If I Were In Charge

crushedtomato300pxI had a fun discussion on my Facebook wall yesterday with a friend. It started as an innocent comment my son made. My son said, “Ketchup is tomato blood.”

What followed was a political diatribe using vegetables as euphemisms and discussing things that are wrong with the way things are done in this country. I later followed up that thread with a conversation with that same friend, in which we both discussed what we would do if we were put in charge of running the country.

I’m sure everyone has their own ideas of how to make things better, and most people, regardless of what political party they affiliate with, agree that the government screws up a lot of things. One thing in particular that came up in our discussion was welfare. Now, before anyone gets upset and calls me a baby-hater and talks about how I don’t want low-income families to have their needs met, let me clarify: I’m not against welfare. However, I do think the welfare program itself is run poorly. In many cases, people receive far more help from the private sector. Private institutions, in particular religious organizations, run more of the shelters, food banks, and other practical sources of help than the government. And, as a whole, they are run more efficiently and with more caring than government institutions. The goodness of people and their willingness to give for a cause, especially a cause they believe in like helping the needy, far outweighs bureaucracy.

Another thing we discussed was the two-party system. Most people I talk to, on both sides of the party lines, think things could be better. I keep waiting for the year when we as a nation are so fed up with the two-party mud-slinging and hate-mongering that we’re willing to seriously consider a third-party candidate. Neither political party is what it was fifty or even twenty-five years ago. The ideals that the parties originally stood for are so far buried beneath political double-speak that what they are now is totally unrecognizable. Unfortunately, we often believe what we are told by people (and media outlets) we trust, and we are afraid to step into the unknown and take a risk on something new.

There are dozens of other things I’d do differently than the government. The budget (wouldn’t we all?). Taxes. Foreign policies. Teachers salaries. Congress’ salaries. I could go on and on. And I suspect most people have their own opinions of all the things they would do differently if they were in charge, as well. But since they didn’t put me in charge (yet), at least I can educate myself and form my opinions based on facts and common sense and the way things work in the real world, not just based on what some political celebrity told me to believe.


About Avily Jerome

Avily Jerome is a writer and the editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests and is a writing conference teacher and presenter. She writes speculative fiction, her ideas ranging from almost-real-world action/adventures to epic fantasies to supernatural thrillers.

4 comments on “If I Were In Charge

  1. Your final point is the key, Avily. For a democracy to function well, the electorate must be educated. But too many people accept what the pundits tell them instead of investigating things for themselves.

    I try to vote for third-party candidates when feasible, but often there isn’t one. There are times I really wish “None of the Above” was a ballot option.

  2. We had a two party system here for years, until recently. Now we’ve got 2 large parties and two smaller ones in England and an extra party in Wales and Scotland.
    It does make things a bit better, but you still have the problem that the party which gets elected is usually the one who made the biggest promises (which they must know they can’t keep).
    Just to make it worse, they all seem to have decided that the electorate will only vote for someone who looks young, handsome, and professionally sincere.
    So a competant older statesman gets the push, for a runoff between two photogenic young men. One is now a “guest” of Her Majesty doing time for fraud, the other has had to apologise for breaking a solomn election promise, and possibly destroying his party into the bargain.
    Of course they all go to the best public schools like Eton (ie feepaying, not state school). And when they leave politics they get jobs as “advisors” to big multinational companies. Typically several £K a month for a couple of days work.

    I think what I’d do get rid of national elections, and elect people for say 5 years as and when the seats become free. That way they are always accountable. I’d introduce the USA idea of recall as well.

    Then I’d up their salary (yes really), but ban them from taking any other form of work. And once they’ve held national office I’d ban them for ever from earning money again.
    Let them use their skills for the public good for free. Or if they wan’t then at least don’t let them make money out of us be selling their reputation and their acquired skills.

    • Our politicians get paid ludicrous amounts, and continue to receive stipends after they’re no longer in office. And they make laws that apply to the people but not to themselves, which is completely against our Constitution, yet it continues to happen. There is a major overhaul that needs to happen in our system, but it is almost impossible to change when we elect people who look out for themselves and not for the good of the people they supposedly represent.

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