Wednesday, August 29, 2012

From now until Nov. 6th

Every voter has to decide what political activity the voter is going to undertake, if any, between now and Election Day.

To every voter, I put the question, "Do you think the two party system, as it currently exists, has failed the American people?"  If you do, I have the follow on questions, "How high a priority do you think voters should give to trying to correct that failure, and what do you think you and other voters can do between now and Election Day about it?"

My brief answers to these questions are that there is currently an egregious failure of the two party system for the American people, it is of highest priority to try to correct the failure, and all those who agree should speak in a united voice to Congress to the effect that you Congress need to recognize and acknowledge this failure to the American people before November 6th and propose to the American people through a legislative enactment a proposal for the country to try to address the problem.  Failure of you Congress to do so, or passage of a legislative enactment which the American people consider inadequate, will result in a massive anti-incumbent vote in November with the goal of evicting as many incumbents as possible from Congress and replacing them with new Representatives and Senators who will be more responsive to the will of the American people.  [Update 9/22/12.  I think Congressional action before Election Day is now out of the question.  As a result, I am shifting to pushing for supporting and participating in the Rootstrikers campaign for voters to petition their Congressional candidates to pledge, if elected, not to be a lobbyist after leaving office.  See A6. Be a Roostriker. ]

The foregoing brief answers to the questions posed are elaborated at length in other entries in this blog, with special reference to A2. Thesis, A3. Strategy, and A4. Voters' victory 2012

The degree of any success will be highly dependent on the ability of voters, before November, to speak with one united voice on this matter.  To do so will take effort and much belief that the same is what is needed.

A. Getting similarly minded organizations to speak in one united voice

There are many organizations, having tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of member and supporters, who are largely in agreement that the two party system, as it currently exists, is egregiously failing the American people.  If these organizations cannot make a strong effort to try to speak with one voice before November, there will be a missed opportunity to try to fix a broken, dysfunctional political system.

The problem is the many organizations in question have differing ideas about how to address the situation.  Term limit organizations believe mandatory term limits are needed to fix the problem.  GOOOH's program has been to attempt to organize citizens around the country to select a candidate in their Congressional district to run for the House of Representatives.  The Reform Party is at work trying to create a viable third party.  Independent voter organizations are pushing on behalf of independent candidates.  Organizations seeking an amendment to the First Amendment to fix a broken and dysfunctional political system limit their focus to that.  Anti-incumbent organizations have the objective to vote out incumbents generally as a way to fix the system but are unclear about whether they think any specific changes are needed to improve the system.

These organizations, consciously or by default, decide whether it is or could be to their respective advantages to try to speak with one voice up to Election Day.  Speaking in unison to the effect that the current two party system is egregiously failing the American people can significantly raise public awareness of the problem and how serious it is for the American people.  That increased awareness could afford an opportunity for each organization to have its ideas heard more by the public about what should be done about the problem, and if its ideas receive the greater public support, the organization will be correspondingly empowered in its effectiveness.

More critically, the forces, money, and power that are entrenched (and are fundamentally allied) under the existing system will deploy everything they have got to prevent meaningful change that will lessen their power and riches and that will restore to the American people their rightful control over their own governance.  Against this, the organizations referred to above are largely marginalized and trivialized in trying to advance their ideas.  If they are unable to unite temporarily, I would say they are whupped by their common enemy, to wit the existing two party system controlled with tyrannical sway by the iron triangle of lawmakers, lobbyists and leaders of special interest organizations in Washington DC.

If Congress could be forced to acknowledge, yes, the currently existing two party system is egregiously failing the American people, and here is our proposal, organizations and voters with differing views about what is needed to fix the system would have the opportunity to say, ok, the proposal of Congress is not exactly what I/we wanted, but it represents something worthy of trying out, and I/we are prepared to give it a chance to see what comes out of it.

As this blog indicates, I have spent much time and effort in trying to persuade organizations to try to join their  voices.  Thus far, I have had scant success.

If between now and Election Day, all of these organizations want to try to proceed in their fractured ways, I will probably just sit on my hands and not vote, on the theory that the iron triangle based in Washington DC has a stranglehold on the country that cannot be touched.

I am willing to listen to argumentation from any organization about why its ideas should be supported even though it is not willing to join voices with other organizations.

[Update 9/22/12.  I am focusing on trying to get similarly minded organizations to join their voices in lending support to the Rootstrikers campaign to get voters to petition their Congressional candidates to pledge, if elected, not to be a lobbyist after leaving office.  See A6. Be a Roostriker.]

B. Contact the  candidates in your district

You should contact the candidates for the House of Representatives, tell them the high priority you put on this matter, and ask them their position.  You should particularly get the incumbent to tell you whether he or she will try to act before November and tell the incumbent you will vote against him or her if she does not try to act before November.  [Update 9/16:  I have begun this in Alabama.  See A6. Pressuring candidates

On August 31, President Obama called for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, saying:
"Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change."

As discussed at length in other entries, the system of campaign finance is central to whether the two party system, as it currently exists, has failed the American people.  The American people are entitled to a national debate that extends well beyond whether there should be a constitutional amendment of overturn Citizens United.  The Republicans need to enter into this discussion and debate.

[Update 9/22/12.  I think few voters will try to pressure their candidates about Congressional action before Election Day.  As a result, I am shifting to urging voters to participate in the Rootstrikers campaign and petition their Congressional candidates to pledge, if elected, not to be a lobbyist after leaving office.  See A6. Be a Roostriker.  If an incumbent will not make that pledge, the voter should vote for another candidate. ]


C. Your friends and acquaintances

Talk this up with your friends and acquaintances.


3 comments:

  1. In a democratic republic, the politicians are free to ignore the public, up to the point that their ignorance results in failure to be reelected. Voters either vote for incumbents to keep things as they are, or, they vote out incumbents with the hope that the replacements will heed the demands of the majority of the anti-incumbent voters.

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    1. Thank you David. Is it fair to interpret your comment as meaning that you do not think VOID should take any steps prior to Election Day to try to join its voice in a united way with voices of other groups, such as GOOOH, the Reform Party, independentvoting.org, etc.?

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  2. We agree the solution is getting the various groups to work together, but how? If we can get the leaders who agree to meet / telecon and discuss ideas, count me in. I am hoping to try to organize such an effort after the election.

    Tim Cox
    Founder, www.GOOOH.com

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