First Steps: the Basics
Campaigns financed by a handful of the most wealthy. Absence of accountability and corporate encroachment on government increasing income inequality, and globalization that only benefits corporations.
For others, the wake-up call was extrajudicial killings. Black lives disregarded. Or a general weakening of the rule of law. Terrorism and mass killings with no clear way to address them. The 2016 election did it for some, the continuing problem of corruption and helplessness for others.
Gerrymandering, lobbying abuses and private campaign finance are too blatant to hide but even some historians ignore the legislation and caselaw that enabled them, treating these as mysterious "government" functions, supported by the Constitution they violate and untouchable by the people.
Congress, the President, the courts, state and local governments, the media? Partisanship seems to be running amok, and corruption seems to affect all of them.
Most disturbingly, there seem to be no rules constraining power anymore.
Wherever you are on the political spectrum we share this problem, and this proposal takes no position on non-procedural issues. While traditional organizing was focusing on issues or candidates, people in power were changing the political process to reduce the public's effectiveness.
There's no mystery about it. This site discusses when and how our political processes have weakened, and what to do about it. Nothing is more important if we want a government that functions like one.
Here's the truth: in a democratic republic, you are the government.
By regarding the public’s political functions as a system, we can make the smallest additions and least-disruptive changes that will restore the integrity of the process.
Don't panic! This country was designed to weather storms of corruption. Our Constitution is too hard to amend to destroy the public's rights and powers easily. Corruption has been going around it - violating, damaging, eroding, ignoring, or just lying about the clauses that guarantee the public's ability to correct government error and corruption.
If we don't address this, we'll be fighting the process every time we need to use it.
We don't have to do it the hard way. The political-process clauses are still there. We can take back a remarkable amount of power in the political process - the amount we reserved for the people in the first place.
We'll have to fight to pass the legislation presented here, but it will work as a complete program to restore our power.
You have all the power you need right now. Use it.
Two obstacles have made a real solution appear impossible:
Private campaign finance & lobbying, hyperpartisanship, damaged enforcement, and executive and judicial overreach, the very processes that need reform, make reform difficult. But even while we keep reducing their impact by repeatedly turning over legislative and executive seats, and by investigation and prosecution whenever corruption becomes so blatant it violates even the most relaxed laws, we still have reform tools immediately available to us to use while we repair the others. This strategy repairs and restores the public's political tools, and safeguards them for future generations, by treating them as a system for the first time.
It breaks the problem down into
This strategy includes several pieces of stand-alone legislation and one amendment to the Constitution. You can support any of it. None of it requires the others.
It probably won't all pass. The public will decide.
But it’s time to take a deep breath and fix the whole problem. Today’s technology makes it easier to reach the overwhelming majority of Americans who will support it, judging by polls, by public opinion expressed in the media, and by our repeated attempts to address this issue.
This proposal doesn’t fit into a sound bite. It doesn’t fit onto a protest sign. But unlike a shortsighted reaction to one law, ruling, or policy, we can use it to stabilize government and keep it stable when the unexpected happens. We won’t just be crossing our fingers against bad governmental phases.
Self-governance is the first American value: we fought a revolution for this.
The time is now. Will you take a stand?
The amendment and resolution are drafted anonymously. A preliminary version was submitted to Congress in January, 2015. After a period of public comment it was withdrawn for correction. Thank you for participating! This, the final version, was submitted to all members of the 114th Congress on June 12, 2015, voiding the prior Congressional submission and any public support conveyed to Congress. It is for all intents and purposes a new amendment. The amendment & resolution were submitted to the 115th Congess on January 5, 2017.
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Image: The Declaration of Independence Committee, Currier & Ives
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