Monday, February 21, 2011

Our Government Should Be Demoted

In my last post I recommended three changes to our U.S. government.

  1. Direct Democracy

  2. Political Decision Limits

  1. Automatic Shutdowns of Illegitimate Programs

Imagine a political system:

  1. that inherently makes long-term policy decisions based upon common sense and reason – determined by the majority of citizens (rather than the “invisible hand” of a super-rich, super-greedy plutocracy).

  2. that prohibits sell-out politicians from propagating a dysfunctional system of privilege.

  3. that automatically defunds dangerous programs as soon as the funding mistake becomes blatantly apparent.

These are major changes – revolutionary. Essentially they are a demotion of all three of our branches of U.S. government.

We the people” should directly determine our long-term policy.

We the people” should decide what decisions politicians cannot make.

We the people” should determine what programs are just bad ideas.

We the people” should run our own country.

I find it hard to believe we could have done any worse than things have turned out.

Joe Rogan commentary

Dennis Kucinich commentary

Bernie Sanders commentary

The government that ignores our votes, opinions, and best interests ceases to be “our” government.

...In the 2008 election Americans voted (indirectly) to get out of Iraq. But did it happen? Not really – even though we thought we won the election. Like some shell game, our soldiers are still in Far-off-istan.

These “wars” would end immediately – if we had the right to quit paying for them. And why shouldn't we have the right to quit paying for violence we never voted for – and were conned into supporting? Americans are a peace-loving people who have been at war or preparing for war since before most of us were even born. All I'm saying is we should have the right to vote on this.

For example: If our nation has been at war for more than a year, it should go to a vote. We should be asked; “Should America continue its hostilities? Yes or No?” And we should be asked every year thereafter too. And if a majority of voting Americans choose to end the fighting, the funding should be automatically ended.

Essentially, American taxpayers have become slaves for a military/industrial complex never ending war machine. Sadly, we can't trust our politicians to end these wars, no matter how big a waste they are. There's just too much money to skim. I'm not saying that any “war” that lasts more than a year should be canceled automatically. But at least those of us who are paying for it should automatically be able to vote whether to discontinue payments or not.

We should vote on foreign military aid too.

Do you really think that, if we had had the chance to vote on it; we would have been giving Egypt over a billion dollars a year to essentially build up their military? No! Hell No! We wouldn't have supported a dictator so that U.S. military contractors could sell arms to a government that only professed peace with Israel so that they could get more arms... And if Hosni Mubarak hadn't had so much of our money, maybe he wouldn't have been nearly so powerful a dictator. Who knows – we might have been able to avoid 30 years of oppression in Egypt – and save over 40 billion dollars – if only we had had the chance to vote on it.

Of course, our elected officials sometimes do make the right decisions. Events in Egypt should now persuade us that President Obama has now convincingly earned his Nobel Peace prize... But it took 30 years to get to this point, and it still might not have happened now.

When former presidential candidate Senator John McCain called the democracy movement in Egypt a “virus,” it reminded us that things could have turned out very different. Had John McCain been president, it is very likely U.S. “interests” would have taken precedence over democracy. Had John McCain been president, most likely America would have given Hosni Mubarak the go ahead to violently oppress its own people (again).

McCain democracy “virus” video

Which is another reason why decision limits are so important. No democratically elected leader should be allowed to suppress democracy in other countries. That is simply not what we should stand for. Because ultimately, the oppression spreads – as it has from third world countries to America.

Jesse Ventura interview

(Of course, there is no way to know for sure whether a political resistance movement will result in democracy. But when a country is afflicted with despotism, we obviously should err on the side of democracy movements. Which is why we should implement these ideas for more democracy – and less corrupt “leadership” autonomy.)

...Inevitably, even in the best run governments, mistakes will be made. Which means decision limits aren't always enough. There has to be a way to automatically shut down bad programs. Because our politicians just don't seem to be able to shut off the flow of money, no matter how bad a program is. We need Constitution driven automatic shutdowns of funding under certain conditions.

For example:

When the fossil fuel industry makes the mistake of destroying a huge chunk of the environment with an avoidable oil spill – such as what happened with BP in the Gulf last summer, and Exxon in Alaska etc. etc.; it should be written into our Constitution that their subsidies, tax breaks etc. etc. be revoked.

No politician should even be asked their opinion on this. The revocations should be automatic – especially when alternative technologies exist that have no significant environmental effects compared to these catastrophes.

Automatic shutdowns are just good management. Or at least they are the avoidance of bad management. These shutdowns don't have to be permanent. We could still vote them back.

If BP or Exxon want their subsidies back, they can petition (or pay) for an election vote on the issue. And if a majority of the voting population (not just a majority of the people voting in the election) choose to reinstate their subsidies, so be it. We would have chosen to pay. But we're not choosing to pay now, and many many people are very very angry about this.

Our present political system has failed us; by making atrocious decisions that have cost us trillions, our health and environment, and the lives of thousands of our soldiers. It doesn't have to be that way.

We can create a system that does a much better job of self-correction – in part because we hardly have one at all now. Let's face it; any implementation of common sense would be better than what we have now.

Americans should have the right to kick the bums out of the Supreme Court too. If over half of Americans capable of voting choose to replace a Supreme Court Justice, we should have the right.

The “Supreme” Court has a long history of supporting plutocracy and corporatocracy over democracy. Or don't you think it's strange that the “Supreme” Court can declare most of the New Deal unconstitutional and now throw out our campaign finance laws, but somehow they just don't seem to be capable of noticing that the Patriot Act is in direct defiance of the Bill of Rights.

Which brings us to issues of freedom and liberty. Shouldn't Americans be allowed to vote on issues that reduce our freedoms? Why is it that unelected bureaucrats should have more power over our freedom than we do? When it comes to issues like net neutrality, we should be the ones to vote on it. Anything else is an attack on our sovereignty. There shouldn't even be a question about it. We should be the ones voting on issues such as this.

...Of course, there are some things even we Americans should not be able to vote on. We should not be allowed to vote against the Bill of Rights. Majority rule is not the answer to everything. But at least it's better than minority rule by a privileged class. Especially when that privileged class is ever faster running our nation and planet to self-destruction.

  1. Direct Democracy on long-term policy issues would spread the decision making process out to all those effected, and thus reduce policy manipulation for the benefit of the short-sighted.

  2. Political Decision Limits can help keep politicians honest.

  3. Automatic Shutdowns of Illegitimate Programs could save us billions if not trillions of dollars on programs, subsidies, and tax breaks that are essentially just socialism for the rich.

What America needs is more democracy.

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