How To Get Good Government: The Formula (EP. 404)

If we are going to get the politicians the nation needs, we must be the voters the nation needs. Politicians reflect the electorate. That is the subject of today's short-form episode.
If we are going to get the politicians the nation needs, we must be the voters the nation needs.

Question: How do we get a government of thoughtful, dedicated public servants, committed to the people and the nation? Candidates and office holders who do deep dive research before taking a position, and are willing to learn from those with opposing opinions? Office holders committed to the people and the nation, not to themselves?

Answer: We need to be thoughtful, dedicated citizens and voters. Voters who do deep dive research before taking a position, and are willing to learn from those with opposing opinions. Voters who are  committed to others and the nation, not to themselves.

If we are going to get the candidates and officeholders the nation needs, we must be the voters the nation needs. The people we elect will be no better than the electorate that chose them. If we are lazy, biased, echo chamber voters, we will get lazy, biased, echo chamber politicians. The computer world calls this GIGO; garbage in, garbage out.

That is the subject of today’s short-form episode.

N.B. This is a summary, acting as a signpost, pointing you to this episode on both the new Revolution 2.0™

YouTube channel, and where you enjoy your podcasts, e.g., Apple, Google and Spotify.

 

Continuing:

With every right or privilege, comes an equal or greater responsibility. Do you agree? This principle is pivotal to success in our lives as individuals, and to achieve success as a society, as a nation. Now, let’s take a whack at applying this principle.

We are all allowed free speech by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Note that there are five parts to this amendment. And we must exercise responsibility in how we use this right. For example, the SCOTUS abortion ruling discussion needs to be grounded in science and law, asking four questions: 1. What is the role of SCOTUS? 2. Is abortion covered in the Constitution? 3. When does life start? 4 When is it appropriate for government to sanction the taking of a life?

The point that I am making here is not that I am pushing to a specific answer to any of these questions. I have my answers, but that is not where I am going. I am pushing us all to have reasonable, thoughtful and well researched discussions designed both to enlighten others and learn new things ourselves along the way to arriving at sound decisions and useful paths forward. Screaming, “I am not your baby machine,” in one direction and “Baby killer,” in the other direction further widens and deepens the divisions in our nation, and is the opposite of what I’m talking about when I urge us all to be responsible in how we handle the free speech right.

By now, you may know that I am not a fan of, “Get out the vote,” I am a fan of having all thoughtful, careful voters, as we are defining them, having multiple ways over multiple days to cast a ballot. And that is the case everywhere. Before anyone votes, the right that is the cornerstone of any democracy, they need to know at least some bedrock facts about the US and its history, and more than the party affiliation of the candidate. And we must all be responsible in how we exercise that right. Not just in observing the law, but in being fully prepared to cast a well-informed ballot.

Anyone who wants to become a naturalized citizen must pass a ten word written test. Even with 60% as a passing grade, very few of today’s voters could pass. Why is that okay? Here are some example questions:

  • We elect a President for how many years?
  • In what month do we vote for President?* 
  • What is the name of the President of the United States now?
  • What is the name of the Vice President of the United States now?
  • If the President can no longer serve, who becomes President?

And the most serious hard ball questions are:

  • Who is the Chief Justice of the United States now?
  • Who was President during World War I?
  • What is the rule of law?
  • Who was President during the Great Depression and World War II?
  • Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States.

As part of being qualified to vote, what is wrong with asking voters to get six out of ten questions, randomly drawn from the list of 100, correct? And require a new test every four years, kinda like renewing a driver’s license. It is completely irrational to expect that casual, mostly uninformed voters will ever give us the leadership that we need. In addition to being irrational, it just ain’t gonna work. Those voters will be manipulated and led around by the nose by the political forces in America. The political class will alway be in charge, and will always put their needs first. We the people must be in charge. And we must work hard to be prepared, well informed voters.

We are never going to make that into law, so how do we get there? Voter integrity. Each and every voter must hold themselves to that standard. While holding ourselves accountable, we can hold each other accountable. As always it is up to us to make our democracy succeed. Or fail. As of now, we are failing.

Question: How do we get a government of thoughtful, dedicated public servants, committed to the people and the nation? Candidates and office holders who do deep dive research before taking a position, and are willing to learn from those with opposing opinions? Office holders committed to the people and the nation, not to themselves?

Answer: We need to be thoughtful, dedicated citizens and voters. Voters who do deep dive research before taking a position, and are willing to learn from those with opposing opinions. Voters who are  committed to others and the nation, not to themselves.

We all have the personal responsibility to be well informed, highly responsible voters. Speaking of personal responsibility, this principle does not stand alone; the two main and interdependent principles at Take Ten With Will Luden™ are:

1. Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.

Where do you stand? What are you going to do? Remember, it does not matter where you stand if you don’t do anything. You can start by subscribing to these episodes, and encouraging others to subscribe with you.

As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:1.

Contact

As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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This is Will Luden. We’ll talk again soon.

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