I feel fairly confident in stating that pretty much everyone wanted to see some sort of change in our representation during our last election cycle. Sadly, at least in my mind, the same people who wanted—demanded, really—that change, voted for and returned all of the same old clowns back to the house and the senate with relatively few and mostly insignificant changes. Except for one.
A very large percentage of our population somehow came to believe that a lying, buffoonish, narcissistic, immature, reality show clown who is almost certainly corrupt and quite possibly deranged would be a good president. While some of them may be starting to become disillusioned with this man, a fairly large percentage of his core supporters still believe in his constant cries of #FakeNews and complete bullshit that have come streaming out of his mouth (and his Twitter fingers) every day since he first rode down that escalator.
He promised change and he definitely brought some. Not all change is good, however, and change simply for its own sake is almost always bad. In this case, it has been very bad. I have no desire to get into all the things that have gone wrong (the #RussianHack of our election or the constant bombardment of our media by foreign sites before and after it) and are still going wrong. This isn’t about that—it can’t be, anymore.
This is about how actual change in the current system can be accomplished.
I’m guessing that there are more than a few people who are dissatisfied with our current two-party system. It was, in my own opinion (Moo), the second biggest mistake the founding fathers made. Personally, I’d like to see a zero party system or a thousand (infinite) party one. Either would accomplish the same thing—a lot of *Independent candidates. (*More on this below.)
It doesn’t require that any laws or amendments be proposed/submitted or approved/ratified/passed. No action of any kind is required by either house of congress, or any branch of the government for that matter. The only things really needed are: for the next generation of politicians/leaders to follow their hearts and offer real, rational, well thought out plans for the future – and an informed electorate (the rest of us) to keep a close eye on their careers, and the plans and policies they propose. (There’s an element of the media that needs to change/be involved also, but there’s nothing voters can do about that except not follow them.)
It won’t be easy and it certainly won’t be fast. There are a number of things that have to happen before these changes can occur. While most of the specific information and links that follow pertain to national elections for the Senate, the House of Representatives and the President, the basic premises can and should be applied to all elections from the local level on up. I believe that the local/state levels are where the real changes need to start, and are also where they have the best chances of succeeding.
First and foremost are our future representatives. Pretty much everyone knows that the office of the President of the United States comes up for election or re-election every four years and he/she is limited to two terms. I assume I don’t need to provide a link to prove that.
U.S. Senate terms run for six years, with one third of the Senate seats up for election/re-election on even numbered years. – http://www.senate.gov/reference/reference_index_subjects/Elections_Campaigns_vrd.htm –
The House of Representatives, on the other hand, is a different story. All of its members come up for election/re-election every two years. – http://classroom.synonym.com/elections-house-representatives-held-two-years-12375.html –
I recommend that everyone reading this click on those links and thoroughly read the contents (and follow at least some of the sub links). This is part of what I mean by an informed electorate.
That being said, the next things are some basic ideas/suggestions for how real change can be accomplished. This is not an all-inclusive list. Wiser souls than I should consider revising and/or adding to these suggestions. In fact, I recommend it.
Future Political Leaders (all levels):
One: Beliefs, Goals & Policies – It’s not possible to be everything to everyone, so be very clear and precise about your platform and do not vacillate once you’ve made it known. It will be restricted if you join a party, any party, so consider running as an *Independent very seriously before making a choice.
#Side note: There’s no such thing as an Independent Party. That’s an oxymoron. By definition, one cannot be part of a large group of people with common beliefs, goals and ambitions and still be independent.
Two: Campaign Financing & Promotion – Accept only individual donations. No donations of any kind from any business, PAC, SuperPAC, organization/group (AARP, NRA, NAACP, ACLU, Church etc.), or other private/public/religious enterprise. Make sure all donation records are kept open and public at all times. There are already laws concerning this,
but some forms of donations can be kept private (certain types of PACs etc.). Don’t.
#Side note 2: I would have posted the links to fec.gov, but considering how much info has been changed/removed from all .gov sites by the current administration, I do not trust those at all.
Avoid negative campaigning & advertising. Stick to your own beliefs and policies and promote them positively. The other candidate(s) believe just as strongly in their message(s) as you do in yours, so try to avoid negative confrontations with them and do not marginalize your opponents or their supporters. No one wins when that happens, and it only turns the public off in most cases. (Debates are an entirely different story, but you should try to keep those as positive as you can as well.)
Also, denounce/refute any independent ads that concern or are about you or your opponents immediately, regardless of their content. Don’t let others make your case, they’ll want some sort of tit-for-tat.
Three: Media Coverage/Endorsements – This should probably follow along the same rules as corporate/organizational donations. Avoid allowing any media endorsements (newspapers, media groups, etc.) to have any influence in policy stances in exchange for their public support. Any endorsements from that area should come with no strings attached or not at all.
The Electorate/Voting Public (Us)
One: Above all else, keep informed and make every effort to get legitimate information from multiple sources (The candidates’ own official platforms first). Bear in mind that pretty much all other sources are going to be biased in one way or another to one extent or another, so keep an open mind when reading/listening to their opinions. Be especially leery of unsourced stories, or ones that claim to have witnesses/sources with only a first name such as Moe or Chaz or Kwasi or something.
At the risk of marginalizing some folks, I implore those who tend to read and believe only fringe news sites to please consider other, more mainstream sources and try to combine the information available from both areas. Much as I’d like to go on, it would only become a confusing and biased ramble so I’m going to stop here on this subject.
Two: Pay attention to all of the words and deeds of the person or persons you intend to support. Under the conditions proposed here there are going to be a lot of different positions taken by various candidates, and likely a fairly large pool of candidates if few to none of them follow/join a specific party.
This approach will eventually work itself out, but in the beginning it’s unlikely any one candidate will have a perfect platform. We will have to prioritize our stances in this regard and choose to support whoever we’re in agreement with on the most issues that are of the most importance to us as individuals at that time. Much of this will depend on the various candidates and on how they get their message(s) out.
This is where we, the voters, have the least amount of control except as far as viewership/readership is concerned, so I cannot give any specific steps for them to take. By design, the media outlets are free to cover any thing in any manner they choose. A free and independent media is both necessary and desirable in a free state, especially if it wants to remain free. Sadly, recent media coverage has not been fair and balanced (despite a certain organization’s claim), especially in this last cycle. As stated above, a lot of the unfairness was due to the huge amount of actual #FakeNews that was forced into our feeds (twitter, Facebook, etc.) and the ease and degree with which it was spread by those all too willing to believe it.
I especially recommend that all of the 24-hour news channels be viewed skeptically at best. Despite their claim, FoxNEWS is very obviously a conservative republican propaganda machine. msnbc is just as obviously a liberal democratic propaganda machine, though, in my opinion only (Moo), they do make some small attempt to present more sides of certain issues. I have no idea what CNN is trying to do, they seem to be all over the place. HLN does not qualify as a news organization at all (sorry HLN fans, but it’s true).
Generally, I tend to flip back and forth between CBS and ABC for evening and early morning news, and otherwise I follow the news feeds from my homepage and tend to pick and choose which stories to read depending on its source. Sadly, every damn one of them is ad-driven, which tells me one of the biggest problems going forward will be trying to reduce the amount of influence big bucks (the previously mentioned Corps. Pacs etc.) have on American politics. (Again, Moo)
Some final thoughts:
I realize that the list is incomplete and the above suggestions are simplistic and probably infeasible/unworkable as presented. Many issues have not been addressed (getting registered nationally if you have presidential designs is a major one, for example). They’ll need a lot of tweaking and reworking to be become even remotely possible. Considering the immense obstacles, they are likely completely impossible, but that doesn’t mean I can’t propose them, or that some future, modified, more workable version can’t be tried at some point.
Even if anyone starts following this plan, it will take several election cycles for any results to start becoming noticeable. At this point in time, I support anyone and everyone who is dedicated to removing Donald J. Trump and the majority of the gutless @GOP asses who are selling our country out and allowing *45 to destroy our democracy. #Resist #NeverTrump #IllegitimatePrez
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