I say: Absolutely! Guilty as charged.
If your neighbors are throwing garbage over the fence into your yard, what do you do? Sit back and watch it pile up? Or . . . lean over the fence and demand that they stop?
That demand might begin as a calm, friendly but firm request. As your neighbors continue to dump their trash into your yard, it will become increasingly forceful and eventually take on the flavor of . . . guess what? . . . here it comes . . . a confrontation!
Our demands — based on rights and privileges guaranteed in writing in the Constitution — that our elected officials represent us and serve the interests of all American citizens, not just the rich and well-connected, have for decades been respectful, polite and measured.
The response we’ve gotten from those same elected officials has been more abuse of power and position, and the veritable destruction of representative democracy in America.
Time to get tough.
Time for confrontation!
How do we confront power? How do we specifically confront those officials we choose at the polls and gift with cushy jobs in Washington DC, which heighten their prestige, inflate their egos, and fatten their wallets?
My strategy is so simple, so obvious, so potentially effective, I am totally baffled why often people don’t get it.
Recognize . . .
We have been handed the most powerful instrument in the arsenal, the assumption being we’ll never get it together to use it. Of course, so far we haven’t effectively used it. But that doesn’t mean we can’t or won’t. It’s right there ready and waiting.
What is this weapon of choice?
It’s the illusion of democracy.
It’s the illusion that our voting makes a difference.
Granted . . .
Right now it doesn’t, because we’ve been playing by a set of rules that rigs the game. The fix has been in because, even though it is well within our power as citizens to do so, we haven’t successfully challenged those rules. We haven’t even tried.
In the most simple terms, right now we elect individuals to positions of power based on what often turns out to be hollow promises, campaign rhetoric which is highly flattering of the candidate, believable and appealing on the surface, thus sufficiently persuasive to win the trust of voters and get him or her elected.
Once elected, these individuals basically do what they’re told to do by their deep-pocketed benefactors, the rich and powerful elite who fund their campaigns, proffer tacit promises of highly lucrative rewards once they leave office — refer here to Obama’s $60 million book deal and $400,000 fee for making one speech to those he served so magnificently while in office — and shield them from any legitimate challenges by candidates who don’t faithfully dance to the beat laid down by the plutocracy — refer here to the blatant sabotage of Bernie Sanders’ primary campaign by the corporate stooges of the Democratic Party.
But . . .
This mockery of “representative democracy” still depends on us to go into the voting booth and like the brainwashed, gullible, trusting sheeple that we are, to cast our votes for these carefully groomed and coddled ruling class shills.
And that’s where we can change the rules.
We must stand united and be unshakeable in our resolve . . . but here’s how we do it.
We demand that any candidate running for federal office sign a legally-binding contract, listing a number of issues which must be addressed within 180 days of taking office.
Or . . .
We will not vote for them!
Rather, we will put up our own candidate, or find one from an independent or third-party, who will sign the contract! That person will get our full support during the campaign and our vote on election day.
The contract will be drawn up around those items where there is at least 62% agreement among the American public. Yes! There is that level of public consensus on a whole host of critical issues!
While this is not written in stone and should be adapted to the unique circumstances and needs of each local voting jurisdiction, here is what such a candidate contract looks like.
Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to work? Government of the people, by the people, for the people? Representative democracy that truly represents the desires and priorities of the constituents?
It’s a shame that our system has become so corrupted by money and power games that we must resort to a legal document to get done what’s supposed to get done in the first place.
But that’s the way it’s worked out. We have no other choice now. We either take charge or suffer even more indignity and abuse at the hands of the ruling elite and their pay-for-play lackeys, the folks we send to Washington DC to do a job but who end up entirely ignoring the citizens they’re supposed to be working for — that would be you and I!
It’s simple. It’s straightforward. It’s powerful. It’s decisive.
Either candidates sign on the dotted line or we don’t vote for them.
Which means that we then turn to some good, decent, honest candidates who realize what their ultimate responsibility is, where their true loyalties lie, thus will sign the contract. We give them our unqualified support, both in the campaign and in the voting booth.
Using this simple, powerful device . . .
We’ll finally get a glimpse of what representative democracy really looks like.
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