I just love election years. Never have so many done so little for so much money. (Isn't it a shame that the gravy train passed us by?)
As taxpayers, what can we expect? No, wait a minute, what should we expect?
We should expect to be represented in our government system of checks and balances. Voters elect people to represent them in Washington (or Albany). The concept is great; unfortunately it was bastardized from the git-go.
Now, with "Super PAC" money, politicians have created an election process that is one sparkplug short of the "Keystone Cops."
The problem is that we as taxpayers have allowed this all to happen.
Truly it is our fault.
If we want to get control back into the hands of people I would like to suggest a write-in campaign to elect Mickey Mouse.
Mr. Mouse is "squeaky" clean.
The fact that he rarely wears designer shoes attests to his humble beginnings with Walt Disney. Mickey was born in a garage.
The Southern Baptists will love the fact that he has been faithful to his girlfriend, Minnie, for umpteen years.
The fact that he can take his own and dish it out with "Black Bart," shows that he stands up for the rights of others.
His choice of Goofy as vice president demonstrates that he doesn't take himself too seriously, but it would be a step up as far as vice presidents go.
We understand that Scrooge McDuck will be secretary of the Treasury. We can only hope that he lives up to his name and remembers where the money is coming from.
There are those people who will say that voting for Mr. Mouse will be throwing their votes away. I say no!
If enough voters chose Mr. Mouse, it would warn politicians that we mean business and cannot be taken for granted anymore.
The thing of it is that there are many, many people out there in the readership of The Daily Star who could do the job as well as or better than the politician of today.
(Aside: The money paid to a politician would be a big jump in salary for most of these people.)
Let's run Sam Pollak's name up the flagpole and see who salutes, or if you have a suggestion for an alternate candidate, get in touch with me.
I do not want to be disrespectful of Mr. Pollak, but all I want to do is show that there isn't anything magical to being an elected official.
Even you could do it.
What would happen if Mickey got elected? Obviously we would have to have another election, but maybe this time someone other than the slate of ho-hum candidates would want to run.
We need to do two things.
We must set a limit on the number of terms that a candidate can be elected, and we need to put a limit on how much money can be spent to get a candidate elected.
This should be simple but it is not.
The real issue of an election is getting the best person to represent ALL THE PEOPLE. I have put this in large letters because most politicians think getting re-elected is the first priority.
Unfortunately they spend all their time on getting re-elected and the ones who suffer are the people they were supposed to represent.
Anyone who runs for an office should be able to expect an even playing field. All candidates have the same amount of money to run a campaign. This includes advertising, staffing and transportation costs.
It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how to do this.
With a little bit of trust and gumption we should be able to have "cracker barrel sessions" where candidates can answer real questions from real people.
We need to demand a concept of accountability.
I think that anyone who runs for re-election should be mandated to list all the campaign promises he or she made or alluded to in the campaign.
They then should list the ones they accomplished from that list. Too often we are promised "the moon," and all we get is the "cheese," and to top it off, that's rancid also.
We've had a do-nothing government for years. Politicians are spending most of their time pointing fingers so nothing gets done. When will it stop?
It will stop when you and I have had enough. Until then we can only dream of the day when Mickey Mouse is elected.
Sam, if you are contemplating making a move into politics, you have one vote already.
Until then, remember the tune:
"M-I-C-K-E-Y ('Y' because we like you) M-O-U-S-E."
It starts to make a lot of sense, as time goes by.
Henry Geerken is a three-time NYSUT award-winner writing humorous articles addressing retiree and senior citizen concerns. Geerken also writes for Sail-World, World Cruising Newsletter, regarding his many humorous sailing episodes through the years. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. 'Senior Scene' columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/seniorscene.