Our Democracy In Danger

If our country remains on its uncertain, present course, the possibility exists that a government totally controlled by Republicans, with the aid of a sympathetic, Conservative Supreme Court, will attempt to undo all the hard-won social and economic progress that Progressive Democrats have made since Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected in 1932, thus posing an existential threat to our Constitutional Democratic Republic and its institutions.

Our Permanent Rational Reforms are designed to guarantee that our Democratic Institutions shall endure.

  1. We Can No Longer Take Our Liberty For Granted!
    • the status quo is threatening life as we know it in America
    • forces from within and without are threatening our system of government
    • Republicans are concerned with "leaks" and keeping power — NOT Russian threats to our system of government
  2. The Middle Class is shrinking daily
    • Obscene Wealth Disparity is dividing America into two (2) classes: The Super Rich 1% and the rest of America
    • Unemployment rates are low but so are incomes for millions of Americans who don't earn enough to adequately support their families
    • Chronic Unemployment as a result of Population growth, automation and job-outsourcing remains future threat
  3. Our Government is drowning in a growing $20 Trillion debt
    • Social Programs, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are under constant threat
    • Millions of Americans might soon lose their health care
    • Thousands of veterans still don't receive the adequate health care and services they have earned
    • Our National Security is threated because there isn't enough money to increase our military presence
    • Our old infrastructure is falling apart but there's no money to fix it
    • Republican politicians are not averse to cutting social programs in order to fund their own "pet projects".

Permanent Rational Reforms

The FAST TAX Rational Term Limits Lobby Reform
Campaign Finance Reform Electoral Reform Judicial Reform

Rational Term Limits

The Case For Term Limits

 * Courtesy of YouTube

The Case For The 28th Amendment

Until we end lifetime tenure, control of our government will remain for sale to the highest bidder and the fate of our Constitutional Democratic Republic and its institutions will remain in the hands of self-serving, party-first politicians.   It's time to adopt our 28th Amendment to the constitution and make Rational Term Limits the law of the land!!

While it's true that some of us are supportive of politicians with decades-long tenure who support those issues which are important to us, we must also consider that those who do not support our issues can also stay in office for decades and remain as staunch opponents of American progress.  Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond from the past and Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Chuck Grassley and others from the present come to mind.

As long as lifetime tenure and gerrymandering at the state-house level are not restricted, the odds are that the status quo will remain the order of the day.

Rational Term Limits Highlights

The 28th Amendment To The U.S. Constitution

Article 1. The Presidency
The term of office of the President and Vice President shall be 6 years but no person shall hold office for more than 8 consecutive years. No person shall run for reelection to the office of the President or Vice President without first having been out of office for at least one 6-year term and no person shall be elected to office more than twice.

Article 2. The Senate

The term of office for members of the Senate shall be 6 years but no person shall hold office for more than 12 consecutive years. After having been in office for 12 consecutive years, no person shall run for reelection or be appointed to the Senate without first having been out of office for at least one 6-year term.

Article 3. The House of Representatives

The term of office for members of the House of Representatives shall be 4 years but no person shall hold office for more than 8 consecutive years. After having been in office for 8 consecutive years, no person shall run for reelection to the House of Representatives without first having been out of office for at least one 4-year term. Elections for house members shall be held every 2 years for 50% of the representatives from each state.

Article 4. Ratification

This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states within seven years from the date of its submission to the states by the Congress.

Lobby Reform

Our political system, which can only be construed as revolving-door politics, has been hijacked by special interest through the use of armies of lobbyists which are able to spend vast sums of money to buy influence from countless politicians and their staffs in order to protect their interests.  The Scam: Politicians and/or their staff members leave their positions and are hired by special-interest groups as lobbyists.  Then, using their connections, these "new lobbyists", are able to funnel money back to politicians and the cycle starts all over again.  To end this flagrant abuse and corruption, here is our suggested Permanent Lobby Reform designed to end "revolving-door politics" in "the best government that money can buy". ~ Will Rogers

Permanent Lobby Reform

 ** Will Rogers

Campaign Finance Reform

CONSEQUENCES OF CITIZENS UNITED RULING

As a result of Citizens United's Supreme Court victory, "Dark Money", no matter what its nefarious sources are, is now "free speech". The wealthy, therefore, can now vote more than once in our corrupt electoral system while the poor and middle class struggle to keep from being disenfranchised by the barons of "Dark Money".

In the last few election seasons a high number of secretly-funded political ads have saturated the airwaves all over the U.S. with ads paid for with virtually untraceable “dark money” from super-rich "benefactors" who seek to buy elections.

Source: http://uscommonsense.org/research/citizens-united/.

Electoral Reform

If our Democracy is to endure in the 21st Century and beyond, our electoral system will necessarily have to be "tweaked" to fit a new epoch.  The reality is that the Founding Fathers, as citizens of a bygone era, could not possibly have foreseen the needs prompted by the age we now live in.  It is for that reason that we offer the following Rational Reforms:
  1. Presidential Candidate Certification: An Idea Whose Time Has Come!**
    "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."  ~ Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution 

    The Oval Office Is Not A School For Apprentices!

    No institution or corporation in the world would hire an individual as its CEO who does not already possess a certain level of experience and competency indispensable to a successful discharge of the duties required by the position in question.  Neither should the American People!  Given the powers vested on the executive branch and its role in the security of our nation, the Presidency of the United States is far too important an office to be held by any individual who, in the words of the Republican Speaker of the House, is ". . . NOT STEEPED in the long-running protocols that establish the relationships between DOJ, FBI and White Houses . . ." ~ Rep. Paul Ryan's defense of Donald Trump's inexperience

    The difficulties a modern American president faces when first elected are numerous and so it's not surprising that a certain amount of "on-the-job-training" will be necessary.  However, as a responsible American, irrespective of the profession or position a potential nominee may have held before registering as a candidate to the presidency of the United States, that individual must necessarily be familiar with the basic history, traditions and protocols necessary to facilitate the responsible execution of the duties of the Presidency.

    Consistent with the above, in order to prevent the future nomination of any irresponsible, unprepared or unfit presidential candidate, Rational Americans recommends the creation of a Presidential Candidate Certification Panel ("Panel") in accordance with the following articles:

    1. Every four (4) years, in the month of January of the year prior to the next presidential election, a Panel shall be convened for the purpose of conducting a public, Pre-Registration Forum ("Forum") for the purpose of certifying any individual who has not been certified within the previous eight (8) years and is planning to run as a candidate for the presidency.  Party affiliation shall in no manner influence certification of any individual.
    2. The Panel shall consist of three (3) Senators from each of the two (2) majority parties, for a total of six (6) members.
    3. At its discretion, the Panel shall formulate a set of questions relative to the knowledge of constitutional and presidential history and the duties and protocols deemed necessary to form a new administration capable of discharging its governmental responsibilities.  Each question shall be agreed to by at least five (5) members of the Panel.
    4. Candidate certification, without which filing of the "STATEMENT OF CANDIDACY" form shall not be permitted, shall be decided by the results of the Forum in accordance with criteria previously agreed to by at least five (5) members of the Panel.
    5. For the sake of simplicity and fairness, a "Jeopardy-Style" Forum is suggested.
    6. The public Forum shall, in fact, be held no later than the end of the month of February of the year prior to the next presidential election and the results made available to the public no later than forty-eight (48) hours after it has taken place.
     ** For those who may have concerns about the constitutionality of a "Presidential Candidate Certification" requirement,
    1. "Citizenship" and "Age" are the only conditions of eligibility to the presidency mentioned in Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution
    2. FEC FORM 2 "STATEMENT OF CANDIDACY" is a requirement not mentioned anywhere in Article II.  As a prerequisite to submission of FEC FORM 2, therefore, the constitutionality of Presidential Candidate Certification should be apparent.
  2. The Free Press, The Media And Political Ads

    The best guardian of a free society is a free press and media which enjoy the trust of the society it serves. However, when individuals or special-interest groups — with impunity — publish "alternate facts", misinformation or any other "fake news" in order to undermine a free society's trust in their free press and media, it becomes necessary for that society to take the appropriate steps to ensure that the integrity of its free press and media remain uncompromised and protected. Therefore, to protect the freedom and integrity of our free press and media:

    1. All political advertisements ("ads"), irrespective of method of delivery, including but not limited to radio, television, the internet, texting, blogging, printed media, etc., should be subject to verification of content.
    2. In the event that the contents of any such ad should be proved false, misleading or intentionally designed to mislead or libel, the authors and sponsors of said ad should . . .
      1. be held responsible for its contents
      2. be subject to a severe agreed-to penalty
      3. be prohibited from participating in any future political campaign activity in any manner whatsoever
  3. Tax-Returns Disclosure And Divestiture

    Given all the questions and doubts which have arisen regarding the current President′s possible conflicts of interest in the early days of his administration and the potential for corruption at the highest levels of government, it seems quite rational and desirable to henceforth require the following from any and all candidates who wish to run for any federal elective office whatsoever:

    1. Immediately upon registration to run for any federal office and before beginning any political campaign activity, including fundraising, candidates shall unconditionally release complete federal tax returns for the previous 5 years.
    2. Immediately upon being elected and prior to actually taking office, candidates shall either:
      1. place any and all business holdings and interests in a "blind trust"; OR
      2. fully divest him- or herself from any and all business holdings and interests
    3. Failure by the winning candidate to fully comply with item B, above, shall automatically forfeit the results of the election and the office in question shall be awarded to the next runner-up candidate (the "Runner-Up") provided said Runner-Up is able to fully comply with item B, above.
    4. Regarding the Office of the President, in the event that no Runner-Up candidate capable of full item B compliance is available, the sitting President shall continue in office until such time as a "Compliant Runner-Up" can be nominated and approved by a 90% majority of the Senate.

  4. The 11-Month Rule
    1. No political contribution to any elected official running for reelection, whether directly or indirectly, from any source whatsoever, shall be permitted 11 months prior to the date of the next election ("the 11-month rule").
    2. All political contributions to elected officials shall be limited to those officials in fact running for reelection and subject to the 11-Month Rule, above.
  5. Rational Term Limits
    1. Of course, no reform of our current free-for-all, sold-to-the-highest-bidder electoral process is more significant and transformative than term limits.  If you haven't already, please take a look at our Rational Term Limits model.
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