Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Frank Mcenulty, an independent candidate for President of the United States, described (in another forum) one of the gimmicks politicians use to maintain their stranglehold on the political process in our country. This scheme affects him directly, and we ignore his plight at our peril.

When expressing his support for term limits in a discussion about the way to select the best-qualified candidates to serve in government, Mr. Mcenulty said, "... in addition to term limits we desperately need to have congressional districts honestly drawn. It is almost impossible to vote out an incumbent or get an official from a different party elected because of how districts are gerrymandered ...". He followed this by saying (and I agree), "Term limits are important, but gerrymandering is just outright fraud against the voters."

The laws that strangle us exist at the state level because there are no express prohibitions in our Constitution to prevent the states from making laws governing the electoral process. Political parties entered the vacuum afforded by our Constitution and enacted ... at the state level ... the rules which limit our ability to select our own candidates or control our own governments.

When those who seek political power are allowed to write the rules by which that power is attained, it is unwise to imagine altruism will be their motivating force. In these circumstances, gerrymandering and all the other manifestations of corruption that engulf us are inevitable. When we let parties control our political processes, we are foolish to expect them to act in a principled manner.

We have a failed political system because we allowed politicians to bastardize our political system to serve their own ends. The depth of that bastardization is astounding. It is certainly not limited to gerrymandering. It pervades the entire fabric of politics from rules for caucuses, primaries and conventions to rules that allow riders on our public laws. The system is powerful and it's deeply entrenched.

Our only recourse is to rally enough support to force the various states to abolish the party-preferential regulations that prevent the American people from governing themselves. Attempts to clean it up must come before our state legislatures, and they have a long history of rendering such cleansing ineffective while misleading the public with lip-service to "cleaning house". Working through the 50 state legislatures is a non-trivial task, but it must be done.

Correcting the serious problems in our political system is a daunting prospect. Doing so without recourse to self-defeating violence will test our intellect and our resolve. I'm certain we can accomplish the task, but I'm not sure how long it's going to take.


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