Originally posted on September 12, 2011
Democrat – Republican – two party system – bipartisan – dysfunctional congress
Yesterday, I told two complete strangers at my daughter’s Sunday school that I just started a website that is meant to fix the problems in Washington. After they had a good laugh, saying that was impossible, I persisted in explaining that on this website, anyone can run for Congressman/Senator/President and that people can use their write-in vote to change the face of politics.
More importantly, people can start to really voice their complaints and offer solutions, and we can build consensus. This consensus can be readily compared to what is going on, so that the disparity between the will of the people and what goes on in Washington can be out in plain sight.
One of the women raised the point that even if we got regular people into office, they would soon become corrupt. I imagined a lobbyist waving a wad of cash in front of one of the rubes we write-into office, and that they grab that cash and stuff it into their pocket so that they can feed their family and their children’s families for three generations.
She’s right! No matter who we send to office, at their first sight of the kind of money thrown around Washington, they will cave.
I told her that we need to send a bunch of Mr. Smith’s to Washington, who can’t be bought. She wondered how we voters can tell if a candidate has that kind of resolve and integrity. I said that there must be people who care enough about others that they won’t sell their soul and do the wrong thing for the immediate gratification of their family alone.
They still said no.
So I asked, should I give up?
And without hesitation, they both chimed in no!
I can’t even count how many times people have told me that it’s impossible to change the face of Washington. I get it on a daily basis. But no one ever tells me to stop what I’m doing, and in fact, they are so curious what kind of effect this website will have, they actually encourage me.
I know the odds are stacked against us. Look at what money can buy our candidates in the machine that is our political system: unlimited television time, sophisticated marketing campaigns meant to cloud the issues, deals of every imaginable configuration, making liars and concealers out of even the most trustworthy people.
Another person told me that the money machine that runs Washington really just creates a two-headed monster. We might think we’re voting for one thing or another, but they’re both funded by the same BIG special interests. So when we get more of the same in some of the most egregious ways, it’s because no one stood up to those big guys.
Maybe we won’t be able to change the face of Washington in one election cycle. But we may be able to do it in two or three. I will not give up; will you?