Election cycles nowadays are so long the dinosaurs are jealous. Election cycles are so long we could talk about them in half-lives, like some something off the Periodic Table of Elements. Election cycles are so long my wife actually nags me to take out the garbage for a shorter amount of time.
Hey, I get no respect. No respect at all.
People from both major parties have been decrying the length of time a candidate must run for office, and I see their point. The moment a president sits down in the Oval Office, he’s gotta stand right back up again and hit the campaign trail. There’s no actual governance going on anymore, just campaign after campaign.
Reminds me of Shakespeare: Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in its petty pace from campaign to campaign. Candidates are poor players who strut and fret their hours upon the stage and then are heard no more. Politics is a tale told by an idiot, full of false hope and unfulfilled promises, signifying nothing.
What, too erudite?
Perhaps not surprisingly, I have the solution (I can solve most problems, so long as they don’t involve 7th grade math) and it’s not what everybody thinks. Don’t make election cycles shorter, make them longer — much longer.
I call it the Olympic Committee Plan.
Think about it. We know where the Olympics are going to be held years in advance. This allows a city to get ready — build infrastructure, start to advertise — and gives all us viewers a chance to buy tickets to Russia in 2014, or Rio in 2016 (only 1,746 days to go).
Under my Olympic Committee Plan (Patent pend.) candidates for national office would be elected at least a full term ahead of time. This would give a soon-to-be-candidate a chance to get the whole election thing over and done long before they actually took office. It would give them a chance to learn the ins and outs (and upside-downs) of government, and it would give us voters a chance to really see what these folks are like in the field.
Think about it: Let’s say the nation elected John Doe to be president of the United States for two terms, starting in 2020. But in 2017, Mr. Doe is caught in a hotel room with an underage prostitute and a few questionable stock tips on his Blackberry.
He could be impeached before he ever took office. This would save a lot of trouble.
I think we should actually go further (there’s a surprise), and treat politicians like livestock. We could breed them for the qualities the nation desires — honesty, blood-lust, chastity, whatever — and elect the candidate with the best genetic profile BEFORE HE (or she) IS EVEN BORN.
Take a bit of Reagan, some Clinton, a smidge of Obama, a heaping of FDR and a just a dash of Carter (not too much, wouldn’t want to spoil our genetic soup) and … poof! You’ve got the perfect candidate for election in 2064.
That nascent world leader would get the best in-vitro care. No doctor would ever drop that baby on its head (as some of our presidents seem to have been). Top-flight schooling, training in diplomacy — just take away all the guesswork and get down to brass tacks.
“If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then unto me,” Shakepeare said.
Bring it on, Will. Bring it on.
Jordan Fenster is the entertainment editor at the New Haven Register. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/NHRegBuzz or find us at Facebook.com/NHRegBuzz. Text NHNEWS to 22700 to get news alerts directly to your cell phone. Standard message and data rates may apply. Text HELP for help. Text STOP to cancel.