Is it time to consider another way of selecting a President?

by dennis coleman - Date: 2007-02-21 - Word Count: 765 Share This!

When factors collide that make people feel uncomfortable or threatened, they begin yapping about getting rid of the president, or congress, or both. Certainly, this has been occurring lately; but it's difficult for me to think of a time devoid of yappingabout "those boneheads in Washington."

These seem to be the current issues of contention:

-Rising gas prices.


-The high cost of cable T.V.


I hear it all the time, and I'm sure you do also. And I have been hearing it for as long as I remember.

-As soon as Nixon fired a few Attorney Generals, people wanted him outta there.

-Hostages in Iran? Get rid of the president.

-You mean he fired every one of the air traffic controllers? He's gotta go.

-Hanky panky in the oval office? Time for a new man.

Along with that sentiment, come these kinds of comments:

-Even I could do a better job than this loser.

-How did this clown get elected?

-Dan Quayle would make a better president.

-Even you would be a better president.

-My mother-in-lawcould do a better jobthan this joker.

You know, maybe they're right. We've been using the same system for an awfully long time, and with pretty much the same results, from the same sort of candidates. No matter what, there always seems to be an enormously high number of unhappy (yapping) people.

Even though we are proud of saying "In this country, anybody can become President," we know, deep down, that it isn't true. Consider Ross Perot. He had some good ideas, but he also has an irritating voice, and he's kind of homely. Plus, he's from Texas.

Here is a better idea. A system where everybody really gets the chance to be president.

The Presidential Lottery.

We know that lotteries work, and that people like them. It's one of the few things that people will stand in line for. Lottery winners always seem like decent people, don't they?

Here's how it works.

If you want to be president, you buy a lottery ticket, for a dollar. To maintain some kind of balance, there is a maximum of one hundred tickets per individual. You won't have to worry that Donald Trump, or Dick Cheney, or your boss, is buying up all of the tickets.

I am certain that fifty million or so tickets would be sold in a month, so we'll cut it off there. I recommend that you have to be at least thirty years old to buy a ticket, because that would eliminate most of my kids.

This also eliminates the need for candidates (and matching funds), party conventions (who do you think is paying for them?), and all of those irritating commercials.

On the last day of the month, a computer picks a name out of the hat, and bingo! New president! It might even be you! It's the end of election night news coverage, acceptance speeches, and hanging chads.

There is no second ticket drawn, so there is no vice-president. Since we don't know what they do other than go duck hunting, it's no big loss.

What happens to all of the money? That's the cool part. You get to be president for as long as you can make the fifty million dollars last. This would put a real curb on foolish or extravagant spending on things like flying to the "other White House", Inaugural Balls, and foreign invasions.

If you don't think that fifty million bucks is a lot of money to run a government, it's because you're thinking of the old system, where somebody else is paying for all of those fancy White House meals, or rides in the private jet.

Taxes would have to go down, and that's good news for everybody. Since the odds are pretty low that you are going to win the lottery twice in a row, nobody is worrying about whose butts needs to be smooched, so that they can get re-elected.

If it goes like all of those Lotto drawings, some regular-old, right-thinking American, will have his name drawn out of the hat, and will serve to the best of his (or her) ability. As an added bonus, it will finally be an equal opportunity for someone other than a white male.

Of course, there is the chance that some goofball that is inclined to do things in a way contrary to your beliefs, will be the winner.

How exactly does that differ from the present system?

Before you dismiss this as being too wacky of an idea, give some critical thought to the present system, and the results that it produces.

Unless you're the one person that really understands what the Electoral College is.

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