The Fundamental Flaw of American Politics


New Member
Jan 30, 2008
There is something fundamentally wrong with the American process of electing a president. It’s that the candidates are running on platforms and espousing solutions that they know little about. And then we, the people, are voting on those ideas when we too know little about them.

Even if our candidates were Einstein’s, even an Einstein is an expert only in his chosen field, such as physics. He’s not an expert in economics; he’s not an expert in social development; he’s not an expert in immigration.

Why are we electing people who are running on a platform they are not experts at? And why does the entire country listen to their ideas and vote whether their good or not, when we neither are experts?

If you run a business and you are going to develop a new product, or you need to find a solution to a particular problem, you go out and you hire the best brains in that field. You then put them in a laboratory where they experiment, where they try many solutions, until they see what works. And then only do you implement it and build your business upon it.

We are not doing that. Rather, we are swayed by a charismatic person who has a good sounding idea that they can speak persuasively about. The ideas sound good; but they’re not necessarily the best ideas. They haven’t been tried it in the laboratory of experience. And then we’re electing that candidate and their idea and immediately committing our national course of action to it. This is wrong. This is flawed. This is a recipe for mistakes on a colossal scale.

What we need to do is instead of electing a president based on a platform, we need to elect a president who says, “I will elicit the best minds of the country. I will draw upon the brainpool, the immense intelligence that’s there in the American people, to find the best ideas. Then, I will find a way of experimentation, a laboratory of trial and error, to try these ideas. And only then will we commit the nation to them”.

This is a fundamentally different approach to the American presidency and to leadership in general. Now the American president is not the leader touting a platform. Rather they are an executive managing resources, finding brainpower and creating experimentation. Then, when solutions emerge and are proven, they become an executive in the fullest sense of that word, meaning they execute upon the direction that has been chosen. They manage it, they implement it, they build it, but they don’t come up with it on their own.

We need to tap the brainpower of the American people. We need to find a mechanism of communication and dialogue where the best ideas rise to the top. And even the experts don’t always have the right answers. Sometimes the best ideas come out of left field, from unexpected sources; from the young guy in the mailroom who seems to knows nothing but has a fresh perspective, has an insight.

We need to elicit the experts, and we need to elicit more; we need to elicit the creative intelligence and spirit of the American people far and wide, educated and uneducated, experienced and inexperienced. And even wider, we may need to tap, we should tap, the brainpower of the world, for many of our problems have effects and causes that are worldwide. Many of “our” problems, such as the immigration problem, have their roots in other countries. We need to look for solutions there too.

And then we need to experiment upon these ideas in relative zones of safety to see if the solutions really work. Only then we should act. What we are doing now in electing a president is not only dangerous, but it’s stupid. We have all bought in to a collective decision making process that is flawed, that is wrong, and is recipe for making wrong decisions.

Lets wake up from this illusion. Lets get smart. Lets use the smarts of the entire nation. Great things are possible when we all put our heads together.
I agree with a lot of what you said, however a few things did give me pause. For instance, how do you suppose to you could apply the trial and error theory to most political debates? Abortion, economics, war, etc?

Secondly, I most certainly agree with you that the process by which we elect the President is maniacally dumb. But there are a few things that I believe people should look at in a man before casting a vote, other than do we think he can find the "brightest minds". Most importantly, how closely does his political/moral/social/economic philosophy match mine -- this requires those persuasive speeches that you appear to oppose.

Other than that, good post. Hope you stick around.
I generally agree with the OP. Ill point out a few things though, first and foremost is that I am a firm believer in the electoral college. That was put there for a reason and it should remain in place.

In terms of the OP, the fundamental problem in our current system is the role the parties play and have taken over, assumed, and the power they have become.

Right now, you need to be a billionaire to self finance or run a campaign as an Independant for President. Or, you need to be somehow famous enough to be elected on your name alone.

Barring those very few with that sort of resume, you need to be a party hack. You need to be willing to get pushed into corners, sling mud, be subjected to a very personal degree of exposure for the candidate and thier family. For the princely sum of $400k a year. Now granted the fringe benefits might be nice, the responsibility is unimaginable and the hours suck.

Now, who among our best and brightest is willing to give up thier CEO lifestyle to tackle that?

You want the best person for the willing to pay the price.
Bunz is absolutely right. The American political system is broken. No young, intelligent American in their right mind would want to put themselves through it, especially when the alternative is becoming the executive of some rich corporation.
OK, but Presidents don't run the country on their own. They have huge staffs of thousands of experts -- scientists, lawyers, doctors, etc. Investigative panels and commissions for nearly everything. A President doesn't need to know everything to be a good President. Moreover he doesn't particularly have an incentive to know everything, because people will continue to be mostly uninformed on the issues and will vote for whoever presents himself as the most Presidential, a function of charisma and nothing else.

What you propose could be accomplished only by stripping the democracy from the system and imposing some sort of nanny-state technocratic elitism on everyone.
The fundamental flaw in the American political and governing system is much more simplistic than this thread attempts to formulate.

The problem is, that we have been directed away from the fundamental values and principles of Classic Americanism, our Constitution. We teach little to nothing in our educational system of constitutionalism. The reason we don’t, is because our education system has been federalized and the powers that be in our federal system have been socialized. The American Constitution is incompatible with western European socialist ideology, therefore, socialism isn’t ignored, but rather the Constitution gets ignored.

This thread speaks to the “laboratory” for social experimentation. That laboratory was automatically incorporated in our Constitution, the “States” and States Rights are our laboratory. By allowing States Rights to flourish, we in effect have created (these days) 50 laboratories who’s results are perfectly evident to the whole nation. By that system states can adopt the successes and reject the failures of each other state. However, that’s not the case in America. We have rejected our “Birthright” and become just another copy of the western European socialist federalist state.

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, or prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or the people.” (Amendment Ten, United States Constitution)

The powers of the United States, (federal government), are listed in Article One, section eight, and the powers of the President are listed in Article two section One. No other activities are authorized for the federal government, (The United States).

The further we stray from our Constitution, the greater the doo-doo we find ourselves in.

The American people need to read, understand, respect and insist on constitutional principles, teach it in our education system, and only vote for politicians that can validate their positions by the Constitution and prove their commitment to their “oath” of office by defending and protecting the Constitution in their actions. If we don’t study it and we don’t teach it to our children, we allow the political system to run roughshod over us, and sadly that’s exactly what has happened to our country and our political system. We have become ignorant of our birthright, and thereby we deserve the government we get.