Authors are a strange beast, many of them think bulk over quality. The likes of Tom Clancey and J. K. Rowlings go on my personal wall of shame. One of these days I am going to do a Google Maps mashup and show how much of the worlds rain forests have been destroyed in the production of their overly long and generally boring adventures into the world of literature. A book does not need to be 500 pages, it is merely a vehicle to convey an idea, it can be fact or fiction, it matters not one iota, it is a learning tool.
How To Make Your Vote Count is currently available in eBook form only, but should be required reading in every high school in the nation. At under 60 pages it is hardly a rain forest destroyer, but it is an illuminating look at our current governmental system. I doubt that many would argue that over the past 40 years there has been a steady growth in the size of government and power of our elected officials wield. I have even heard it argued successfully that the entire 9/11 devastation was in actual fact a great boon for the government, 9/11 represented the best opportunity in decades to further the needs of the government.
Author Arthur F. Woodrow makes a compelling case. If you take a long hard look at the political spectrum what do you see? Career politicians, this was not what the founders of the constitution had foreseen, being a representative of the people should be a temporary engagement, not a life long career. Yet we have many career politicians today, Arthur points out that something like 90% of incumbents get re-elected, this is a staggering figure.
Equally worrisome is the sheer size of the government and the staggering amount of waste, the author points out that over a $billion of ‘stuff’ cannot be accounted for in the Iraq conflict alone.
Another problem area are the special interest groups and their attendant lobbyists, Arthur Woodrow calculates that for every member of the house there are over 70 lobbyists. Their tactics are nothing short of legalized bribery, pouring millions of dollars into campaign funds and hosting lavish events.
Then we have the actual elected officials, in order to ingratiate themselves with their electorate they slip earmarks into bills that benefit their local communities. The one that has made the press lately is the ‘Bridge To Nowhere’ belonging to Sarah Palin.
The author has a rather unique solution to fixing the entire problem, enact a one term limit on every elected official. This one change would have a huge effect on all aspects of what is currently wrong. The special interest groups would not be able to build long term relationships, earmarking would subside, as there would be little to gain. He also recommends that in the short term everyone should avoid voting for an incumbent.
Arthur has a web site http://www.democracyconservator.org/ which explores his ideas in greater depth.
While I seriously doubt any politician would wish to adopt his strategies it is great to see someone speak out and tell it the way it really is. Keep up the good work Arthur!