Re-Imagining Our Democracy: From The Grassroots Up

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Today’s Republicans see politics through the eyes of a states’ rights republic; Democrats have a We The People, democracy perspective. Everyone voting, and counting every vote, is a primary objective of most liberals, progressives, and other leftwing Americans. Conservatives are less anchored to such popular election concepts. Of course, that view is more prevalent with far right conservative politicians, pundits, and partisans.

The current electoral college system that makes the senate so powerful, as to representing the number of states rather than the number of voters, is bolstered by the reduction of one person, one vote value in our Constitution’s republic portion. While republicans will say the United States is a republic, I take the view that we are a democracy with various limitations, or checks and balances, related to a republic, like senators and representatives. It is possible to reduce, increase, or change those checks and balances, often done through new amendments, depending on our needs as a nation over time.

Though change may be threatening to conservatives, things do change, have changed, and must change. To that end, the U.S. radically overhauled its governing structure twice in ten years. First in 1777, Americans agreed to the Articles of Confederation, then in 1787 the founders crafted our Constitution. We are requiring another radical paradigm change today. Luckily, it does not require a new Constitution, and possibly not even an Amendment to attain it.

Since Republicans have sewed up the long term, pod-people angle in developing political caucuses, and social strategy organizing, Democrats and other liberals and progressives should abandon any drive to reprise the same development structure. Rather, we must develop another strategy, which is much more amenable to our psychological makeup. However, it may also require us to do something that we have less familiarity with, working “lockstep” together on a slate of causes. Thankfully the “lockstep” portion being suggested here is a short term endeavor, at least in its totality.

And development of this new idea in a “short-term” manner is actually vital to its success. Taking too much time to develop the system would allow conservatives/Republicans to counter it in some way. Luckily, they work in their long term lockstep manner, and that can also require many years to just get on the same page, especially if the new idea infiltrates into their constituency. And the program I have developed will likely reach into conservative political, and social demographics in various ways.

That said, the system will be more narrowly focused on government and economic issues rather than a political entity. What it aims to do is give We The People more power in shaping how the government is run, and how well it performs. No liberal or conservative, progressive or libertarian wants to waste one billion dollars on pathetic program X, when powerful program Z will use those dollars more effectively. The same with regulations; if one is having actual negative impact, why would we want to be fighting for all the good regulations, and seem as if we are defending the bad ones too?

To that end, every program, agency, project, worker, politician, regulation, and all laws in every municipality, county, and state as well as the federal government would be completely researched, and watchdogged to make sure nothing ever goes off track without everyone’s knowledge. This is where good government, center leaning, conservatives may be pulled in. Conservatives not in the top 10% of income earners will also see value in the Jobs Development Platform portion of the system. It is where socialism and capitalism dissolve into better democracy for the rest of us.

Guaranteeing a job for everyone is great, but what is meant by that? The JDP answers this question very specifically, and sets aside the economic ideology of the worker and business sides of the equation. Although it does not end labor unions, it provides a much more robust system for workers with nationwide reach and power. Both workers and medium to smaller-sized businesses would benefit from the platform. By tying this jobs system to a civic participation booster, we have an unbeatable mostly non-partisan combination.

The goal of recruitment is to attract a minimum 60% of workers and citizens in America to become affiliated in some way with the system. The percentage is very doable if you consider all the cross party similarities. The mission of the system is to refine government in every way possible while increasing societal benefits. Greatly improving education, investment in science, housing, health, government cost effectiveness, and food, and financial security while not jeopardizing our future as a nation are integral parts of this mission. Removing carbon from energy production, and cleaning up the environment in every way possible is a parallel mission.

Our current predicament is largely constructed by major corporate interests having ever increasing access to presidents, governors, legislators, and congresspersons for the last four decades. These influencers have steered our politics toward a democracy eviscerating convulsion. While the United States has never achieved one person, one vote flawlessness, we have seen a renewed effort to dampen and frustrate turnout. Such efforts have meant increased civic apathy, a reduction of interest in the facts, and blocking serious policy deliberations. Denying citizens the ability to make America a better place for everyone.

The civic participation node is the overarching and undergirding of the system. Protecting and proliferating the franchise insinuates itself throughout the infrastructure and architecture. Every element of participation in the process will be easily formed for even the newest participant, or most civically illiterate. To make this possible, the comprehensive civic portal will be linked to the highest speed, closed-circuit, citizen internet structure in the world, never again to be outdone by any other nation. The most advanced virtual reality, democracy improving, instructional programs will be developed by the WTP system participants.

Citizens and workers will populate the WTP system management, civic educational teams, and oversight committees. A near pure democracy structure will deal with a good portion of these selections and policy votes. However, random selections will be made to insure representation by all groups. A layer of paid workers will be needed, and a huge cohort of citizens will be required to volunteer some portion of the week, month, and year to perform various tasks, or monitor watchdog channels. Of course, traditional civic volunteers, and other outside political responsibilities will still be available.

Overcoming these political corrupting incursions, civic roadblocks, and moneyed influencers requires a countervailing platform of power. It must not be political party based. Directly challenging the powers-that-be is its core mission. The system will combine as one entity many functions with near unlimited human capital to engage the plutocrat resource-abundant influence effectively, putting their operations on its heels, in a never ending, never tiring manner. It will be a standalone, quasi-government entity, though We The People developed and managed.

No politician, or government official will be able to fiddle with its design or operation, except in very specific, emergency cases. Nor will there be investments made by any private entity.

The system will be able to ramp up a very streamlined Green New Deal with everything managed and measured to the T. That corresponds with the remaking of our non-political party, government structures. To improve the lives of workers and citizens, we need to have a system that combines much of the technology from the likes of Facebook, Wikipedia, Wikileaks, Amazon, Slack, Upwork, and Zoom. Clearly this system will not be focused on creating profits for a few. Nothing against making profits, but our civic participation, and ability to find work should not have its current limitations, which are perpetrated and perpetuated those who do not want all Americans to be influential in determining their future, or empowered as employees.

Wikipedia and Wikileaks are not billionaire profit centers; I referenced them because their general architecture and content collection is part of the system, which includes a “quantum” capacity knowledge base, and a watchdog, whistleblower division. Whether those entities are for-profit or not, my inclusion of these examples does not mean the system contains any or all of their ethics, products, etc. For example, I included the Amazon concept because their logistics and distribution architecture would be replicated, even more robust in various ways, to deploy renewable energy nationwide, fight the climate crisis, assist during nature related disasters like wildfires, hurricanes, and tornados, and to combat the next pandemic.

Additionally, the system would be able to expand into a number of management areas if approved by We The People participants, and if required, Congress. For example, managing the EPA, HUD, prisons, voting, universal health insurance, etc. Think of the system as the ultimate government, public partnership. With the proliferation of public, private partnerships, it is about time the public actually got directly involved. We should be calling the current projects politician, private partnerships, or corrupt politician, crony-private partnerships. These crony capitalist entities, and insidious relationships are why politicians and governments fail us, and the reason revolution happens. Time to end and clean up the gross abuses generated by these factions.

If we continue mismanaging our localities, states, and nation, and allow every entity to police themselves, the same political hot-tub diseases will reappear, and reinfect society. Our loss of local and state media sources, that actually root out corruption, means politicians get less oversight, and big money capture and crony capitalism are more likely to gain a greater foothold. It is the whittling away of our freedoms not the big scandals that will put us in an irreversible position. We can wait no longer to act.

Imagine a system that finds, within moments, jobs for most everyone able to work in the U.S. Otherwise, the person is put on a direct track to enhance their skills and knowledge so they are able to attain a job in another industry, or move higher up in their current industry where jobs are more plentiful. That educational and/or vocational track is also mapped out in mere seconds, via the quantum database. Additionally, the JDP would eliminate the need for unemployment insurance as it is provided today, and other redundancies.

This rewired for We The People system provides businesses with employees in mere moments rather than searching forever for great job candidates. These are much better workers because they choose their employers, and work environments. They will be higher qualified than workers in previous generations as well. Illegal hiring discrimination ends because job applicants will be choosing their employer. Inmate education, all types of legal help, and post prison jobs will be considerably enhanced. Every worker’s skills and education levels are verified and guaranteed. Assistance for business startups is available too.

The system will bring a renaissance to cities, solve immigration, and make the transition to new industries nearly seamless. Abolishing housing discrimination is just one characteristic of the renaissance. Tough to solve problems like drug addiction epidemics, chronic health conditions, and deep poverty will be targeted like never before. In one fell swoop the system movement can create all these elements, and We The People can gain power with it. Rather than a political process, it is a powerful issue influencer with the ability to administer major portions of current government programs, and/or watchdog them, as well as private sector bad actors, into compliance.

Some, most or all of these prognostications may seem outlandish, but I assure you, it is possible by turning the tables on our current way of seeing things.

While it relies on your being involved and your ideas and skills to finalize, I have worked out the basic framework. To get a fuller explanation and the reasons why I believe it is needed, get my ebook: Our Democracy Requires An Update: A Transformational We The People System.

by Richard The Chwalek

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Read essay here as well.

Writer/Consultant. Wife/Two-20 something daughters. Flyover Midwesterner. RN/Engineer son, been there/done some, antiracist, feminist, ecotarotcardist, politics

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