Monday, November 20, 2006

Some Rights Just Have to be Surrendered

(Originally published at OpEdNews)

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

Well, maybe.

I’m as liberal, progressive socialist, leftist, pinko, commie as they come.

However, I’m saying that we need to give up some freedoms to protect our basic freedoms. I know, I know, you’ve never read anything so Orwellian in your life.

Let me try to explain.

When the wealthiest people are the only people who can afford to run for important national office, you get a bunch of bored people in leadership positions. What could people who have everything possibly want?

More. Yep, that’s the only thing that they could possibly want. More power, even more money.

Sure, they can be giving and philanthropic at times. Sometimes they share their excess more with their wealthy friends. It gives them a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. As Bush once implied, not only will the “haves” be helped, but the “have mores” won’t be left out.

But, as long as wealthy people are the only people who can afford to run for office, the “barely haves” and the “have nots” will continue to be left out.

So, unfortunately, here are some freedoms that need to be surrendered.

1. Corporations have to surrender their personhood. After all, if you look at them, you can clearly see that they’re not people. I mean, where are the ears, the eyes, the heart? They are definitely missing a heart.

Consequently stopping them from “contributing” millions of dollars to their favorite political candidates will no longer be a violation of their first amendment rights because they’ll no longer have first amendment rights.

2. People have to surrender their right to announce their candidacies any sooner than six months before an election.

If someone does so or, underhandedly, lets his or her intention “leak out” any sooner than six months before an election, that person will just have to wait for the next election to run for office.

3. The Electoral College electors will have to surrender their rights to jockey the real numbers around when they report them to Congress because there won’t be any Electoral College.

4. Candidates have to surrender their right to spend an obscene amount of money to support their candidacies.

What’s an “obscene” amount of money?

We’ve already removed those non person corporations from the picture, so that should help.

Really, though, who are we to dictate what an “obscene” amount of money is?

We’re the people who are going to hire these candidates, so shouldn’t we determine what their “compensation” will be? Paying someone or taking money from someone to have an edge over a competitor for the same job should be unacceptable to us, the employers, and that candidate should be rejected.

Like any good corporation, we should write a Standard Operating Procedure that defines “obscene”. We’re the employers. We have the right to do that. If we consider how much our favorite candidate can afford, maybe we can develop a standard. Maybe the money should originate from we, the people in the form of equally distributed public money. Yep, we give ‘em some money and tell them to go play, but only for six months.

5. During the six month campaigns, one would think that the candidates would want to use the time to allow people to learn about them. However, some candidates may still be tempted to speak about non issues.

Keeping this in mind, the candidates will surrender their right to address non-issues.

These issues include non relevant attacks about their opponent’s personal affairs - and you can take that any way you want.

Candidates may only speak about what they would do to improve social conditions, economic conditions, all domestic and international situations, if appropriate for that particular political race.

A candidate still maintains the right to explain how he or she differs from his or her opponent(s)’ positions concerning issues relevant to the welfare of his or her constituents, whether they’re local people or the entire citizenry of the country.

We should have the right to force a candidate out of the race if she or he veers from political relevancy. In fact, veering from political relevancy is another good candidate for a standard operating procedure.

There may be more rights that should be surrendered in order for the vast majority of us to keep our basic freedoms. In fact, please feel free to add your candidates for surrenderable freedoms.

To friendship,

“Truth is on the march, and nothing will stop it.” - Emile Zola

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