new nation. I also recognize this to be an absurd desire, and impossible to accomplish. But could we at least not get so angry with each other?
Better we should rely only upon the laws of men for guidance. Things like the golden rule and other laws having to do with human dignity. And no where are such things enshrined better than in the teachings and words of many great men, including one named Jesus, who by the way, I do not believe was a god. If you do that is fine with me.
The First Amendment agrees:
Amendment I (1791)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Only if everyone makes the effort to understand other’s viewpoints will we be able to move forward as a species. Our system of government is increasingly being shown to be not perfect. The 2 party system is standing in the way of progress. It was never enshrined in our founding documents. It is time for a change.