I hate Presidential political campaign seasons. I hate the around-the-clock news coverage, I hate the “can you believe s/he said THAT?” accusations, I hate the negative ads. Mostly, I hate what it does to people – reasonable, rational people – and how the race somehow becomes a filter for their lives.
You meet a new person at a party or church, and you ask, “What do you think about this political season? Crazy, huh?” But what you really want to know is “which side are you on?” Democrat or Republican? #NeverTrump or #NeverHillary? Good or bad? This or that?
I’ve always said that Washington DC now hands down options from “on high,” though we used to govern ourselves. When this nation was founded, the government acted only to protect life, liberty and property.
In fact, our Founders didn’t want the President to have an inordinate amount of power. George Washington didn’t really participate in the 1787 Constitutional Convention. Because he perceived that people held him in too much reverence, he didn’t want his true positions to affect the proceedings too much. Though he chaired the proceedings, he said almost nothing other than piping in a debate about district size.
He was worried that the President would have too much influence. Imagine what he’d say if he saw one day of cable news coverage in 2016.
He’d be shocked that politics have so encroached into every area of life that we endlessly debate the healthcare, education, and economic policies our so-called leaders hand down to us. He’d be even more shocked that we’re endlessly debating between the two choices that our political system has handed down to us.
We obsess about their “true positions,” like we’re electing a king or an overlord. Every aspect of this campaign season feels “so important” since it feels like our nation is hanging by a thread. Which is true – it is at a crossroads. Consequently, I’ve never seen more acrimony amongst people I admire. One contingency says that voting for Trump sells out your integrity. Another says withholding your vote from Trump guarantees that probable felon Hillary Clinton becomes President.
Choose, they say. You’ve got two options.
This or that. Him or her.
But, there’s a third – much more powerful option, and it just so happens to be the only option that could make a difference in the long term fate of our nation: the Convention of States.
If we call and conduct a Convention of States appropriately, the man or woman who sits in the Oval Office won’t matter as much, because the citizens will take the power away from DC. In a truly self-governing society, citizens should make the crucial decisions that affect their lives.
While we endlessly bicker over him or her, this or that, we inadvertently become part of the problem – we elevate the idea of the imperial presidency.
Let’s take a moment to step outside of the two boxes from which society says we must choose. According to the founders and Constitution, we decide our fate – not politicians.
Instead of focusing so much on who’s running for what, let’s focus instead on working toward enacting lasting results for this nation. Let’s act like the sovereign citizens that our Founders intended us to be.
This article originally appeared in the Independent Journal. Click here to read it there.