This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Have you wrapped up your choice for president yet? Are you going with the so-rich-he's-clueless non-Christian, or the up-from-the-street Muslim?
Same question for the myriad other candidates congressmen, senators, treasurers, judges, governors, dog catchers. As the nation slouches toward Election Day, you'll need to solidify your choices in order to help America well, stay pretty much the same.
That's right. Whatever's wrong with America won't be fixed because we elect Romney or Obama or even a birthday clown. What's wrong with America is the process by which we try to fix things. We hold elections.
Contrary to what you've been told, elections are bad. Democracy almost guarantees that the people who get elected are the last people who should. Isn't freedom great?
I'm enormously suspicious of anyone who WANTS to run for office. In order to do that, a candidate actually has to convince you that he or she is smart enough to fix problems that a long line of other people just like them have not only been unable to fix, but have in fact made worse.
And we've kept doing it for hundreds of years.
OK, I know what you're thinking. "Yeah, like you have a better way of doing things, smartass."
Actually, I do. It's called a draft. We stop holding elections and we start drafting people into public office. Here's how it would work:
A state lottery would determine who HAD to serve. Each state would get five draftee slots to fill.
The names of every single Utah resident older than 21 would be put into a giant revolving drum. Then five names would be chosen at random by a monkey with a bag over his head.
If your number comes up, you don't have a choice. You have to serve.
That's that beauty of it. If you refuse to serve, we send you to prison for 10 years and shoot off three of your toes (also selected at random).
Keep in mind that these five people are still not the actual government. No way. The draftees of each state are then sequestered for a period of not more than 15 minutes, during which they think up someone who ought to be, say, the president. The only qualification is that the person be a legal resident of the state in question.
I explained the plan to my wife. She immediately pointed out the high probability of one or more idiots being included in the mix.
Her: "They might pick you."
Me: "How could that be worse than what we have now?"
Never mind. The names of all 50 "nominees" would be placed in a national Bingo basket and three names drawn at random by a drunken raccoon. That would be our government.
For example, say the three people chosen are filthy rich CEO Warren Buffet, musician Kid Rock, and Octomom. These three people would be our entire government for a two-year term executive, legislative and judiciary. If any of the three refuse to serve, we hang them.
It sounds crazy, I know. But I think it would work. I figure a government consisting of people who only want to finish up and go home would serve America better than a government of people whose main goal is to stay in office.
Robert Kirby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/stillnotpatbagley.