Chris Johnson

Next time, can we do this election thing a little differently?

Candidates Donald Trump, Republican, and Hillary Clinton, Democrat, are pushing toward the general election Tuesday that will decide who will be the 45th President of the United States of America. --
Candidates Donald Trump, Republican, and Hillary Clinton, Democrat, are pushing toward the general election Tuesday that will decide who will be the 45th President of the United States of America. -- Columbus

At last, the big day has arrived. Of course, I’m talking about Cook Something Bold Day. Seriously, this is a real thing today. That might explain why I smell something burning. Wait, no that’s not coming from my kitchen. Oh, never mind. It’s just America burning. Oh yeah, that reminds me — it’s also Election Day.

You probably haven’t heard about it, but there’s a presidential election today. It’s barely been mentioned on cable news channels, late-night talk shows, the radio, Facebook, Twitter or in the newspapers. But, yes, today is the day when folks step into the voting booth, plug in that little card and say, “Ha ha. Very funny. Hand me the ballot with the real candidates on it.”

I voted in advance, so I’ve seen the ballot already. I can confirm that the ballot you have in front of you today is indeed official and the result of years of lobbying by “Saturday Night Live.”

Thankfully, this whole crazy 2016 election will be over by tomorrow, when we start the campaign for 2020. Great, because I never get tired of false information being distributed on Facebook — usually by folks who preface it with “The lamestream media won’t tell you this, but Wikileaks is about to release a Hillary Clinton email in which she admits to Elvis that she is assembling a secret army of bigfoots to git your guns. CNN is hiding this. Please share!”

We already know that Kanye West is running for president in 2020. I believe the Republicans will counter with someone who has a better temperament and more wisdom than Donald Trump. Perhaps Ted Nugent.

Whoever is running — and it’s apparently open to anybody, and I do mean anybody — I hope we see some changes in the months (and now years) running up to Election Day 2020. We won’t see any changes, of course, but wouldn’t it be nice if …

Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina didn’t have so much power in the primaries. Let’s shorten the primary season to five weeks. Each week, 10 states representing various regions vote. And in ensuing elections, the 10-state blocks vote in a different order. In the current system, 90 percent of the candidates quit before we even get to the states where they know how to do barbecue right.

There are two main ways to make the presidential debates better. One — and this is a little out there, I’ll admit — but ask for positions on relevant issues like taxes, health care, debt, foreign intervention, immigration and junk like that instead of innuendo, rumors and scandals. And, two, shut off the microphone until it’s a candidate’s turn to speak. If they try to speak while it’s off, deliver an electric shock so painful it would explode Hillary’s earpiece. (I seen it on the internets.)

Move Election Day from Tuesday. This is a relic from an 1800s agrarian society nothing like the modern, mobile, tech-savvy and more stupid society we have today.

Have a “Meet the Dozen Other Candidates” forum and invite all the members of the media who, lamestream or not, have played a huge role in maintaining the two-party system of gridlock.

While I’m on the subject of the “media,” will you people please quit confusing the partisan political pundits who take up 96 percent of airtime during an election season with journalists? They’re not. Sean Hannity is not a journalist. Rachel Maddow is not a journalist. Scottie Nell Hughes is not a journalist. Van Jones is not a journalist. Right-wing and left-wing social media outlets and websites are not “the media.” Newspaper editorial departments and columnists are not supposed to be unbiased. If you think journalism is a lost art, you’re probably looking in the wrong place and seeking validation instead of information.

And, finally, can we ban campaigning until at least January 2020? Please. Anyone who campaigns before January 2020 should be locked in a cell with the same folks who put up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. And they should be forced to watch a replay of every Trump and Clinton rally from this election season. That oughta cure ’em of politicking forever more.

Unfortunately, a few years from now that punishment likely would be struck down as cruel and unusual in a 1-0 unanimous decision by the remaining justice.

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