Okay, so in a recent post, I mentioned a conversation with a relative of mine who shall go unnamed, because he's in the kind of profession that discourages public political statements, especially those critical of our current system of government (and I'll stop right there). Although he describes himself as a libertarian-leaning Republican, his political views line up so accurately with my Democratic ones that sooner or later, one of us is going to have to move.
The thing that Nameless Relative pointed out was the fact the original Congress wasn't made up of career politicians; it was made up of doctors and farmers and milliners and all kinds of normal people who took time out of their everyday lives to make laws for the country. In my last post, I mentioned one side effect of this being that legislators really did share values with the rest of the country, because they were the rest of the country.
Another side effect is that they didn't have time to waste on really stupid or intrusive legislation, because they had their own stuff to worry about. They needed to get in, get the most important laws signed, and get out again before the hay got moldy in the field. They were so busy looking after their own stuff that they didn't have the time or energy to stick their noses into other people's business. You know why the Constitution doesn't mention homosexuality? Because my prize ewe is about to have triplets, so I don't care what kind of sex you're having.
Doesn't that sound lovely? Actually taking care of your own stuff instead of paying attention to everyone else's? Think about it: parents too busy actually raising their children to get their panties in a wad about sex education. Religious leaders too busy ministering to their own flocks to try and force their beliefs on the rest of the country. Normal people going about their normal lives, minding their homes and their businesses and, more importantly, their own business.
Example: Everyone is minding the store or the farm or the office, and no one has bothered to raise a fuss about sex education. Kids are taught in school to keep it zipped or use birth control, and it's available to those who need it. Some parents teach their kids to wait until marriage, some parents don't; some kids wait until marriage, some kids don't; and nobody ends up pregnant on prom night. Also cuts way down on the abortion issue.
Another example: Heterosexual people are too busy tending to their own relationships to care whether or not some boys like boys more than girls. The divorce rate plummets, successful marriages are on the rise as gays are allowed to marry, orphanages empty out as married gay couples are allowed to adopt, and as this new generation of children grows up, the nation is that much more fit, fashionable and fabulous.
Yet another example: People of faith are so busy building their own relationships with whatever higher power they follow to care what anyone else is doing. Christians actually try to live the Christianity they profess, Jews and Muslims and Hindus and Wiccas do likewise, atheists and agnostics try to be nice because being nice is better than the alternative, and suddenly poverty and persecution are things of the past.
NR and I decided that the best thing to do would be to tear it all back to code. I'd bet money that a good three-quarters of our existing legislation could be sufficiently replaced with the MYOB Act of 2006: don't mess around in other people's business, and they won't mess around in yours.
The most common criminal act would be a violation of that law. Armed robbery? Messing around in someone's stuff, and messing around with their sense of security. Drunk driving? Messing around with everyone's safety on the road. Polluting? Messing around with everyone's environment. Rape? Messing around with someone's body. Punishments would be meted out accordingly.
Basic minority rights would be preserved by the simple fact that no one is going to mess with you and try to take them away. No one gets to mess with your right to vote, or to get paid the same amount for the same job, or to decide what happens to your body, or to worship the deity of your choice, or to say whatever you want as long as it's true (if saying something that isn't true would mess with someone else's good name).
Wars would only start if we were directly threatened as a country, because otherwise, we'd be messing with a country that hadn't messed with us. The UN would become a worldwide coalition of countries agreeing not to mess with each other, and if someone did mess with someone else, there would be repercussions.
The only problem with MYOB is that it only happens by unanimous consent. Everyone has to agree that if I don't mess with you, you're not going to come in and mess with me. I promise not to try to convert you to my religion, if you'll only leave me to mine. I promise I won't try to control your body, if you'll only leave me to control my own. I promise I won't tell you who to marry, if you'll only grant me the same courtesy.
Of course, if that happened, what would I have to blog about?