Problem: Look at a couple of recent polls. Seventy-one percent of Americans want to fire Congress but only 47 percent are willing to fire their own congressperson. That’s the problem. We are “responsible” as a total electorate but not as individuals (electors or otherwise). Debts and debtors; corrupt or not. Term limits are easy; just don’t re-elect them. But we will — individually. And that’s how it happens. We select representation like our favorite, inconsequential light beer — following a moneyed corporate campaign for popularity.
Solution: No congressional elections. Institute a “Legislative Draft.” At age 18 you register — like the military (Un)Selective Service. With a high school diploma (home-school included) or GED, one registers for the congressional draft. Congress would become “neighbors representing neighbors” as was intended. Two years. Live in a legislative barracks. Eat in the legislative mess hall. Visit the doctor at the congressional infirmary. After two years, go home. Patriotic service performed.
Competency? If folks aren’t educated enough, maybe we’ll be compelled to address public education systems, too. Have enemies? Your fault. Learn to get along; you should have treated your neighbors right. No elections, no campaigns, no corruption, no debts and debtors, no absurd congressional benefits.
I would suggest at age 18 you would also register for mandatory federal service. This is another issue, but it would include a variety of services from military to health to public works and conservation. The duty would be a mutual investment with youth, completed through furnishing two years of federally sponsored postsecondary education.
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We might even become a caring society. Who knows?
Brian B. Burger