It's a dirty word. No, not really, at least it shouldn't be. My political leanings are not really set in any one party. One thing I definitely do not like about politics in the USA is the two-party system that is hell-bent in prohibiting any other party from gaining any power in the government; that and special interest money that flies thicker than a plague of locusts in Washington, DC.
Anyway... what do I think our government should be? I'll try to sum it up:
- Protect us from invaders/maintain militia
- Govern international trade
- Regulate commerce between states
- Regulate businesses to some extent (monopolies, etc.)
- Set standard guidelines (not laws) for education, medical programs, etc. for states to follow
The inevitable question that arises is how will states pay for the rest of the services that the federal government supplies? Simply put, they provide what they can. States will have to collect more taxes to pay for programs. BUT, since the state government is more local, the programs that are initiated will certainly be more relevant to the citizens. State gov't. will also contribute to the federal government (this means eliminating the IRS, by the way).
I also believe that states should manage their own military, at least the ground soldiers - that the national guard should be a larger portion of the federal military and that the state should have full control over the military to implement as it sees fit (but probably with some federal guidelines). It probably would not be a bad idea to require all able bodied young men and women to undergo training (hand to hand combat, basic weapon skills).
The Legal System
No more case law. Each trial should be tried on its own merits, with the government trying to prove its case against the defendant. The judge and jury must rely on the two parties arguments and the evidence at hand to come up with a verdict.
Judges are ELECTED by the people (as long as they meet certain educational requirements). Judges are limited to short terms. No more than 4 years, preferably 2 years.
No death penalty.
Law Enforcement and the Prison System
Law enforcement requires boundaries. Set-in-stone limits as to what they are allowed to do, where they can go, and what policies they can implement.
Rehabilitation should be the focus of prison. Programs that teach the prisoners trades should be implemented. Prisoners grow their own food (where applicable, or possible) and also are used to perform reasonable tasks (such as road work, clean up, and other forms of labor) for the benefit of the public. Criminals who cannot be rehabilitated are placed in a sanitarium.