Contrary to what's happening in newsrooms across the country, we here at Pamville News feel the country's pain this election season; we just want it to be over, too.
We want an end to the bickering, the mud slinging and the money flashing.
We think that two years of campaigning for office and the new limitless campaign spending are an embarrassment to our country and to our democratic process.
But we here at Pamville News are not whiners, we are complainers. More importantly, though, we are solution finders. We find answers, not more questions. Got it?
First of all, let's throw out the whole electoral college thing. It's outdated, so 18th-century before computers could count to a bajillion in a nanosecond and we had a baker's-dozen different ways to transmit vote counts electronically. One person, one vote.
Americans have more direct input on voting for reality TV talent contestants than for presidents. This solution rewards states that advocate people getting out to vote, like in Wisconsin where a strip club in Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan's hometown is offering free lap dances to anyone registering to vote there. Innovative solutions abound.
Second, let's stop arguing over campaign donation limits and corporation personhood. If a person or Person Inc. wants to donate a gigabillion dollars to support a candidate or a cause during campaign season, go right ahead, ante up, spend away. More monetary power to ya. Here's the thing though: 50 percent tax.
Yep, 50 percent of all money spent on election issues, ads, campaigns, whatever, has to go toward the government entity to which that ballot item applies. The Koch brothers want to spend $5 million toward a presidential candidate's campaign? Awesome, $2.5M of that Koch money goes to the federal budget.
A Twodot businesswoman donates $100 to the mayoral candidate of her choice? Perfect, there's another 50 bucks for the Twodot city budget. Want to pay through the wallet to see a Montana initiative pass? Fine, make out a check in equal amount to the Montana Treasury. Thank you for playing.
Third, we should take a tip from many civilized countries and make the campaign season short, like, short-short. Ten weeks, tops.
We're tired of listening to this blah blah blah for two years. Tired of elected officials wasting two years in office campaigning for the next election. They are supposed to be doing the work for which we are paying them. They can take a 10-week vacation or sabbatical to campaign. Just sayin'.
Fourth, take a tip from Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation. Don't let political parties arbitrarily decide who gets on the ballot. Everyone who wants to run gets into the primary election, then the top winners — equal to double the number of positions to be filled — get on the final ballot.
One senator needed? The top two primary election vote-getters are on the ballot. Need a running mate too? Then the top four vote-getters on Election Day are on the ballot. In our running-mate scenario, the top vote-getter gets the office, and the runner up gets second-in-command. We say, let the popular candidates win. Power to the voters.
So if 107 people want to run for president, then all their names are on the primary ballot and the top four from the primary get to run for president and vice president. No, we don't care if one of the top two election winners is a Democrat and the other is a Republican. We don't even care if one is a Libertarian and the other is that Rent Is Too Damn High guy. Get over it, get along and get something done for the people who voted for you.
And finally, we propose the first eight weeks of campaign season be spent in real competition that tells the public what the primary candidates are made of.
Presidential candidates, for example, would partake in weekly competitions like a Scrabble tournament and a "Jeopardy" competition to demonstrate their book learning. While a good old-fashioned nationwide scavenger hunt and a stint on "Price is Right" will reveal their street smarts and knowledge of their country and the things that those of us on the lower end of the 99% have to know.
We'd also like to see a talent contest. Perhaps "Dancing with the Stars" and/or "American Candidates Got Talent."
Absolutely, we will want to see a final competition based on a reality TV/"Dirty Jobs"/"The Apprentice" combo with that dreamy Mike Rowe moderating as presidential candidates perform a dirty job, and then Americans will get to fire all but the top four candidates in the primary election.
In the last two weeks of the campaign season, the four survivors can hold debates, kiss babies, shake hands, finger point, name call and blah blah blah. We can tolerate two weeks of it. Probably.
(Got problems? We have solutions at firstname.lastname@example.org.)