I wonder what our political system would look like if we reformatted the primaries to be structured thematically on federal issues, rather than whoring candidates to the bias of target demographics in iowa, NH, . . . etc.
i.e. week 1 of the primary cycle focuses entirely on health care. (insurance costs, patient privacy, drug patents, personalized medicine, etc.). There are so many awesome, free educational resources on these topics available online (Reddit AMA; free online college courses; wikipedia; TedTalks). It would be great if we could coordinate an effort across platforms to focus on informing people about that 1 specific issue. Also, everyone loves a good netflix doc. . . surely you could get some directors to produce documentaries tailored to the primary issue schedule.
After the People interested in the topic have a general understanding of the basic tenants of the problem, you could host a “town hall”. Personally, I think a shark-tank style format (/case competition) where multiple teams pitch their ideas to a panel of experts who push-back on the specifics, rather than having people debate at each other, would be more effective. The presenters could be really anyone who has the ability & a good idea. They are not campaigning to get elected — only promoting a policy idea.
Repeat this cycle for each of the major themes you selected. Within each theme, hopefully, there will be a couple of ideas that seem promising or have a lot of support. A month or 2 before the election, the party’s candidates for president say which of the ideas in each theme they support / are against. have 1 debate. the entire party votes on the nomination on the same day. move straight into the general. by design, there’s no time for the needless political entertainment that is so degrading to our democracy.
This isn’t a practical idea or solution. But it does make me think — wait, why do we care so much about who these people are? I’d prefer if my elected officials and I had, at most, a co-worker-esq relationship. Please just do what I need you to do without making me listen to a story about your weekend.
Secondly, I have experience with lobbying. yeah, it’s as disgusting as you’d imagine. But, the effectiveness may be overstated. well, no, it’s effective. But, it’s expensive and it’s suspect. It can be gamed easily. People in lobbying don’t understand this. It’s the most niche field of people ever. (rich white kids get political fundraising jobs via their parents connections; state lobbyists rely on the good ol boy system; big corporations kick all the regulations to the federal system that is easier to control & is run by a revolving door of idiots who think they are gods b/c they went to an Ivy). The west coast tech culture has begun to figure out the game & play it way, way better than everyone else (think Uber, AirBnB, cannabis, DraftKings…hopefully Hyperloop). It’s only a matter of time before Fintech puts serious pressure on the banking scam…lol who am i kidding, banks will never lose.
To beat lobbying — keep it on the state level as long as possible b/c it’s harder to consolidate & control (usually); stop pretending that money is inherently dark & require transparency on all major political spending or contributions; encourage innovation; and stop reading your local newspaper’s article about [moral issue y], getting upset at the [insert politician or institutional name] because he/she/it did a [boring fact, boring fact, unsupported assumption, load language pretending to be objective conclusion]. Abortions, guns, and jesus are my proxy wars of choice for controlling a politician (the South makes it too easy).