(edit: oh, and for reasons surpassing understanding, gold is now worth more than platinum as of around 2 PM this afternoon)
Thing is.. all 'career' politicians aren't bad. I mean look at the late Senator Jesse Helms, one I know of. Was he a plotting manipulative man? Possibly. Did he do things I disagree with. Definitely. He also did things that weren't in perspective with a man out purely for himself, turning down a position on a joint committee to stay on the Senate Farming committee, where he could do more for his voters.
He was one of the guys who stood with Tipper Gore about musical standards but he also was the guy who stood with Bono and pushed for foreign debt forgiveness. (Let me tell you, I about fell out my chair when that happened)
He, among a few others, is a good example of why you don't want to cut anyone off as totally straight wired for one side or the other.
Right, and I'm not saying career politicians are all bad...this guy was in the senate for 30 years. I'm a bit confused about how this tribute to a 30-year dean of the senate coheres with your position supporting term limits.
I like to think that he was one of the old 'statesmen' politicians who understood something the modern office holders have forgotten. How to build a consensus.
I have a philosophy: never assume that people will play nice.
Maybe there was a time when we had old statesmen that would reach for consensus out of a patriotic spirit. Maybe there was a time when businesses were philanthropic, charitable, and fair to their competitors. They do not now because the incentives don't exist for them to play nice.
I make it my business never to rely on the kindness of strangers. Or the benevolence of corporations or politicians.
And I go even further than that: it isn't the job of corporations or politicians to play nice. Corporations are built to make money for their shareholders. Politicians are elected to represent their constituents. We should expect every nasty trick from corporations to make money for their shareholders and every nasty trick from politicians to get pork from their constituents.
The viable solution isn't trying to elect nicer legislators (who would get trampled on anyway by the smart ones) but to change the rules so that these things that ruin the country are no longer palatable. For instance, it should not be possible for the House to hold the rest of the government hostage or else we default.
Honestly the fact that that's even possible is a perversion of the separation of powers envisioned by the Constitution.
I have become more and more convinced that we need a system where the parties have to work together to offer a canidate. Clearly the two party system has failed us over the last decade or so. We're getting more and more divided and the lines between parties is too well defined. We've (as a governement) have forgotten that somewhere between the two extremes is where our needs are truly met.
To be honest, I don't see the present situation as two extremes - I see the present situation as a moderate option (Obama) versus a radical option (the Republicans).
The other thing is that while I'm not impressed with our two party system, we'd have to basically abolish the entire way the Constitution made Congress in order to get rid of it (in political science the constitution mandates a "first past the post system"
and because of Duverger's law
this dooms us to two parties)
Also, the countries that have a multiparty system like Israel and Germany...their systems lead to a huge amount of gridlock too, the advantage is dubious.