Well, that certainly was “the week that was.”
Two - count ‘em - two political disasters. A guilty president walked and a state Democrat primary fell on its - er - face.
I’m not a Romney fan but, give the devil his due. He showed guts and conviction while the rest of the Republican sycophants just puckered up and planted kisses on Trump’s backside.
Of course, not 24 hours later, the guy who walked, pounded Romney and House Speaker Pelosi at - of all places - the National Prayer Breakfast. Can you imagine what the attending men and women “of the cloth” were thinking as Pelosi sat eight feet away at the same head table? What went through their religiously-trained minds as Trump berated Romney for voting his conscience and because he took an oath to God?
Trump is not “the devil incarnate.” But, his multiple, oft-proven “sins” make him deserving of “dishonorable mention.”
Trump will exact his vengeance on Romney and others he sees as traitors or “Democrats-in-sheep’s-clothing.” Being “cleared” by Congress of solidly proven, muiltiple crimes, while ignoring the permanent stain of impeachment, he’ll spend the next 10 months ranting as the dictator-wannabe he is.
As for the Iowa disaster, the whole miserable experience could have been avoided if Democrats there would come into the 21st Century and run the effort as so many other states do. The “caucus” method of trying to pick a winning candidate by people playing “Red Rover - Come Over” derives from many years ago when people in small towns held town meetings to accomplish some common goal. Even deciding political issues and picking candidates.
When it comes to national elections, I’ve long believed something that seems to offend people when I suggest it. And it’s this.
We need a national election system as opposed to 50 states running this way and that with varying processes and widely varying outcomes. There needs to be some uniform process that results in realistic results.
A lot of folks get their backs up when you talk of doing something on a national basis. Well, when I was a private pilot, I was licensed and flew under uniform federal regulations rather than individual state laws. It worked. Many services and occupations live with national rules and standards and they seem to do alright. Industries like airlines live with uniform national - and even international - laws and regs.
The end result of national elections is a national office holder. Why can’t such elections operate under national laws to assure accurate, national results? Let the 50 states go their 50 different directions with whatever state election processes they choose. But, unify national elections under federal election laws for federal purposes.
And, another thing: voting by mail.
We did so in Oregon and we do so now in Arizona. It’s great! No lines. No waiting. No trips to some polling place. You get the ballots, voters guides and even postage-free mailing at home. Take time to make your important choices. And, with your free voter guide, you may wind up making more informed choices.
Some folks like polling places. They like hearing “Suzie Smith has voted” announced by poll workers. And, that’s O.K. You can still have polling places but you can have fewer of them. Cuts some of the costs of elections and means using fewer volunteers.
My feelings about uniform national election laws leads to another topic we need to address: updating our Constitution. Our technologically operated country is still tied to a document written 244 years ago. Can you see any successful businesses running on 244-year-old policies?
I’m not suggesting we abandon the principles of the original Constitution. Those principles of honesty, freedoms and purpose are timeless. But, remember. In 1776, it was a two-day horse trip from Philadelphia to Washington. Now, it’s two-hours by train or one hour by air, And long-rifles, back then, were muzzle-loaded and it took roughly two-minutes to reload. Now, an AK-47 can fire 600 bullets in a minute and it takes just 10-seconds to insert another clip.
We are a world that faces change - often massive changes - every day of our lives. We relearn. We adjust. We “change with the times.” But, we cling to the Constitution as if Moses brought it down from that mountaintop and it’s “God’s immutable law.” It’s not and it’s time we recognized that.
The Constitution is often referred to as a “living document.” It is and it should be. And there are very real concerns - very real - about a Constitutional Convention that could be a disaster. But, we need to either bring it into the 21st Century as the “living document” it is or we need to write a new one in keeping with the nation we live in.
We see nothing wrong with changing a law when problems develop. We amend or write new ones as conditions and practices change.
Don’t stone the messenger! I’m just suggesting.
And, I’m also suggesting - no, demanding - we send a new President to address the next National Prayer Breakfast. One that knows why he/she is there and acts accordingly.