I have been having a lot of million dollar ideas lately. I thought I would share some of them so maybe we could gain traction and get some things done.
Change the Electoral College
When you hear people talk about the college, pundits act like there are only two choices - Electoral College as it is now or only the popular vote. That's a great argument to preserve the Electoral Colege, but it is far from the only option.
If you love the Electoral College but you don't love a president being elected with 3 million fewer votes than his opponent, you can modify the methods and still keep the grand bargain that adds impact to voters in the less populous states.
If you kept two Electoral College votes for Senators going to the candidate who won the popular vote in each state but allowed each Congressional District to award a vote based on that district's voting, you would make the presidency far more representative and greatly diminish the likelihood of a popular vote winner losing the race.
The absolute best thing about this idea is that candidates would no longer be able to ignore consistently partisan areas. Oklahoma and Kansas both sent a Democrat to Congress. They could also award an electoral vote to a Democrat. That hasn't happened in 50 years.
Because of that, you never see candidates making stops in Oklahoma or Kansas - or about 20 other states. The current system puts all of the electoral power in about 13 purple states. They get all the campaign money. They have all the jobs that are created.
Their ideas and beliefs matter to the candidates. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton didn't care about Oklahoma voters because they have known for five decades where those votes are going.
But if there was a chance that you could lose a vote, Oklahoma City could have hosted a Trump rally. Barack Obama could have campaigned in Tulsa for Clinton.
Instead, we are ignored. This isn't a Democrat or Republican idea. California and New York have a lot of pull in the Electoral College and, barring a strange event, all of those votes are going to a Democrat. But there are Republican areas in California and New York. Both parties have something to gain and lose by making the change.
In a new system, ideas and messages would matter more than the same political chess games that have been played for decades.
Think about it. There is a better way. We just need people with the courage and leadership to get it done.
Voter fraud has finally become a problem
Suddenly Republicans have stopped caring about voter fraud. Kris Kobach of Kansas (Yes I know what the abbreviation would be. I think he might like it) built a career on voter suppression. He was even one of President Trump's top advisors on voter fraud and shared his silly ideas and conspiracy theories that have never been supported by facts regardless of how much authority he was given to root out voter fraud.
Kobach caught a handful of fraudulent voters. Most of them accidentally voted for Trump twice.
In a North Carolina congressional race, it appears a voter fraud system was put in place and run by Republican operatives. It's funny how many times the biggest concern people have is merely projection of their worst traits onto others.
It will be interesting to see how this race is decided. Some are calling for a new election with new votes cast and counted. There will likely be criminal and civil cases that come from this election regardless of what is decided. And we all know that nothing settles an issue like a protracted legal battle. I'm sure Al Gore never makes hanging chad jokes anymore.
Speaking of winners ...
It's time to expand the college football playoff. The winners there are not selected well. I have shared my idea of a 12-team playoff with the top four teams getting byes in a recent sports column.
It doesn't add but one game to the current format and it keeps the Big 10 and Pac 12 confernce champions from being left out, not to mention the Central Florida and Boise State-type schools who can never get a shot in the current model. Even being undefeated, they get left out. With 12 teams, all conference winners and seven at-large bids would have a chance to win it all. If you aren't in the top 12, you don't have a real argument. But Georgia and Ohio State this year and multiple teams every other year would have a chance if they got to play.
So much of the resistance to add teams to the playoff is preserving the bowl games. College football is the only sport that will risk its ability to name a legitimate champion to preserve the right for a 6-6 team to play a bowl game in Memphis on a Monday afternoon.
Oklahoma State had three conference wins, but the powers that be think it is better for the sport to let them play again while several deserving teams are left out of the title chase.
That is not a position I support.
It is hard for me to care about these "other guys" bowls when the teams don't care. The best players from all of the teams have begun announcing that they are declaring their intention to seek a spot in the National Football League draft and they won't participate in the bowl game. They don't want to be injured in a meaningless game.
Why should anyone risk being injured in a meaningless game? Instead of making sure mediocre teams get to play again, let all of the teams have 20 more practice days after the regular season ends and only play bowl games that matter.
It is time to stop holding on to bad systems just because they have been around for a long time. When it comes to picking winners in sports or politics, we need to do it right. When we don't, we need to make a change.
Kent Bush is publisher of Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star and can be reached at email@example.com.