Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Vice Presidential Ballot

The way we pick a Vice President is the dumbest way one can think of. No, really. It's stupid. And not just because it's non-existent, but because it's stupid. Yes, I realize that makes little sense.

Look at who our VP candidates are at the moment:

1) Joe Biden, the "safe" white guy chosen primarily to alleviate the "fear" of older white voters who might have otherwise been scared off by a black nominee for President.
2) Sarah Palin, the token girl chosen primarily to "steal" Hillary-loyalists and to show the Democrats that the Republicans, too, can play a "minority" card.

As you can probably infer, I don't much care for either one of them. In fact, I really dislike both of them. So much so, I'm not voting for President this election. I was already unimpressed by either Presidential candidate (though I was leaning one way or the other), but now... well, let's just say the VP choices have turned me off to politics this election season.

Makes me long for the days in which the VP was simply the runner-up in the race for President.

No, really.

Of course, in today's political climate, such a method would almost undoubtedly result in our political system shooting itself in the foot. Deadlock, gridlock, and filibustering would not only become the absolute norm, passing a law would probably become so rare, we'd start having National Holidays when one did actually pass.

So I'm offering a simple solution:

Directly elect the Office of the Vice President.

We love to believe we live in a true democracy, no? Well, this would help the People maintain that illusion. It would also require specific individuals to declare themselves as VP candidates extremely early on, and provide a better opportunity for the public to research those individuals. Not only that, it would prevent Presidential candidates from picking a VP simply for "added demographics."

In short, America would not only get the President that it wants, it would get the Vice President that it wants, as well.


Anonymous said...

You know, there ARE third party candidates, and you CAN write-in your vote. Don't just vote because you don't like either of the two-party candidates. That's just as stupid as the way VP candidates are picked.

And why keep enabling the American public to think that we're in a Democracy at all? We're a Republic. Let's edumacate the people instead of leading them to a false pond.

Posted by Jessica Lynn on September 17, 2008 - Wednesday - 3:26 PM

Anonymous said...

Ahhh! There's the magic word. I hate it when people start spouting off about living in a Democracy, as if it deserved a capital letter. Democracy is one of the most dangerous and unstable forms of government we know of. That's why our founding fathers steered well clear of a democracy. I'm sure you know all that Jeff, but not everyone reading your blog does. I'm a fan of a number of reforms to the legislative branch because if we could trust the Congress, the Pres would be only mildly important and the VP would be essentially superfluous. I'm afraid of the power that the Federal gov't has (stemming from the executive branch lately), that adding more pomp, circumstance, and importance to the executive branch scares me off the idea totally. Unless...we did go back to the VP being runner up...not sure that fewer laws would be a bad thing.

Posted by Jared on September 18, 2008 - Thursday - 4:20 PM

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding? No Founding Father "steered well clear of a democracy." Read the Constitution. There very basis of democracy is built right into the document (Article I, Section 2). which lays the groundwork for what is called a representative democracy. That we are straying towards a direct democracy is beside the point.

And the rest of your reply makes no sense.

Posted by JeffScape on September 18, 2008 - Thursday - 6:51 PM

Anonymous said...

@JL: Voting for third-party candidates in a Presidential race is 99% futile. I could get better results by going to the Middle East and shooting randomly in the hopes of hitting a terrorist. But why waste the bullets, when all I'll accomplish is nothing (at best) or the opposite of what I want to achieve (at worst).

As far as the "we're a republic" nonsense... almost every country in the world is now a republic. There is no specific "Republic" form of government. America was set up as a representative democracy, and has since shifted towards a direct democracy. We're currently a balance of the two, and, as defined, are a democracy nonetheless.

"Republic" simply means "not a monarchy."

Edumacate yourself.


Posted by JeffScape on September 19, 2008 - Friday - 12:33 AM

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