POSITIVE POLITICS: Don’t laugh…it could happen!

In the wake of last year’s election, many of us were left wondering how in the world the process became so broken, and if it can ever be fixed…preferably before 2024. After brainstorming “What if…?” scenarios with my two “woke” daughters and not-so-woke husband, together we stumbled onto a few ideas.

What if… #1: If reality shows can be used to find brides for bachelors and music idols, why can’t we use them to allow all 50 states to nominate 50 presidential candidates? I know it sounds weird, but stay with me…

Democracy is wonderful, but maybe it needs a “face-lift” every decade or so. How frustrating is it when primary season arrives only to find out that a short list of candidates have already been selected for you by “The Party”? Then, once you’ve done your due diligence, you find that the person you like has been eliminated before the election process has begun through little more than rumors and backroom deals.

While the idea of using reality TV seems a bit odd at first, it’s hard to imagine it being any more chaotic than the past few election cycles that we’ve been forced to endure. Of course, it would have to be managed and produced in a classier way than most of the typical shows we’ve seen, but that’s entirely possible. The show could spend weeks interviewing each state’s candidate, and allow viewers to vote on and eliminate 5 each week until a “top 10” have been selected for a final primary election.

“Would the DNC and RNC participate?” is the obvious question. There’s a good chance that their antiquated gool-’ol-boy systems would cause them to recuse themselves from something this new. Which leads to the next question:

What if… #2: What if the first year focused on creating a moderate 3rd party “alliance” that encourages voters who don’t feel represented by the extreme left and right to participate? Along with creating a platform that encourages weekly voter participation, you’d also increase the level of competition for the other two parties. This could mean they’d have to raise their game and make improvements within their organizations…which could be just as desperately needed as increased voter participation!

What if… #3: Then, what if along with vetting candidates, the show also focuses on demonstrating positive new approaches to discussing & resolving issues? Folks on both sides could sit down and R-A-T-I-O-N-A-L-L-Y discuss the gray areas of issues that many are currently afraid to talk about. No judgement…no cancel-culture. This means no black and white If you’re not for us, you’re against us mess. This means we talk about the gray areas of each issue; areas that many of us might actually agree on and be able to use to create common sense solutions that are less controversial and more productive. These gray areas could make us realize that moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans might actually have more in common with each other than they do with the extremists within their own parties. These areas could also help neutralize the hostility that currently exists in American politics, and weaken the influence of not only the extremists, but also the media outlets who thrive on and often throw gas on the fires of these hostilities.

There are a lot more “What ifs…” that would undoubtedly arise if this was done right. The idea isn’t to change democracy, but instead to make it more accessible and “user friendly” for the American voter. It could also be the solution to digging ourselves out of the self-destructive path that we’ve been drawn into and becoming the unified Americans that we once were not so long ago. In the words of my two daughters, “That’s a reality show I’d actually watch!”

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Laura Johnson

Laura Johnson

6th grade teacher, mom, history nut, and promoter of peaceful politics!