Capitol Hill Blue
Famed Watergate-era reporter Carl Bernstein says Congress is so out of touch with America that it may be time to scrap our current system of government and convene a new Constitutional Convention.
“If a private company functioned like Congress it would be out of business,” Bernstein said on MSNBC Monday. “The current system is not working.”
Recent polls show an overwhelming majority of Americans believe our government is broken.
Recognizing that our current system doesn’t work is the easy part.
Fixing it is where it gets dicey.
I’m not sure a new Constitutional Convention will accomplish anything because it most likely would be composed of the same out-of-touch political hacks who lead our government today and the current political system that allows well-heeled special interests to control the legislative process would also weigh in.
It would take approval by at least two-thirds of the 50 state legislatures to call a constitutional convention and any changes would have to be ratified by four fifths (40 of 50 states).
Impossible? Probably, given the sad fact that most state legislatures are as split along bitter partisan divides as those we see in Congress.
So, what’s left?
Risky at best. The United States government has nuclear weapons. Unless the Tea Party has cut a secret deal with the former Soviet Union that gives Uncle Sam a clear advantage.
True, the U.S. military is overextended fighting multiple wars but all it would take is a smart bomb or two to take the life out of any budding revolution.
So I have an easier solution: Let’s require all ballots for Congressional and Presidential elections to include “none of the above” as an option.
This would give voters a chance to say they don’t want any of the political hacks on the ballot.
If “none of the above” gets more votes than anyone on the ballot, nobody’s elected.
Then a new election would have to be held within 60 days but no one who ran in the first election could be on the new ballot. Each candidate in the new election would get an equal amount of public funds for the campaign and no outside contributions or participation would be allowed.
Also, any incumbent who loses to “none of the above” in an election would lose all pension and benefits from service in office.
That’s what happens in the real world when you get fired.