It does not matter how you do it, just so long as you do it. It does not matter that your motives are not pure, nor that your methodology is dishonest, just so long as you succeed. This, apparently, is the motto of the Trump campaign. In the news today, in reference to FBI Director James Comey’s letter of 28 October, Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara, claims that “I think my father-in-law forced their hand in this. And I think if he had not put that pressure on, I don’t even know if we would be seeing this happening right now. I just think she’s had a big problem on her hands, and this is going to be, you know, the nail in the coffin as far as I’m concerned”
If, in the next eight days, it can be proven that Trump had any part in the fiasco that was started by James Comey’s letter, or if it can be proven that he had prior knowledge of the letter, then his claims that the election is ‘rigged’ certainly become true, only with him as ‘the rigger’, not the ‘riggee’. As such, here is my proposal.
I suggest there is no other option than to throw out this election before November 8th and start over. Each party will have the option to stick with their current candidate, or start over with the primary process. The election should be held in one year, on November 7th, 2017. Meanwhile, President Obama will retain the position of President of the United States, which will at least provide some stability to this nation still reeling under the onslaught of ugliness that has been heaped upon us by Trump.
Elections for the Senate and the House should not be postponed, but should proceed as planned on November 8th. Thus, with a Democratic majority in the Senate, President Obama should be able to nominate and the senate confirm a Supreme Court Justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia.
In order to maintain the schedule, whomever is elected president in 2017 will serve only a three-year term, and the next election will be held in November 2020 as planned. Some will decry that this is an aberration, but really … hasn’t this entire election process been an aberration? It has been nothing more than a three-ring circus with Trump playing the role of head clown, Clinton the tight-rope walker.
During the coming year, under this plan, certain changes in federal election law will be drafted and passed. Here are my suggestions:
- Citizens United will be suspended for the duration of this election.
- Contributions by corporations and lobbying groups will be limited to an amount as yet to be determined.
- There will be only two presidential debates and the following rules apply:
- The only discussions will apply to issues pre-determined by the moderator or CPD.
- Time limits for speaking will be strictly observed. Any candidate who talks over the one speaking or the moderator will have his/her microphone turned off immediately.
- Debates will not be broadcast live, but will be broadcast a full hour later, in order to provide real-time fact-checking.
- There will be no tolerance of slurs, mud-slinging, or personal criticism between the two candidates. 3 violations of this rule will result in the end of the debate.
- There will be no audience.
- The two independent candidates ranking highest in the aggregate of polls will be allowed to participate in the debates.
- Attack ads will be strictly forbidden, either in print, television, or online. Advertisements will be allowed only to promote the ideas and qualifications of the candidate purchasing the ad. Any violations will result in hefty fines and potentially the loss of public media rights.
- The release of a minimum of ten years’ tax returns is mandatory for all candidates. No exceptions.
- The trial of any candidate facing felony charges will be moved up on the court docket such that all trials will be heard and decided prior to May 31st, 2017. If a verdict of ‘guilty’ is returned, that candidate is immediately disqualified from the race.
- Rallies will maintain civility. Incitements to riot, people sent to disrupt rallies, or calls for violence will result in severe penalties for the guilty candidate. Hate speech will not be permitted at rallies, and violations will result in the termination of the rally. Legitimate mainstream media cannot be barred from any candidate’s public events.
While I would like to add rules for the media, I cannot in all good conscience, as it would violate the 1st Amendment right to a free press. I would, however, hope that the media has learned a valuable lesson from this year and would use their conscience, rather than their financial goals, as a guideline to responsible reporting.
Well, I think these rules would lead to a much more peaceful and informative election process next year. Gone would be most of the stresses that are causing those of us with consciences and functioning brains to be on the brink of a nervous breakdown. Voters would have an opportunity to learn what each candidate actually stands for or against, to hear their platforms and ideologies. Civility would reign in the entire process. The more I think about it, the more I like my idea.