A long time ago, in one of my meandering blog posts on an ethernet far, far away…
I’d written a small paragraph on some common sense changes we need for legislation. Of course, it was buried in many other paragraphs; I can’t find it.
With the new administration arriving at the end of the month, I thought I’d revisit this topic here… in newer words.
I’ve listened to my kids with hidden disabilities try to discuss the laws, and I’ve stumbled over trying to explain the laws at their level. I’ve listened to business leaders try to discuss the laws. I’ve even listened to lawyers and legislators try to discuss the laws.
I’m disturbed by what I hear. I’ve heard major Congressional top dogs say things like “We’ll have to pass it before we know what’s in it” and “I don’t have time to read 2,500+ pages of the law before I decide.” I’ve heard people sometimes halting life decisions because they truly don’t understand the law.
This is not a good precedent. Our citizens should be educated and informed and not by 30-second sound bites. Our leaders must understand all consequences of laws, even those that could affect our children, children’s children, all the way to the seventh through tenth generations.
To fix this situation, as a writer, thinker, and common sense country chick, I suggest the following:
- Stop writing all laws now.
- New laws are no more than five pages.
- All writing is sixth- to eighth-grade reading level.
- Font is 14 point with 1.5 line spacing.
- All facts and figures must come from sources outside the government.
- Facts and figures must have at least two agreeing sources.
- Old laws not replaced by new laws should be revised to follow these guidelines.
To this point, I’ve followed my rules. My text is an average grade level of 8.3 with a Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score of 74.2.
Yes, it’s not always easy to write this way. No, not everyone can. But real writers would truly enjoy the challenge and rise to the occasion. (Are you hiring, Mr. Trump?)