Somewhat Random “Letter”

Dear Congress Members,

I am a simple citizen of the United States with a few comments and recommendations which I have formed mostly through living in the U.S., talking with others, reading and attempting to get an education.  I ask that you at least have a staff member take the time to read this entire email, if only to stroke my own ego, although it would be better if the congress member them-self read this and maybe I could convince them of changing something since what we have currently does not appear to be as efficient as we require in this world now or, and this would be even better than anything mentioned prior to this, I can get a thorough response which helps to enhance my understanding of my native country’s culture, politics and situation.

The format of this letter is going to basically be a laundry list with issues that I find and what seems like a good solution in my limited knowledge.

  1. If I have managed to get you this far, I won’t waste your time with the whole list.  The way I see it, this is by far the absolute most important issue in the United States right now everything else follows this. Period.  This issue is the want of caring for politics in U.S. Society.  The Cato Institute even claims that this is a basic fact in the U.S., “We have a different history and political culture than most of Europe. Government is smaller in the United States, and politics matters less to the society and its citizens.”[i] The percent of voters during elections maxed out just under 60% of all eligible voters in 2012.[ii]  The reasons for this numbness to politics are various, multi-faceted.  Most of them are relatively unimportant too, especially for this letter.  But, let us be honest, in a country such as the U.S. which prides itself on being a representative government which receives its power from the people, this is kind of a pathetic turnout for elections and I think this is one of the many symptoms of a disease in U.S. society.  Do not worry I will not be dragging this discussion out any further, I will just go on through to what I think may help.
    1. First off, make Election Day an outright federal holiday where as many places as possible are shut-down.  Then no one can complain they don’t have time that is certain.  (On this note I’d recommend moving election day to Wednesday so it makes it harder for people to just make a long weekend out of the extra day off, yes we can change this, tradition can be just as temporary as a day)
    2. Second, some people may not vote because they don’t want to sign-up for the draft, maybe we could consider changing that? I gladly put my name in so that I could serve my country and vote but others may not be so willing to go to war which I understand and feel should be accepted.
    3. Let’s see, oh yeah, Get. Rid. Of. The. College. That Electoral College is a hold-over from the society of our founding fathers (as is the entire Constitution, but let’s start with baby-steps).  The Electoral College disheartens a lot of people and gives them a convenient excuse to not vote.  So, since this is a useless organization anyway why not take away the excuse?  I know the college has only gone against the popular vote about two times in the history of the U.S. but others don’t and won’t listen to that so, just get rid of it and done.
    4. These appear to be the best you, as a representative can do, besides just doing the usual GOTV stuff, the rest of this solution lies on the individuals in the U.S. but sending an email to 317,292,487 people,[iii] some of which do not actually have email accounts, is much harder to do than to a relative handful of representatives in the government.  Getting that part of the solution is going to take a massive effort.  If we could work together on trying to get that effort started the rest of this letter will be moot and I will consider any further reading a bonus.
    5. Education, education, education.  Remember why the signers of the Constitution created the Electoral College? They didn’t want the uneducated people to get control of the government.  I will be assuming you’re still uncomfortable with getting rid of the Electoral College at this point, well, if you educate everyone what would be the use of the College?  Anyway, I am a student in Canada right now because I am a good capitalist and have gone out of the U.S. to get an education of equal worth for half the price and I am lucky enough to have parents who can support my travels and have good enough credit for my student loans.
      1. The price of education is absolutely absurd, as is how much money presidents (rather, CEO’s) of some universities make and simply all of the money that universities throw around on various things.  This is sort of the pink elephant in the room it seems and I am going to talk about it, especially since it is hanging out in my room and taking up space on my shoulders.  So let us quit pretending that private universities are going to fix all of our problems and get some real public universities, you know the ones that the public can actually go to and afford without having to bury themselves in loans.  If that requires more taxes, so be it. (I want to grind my ax on taxes too but let us work together on getting people to vote first.)
      2. Money in government, yes I know this one is trite, but it is a serious issue as you like to proclaim so often in your own speeches.  Seriously though, money gets moved around way too much and way too easily in this government.
      3. The entire news media.  If you do not think there is something seriously wrong with this group of organizations and how the U.S. deals with the news you definitely need to stop and really think about what you see on the news on a daily basis.  The violence, the pointlessness and long-term memory loss of most U.S. news is astounding and simply angers me.  Think about Syria, when was the last time any news did a story on how that was developing?  How about Afghanistan, Iraq or Iran?  Besides deaths of U.S. soldiers (and even that is left out often) you never hear of any of these countries.  Know anything about what is going on in the U.K., France, Germany, Russia, Turkey, Greece, Sudan, South Africa or frankly any other country on the planet, does anyone have any clue as to what is going on in them in the U.S.?  Probably not since the news certainly never talks about it.  This one could definitely go on forever but I think I will leave it at that for now so onto the recommendations.
        1. Put power back in the groups that put laws into effect for the radio, television etc. the internet is currently entirely unrestricted and I am going to stay out of that for now besides saying that you have to make sure to keep media conglomerates from taking control of that too.
        2. Now the fun part, writing up and passing these laws that will force news groups to give equal time to people on all sides of an opinion, just that making sure that each side of any argument is properly represented I think will make huge changes to politics and life in the U.S. if you don’t believe me, give it a shot anyway it is far from the only time the U.S. has been an experimental place.
        3. Then simply limit the violence, or at least we need to come up with a way to prevent children from seeing the violence.  According to books by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman “On Killing” and “On Combat” the major organizations representing doctors, psychologists, parents and pediatricians has written statements and done research projects and found basically without a doubt that violence on TV and in video games causes children to be more violent and, most importantly, getting the children to turn off the TV and video games led to less violent behavior.  Maybe make a PSA about this so that the media cannot cut it out of the news stories like the tobacco industry once did with studies on cigarettes.
        4. Finally, let us actually get the airwaves public again, make sure the public is aware that their airwaves are public and always will be, along with how to make use of those airwaves and networks in our nation.  We also need to catch up with other developed nations and start putting money into our public broadcast associations like NPR.  Do not make this something you guys can work with every time a budget discussion comes up, make it a constant percentage or something that does not change too often, otherwise the budgets for NPR and others will end up right back where they are now.
        5. Frankly, these are the main issues and about the only way you, the representatives can really do anything for these issues amongst others in the U.S.  in the end though, you are simply a representative and even a bad representative still represents in a way and I feel that this is especially true in the U.S. and the inability and lax-ness of representatives in the government and seeming disconnection from the rest of the country comes from a serious illness within the U.S. which laws will never be able to fix.  This illness is where all of the true solutions lie, but the representatives cannot do much about it until we, the citizens of the United States, decided to change.  The laws only follow the people so it is time for the people to actually take the lead and start working towards the life and government they want.
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