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Perry County
 
Congress Should be Run Like Jury Duty

From the best blog ever to grace the Internet (mine):

https://mindescrow.wordpress.com/201...ike-jury-duty/

I'm not the only person to think of this. Someone in Greece thought it up a few thousand years ago, but it should probably be re-examined.

Neat.

The idea behind this blog isn’t to throw all kinds of insanity onto the web, because there are already plenty of kooks and armchair philosophers to do that. I try to be pretty normal, or rather, practical. This won’t be one of those blog posts, sadly.

Okay?

No one likes politicians. No one trusts politicians. Politicians make too much money and just want to get themselves re-elected. They’re hypocrites, they steal, they lie, they cheat – they are the vilest of the creatures that slither across this planet. These are, with few exceptions, an academic series of points.

So why do we let them make our laws? Why do we elect them? We COULD just vote them all out, I guess, but they have the money to run campaigns, and the connections to get on TV and in the newspapers. So that’s a real bitch. Social media and the internet surely make it easier for many candidates to reach out to voters, but even that has limits. For some reason people keep voting for the old, the stodgy – I hesitate to say “safe” because, really, electing these people is anything but – and keeping us in the endless loop of politics as usual. This all sounds somewhat cliché, but that’s because it is. Things really don’t change that much.

The Idea

So what do we do about it? Here’s a crazy idea, absolutely nuts as it is: Congress should be like jury duty, where members are selected and it is a required part of citizenship to make oneself available for it.

How it Could Play Out


It would be a shocking, revolutionary return to something resembling direct democracy. Except it wouldn’t be, not exactly. In the House, states would still be recognized by population-proportionate numbers of individuals. The Senate would still get two from each state. If we want to break things down demographically, we could finally get fairer representations for minorities, women, and income brackets. Do you feel marginalized because you’re black? Latino? Asian? Well, you’d get a population-proportionate number of representatives in the House. Are you a woman, and / or feel like women are under-represented? BAM. Half the House would be women, at least. Do you make $30,000 dollars a year and struggle under constant debt, and feel like the system and officials do nothing to help you? Do you think politicians are all rich white assholes who have no idea what it’s actually like to work for a living (because that’s all true, as a rule)? Well, income levels could get representation. All or none of these could be included in the selection criteria.

Want everyone to have at least a bachelor’s degree? Done. Master’s? Okay. Think education levels should be represented demographically for each state? That could be done, too. Age restrictions of 25 or above, 30 or above, 35, etc. All of these are potential, reasonable limits that could be placed upon the selection process to ensure a fair and informed body of legislators.

You might think, “Why on Earth would someone willingly commit years of their lives to, basically, jury duty?”

Simple. We keep pay the same. Currently, a “normal” house or senate member makes $174,000 a year. Leaders get more. The median household income in the US in 2003 was $45,018 per year. That’s half above that point, and half below. The vast majority of households make nowhere near $174,000 dollars a year, let alone as one side of the income. People do everything they can to get out of jury duty. Instead of that, people would be doing everything possible to be selected to serve in Congress – kind of like what happens now, I imagine, except with some actual limits as to who’s and how’s.

It’s Not Perfect

There would certainly be some drawbacks and challenges to overcome. For one, not all non-politicians are created equal in their abilities to communicate effectively and forcefully. Not everyone is a good public speaker, or debater, or even good at being a “people person.” It is absolutely conceivable that a few dynamic personalities may, especially and perhaps only at first, dominate the discourse and agendas of the House and Senate.

There’s also the fact that most people aren’t nearly as used to having to compromise on things they are passionate about. Unlike politicians as they are now, who only care about most topics insomuch as they can get re-elected for fighting for them, “regular” people would bring a lot more stubborn verve to arguments. A system for overcoming deadlock may also be necessary as a result.

There would also need to be a basic level of legislative understanding imparted upon a group of people who may have never paid attention in civics class. Each incoming class of legislators would need to be trained and schooled on congressional procedure. Just as the system works now, new representatives should be brought in on a staggered basis so the entire legislature isn’t all new members at the same time.

Also needed would be an oversight system to keep out those who would take bribes. Let’s get rid of lobbying altogether, while we’re at it.

Why it Will Never Happen

These sorts of changes would require current legislators to actually change the Constitution. Elected representatives would be voting themselves out of their jobs and that sure as shit isn’t going to happen. If people have the resolve to elect individuals who would simply go in to vote for this sort of change, we wouldn’t have to change the system to begin with. We would be able to elect people able to effect changes with the current system if that were at all possible, and I wouldn’t be writing this now.

The other possibility is armed revolution. America is not exactly the Tea Party-ing bunch of turds that FOX News would have us believe, so that isn’t going to happen.

Hokay

This is obviously never going to happen, probably anywhere, ever, but in the words of Gnarls Barkley, it’s just a thought.

***

If you hated this blog post, you'll probably also hate such things as:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_last_supper
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_Cave
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramids_of_Giza
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_Jest

But really, thoughts?
Old 06-28-2011, 06:46 PM Perry County is offline  
#1  

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SemperFly
 
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Quote:
If we want to break things down demographically, we could finally get fairer representations for minorities, women, and income brackets. Do you feel marginalized because you’re black? Latino? Asian? Well, you’d get a population-proportionate number of representatives in the House.
that is utterly fucking retarded


edit: why would you compare this blog psot to da vinci or plato or...fucking pyramids?
Old 06-28-2011, 06:48 PM SemperFly is offline  
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Perry County
 
This is the best democratic opinion piece since Thomas Payne.
Old 06-28-2011, 06:57 PM Perry County is offline  
#3  

joemama
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So many reasons why this wouldn't work (and be a bad idea) ...too many to list really. It might work ok for a really small, mostly homogenous country (like Iceland) where everyone pretty much shares the same cultural background/education level...but for most countries it would be a giant clusterfuck.
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:36 PM joemama is offline  
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tegandje
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joemama View Post
So many reasons why this wouldn't work (and be a bad idea) ...too many to list really. It might work ok for a really small, mostly homogenous country (like Iceland) where everyone pretty much shares the same cultural background/education level...but for most countries it would be a giant clusterfuck.
Winner.

People who have witnessed both state and national level politics/politic'ing can tell you why things are run the way they are run.

Hide your ... public interests and go all in on things that benefit you directly.

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Old 06-28-2011, 07:39 PM tegandje is offline  
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Forever Domon
 
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while this is silly, i think we should do on a national level what california did.

Stop paying congressmen when they dont pass a budget on time.
Old 06-28-2011, 07:43 PM Forever Domon is offline  
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tegandje
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forever Domon View Post
while this is silly, i think we should do on a national level what california did.

Stop paying congressmen when they dont pass a budget on time.
Pffttttttttttt budgets are tarded that would make people not chillax on unemployment 98 billion trillion panda hours per drizzle bizzles
that'd make shit be more productive n shit nigga
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:44 PM tegandje is offline  
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pyramid
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I would support this to end the cronyism but in reality it would probably lead to really crappy officials and laws.

especially in the house where the turnover would be every 2 years. people would just be learning what they are supposed to be doing by the time you toss them out.

It seems like a good idea until you put some serious thought into it.
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:56 PM pyramid is offline  
#8  

Straw Man
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It's a good idea until you realize "your peers" are the kind of peers that for example, see a youtube video about the gold standard and believe everything they see in a youtube video 100%
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Old 07-02-2011, 06:54 AM Straw Man is offline  
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joemama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RuHo View Post
It's a good idea until you realize "your peers" are the kind of peers that for example, see a youtube video about the gold standard and believe everything they see in a youtube video 100%
I don't know anoyone irl that believes that or most of the shit they see on the intarwebs. The real issue is that we would see special interests go to a whole new level...from the state level to specific neighborhoods and even personal interests. Each session of congress would end with congressional police dragging people out after a huge brawl..

edit- might make CSPAN worth watching though.
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:09 AM joemama is offline  
#10  

Straw Man
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joemama View Post
I don't know anoyone irl that believes that or most of the shit they see on the intarwebs. The real issue is that we would see special interests go to a whole new level...from the state level to specific neighborhoods and even personal interests. Each session of congress would end with congressional police dragging people out after a huge brawl..

edit- might make CSPAN worth watching though.

free willy hasn't been gone even for a full year, and here you are tarnishing his memory


(seriously though, just the sheer popularity of things like zeitgeist and all the fucking 911 conspiracies is enough to invalidate most human beings from ever making actual important decisions for others)
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:12 AM Straw Man is offline  
#11  

zumpiez5
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I didnt read OP, but, I think there should be longer terms, but no re-elections. 5 years term, cant come back. That way it gives them the freedom to actually do something without caring about being re-elected.
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Old 07-02-2011, 10:03 AM zumpiez5 is offline  
#12  

gwiber
 
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One of the most obvious ways of cleaning the crap up in Washington is really fucking simple.

NO RIDERS, in Bills. Period.

Most pork barrel spending and special interest money, gets slipped onto bills, tacked on as riders, to appease various congressmen so they will vote for a bill (who are also trying to appease lobbyists). In a lot of cases these riders themselves have nothing at all to do with the issue the bill is pushing forward.

(Ex. some law about solar power getting something tacked on that okays money for horse ranchers in Nebraska because the Nebraska congressmen have friends who are horse ranchers that need money. and contribute heavily to his campaign. Nebraskan congressman could give a shit about the bill. bu suddenly he becomes "Pro solar power!")

If we could cut pork barrel spending in the government, and SHOOT the fucking lobbyists, we might come a damn sight closer to being in a balanced budget, and telling China to piss off.
Old 07-02-2011, 10:42 AM gwiber is offline  
#13  

möbiustrip
 
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Plato's gay, democracy sucks, and self-signed certs are worse than pimping your own wordpress blog.

You have died.
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:52 AM möbiustrip is offline  
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