Robert's Random Ravings

Presidential Elections

The process of electing a President in the United States has really gotten out of hand. I think that it is high time that we make some changes to the process. There are so many areas of the whole system that are out of hand, including, but not limited to:

  • The amount of money it takes to get elected
  • The amount of money it takes to even be a candidate
  • The amount of time spent on the campaign trail
  • The lack of real choice due to the duopoly of the Republican and Democratic Parties
  • The lack of involvement on the part of the general population of the country
  • The Electoral College
  • The Primary System
  • The toll that the election takes on the positions that the people running for office already hold (especially Senators, Governors and Representatives)

I invite and welcome any and all constructive comments on the topic.

So, let’s get started. One of the biggest problems that I see with our current systems is that it takes so much money to get elected. It is estimated that the cost of the Presidential Campaign in 2008 was around $1.6 billion. Wow! There are so many better uses for that kind of money. In a period of time where every state is having to cut its budgets due to deficits, and where the federal government is running obscene deficits of over $1 trillion a year, just think about having to spend $1.6 billion on electing 1 person to office. And then, with all of that money floating around, how is it possible for the candidate not to owe something to someone? I love President Obama, but I am not naïve enough to think that he is above that kind of control. When the big pockets are open to someone, one day they will come asking for a favor. That is a problem.

Another aspect of the money issue is that only wealthy people (or those that know a lot of wealthy people) can actually get elected. Again, this is plain wrong. This weeds out so many legitimate candidates and We, the People, are the ones that end up paying. Think back to the last 4 or 5 presidential elections. Did we really have the best candidates? In 1992, it was a choice between Bill Clinton and George Bush. At the time, neither one was a good choice, in my opinion. Bill Clinton did turn out to be a great President, so at least we had that surprise.

After Clinton, the choice was Gore and George W. Bush. This choice was so bad that the election was not even decided by the people. It ended up being decided by the Supreme Court (this is a whole other issue that I will not even get into here). Then in 2004, the choice was to re-elect an incompetent George Bush or another Democrat automoton – John Kerry. I know that I was never able to get excited about John Kerry as President. Was anyone? It still ended up being a close election (tribute to just how bad of a President W was more than how good of a candidate Kerry was).

In this past election cycle, I think we got the right person elected, but it still boggles the mind to think of the amount of money that he was able to raise (and spend) to get elected.

In a future post, I will discuss some of the other problems that I see with our current Election system.


06/02/2009 - Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , ,

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