When the Founding Fathers made this country, they were sick and tired of tyrants. Run-around-shooting-people-with-red-coats tired. So when they designed our government, they put in a bunch of measures to protect us from being pushed around by tyrants. And it worked okay … I guess.
Right now, we have all our legislators throwing around trillions of dollars and coming up with new laws to inflict on us (it’s going to be illegal now not to own health insurance; did they even have health insurance when the Founding Fathers were around?). And as we see with people like Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters, these legislators just do whatever they want and act like they own the country. So basically we traded having one big, petty tyrant pushing us around for a bunch of little, even pettier tyrants all competing to push us around. And while I guess that is a lot better when you compare it to governments throughout history, it still kinda sucks.
Now that we’ve been doing this whole democracy/republic thing for a few hundred years, it’s time to assess where things didn’t work out as planned. I mean, having all these useless, arrogant people spending like a third of all our incomes is obviously not what the Founding Fathers intended. If they found out about it, they’d probably just start firing their muskets everywhere in a total rage. And if they got their hands on some modern weaponry, who knows what damage they could do; just think of the lobby scene from The Matrix, but instead of Keanu Reeves, it’s a royally pissed Ben Franklin. So it’s probably good that the Founding Fathers are all dead, because we need cool heads to figure out how to fix things.
Anyway, I guess the whole idea for how our country would work was that we’d basically govern ourselves and hire some people — our representative and senators — to represent us in the federal government, as none of us have time for that. And since we’d all elect them together out of our entire population, we’d pick only the best people to do it.
But here’s the problem. Who are the people who tend to run for political office? Political office is hard to get and takes a lot of effort, so only ambitious people seek it. That wouldn’t be so bad if we got smart/ambitious — and the useful kind of smart, not the pointless write-a-doctoral-thesis-on-transgender-Native-American-pottery “smart.”
But what do ambitious, capable people do in this country? They start their own businesses and lead successful lives comfortably away from the fickleness of the ballot box. So that just leaves the people who are ambitious but useless and just love the thought of being able to meddle in all the useful things everyone else is doing. And then the whole election process, where the politicians constantly lie and change their positions on issues to keep their jobs, tends to weed out the people who aren’t also sociopaths. So the system we have has basically set us up to be governed by ambitious, useless sociopaths who love to meddle in everything actual contributors to society are doing. So lawyers, for the most part.
And when you put these people in charge, of course they’re going to just try to grab more power so they can interfere even more, hence the steady bloating of government we’ve seen throughout American history. So what do we do? Change the system to make sure we get good, qualified people who aren’t arrogant weirdos to be our legislators?