Two Parties: Too Much Power
Saturday, August 29, 2020
By A. Freeman
We have a system of running the country in which only two parties have the power to :
• Set the agenda of issues for every election.
• Decide which corporations will enjoy profitable loopholes in legislation.
• Decide which lobbyists will gain a seat at the table of governance.
• Decide who pays how much in taxes and who pays nothing.
• Send our sons and daughters to be killed or disabled in a war.
• Send us to prison for smoking a little pot.
• Craft trade agreements that ship our jobs overseas.
• Manipulate the news media with political propaganda.
• Set the priorities… more than $1billion for a new London embassy, but no money for safe schools.
• Divide the nation into districts wherein one or the other party enjoys a monopoly. It’s called “gerrymandering.” The Mafia calls it, “Family Territories.”
• Spend more money than even God can count.
• Well…you get the idea. It’s a lot of power concentrated in the hands of just two political parties.
What we have are 535 elected officials in Congress and a president who follow the dictates of two political parties, on most issues. They work for the political parties, not for you and me.
What’s Good For The Goose…
The question is, “How can we reduce the extraordinary power of two political parties or perhaps rid ourselves of them altogether?” It is essential we return power to its rightful titleholders that is best described by Thomas Jefferson, “…all power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people.” There was no mention of political parties.
One answer might be to copy a popular way of doing business in Washington, “Hire our own lobbyist.” Here is how it would work:
The Citizen Lobbyist©
20 Bucks Buys You A Lobbyist
1) Each of us will retain a law firm to act as our “Citizen Lobbyist,” and for, say, 0 per month your interests will be represented in Washington. A law firm could easily handle a minimal 5,000 “citizen clients,” which equals ,200,000 income per year. Enough to make this proposition attractive to many law firms.
Small Is Better
2) Each lobbying firm will be limited to a maximum of 60,000 citizen clients. Why? Because our wise Founders originally did not want the number of citizens to exceed 60,000 per House member. (Today, one House member represents over 700,000 citizens!) There is no magic reason for choosing 60,000. We simply don’t want to recreate another giant political party disguised as a lobbyist.
Most Valuable Currency
3) Our lobbyist will not offer money to politicians. We’ll offer something more valuable…votes. We will agree to vote for a candidate if he or she agrees to address our primary concerns. Our lobbyist will obtain signed agreements from each candidate promising to focus on agreed upon issues. If we cannot get an agreement addressing our interests, we will not vote for that candidate. If none of the competing candidates will sign the agreement, we will withhold our vote for that position. If all candidates agree to sign, then we will be sure to vote for one or another.
4) The list of issues will include opposing views on specific topics. For example, “Do you support the freedom to choose an abortion?” versus “Do you support limiting or prohibiting abortions?” We want a clear understanding of the politician’s stance on the issues.
Fair & Square
5) The final agreement will be developed by a “ranking system” of each citizen client’s priorities, so it’s likely that a person’s top priority might become #2 or #3 priority on the final aggregated list. It’s the fairest way to compile priorities. The issues would be arranged per broad category, i.e., Economic, Social, Foreign Trade, etc.
Free Of Bias
6) The lobbyist would remain neutral on the issues. Therefore, the same lobbyist who represents a “conservative” will also be able to represent a “liberal.” Why? Because many people do not embrace the entirety of a sweeping conservative or liberal ideology. Specific issues often determine a person’s choice of candidate.
7) Our lobbyist will let us know each time the politician has either lived up to the agreement or breached it. (An absence from voting will most likely be a breach of contract.)
Sorta Like FICO
8) The lobbyist will periodically give us a score, a convenient rating of the politician’s overall performance as it relates to the agreement. Each citizen client will be free to decide whether or not a politician’s score is satisfactory.
Naked As A Jaybird
9) Each lobbying firm will post the final signed agreements on social media for the entire world to see. This will enable us to spot any contradictions between our agreement and other agreements signed by the same candidate.
The Power Of One
10) Each firm will be required to remain independent from other Citizen Lobbying firms. We want to avoid centralizing power. We want to distribute power among every single American citizen via many independent lobbyists, giving each of us an equal amount of power to govern ourselves.
This same concept could be extended to hiring Citizen Lobbyists to represent our interests on a state level for, say, an additional 5 per month; as well as for county and municipal issues for an extra 0. Smart marketing might even give us a “package deal.”
That’s the rough idea. It’d be one step to greater self-governing, widely dispersing the power currently concentrated in the hands of two parties.