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Monday, February 26, 2024 | Back issues
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Who Was That|Masked Candidate?

We have a secret ballot in this country, so why don't we have secret candidates?

We wouldn't know who we were voting for, but this is not a drawback. In fact, it could solve a lot of problems.

Consider this year's presidential free-for-all. Now consider people you know who seem to be irrationally supporting candidates.

You know - religious people supporting a non-religious racist, sexist divorcee; poor people supporting guys who want to take away their health care and benefits; women who support a woman just because she's a woman; young people who support a really old guy.

I don't support anyone, because I'm prejudiced against politicians, but I have to admit that may be as irrational as anything else.

After all, unless you're a radical libertarian, you've got to figure someone has to run the government.

So doesn't it make sense for us to vote on issues rather than candidate images?

My proposal is simple: All candidates for public office should be anonymous.

Picture a presidential debate with all the candidates hidden in isolation booths and their voices distorted. Not only will the public be protected from knowing their identities, but the candidates won't know whom they're running against.

No more personal attacks. No more arguments over places of birth. No more schlongs and losers.

Just a focus on the issues - and the mystery of who could be running.

It would be exciting and suspenseful.

After the election - at the inauguration - the winning candidate will have his or her robe and mask whipped off by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, after the oath of office. Cue fireworks and "Hail To The Chief."

Now, some of you may think this system lacks accountability. After all, a candidate might not follow through on all those anonymous promises he or she made. And we might get someone completely unqualified.

Heh, heh, heh.

Yep. It would be exactly what we have now, but without billionaires buying their own candidates.

And we might even get a non-politician with some actual expertise. That never happens now.

We need to institute this system.

Supreme optimism. By the way, I'm not the only one who thinks a group of unknowns could be good for the country.

This is from a Washington Post article last week quoting Chief Justice John Roberts: "If you think about it - pick nine random people out of the room and throw them together and say, 'OK, you'll work together for the next 25 years on some of the most important and divisive issues the country faces. ... You do come to appreciate the good faith of the people with whom you work."

For some reason, the headline on this story was not "Chief Justice Says Nine Random People Should Run the Country."

I think it's a great idea - especially when you consider the non-random people who run the country now.

Picture nine of the current presidential candidates thrown together for 25 years and told to make decisions.

It wouldn't be pretty.

Might be a pretty good reality show, though.

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