This I Believe

Ellis - Manassas, Virginia
Entered on June 26, 2007

The problem with politicians who aspire for political power is that they want to hold that power in perpetuity for themselves, and they continually strive for ever more. In pursuit of their aspirations, politicians do more to serve the office they hold and less to serve the intended constituency of that office. Thus, with another election around the corner, I believe that politicians should be randomly chosen from the general population.

Instead of having elections where politicians pander to special interest, elections ought be banned. No more miscounted paper chads and no more electronic voting machine glitches. Forget about these year long political campaigns that no one but pundits heed. Stop the senseless spending of millions of advertisements that do more to confuse the issue than to enlighten. Instead, let’s institute a national lottery where citizens are randomly selected to hold political office.

Can you just imagine the possibilities if every citizen had an equal chance to become the next President of the United States of America?

Education would become of paramount importance. Every child in America would receive a world class education because America could not afford to have a single child not live up to his or her full potential. No matter what the child’s race, gender, economic resources, or background—whether from the hills of Appalachia, the backwaters of Mississippi, or even a reservation in Oklahoma—that child’s education would be second to none. America could simply not risk having any child be ill prepared to assume the responsibilities of highest office in the land.

Civic duty would necessitate everyone’s participation in the great debates of the day. Ignorance would be blasphemous, and America’s culture of ignorance would have to be abandoned. People would have to stay informed of current events as well as the larger world around them. The burden of failing to do so would be enormous as the fate of humanity and nations might very well depend on such civic diligence.

And people would have to treat each other not by the limitations imposed by circumstance but by the potential manifested within the human spirit. People would treat others as people ought to be treated: with respect, dignity, kindness, and compassion. With everyone having an equal chance to wield the powers of the presidency, how could anyone risk destroying the hope and the potential of another with abuse, hate, prejudice, or—worst of all—indifference?

No longer could someone hold the notion that another’s loss is his or her gain. Because people would realize that the gains of others is a gain for themselves in a world where every citizen has an equal chance of becoming the President of the United States. We would all be working together for a better future, a better world, and a better America. And in this America where elections are banned, I believe true democracy just might flourish.