Our country is twisting and seething within the clutches of people who abuse the power placed in their hands by generally simple folk such as you or I. Turn on the television, open your eyes and ears, and before long they will be assaulted with every brand of hate and villainy. Our politicians walk among us espousing a better way and claiming a brighter day is just around the corner, if only we will give them the power to bring it forth. They claim they are the worthy, the ones willing to make the sacrifice to get the job done the way it needs to be. They say they are willing to fight and bleed for us. They say they are only trying to serve the greater good of the people.But I think we the people can all agree that this is clearly not the case. We all know that we are governed by liars, thieves, and hatemongerers. The only reason we accept their antics is because we’ve been conditioned to believe “the other guy is worse” – though, I freely admit that who is worse between a lion and a tiger may only come down to who is hungrier – and that we don’t have any other realistic option. Our outmoded party lines, along with heaping stacks of money, have successfully narrowed the field of possibilities and allowed “the man” and his many iterations to dictate our actions. While mostly unseen, the control exerted by these parties does far more damage than simply putting the wrong people in power. They have each, in their own way, intentionally made us sick in our souls and led us to believe that the other party was to blame – but they have the cure. Thus, they ransom and blackmail votes from the people, but they never return the pieces of conscience that were stolen or destroy their leverage as promised.
But what are we to do? The plethora of failed candidates independent of the parties during every election makes it clear we cannot hope to attack the problem head on and try to effect change through the system itself. The game is rigged in favor of the house.
Therefore, I humbly suggest a different solution. We need to establish a new game altogether, and one which we can all agree is fair to all parties and all people across the board. It needs to stand above the noise and clearly prove that no one can lay claim to favoritism or discrimination in the outcome. In my system, whether they be passionate orations on the path of humanity or unintelligible screams of pain, all voices shall be heard and considered equally. We shall truly test the merit of these servant hearts and meet the purest essence of who they are. When all is said and done, there will be no doubt in anyone’s mind that “the other guy” is not better and that the winner is genuinely the only viable candidate remaining.
The United States of America has often been likened to a modern-day Rome; I say embrace that connection. Our political system was in many ways based upon the formula they established, so let us now draw upon another aspect of their culture to stabilize it. Henceforth presidential candidates should submit themselves to the custody of the people, and prove themselves and their ideologies in trial by combat within the Political Arena.
We would immediately weed out a great many candidates, I suspect. No one who did not love their country and feel compelled to defend, protect, and serve its people would ever submit themselves to such an ordeal. People could trust in their hearts at least, if not their methods. When I say I love my wife, I mean that I would take a bullet for her. I would die for her. Anyone who wishes to be our President should be able to say the same of Lady Liberty. Simply entering the ring should be enough to establish this for anyone.
Likewise, the Arena would settle any need for relatable stories or empathy among the candidates. There would be no need to embellish stories of enduring sniper fire. They would know what it’s like to be down in the dirt with no way out but through the wall built by the people watching and judging you. Stories of overcoming odds and opposition and fighting “the man” or the 1% would be self-evident. People would see them on their knees praying for life, forgiveness, and strength. Their actions could speak more intense, vibrant volumes than their current wheels within wheels of words ever could.
Conveniently, we have already constructed the perfect delivery system for the Political Arena in America. The infrastructure is already in place to hold these events in various sports stadiums across the country. The invention of the jumbotron will allow people to have a much clearer view of the proceedings than the Romans could have ever hoped, and even candidates who ultimately fail can rest easy knowing that they have at least done their part to help stimulate the local economy. Reality television has already blazed the trail for the perfect template to become more intimately involved with the candidates and their journey through the whole process. Ratings would surely be at an all-time high.
Bringing back the Arena will also help level the playing field for independent candidates. Entering the presidential race will of course be free, though it will by necessity require a certain degree of testing to verify that the candidate is indeed of sound mind and fully cognizant of the undertaking before them (along with obligatory background checks, etc). Money may still provide some small benefit to various candidates in allowing them more expansive options to prepare for their time in the Arena, but it will no longer serve as an intangible barrier blocking the less fiscally endowed from participating. This is perhaps the most important aspect of my plan. Removing control from the two leading parties and bestowing opportunity on the rest of the field is, after all, the primary purpose of rebooting the system.
There are those who will deride my suggestion as “horrific” or “inhumane”, but I challenge them to prove that what we have now is any better. Some good, valuable lives would be lost in the Political Arena, certainly. But they would be freely given of their own volition in service of a higher purpose. What of the lives being trod upon in our current system? It is difficult to even estimate the extent of the damage rippling out from our mistakes. Thousands most definitely are suffering for them. Hundreds of thousands, even millions likely are; perhaps even tens or hundreds of millions. Are the lives of a few paltry politicians really anything in comparison?
“But the power is really in the hands of the people”, they’ll say. “It’s a democracy! We don’t have to resort to all of that, we could just vote them out. We’ll find those people who can truly lead us that way!” This is nonsense. If there were any truth to these statements then things should already be changing. I don’t want to hear about the innovations of the internet and how quickly and easily information can pass among us. I don’t care if you think that online media and networking should shatter the need for millions in backing for political candidates. There is no value in tens of millions of uncast votes. That requires more thought and effort than the collective minds of the country have to put forth. They would have to read more about these people than Brangelina and keep up with them as much as the Kardashians. Those who suggest this are clearly irrational, and I daresay would fail the psychological evaluation to enter my proposed Arena. If anyone can show me a better option than what I have put forth then I will gladly take it. However, I don’t believe there is one to be found. If the power of the people is not going to be utilized properly by the many, then better to put it in the hands of the few under the heretofore outlined directive. The outcome cannot be worse than allowing the few to continue on as they are now.