Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Thesis (2012)

[In my 2012 independent candidacy campaign, I had a "Thesis,", a "Strategy", and a "National Battle Plan." Those by and large carry over to 2014.  I am preserving the way I stated the same in 2012.  This entry is the way I stated the matter in 2012.]
Start with the "big" question of "how good a job do you think Congress is doing in helping solve the country's very significant pressing problems?"

Is your answer, a very "poor job"?

 If it is and you have a strong belief that Congress is badly failing the country, what is your explanation of why this is so and how do you think things could be different so that you would not be so condemnatory of Congress?

Some people refer to polarization, gridlock and obstructionism as a source of the poor performance and the reason for the lowest Congressional approval rating in a long time. Others may just feel that something has gone badly wrong, but they cannot put an exact finger on it.

Here is my take: I think there are legitimate partisan differences among citizens that must be thrashed out in the governance of our country, there will be compromises in this process, and one cannot castigate Congress for doing a poor job just because Congress passes laws that are not entirely to one's liking. There is a baseline of disagreement that needs to be acknowledged, and Congress should be able to get a passing grade in how it tries to help the country solve its problems even if one's preferences are not entirely accommodated.

There is something more, however, at work that is deserving of condemnation by the citizens, and that citizens feel in their gut is wrong. There is an "iron triangle" in Washington D.C. of lawmakers (both Republicans and Democrats), lobbyists, and special interest organizations, that profits enormously from tens of millions and hundreds of millions of dollars sloshing around in Washington in a cesspool of, call it what you want, "influence peddling," "government for sale," or just plain corruption.

This "iron triangle" finds the political divisions, polarization and gridlock, in which every issue can be turned into a life and death, us against them, battle, as very advantageous for preserving their positions and riches. This distracts the citizens from the rampant corruption going on in Washington and associated failures in Congressional performance and keeps the voters from uniting to take action against the corrupt participants in the Washington cesspool.

This thesis is is elaborated by me in other entries Campaign finance corruption and Why corruption is bad. I have a lot of company of notable commentators and organizations that passionately agree about how bad the corruption problem is for satisfactory governance of the country. You can find numerous books that spell out how bad the problem is. One good current book is Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig's book Republic, Lost.  See also Corruption resources

You as a citizen should give careful consideration to what these commentators are saying about the connection between the corruption and failures of Congressional performance, and decide what you think about the matter.

If you are persuaded about how obstructive the corruption problem is for achieving satisfactory governance of the country, you should put this question to yourself, "Should voters temporarily put aside their understandable and legitimate partisan differences and temporarily act in unison and demand that Congress debate the extent to which there is a corrupt and broken system and that, as a legislative body, it engage in a strenuous national debate about what needs to be done about the system and make a legislative enactment that Congress proposes to the rest of the country be tried out to repair the broken system?"

If Congress does make a proposal, voters can then make a decision for themselves about whether they are satisfied with trying out the proposed solution enacted by Congress.

Voters who decide that Congress has failed to do this and has not proposed a solution that those voters are willing to try out for the country should vote against their incumbent Senators and Representative in November to register their view that Congress has failed the country and needs to be replaced in its entirety.

If Congress does take action before November, voters who are satisfied with trying out the proposed solution for the country can make their voting decisions in November on other grounds.

There is no predicting how things will come out if Congress is forced to act. I think voters can consider it a victory if they are able to force Congress to act by means of a threat that voters will act in unison to retire the incumbent Congress in November if it does not act. If Congress is forced to act, it is at risk that voters will not consider the action a satisfactory thing for the country to try out, and a different Congress will be voted into office to do the job.

If you agree with the foregoing thesis, please read on to Strategy

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