Friday 09 Dec 2016

Political Arena
Matt Seinberg

I describe myself as a liberal, but not a stupid Democrat. That said, I don’t often get involved in political discussions, but there are too many things going on to ignore them anymore.

Herman Cain is a joke waiting for the punch line. No matter how hard this man tries, he can’t give a straight answer to anything and have it make sense. When asked about what he thought about President Obama and how he handled the Libyan situation, he hemmed and hawed his way through his non-answer. He was like a student who hadn’t done his or her homework, but the teacher called on to answer in class.

I don’t think Herman Cain is someone we want to be president. The biggest thing he ran was a restaurant association and even there he has problems with many women accusing him of sexually harassing them. Do we want another sex scandal in the White House? Wasn’t Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky enough?

If there was to be a businessperson as president, I truly believe it should be Warren Buffett. I’m sure he would straighten out the budget within a year, fix the Social Security system, reduce unemployment and get us out of the awful recession.

The best part is Buffett has so much money, he would not be beholden to any business interests; make promises to political action committees, unions or other politicians to get things done. He would of course have to put his financial holdings in some sort of trust fund, so his presidential influence wouldn’t affect his wealth.

I just read that of 535 members of Congress, 249 of them are millionaires! What, did I read that right? Did they get that way from being in Congress or did they arrive with that kind of money. It seems fishy to me, especially if those 249 women and men became millionaires after election to Congress.

Charlie Van Dyke, a retired radio personality, in the superjock category, now living in Arizona, posted a wonderful idea, on Facebook, for any upcoming election. He suggested we vote out the incumbents and choose someone that has never held a political office before. Nice sentiment; didn’t this happen, in a way, in 2010, but maybe those who never held elected office are smarter than we think.

What Van Dyke suggests is so crazy that it makes sense. Why do we want the same morons and idiots from either party to keep doing the same crap year after year, and not solving all our problems? Term limits might be the way to go, let’s say the mayor can only have two terms in office, in his or her lifetime.

The president is limited to two terms in office. Why don’t Congress people and Senators have limits on their terms? No one should serve more than two consecutive terms in either position; maybe six terms for representatives, two terms for senators. If they wanted to run after sitting out one election, let them try.

As for the campaigns, that could certainly use some overhauling as well. Contributions should be limited to $100 per person in a family, and $1000 from any business. This means huge conglomerates would not have as much influence, since they would be limited the maximum donation to a candidate. Political Action Committees (PACs) couldn’t contribute anything; unions would be limited like businesses. If their members contribute to a candidate, as individuals, that’s okay.

I always believed the ridiculous amount of money spent on political campaigns would solve all the money problems our country is suffering from. Imagine if all that money went towards the federal deficit, domestic programmes to help the poor, medical research and rebuilding the decaying infrastructure. There’d be so many jobs created and the greater good of the people served.

The federal government also should not put any money towards political campaigns. Talk about throwing good money after bad. Earmark that money for social programmes where they would do the most good.

Are we ever going to have a president that has enough brains to stop sending billions of dollars to other countries to help their problems when we can’t solve our own? It’s like one person in a neighbourhood giving an allowance to all the kids that ask. What’s wrong with this picture? Oh, I know, I don’t live in that neighbourhood.

The next time you have a chance to vote, look at the candidates. Decide who will get the job done. Is the hack that’s been in office so long he or she hasn’t had a real job or the hard working regular man or woman that is going to try to make a difference?

I’ll go with the first time candidate this time, and hope I made the right decision. Heck, it can’t get any worse, can it?

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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