Have you been watching the presidential campaigns? Since time immemorial, politics has been a dirty business. But, is it just me, or has this campaign season sunk to the lowest in memory?

And, have you seen the reports on the bazillions of dollars being raised by the candidates and their super PACS? Most candidates talk a good game about reforming the political fundraising system, but instead of making it more sensible, the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” ruling only made things worse.

Several election cycles ago I penned a column about how I would change the whole system. With what we are being subjected to in this current preesidential race, I think it is worth another look.

Maybe I’m just a simple midwestern woman, but it seems to me the lessons I learned from my grandmother in the kitchen should be applied to our government. If a recipe is fundamentally bad, toss it. If you can play with the ingredients, fix it.

So, how to begin? My opinion is that our current election process is bad; time to toss it!

We need a new recipe for electing our president. The current process has become a nightmare, lasting eons, from which we can not awake. And what do we really know (or can believe) about how any candidate is going to fix things? It’s all so complicated — or is it?

O.K. Here is part of my solution. Let’s call it “Wendy’s Simple, Yet Satisfying, Election Creation.”

1-Presidential campaigns are limited to six months: three for the primaries and three for the general election. If a candidate can’t effectively communicate his/her stances, opinions, gameplans in six months, they should not be President. (Ingredients: qualified candidates)

2-No candidate or campaign is allowed to say anything about an opponent. Let the media do the hatchet jobs. Rather, the candidate can only define his/her vision, describing the various relevant situations and explaining how they will deal with them. Position papers on all of the vital issues of the day must be posted and let the public take some responsibility for reading them. (Ingredients: voter responsibility with a pinch of journalistic integrity)

3-No money can be accepted by any candidate. Media outlets must provide “public service announcements” anyway, so let them be position statements by the candidates and debates between the candidates. Remember. they can only talk about what they will do, no attacking their opponent. (Ingredients: responsible media)

4-Finally, since our national debt is a huge problem that never seems to be addressed, average out the hundreds of millions that all of those PACs, corporations and Washington insiders have donated to political campaigns for the past three elections and make them give it annually to pay down the national debt until it is eliminated. (Ingredients: Corporate/special interest groups responsibility with a dash of humility)

So, what do you think? I’ve been told that I am naïve and it could never work. But why? Hasn’t this primary season shown us that what was thought to be “normal politics” has been thrown out the window?

We have been adding too much sugar to the presidential campaign mix for years and I say it’s time to limit it to one or two teaspoons instead of a bazillion cups.

Wendy J. Levenfeld is a published novelist, playwright and columnist. Send comments to wendylevenfeld@gmail.com. Visit Wendy’s website at www.wendylevenfeld.com.

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