The way we pick a Vice President is the dumbest way one can think of. No, really. It's stupid. And not just because it's non-existent, but because it's stupid. Yes, I realize that makes little sense.
Look at who our VP candidates are at the moment:
1) Joe Biden, the "safe" white guy chosen primarily to alleviate the "fear" of older white voters who might have otherwise been scared off by a black nominee for President.
2) Sarah Palin, the token girl chosen primarily to "steal" Hillary-loyalists and to show the Democrats that the Republicans, too, can play a "minority" card.
As you can probably infer, I don't much care for either one of them. In fact, I really dislike both of them. So much so, I'm not voting for President this election. I was already unimpressed by either Presidential candidate (though I was leaning one way or the other), but now... well, let's just say the VP choices have turned me off to politics this election season.
Makes me long for the days in which the VP was simply the runner-up in the race for President.
Of course, in today's political climate, such a method would almost undoubtedly result in our political system shooting itself in the foot. Deadlock, gridlock, and filibustering would not only become the absolute norm, passing a law would probably become so rare, we'd start having National Holidays when one did actually pass.
So I'm offering a simple solution:
Directly elect the Office of the Vice President.
We love to believe we live in a true democracy, no? Well, this would help the People maintain that illusion. It would also require specific individuals to declare themselves as VP candidates extremely early on, and provide a better opportunity for the public to research those individuals. Not only that, it would prevent Presidential candidates from picking a VP simply for "added demographics."
In short, America would not only get the President that it wants, it would get the Vice President that it wants, as well.
* This is the first part of what will hopefully be a nine-part entry in the River of Mnemosyne challenge that's happening over at The ...
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