I think it's safe to say a good deal of Americans think first, we're on the wrong political and/or societal path, be they Right Wing, Left, Republican, Conservative, Democrat, Liberal, Libertarian, "Tea Party", Independen or whatever. And second, I think a great deal of us also feel we're terribly, terribly destructive on this path. Many have predicted or are predicting the end of our existence as a nation, at least as we have been for the past previous 300 years.
Herewith, then, I propose 3 rather simple things we could and should do as a nation, to set us back on a constructive, positive path for the nation and all Americans:
1) We should, without question, end campaign contributions. I think virtually all Americans, of whatever political stripe, agree that we need to get, as I've said many times, the big, ugly, corrupting influence of the wealthy and corporations out of our election system and so, our government. If we don't do that, if we don't stop these people from buying our legislators, in effect, and so, their/our legislation and our laws and finally, our government, nothing will take place for the betterment of the ENTIRE nation and not just for those same wealthy and corporations.
2) To that end, so that we, as a nation, don't NEED campaign contributions in our elections and so we don't have non-stop campaigns and campaigning, we need to do what England and a lot of other nations did eons ago and that is limit campaigns to, at most, one or two months length.
Think about it. Campaigns don't need to and shouldn't last that long None of us want to hear these people, anyway. All we want them to do is do their job. All we want and need them to do is work for the betterment of, yes, their constituents, but for the nation overall, as well. Additionally, the legislators don't even want to have to shill and prostitute themselves for this money. Let's put two and two together, come up with four and end all this nonsense and corruption and distortion of the system and nation. Let's end perpetual campaigns. This isn't rocket science.
3) Finally, let's get back to where we don't have television stations and channels taking only one side of issues, either the Republican/Conservative or Democrat/Liberal sides--or any inbetween. Let's reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine. Lest you don't know your American history, a refresher:
The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, that required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was, in the Commission's view, honest, equitable and balanced
The Fairness Doctrine had two basic elements: It required broadcasters to devote some of their airtime to discussing controversial matters of public interest, and to air contrasting views regarding those matters. Stations were given wide latitude as to how to provide contrasting views: It could be done through news segments, public affairs shows, or editorials. The doctrine did not require equal time for opposing views but required that contrasting viewpoints be presented.
Again, it's my contention this only makes sense and is nothing but simple, logical, intelligent and strongly positive for the nation. We have FAR too many one-sided pundits, railing against either policies or politicians and their rants and tirades go either totally un-debated or weakly so. In a lot of cases, if they are debated at all, it is extremely half-hearted.
The dismissal of this Fairness Doctrine, in 1987, by the Republicans, mostly, has led to, in the worst incarnation, Fox "News." It is owned by a wealthy, extremely Right Wing executive and spews nothing but one-sided viewpoints with usually no rebuttal at all or very little at all. There have been countless times when their staff has voiced outright untruths (read: lies). It hasn't mattered. They carry on unabated and unanswered.
Their counterpoint has given birth to MSNBC and while I admittedly support them and their broadcasts (truth in advertising), it is also my view that having both of these channels and stations has been extremely negative on the nation overall. As a country, we have become far more polarized, we only listen to our own preconceived, pre-accepted viewpoints and we don't even listen to one another, too frequently.
With all this history and fact in mind, it's my strongly held contention that we should, without question, bring back this same Fairness Doctrine. I feel also strongly that it would help take some of the vitriol and ugliness out of our elections, our political system, our government and even the nation, overall.
People will scream their First Amendment rights are being taken away but that's nonsense. No one is proposing anyone's viewpoint can't be heard. This only says that, on and in the public airwaves, a countering point of view must also be aired. It is long, long overdue. The original Fairness Doctrine legislation should never have been done away with.
All that said, do I think ANY of this will take place?
Not on your life. Not on mine.
It's sad, it's frustrating, even demoralizing and defeating but not one of these possible legislative moves will be made at all, unless or until we come to some cataclysmic event or events in the nation, heavens forbid.
This is just my way of tilting at a windmill, out here, so to speak.
A Don Quixote of 2014 and for America, if you will.
We have to do what we can.