A long time ago, in a country very similar to ours, there was an election. Fact is, it was this country. The election of 1828 pitted J. Q. Adams vs. Andrew ‘Stonewall’ Jackson. Without going into too much detail (the book I’m reading, “What Hath God Wrought”, by Daniel Walker Howe [ISBN 978-0-19-507894-7], has all the details and then some), that campaign had a lot of similarities to this nation’s present predicament. Adams had lost reelection, Jackson won based on strong support in the south (the 3/5ths rule notwithstanding).
But the line that caught my eye, on page 283, quoted an unidentified newspaperman from back then. “…the Adams campaign) ‘dealt with man as he should be‘, while the Jackson campaign ‘appealed to him as he is‘”.
Thus giveth a hint of the sermon for the present. Of all the candidates past, present, and future, who has taken the two sides posited above? A prime example is Dr. Ben Carson assuming the former position – and see where it got him now. On the other side, or maybe IN THIS CORNER!!! DONNNNNAAAAAALLLLLDDD TRUMP!!! For the so call Democratic Party, neither candidate appears able to assume a persona of the second order. They both try to preach from the pulpit of ‘I know what you should have’. Adult voters should not be treated like they are four-years old, even if they act that way.
[Sidebar: On the way home last night, I heard a report on the radio that the present campaigns write their speeches at the 6th to 8th grade level, except for Sanders’ – they write to the 10th grade level, the same as Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.]
But, going back to the original contest, one was a possible positive outcome, the other played to the public heartstrings. I suggest that a continued Adams presidency would have been good in the short run – keeping the status quo; but Van Buren’s machinations would have continued, thus only delaying the advance of two-party machine politics.
Which brings us back to today’s conundrum: continue to play the two-party game or strike out boldly against the machine? Perhaps there might be yet another way, but is presently outside of the choice spectrum. Like holding direct elections instead of an electoral college (I purposely spell that in lower case, as recent comments in the media from members of that clique do not deserve to be held in anyone’s esteem.) There’s a saying that Americans (or the people) get the government they deserve. Put the saying to the test then and eliminate yet another group of special interest.
I’m irked at the prospect of a ‘brokered convention’ (more like broken). Political mandarins on a multi-day junket; drinking, carousing, conniving to anoint the next king. For that is what the presidency has become. But not a king of Camelot. Camelot remains a myth, no matter what anyone says about JFK’s tenancy. State politics is as nasty a cesspool as it ever was. History amply supports me on that statement.
It appears to me that there is one true solution. To make the job as displeasant as possible. Make it a position that sensible people would avoid it like the plague. Then ascend the most qualified from the junior ranks (Congress, governors). The one thing wrong with this scheme is it creates a situation where those in the running would do something stupid as to disqualify themselves. But, doing stupid things would disqualify themselves a a lower level of power (they wouldn’t be voted in), thus limiting the amount of damage they could do to the nation as a whole.
Just an idea to talk about.