Fractured and Flawed

The current political situation in the USA has polarized the country at an alarming level. There is no doubt that our political canals have been clogged badly and they need good flushing. This situation has also exposed the flaw in the democracy itself where a misguided and a shallow majority can overcome the forces of logic and reasoning. A great poet and a philosopher, Dr. Iqbal, had rightfully said that in a democratic system you count people but do not weigh them. The following points might be worthy of consideration by our politicians and the reformers.

The fundamental source of the problem is the enormous money being poured into our political system by the vested interests. This forces the recipient candidates to set aside the goodwill of the country and they push for the agendas of their patrons.

The elections cycles are too long and waste of national time and treasury. During the first term, the President keeps worrying about the second term and takes calculating steps in fulfilling his agenda. He then spends his precious time and energy for fighting election for the second term. Perhaps, a longer but one term presidency would make our Presidents more productive and courageous to fulfill their agenda.

Our presidents are constantly the targets of criticism and scrutiny by the Media and the Public and most of the time on trivial and stupid matters. The general media hardly bothers to give ample coverage to what President does and how difficult issues he handles domestically and internationally. One recent example of this was the state visit of the Prime Minister of Canada. With the exception of C-SPAN, none of the cable stations mentioned this visit or the State dinner in honor of the Prime Minister. They remained obsessed with Donald Trump. The general American public hardly knows anything when the President goes to foreign countries and whom he meets and what he accomplishes. No wonder that Americans are often labeled as politically naïve when it comes to Foreign Countries. In this age of globalization, our lack of knowledge about other countries and their cultures is detrimental to our National security. It is time for us to give the office of the Presidency the respect and the attention it deserves. The criticism, scrutiny and accountability are essential in a democratic system and the Presidents are not exempt from this. The irony is that we elect the President after a grueling process and then lose interest in him except criticizing him more often and making mockery of him until he leaves the office and then after few years he becomes significant and in some cases our hero again.      

There are many other areas where we can re-evaluate the situation and take some innovative actions to reform our system of governments. It should include the elimination of life long terms for our Supreme Court Justices, the voting powers of the senators based upon the population of their states, elimination of Gerrymandering and etc.