Democracy under siege
Dear Editor: Most Americans are fed up with the drama of our election process that started more than two years ago — the media blitz, the 16-ring debates, scandals, emails hacking. etc., and, needless to say, the money spent on polling data, super PACS, consultants and pundits. We could have built a couple more Tappan Zee bridges.
Most Americans need less than six months to make up their mind; in most developed countries, it is only few weeks. Considering our average attention span, most of my Republican friends and my progressive Democrat friends have made up our minds long before.
The media/political machine keeps the bunny going as they benefit from the hype, drama, lies, misinformation and ignorance.
Our election is based on money and theater and little to do with democracy, a real curse on our system. The Supreme Court has sided with big business and billionaires in Citizens United, claiming corporations are people and their unrestricted money can buy elections. With more than half the eligible voters staying home even for presidential elections, far behind most other countries, our democracy is under siege.
We have to make it easier to vote — by registering to vote online in every state; automatic registration when you apply for a license to drive, get married or own a gun; or earn enough to pay taxes. Voting should be mandatory, similar to paying tax, with a $10 penalty if you don’t vote in any election, taken off your tax return. When there is such universal voter participation, it should be publicly financed, taking money out of the democracy equation. At the same time, we should give a $10 credit to every vote by a citizen.
This is a simple solution to our democracy, deranged by apathy. This way we will have no one to blame but us if we elect the wrong person to represent us. Thomas Koshy Kingston