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Despite the outcome on Tuesday, this election process has once again exposed some real weaknesses in our country. Number one, every campaign cycle we Americans are hit hard with propaganda (i.e. well-crafted lies and disinformation) from both the Democratic and Republican parties. We deserve better than this. Number two, the two-party system doesn't actually promote democratic values because it limits the rise of other parties. Is this freedom? Finally, number three, we Americans are some of the least-informed people on earth. We lack a deep understanding of ourselves, the political process, other cultures and history. Part of this is due to an educational system and society that do not promote independent thinking. A healthy society and democracy is only as good as its people, and we have much more work to do. Taking these weaknesses into account, our standing in the world has increasingly eroded and our place among nations is in question. Despite what we like to proclaim during election rallies, we certainly can't look at ourselves and honestly say we are the best. We do, however, have potential to bounce back and we have the foundation (e.g. our sacred texts, our resources, our youth, our creativity) upon which to do so. Let's get to work!
This is how I would reform the election process
1. Get big money out of campaigns. It's a shame that any president needs in excess of half a billion dollars to get elected. Campaign dollars should come only from public financing and should be a limited amount.
2. Use bi-partisan and independent watchdog groups to check facts for any ads that could be aired on TV, radio or the Internet for either party. If the info doesn't jive, well, the ad won't be run.
3. Reduce the campaign from the 2 years it took this one to a maximum of one year. In fact, even shorter than that would be better.
4. Make it an even playing field so third party candidates can compete with the two-party system. Money for campaigns should be equal. Also, third-party candidates should be permitted in debates.
5. Invest heavily in a very thorough Civics education so that all Americans will have exposure to government and politics, so that they understand how it works.