Been doing some study and reflection about our "Democracy" since November 9th 2016. My conclusions are not encouraging for Democracy in America and the western world.
The two most critical issuesthat we need to address are the banking/monetarysystem and electoral reform. Without addressing these, no real change in our Democracy and human condition can happen.
Some how we have allowed corporations to gain control of government rather than the citizens. As it turns out a small segment of citizens, with their money, nominate the candidates we elect. This elite group does not care who we elect as the fix was in at the nomination process.
This Ted Talk video explains the realities of our election process. https://youtu.be/PJy8vTu66tE
. Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig makes the case that our democracy has become corrupt with money, leading to inequality that means only 0.02% of the United States population actually determines who's in power. Lessig says that this fundamental breakdown of the democratic system must be fixed before we will ever be able to address major challenges like climate change, social security, and student debt. This is not the most important problem, it's just the first problem."
I agree with Lessig that this is the first problem that needs to be fixed before anything meaningful can happen.
Once we have a system for the people by the people we can then address the following issues.
In order of priority.
1. Electoral Reform
2. Banking & Monetary system
3. Environment/Global Warming
4. Health Care
6. Gun Control
First before I delve into each of these issues, here is my take on things as I see it.
We have to keep in mind during this discussion that our Democracy is really a facade perpetuated and supported by both Democrats and Republicans. For all intensive purpose there is no real difference between either party, until now.
With the election of Trump & GOP guided by the ideology of Steve Bannon and the "Christian" right is steering us towards a totalitarian fascist state. Mike Pence, Greg Gianforte and Betty DeVos to name a few are proponents of the "Christian" Right who seem to want to impose their misguided religious beliefs on the entire country.
To understand how evil this is you must read Chris Hedges book, American Fascists - The Christian Right's War on America. He also has a great videos on Youtube. Check this one out https://youtu.be/xLaoJrg80JQ
Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist for the New York Times, describes in his book, how over the past few decades how big Evangelical Churches use proven brainwashing techniques to influence congregations to blindly accept authoritarian edicts. Republicans have taken these "Religious" leaders like Mike Pence, Greg Gianforte and Betty DeVos into their fold and employ the same techniques with followers. A contributing factor why Trump supporters will never see the truth as they have become blind to the truth. Read Hedges book to get the whole story.
The Democratic Party is left scratching their heads after November 9th 2016 and wondering what happened. Not withstanding the strong possibility that the election was rigged by the GOP & Russia the Democrats did make critical mistakes.
America wanted and needs real change. But Democrats fatal mistake was to nominate Hillary Clinton. I voted for Hillary Clinton as the more qualified candidate to be President than Trump, but Hillary & company did not have a new meaningful message of real positive change. This is why the .02% of the population who actually picks the candidates chose Clinton over Sanders. Sander's message was too progressive for the centrists 2%.
If Democrats had run with Sanders I believe he would have won the election as many Trump supporters would have flipped because if they wanted anything it was change. Unfortunately the .02% would not tolerate his progressive ideas like Universal Single User Pay Public Health Care Insurance.
It is my belief that the political left, be it the Democratic Party or some other new party needs to create a platform of real positive change.
I am looking for a Political Party that will embrace the following:
1. Electoral Reform
a. Eliminate the Electoral Collage - In today's world we can't have Presidents who win the popular vote but loose the election. This has happened twice dividing Americans.
b. Take Money Out of the Political Equation - We need change the act of choosing Candidates back into the hands of Citizens and not Corporation. Somehow we need to select the best qualified candidate rather than the one with the most money. Publically funded campaigns will be needed.
c. Limit the Duration of the Election process - Trump has now started campaigning for 2020. Perpetual campaigning has to stop. Most countries limit campaigning to only 6 weeks before the election. I for one want my representatives to spend their time governing rather than campaigning for dollars striping them of their political independence. This perpetual campaigning favors only the rich as the cost of being elected in today's America is prohibitive to all but Billionaires.
2. Banking & Monetary System
Our current monetary and banking system is the root cause of the western worlds income inequality.
Our system of fractional reserve banking whereby banks create money out of thin air by issuing debt is for all intensive purposes is a ponzi scheme where the profits trickle up to the 1%. Here is a link to some good videos that explain http://econreform.com/Learn
Besides the obvious problem of creating a huge income inequality, is the fact that for the current debt based system to work there has to be constant economic growth. Just like any ponzi scheme the perpetrators have to keep finding new money to pay back investors or the scheme collapses.
The economic crisis in 2008/09 was a direct result of this system and the tax payers had to bail them out. Now the new administration has removed the Frank/Dodd banking restrictions designed to prevent another meltdown. With the USA already $20 Trillion in debt the next crisis will be catastrophic and will basically turn America into a 3rd world country.
The American Tax Payer should not be borrowing money from private banks and have to pay interest on money the banks never had in the first place. Why should we when we can instruct the Treasury to print any amount of hard or digital currency it wants. Granted we would need some strict oversight by Congress on the mechanics of this system. Abraham Lincoln did this to pay for the Civil War. It worked just fine, until "they" had him assassinated. So it has been done before successfully.
Here are some great links that endorse this form of banking.
The current system of Banking is a modern day form of slavery. Concerned only with making money for the rich rather than improving the quality of life for the majority. The institution of banking has become what the bible described as Usury. Too bad our new Administration is not familiar with that concept. Which is surprising as they purport to be Christian.
3. Environment / Global Warming
Another serious problem our economic system creates, and maybe the most critical problem is the fact that economic growth and burning of fossil fuels go hand in hand. The more economic growth the more CO2 is produced and the main cause of global warming.
So the NOW equation looks like this.
Prosperous Economy == Toxic Planet
So the NEXT is; the human race has to answer this question; How do we use the tool of Democracy to adjust the mechanics of the economy that get us to SUSTAINABLE?
Well the first thing you need is obvious, we need a Democracy. So how do we do that? We need to pass Federal Legislation that will implement and ensure the Electoral Reform discussed earlier.
Democracy is the very first step to a Sustainable society on Earth. Democracy is the best tool we have that can adjust the Banking and Monetary system. If the citizens of the planet cannot get this done it is highly unlikely that leaving this task to the 1% would.
So once we fix Democracy we can then tackle:
4. Health Care - Health care is a right.
America must support Public Single User Pay Universal Health Care.
You can have healthcare or insurance but not health insurance.
The only reason why America does not, is simple. Our politicians are mean, greedy and beholding only to their corporate insurance masters. In the long run lack of health care will be an economic disaster for America as it will not be able to compete with other countries economically as too much of GDP will go towards Health Care Insurance.
I now live in Canada and have adequate health care. It's not perfect but it's a huge improvement from the American system, to which my parents lost everything to in the 60's.
5. Education - It can be argued that Public Education is what made America great.
Public education is the tool that gives business qualified and competent workers and informed citizens able to perform independent critical thinking.
But unfortunately Conservative state and federal governments over the past three decades have under funded education. This has left America with a work force without the skills necessary for jobs today and tomorrow. Lack of education is a contributing factor of income inequality.
The actions of the Trump administration's Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, is totally reprehensible and criminal in that they are imposing their misguided religious beliefs and doctrines on all Americans. So much for the separation of Church and State.
Mike Pence, Greg Gianforte & Betsy DeVos are supporters of the radical "Christian" right. If they had their way only schools who teach creationism and the "science" that teaches children that Man walked with dinosaurs is criminal in my view.
I do not favor any public education dollars going to any private schools as that would make them public schools. If rich people want their private schools they can pay for them.
6. Gun Control - This is just out of control in USA.
I grew up in the mountains Montana. We went hunting.
One year we even had to kill 8 bears that the Park service were dumping behind our place and coming into our yards, because they were getting in trouble up at Glacier Park
and were used to people. So we needed those tools.
Living in Canada now I sold all my weapons back in the 80's as I just do not need them. Americans are so paranoid and fearful they THINK they need a gun. I also notice a disturbing trend that Americans treat weapons like toys rather than tools.
If you need a tool you should have one. If not, I am of the view that you can have as many guns you want as long as they use the fire arm technology available the year the 2nd amendment was created.
Fewer Guns, Less Poverty, Better education = Fewer killings.
Thinking you have, or wanting Democracy is quite different than actually having Democracy. We no longer have the need for 200 year old legislation like the Electoral College as our technology removes the need for it.
Remove the Electoral Collage and we are closer to a true Democracy, a ways to go yes, but closer
Before November 9th 2016 I believed we lived in a Democracy. Now I do not. The shock of the election shook me to investigate and learn. I learned that we have become far too complacent. Complacent in trusting our, leaders, institutions, governments and corporations to do the right thing. I for one will no longer be complacent.
The question is what do we do about this. Will the Democratic Party adopt these view? If not I will move on to a party that does.
I am open to discussing these issues and working to a solution.