Constitutional Convention Amendments Proposals
IS OUR U.S. CONSTITUTION STILL RELEVANT TO THE EMERGING MODERN AMERICAN SOCIETY?
IS NOW THE TIME FOR CHANGE?
The framers of our Constitution, in their wisdom, realized the American society would not be static, that it would grow and change, and the Constitution would also need to grow and change. Hence, they provided for a process to change the constitution through amendments.
Our government retains power to govern by permission of the people and the people retain the power to determine how that government operates through amendments to the constitution.
Democratic governments are instituted by and for the good of the people.
And when governments no longer operate for the good of the people, it is the DUTY of the people to change that government. Today, the officials who are running our government operate for the good of themselves and their party,
and “WE the PEOPLE” DO NOT FIGURE INTO IT.
Our first President warned us about political party’s in his farewell address; take a look at what George Washington had to say at:- George Washington on Political Party’s (maybe now is the time for a third major political party?).
Let’s talk about how to make amendments to the Constitution.
Article V of the Constitution provides two ways to do that:
A) amendments proposed by two-thirds (34) of the Congress (House and Senate)
and subsequently ratified by the Legislatures of three-fourths (38) of
the states or BY CONVENTIONS IN THREE-FOURTHS THEREOF
B) Constitutional Convention for the purpose of amendments called for by two-thirds of the States’ Legislatures and subsequently ratified by
the Legislatures of three-fourths of the States or
BY CONVENTIONS IN THREE-FOURTHS THEREOF
We, the people, do have the power to effect change.
Find out who your State Legislators are and email them (every couple of weeks) with requests for a Constitutional Convention, being courteous and respectful in your language.
AMENDMENTS PASSED BY THREE-FOURTHS OF THE STATES IN CONVENTION CANNOT BE VETOED, DETRACTED FROM, OR ADDED TO, BY THE PRESIDENT, OR CONGRESS, OR THE SUPREME COURT. WE DO HAVE THE POWER!!!
(Of course, the Supreme Court could later declare something unconstitutional.)
Amendments to the U.S. Constitution by Convention has only been done once before and that was in the case of the 21st Amendment which overturned the 18th (Prohibition) Amendment, – see
“Constitutional Topic: Ratification Conventions.” (Look at the Vermont example).
Our government is not representative of the general populace.
Our government is top-heavy with millionaires or multi-millionaires,
while only 1% of the population are millionaires. 6 of the 9 Supreme Court Justices are millionaires (65%), 34 of the 44 Presidents have been millionaires or soon were after leaving office (75%), 67 of the 100 current Senators are millionaires (67%), 191 of the 435 current House of Representatives are millionaires (44%).
Actually, there could be more (they don’t have to reveal their wealth).
As a matter of fact, when the Constitution was ratified in 1789 only
white, male, adult property-owners were allowed to vote – this is the beginning of an OLIGARCHY/PLUTOCRACY, NOT A DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC!
See at;- (Original United States voting rights)
Now, our FOUNDING FATHERS just fought a war because THEY had no say in drafting the laws that would affect THEM, and the first thing THEY do is restrict the vote to only WHITE, MALE, ADULT, LANDOWNERS – WHAT A TURN-AROUND OF CIRCUMSTANCE!
WE HAVE BEEN RULED BY THE RICH FROM THE VERY BEGINNING!!!
If you require proof of this, check out who the framers of our Constitution were at – http://www.usconstitution.net/constframedata.html/
(The formatting of the display is not ideal – but you can read it. You will also notice that most of the Framers are professional people (most claiming to be lawyers) – there are NO bootmakers, nurses, barbers, laborers, carpenters, tailors, seamstress, painters – you get the idea.
Surely, there were people in those lines of work back then.
THESE ARE THE CHANGES, WE THE PEOPLE, NEED TO MAKE IN OUR GOVERNMENT:-
1) Eliminate the influence of OUTSIDE MONEY in our electoral process,
(repeal “Citizens vs FEC” Supreme Court decision)
so that the “average American” can become Representative, Senator,
or President (restore the American dream).
2) Take over the financing of CAMPAIGNS FOR FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICE by
modifying the Presidential Election Campaign Fund (PECF) of the
Federal Elections Campaign Act (FECA/PECF) to include
ALL FEDERAL ELECTIONS and increase the dollar value to $20 or $30.
Amend FECA that all campaigns (primary and general) for FEDERAL ELECTIVE OFFICE
will be financed through federal funds – ONLY!
Make it unlawful for any prospective candidate for FEDERAL OFFICE
to accept anything of monetary value or potential value (exceeding $100) or promise of such from any person, organization, or business, and for any person, organization, or business to offer such.
Make it unlawful for any FEDERAL OFFICIAL (elected, appointed, or contracted) to accept anything of monetary value or potential value (exceeding $100) or promise of such from any person, organization, or business and for any person, organization, or business to offer such.
For the 2010 taxable year there were 230,408,678 tax returns filed
with the Internal Revenue Service – on each of those returns is a
box to check if you want $3.00 of your tax to go to the Presidential
Election Campaign Fund (PECF) and checking that box will not change your
tax or refund (the $3.00 will come from the taxes you have already paid).
This could be a way for us (the general public) to take control
of the financing of ALL FEDERAL CAMPAIGNS.
If that “check box” referred to ALL FEDERAL CAMPAIGNS and we, as citizens,
were willing to ear-mark $20 or $30 (of the taxes we’ve already paid)
toward that purpose – those 230 million returns could generate
$4,600,000,000 (230 million returns times $20) or
$6,900,000,000 (230 million returns times $30) toward FEDERAL CAMPAIGNS, and thus, we could take over financing ALL FEDERAL CAMPAIGNS (relieving wealthy individuals and Political Action Committees “Super PAC’s” of that burden).
Now remember that Representatives and Senators are elected/re-elected
every TWO years but tax returns are filed EACH year, so
there could be a YEARLY influx of campaign money – in this
way we could make our elected officials beholden to US
(the general public) instead of to Corporations and PAC’s.
The US News and World Report of January 7, 2011 said
“candidates, political parties, and OUTSIDE GROUPS spent
$4 billion on the 2010 Congressional elections, more than
had been spent in any previous midterm election cycle”.
They also said “a substantial portion of the midterm election
OUTSIDE SPENDING was shrouded in SECRECY” – we don’t know who
is giving money to whom or for what purpose!
For the period of our Constitution, “We The People” have had a “free lunch”; (someone else has paid to influence the DIRECTION our Government takes). Now, if “We The People” are to have control of how our Government operates, that period of “free lunch” must be over – we have to start PAYING to have the influence over what DIRECTION our Government takes.
In the 2010 midterm election, that $4 billion elected/re-elected
33 Senators and 435 Representatives.
In our scenario (explained later), after House and Senate
transition is complete, we will only be electing/re-electing 25 Senators
and 145 Representatives each midterm cycle (based on present
(Look at the possibility of public financing of all IN-STATE ELECTIONS.)
3) Eliminate the Presidential pardon – NO ONE is above the law
(not even the President).
4) Eliminate the Electoral College – election of the President shall
be by popular simple majority vote.
The need for an electoral college is long past – these days,
information is almost instantaneous.
5) Pass an amendment that EVERY American citizen has the RIGHT to health care. (A healthy populace is likely to be a more productive populace.)
This could effectively be financed by removing the income cap
(currently $118,000) on Social Security/Medicare taxes so that
EVERYONE pays Social Security taxes on their ENTIRE INCOME,
not just those under the cap.
(Just so you know – the country of Norway has had a single-payer
health care system for over 100 YEARS, established in 1912 – if it
wasn’t working, they wouldn’t have had it all this time.)
To see where we stand in the area of health care, look at;-
6) Remove the loopholes in the tax code that enable higher income
individuals and corporations to avoid paying taxes or paying
substantially reduced taxes. Those who benefit substantially
from operating in America are necessarily using more resources
of the country and should pay a fair share of the taxes.
7) Eliminate all secrecy in government by:
a) no closed-door sessions of Congress or committees
(media must be invited)
b) no closed-door meetings between President and Cabinet members
(media must be invited)
c) no closed-door Supreme Court sessions
(media must be invited)
d) all meeting rooms wired for video and sound
e) all votes in committees, House, Senate, Supreme Court shall be
recorded and published
f) facilities on government property provided for media
Since everything our public officials say, do, or don’t do, affects us all –
we have the right to know what our officials say, do, or don’t do.
If there is something you want to do, but it must be done in secret – that’s a good indication that you shouldn’t be doing it!
8) Provide for enforcement of “60 day provision” of the War Powers Act/Resolution –
see – http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century//warpower.asp
9) Re-enact the Glass-Steagall Act to separate Commercial and Investment Banks –
see – GLASS-STEAGALL ACT
10) Repeal “money is speech” of the Buckley-Valeo Act –
see – www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckley_v._Valeo
11) Repeal the usurpation of individual rights by the Patriot Act –
see – http://rense.com/general94/patr.htm
12) Repeal the “indefinite detention” of civilians allowed by the National Defense Authorization Act –
see – www.aclu.org/national-security/house-fails-pass-amendment-scaling-back-ndaa-indefinite-detention-provisions
13) Double the salary of All CLASSROOM TEACHERS IMMEDIATELY . (Ask someone whom you know and respect – “who would you say had the most impactful influence on your life and who you are?”). The answer is more than likely to be – “a teacher”.
THAT’S HOW IMPORTANT TEACHERS ARE!
14) Fund public education through college/vocational school and forgive all presently
outstanding government college loans. (An educated citizenry is likely to be a more productive citizenry). Some nations that do provide a measure of free higher education for their citizens are;- Argentina, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Greece. Germany, Scotland, China, Libya, France, and Cuba.
Some countries offer free college to international students; – look at FREE COLLEGE ABROAD.
The “GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD” does NOT offer free college to its citizens!
15) Five years military service qualifies for Federal Retirement System
(those who volunteer to make the “supreme sacrifice” should reap
the same retirement benefits as our elected officials).
16) Decriminalize marijuana (a la prohibition) and take over the
supply – let our farmers raise the crop and TAX it.
17) Repeal the automatic cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) that
Congress voted itself and tie it to the COLA for Social Security
recipients – if they don’t get a COLA, then neither do you.
18) Change the term of Representative from 2 years to 6 years
starting with the next election after amendments are ratified (explained later).
Change the term of Senator from 6 years to 8 years
starting with next election after the House transition completed (explained later).
Change the term of President from 4 years to 8 years
starting with the next election after Senate transition completed (explained later).
Change the term of Supreme Court Justice from life to – (one 12 year term).
19) Make “National Voting Day” in November, a National Holiday and rename it –
“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Voter Holiday”,
and confirm that the right to vote is the bedrock of citizenship,
and that all qualifications, procedures, and practices for voting
are the same for federal, state, county, and municipal elections in all states.
After all, Dr.King’s main emphasis was on voter registration.
(A citizen has the RIGHT to vote in ALL elections held in the political jurisdiction in which he or she lives.) All citizens, born or naturalized, whom has attained 18 years of age, be they blind, dumb, cripple or crazy, shall be enfranchised within their respective political jurisdiction after being domiciled there for at least 30 days, and any paroled and released ex-felon shall also be similarly enfranchised. A national voter ID card shall be issued and shall be considered proof of identity for voting in ALL elections – federal, state, county, and local. Gerrymandering, voter suppression/intimidation are antithetical to democracy and shall be punishable by law.
Consider this:- there are 10 National Holidays, most of them you get a paid day off. Now, there is another day that is more important than all of these – it is the day of National Elections, but you don’t get the day off to vote. You may have to choose between going to vote or going to work – (the day that may have a tremendous affect on you and your family’s life for years to come), and you may not have time to go and vote! We’ve all seen the lines at the polling places.
ELECTION DAY NEEDS TO BE A NATIONAL HOLIDAY! – like Sandusky Ohio.
20) Pass a law that there shall be NO statute of limitations for
crimes against persons (such crime remains a crime FOREVER
and remains actionable FOREVER).
21) Require federal officials to put their investments in
a blind trust for the duration of their term of service.
22) Remove the “House Divided” arrangement of Congress – seat Senators and Representatives alphabetically without regard to “Party.” (The saying “those on the other side of the aisle” is not just a moniker, it is real – our Congress comes into session DIVIDED from the very beginning!).
To resurrect the “American dream” so that the “average American” can be Representative, Senator, or President some basic changes would have to be made in how candidates are selected.
And that selection process needs to be made without regard to personal wealth, station in life, ethnicity, gender, religion. The citizenship/residency qualifications would remain, but age qualifications would be reduced to; Representative – at least 21, Senator – at least 25,
President – at least 30, Supreme Court Justice – at least 40.
Now, who is the “average American” we want to be Representative, Senator, or President?
The average American would be 37.2 (median) years of age, have (median) household income of $50,221, have at least a high school education (86.68% of population). Of that, 55.60% have some college. Of that, 38.54% have associate or bachelor degree. Of that, 7.62% have a masters. Of that, 2.94% have a doctorate or professional degree (2009 stats).
Since gender, ethnicity, religion shouldn’t matter, I did no research in those areas.
If you believe an “average Joe/JoAnn” could not be an effective public official, consider;
George Washington never attended college
Abraham Lincoln had only 1 year of formal schooling
Harry Truman had only a high school education
So, how do we get the “average Joe/JoAnn” to participate in government?
First, in order to make it attractive so that those who have never considered government service might do so, immediately increase the salary of Representatives, Senators, President, Supreme Court Justices, Federal Judges by 25%, but reduce the retirement benefit to a maximum of 50% of salary (maximum retirement benefit is currently 80%).
Also, stipulate that early and normal retirement age mirror that of social security
(remember current retirement benefits for federal officials start at age 62 – with 5 years service, and at age 50 – with 20 years service).
Current salary of Representatives and Senators is $174,000/$193,400; Speaker of House – $223,000; Vice President – $230,000; President – $400,000; (couldn’t find salaries for Supreme Court Justices and Federal Judges).
This is very generous pay and benefits, but remember we are inducing “average Joe’s/JoAnn’s who wouldn’t otherwise consider public service; and remember, some of this expense will be offset by the increased FECA/PECF revenues, the removal of tax loopholes, and legalizing marijuana.
First, we’ll start with the House of Representatives.
Currently, the ENTIRE House of Representatives (435) is elected/re-elected every 2 years. This presents some embedded problems. In order to be vested in the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), a person must have at least 5 years of service. So the newly elected Representative comes into office with a sense of panic, he/she may lose his/her job after 2 years!
If he/she is not a wealthy person, he/she would necessarily be concerned about this.
So, his/her attention would be more directed toward being re-elected in 2 years than performing effectively in the House of Representatives, it’s only natural.
(The same US News and World Report of January 7, 2011 reports that a newly elected Representative comes into office needing to raise $1000 per day to finance his/her re-election campaign in two years, and a newly elected Senator needs to raise $3000 per day to finance his re-election campaign in 6 years – this is a distraction we don’t need on our public servants).
So now, what about the Presidency (no President wants to be kicked out office after only one term), so how is his campaign financed?
The Huffington Post reports that both 2012 Presidential candidates (Mr. Romney and President Obama) each spent $1 billion plus on their Presidential election campaign.
Where do you suppose that money came from, the Average Joe’s?
Look at – COST OF 2012 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
Also, take a look what was spent in the 2014 Congressional Elections; –
What we are suggesting is doing something like what the “Framers” did with the 1st Senate;-
divide the House of Representatives into 3 groups of 145 each (the states being represented in each group proportional to their preponderance in the House).
House elections will still be held every 2 years (as is now).
The 1st group serves a 2 year term and either moves on with 6 year vested interest in the retirement system or be included in the nominee pool described below.
In another 2 years, the 2nd group (having served 4 years) will either move on with 6 year vested interest in the retirement system or be included in the pool described below.
In another 2 years, the 3rd group (having served 6 years) will either move on with 6 year vested interest in the retirement system or be included in the pool described below.
Now, we need to fill the vacated Congressional House seats, this is where the “average Joe/JoAnn” comes in.
At the same time that the 1st group’s term is ending, using data from Census/Soc.Sec./IRS/FBI/INS,
create a pool of eligible willing residents of the respective Congressional districts (similar to the jury duty selection process, or maybe just use the jury pool), but giving NO weight to political party, wealth, station in life, ethnicity, gender, religion. Consider only the basic qualifications; age, citizenship and non-felon.
The total number of residents selected to be prospective nominees for the vacated Congressional House seat shall not exceed three (3) per party, per Congressional district, and shall be proportional to partys’ population in the respective Congressional District (as far as can be accurately determined).
At this time, any minor political party that has registered the majority of citizens of the respective Congressional District’s population shall be considered a “major” political party and shall receive Federal Election Campaign funds equally, and shall also be bound by the same restrictions as our two “major” political party’s.
Also, at this time, all of those gaining access to Congressional nominee pool (except those running for re-election and still receiving their normal salary) shall be deemed as an “average Joe/JoAnn” for the purpose of campaign financing (to follow). Fact is, State Legislators ARE “average Joe’s/JoAnn’s” who work part-time in the State Legislature and they are already dedicated to public service.
There will be a primary election per party procedures (as is now) to determine the actual party candidates for the 1st group’s vacated Congressional House seat, followed by the respective Congressional Districts’ general election (just as done now).
Once the primary season is over, the Election Commissioner shall submit invitation to five (5) randomly chosen members of the above mentioned “average Joe/JoAnn” pool, to also become a candidate for the respective Congressional seat, and that candidacy shall be awarded to the first invitee to accept, and he/she shall be considered “Party” unaffiliated (our Average Joe/JoAnn). If none accept the invitation – there will be NO unaffiliated candidate.
ALL CAMPAIGNS FOR FEDERAL OFFICE (PRIMARY AND GENERAL) FINANCED BY FEDERAL FUNDS ONLY.
At this time, Congressional Representative term shall be 6 years.
When the 2nd group’s term is ending – do the same thing again.
When the 3rd group’s term is ending – do the same thing again.
Now, we have a House of Representatives un-beholden to any outside money influence.
Subsequent campaigns for Representatives shall follow the above selection process unless changed by law. The Representative whose term is expiring will have the advantage of incumbency, but the field is otherwise leveled.
The authority for taking eligible willing nominees from a pool (as described above) can be justified by the fact that now, public funds are paying for all campaigns (assuming FECA/PECF has been modified to that affect) and the public (average Joe’s/JoAnn’s) should have the opportunity to serve in government if they desire.
Another authority may be found in the Constitution, Article I, Section 4 which says in part –
“The Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof;
BUT THE CONGRESS MAY AT ANY TIME BY LAW MAKE OR ALTER SUCH REGULATIONS.”
At any rate, an amendment could prescribe that nominees be assigned through a pool as described above.
If all this pool concept is to be made effective, there are still some things that need to be addressed:
a) The “average Joe/JoAnn” cannot be expected to quit his/her job and
drop everything to run for House of Representatives,
(he/she still has to earn a living) and we have already said
that if he/she becomes a nominee, he/she cannot accept any outside funds.
b) We will have to provide a monthly stipend equal to his/her
monthly salary/wages plus expenses, for the period of his campaign, and
provide for return to his/her previous employment (like reservists
who are called to active duty) when he/she loses nomination or candidacy.
After 6 years, we have a House of Representatives with 6 years experience in government – we hope they have learned something in that time.
OK – so now let’s deal with the Senate.
Currently, one-third of the Senate (33) is elected/re-elected every 2 years and serves a 6 year term, and BOTH Senators of a state are NEVER in the group that’s being elected/re-elected.
After 6 years we have a group of Representatives (one-third of House) whose 6 year term is ending and a group of Senators (one-third of Senate) whose 6 year term is ending.
During the 6 year period of transition of Representatives’ term from 2 years to 6 years, there would have been 3 Senatorial elections (one-third of Senate elected every 2 years) and that shall remain as is during the 6-year transition of the House, except Senatorial hopefuls shall declare their intentions by a cut-off date (to be determined) and from that date forward shall accept ONLY federal campaign funds EXCLUSIVELY (primary and general election campaigns financed through FEDERAL FUNDS ONLY).
After the House transition is complete, reform the US Senate the way we did the House. Divide the US Senate into 4 groups of 25 in each.
Just randomly choose 25 of the 33 Senators whose 6 year term is expiring for inclusion in the 1st group (they are already vested in the retirement system).
Election of Senators will still be done every 2 years (as is now).
Now, we have a group of “average Joe’s/JoAnn’s” in the House with 6 years government experience whose jobs are ending. Some of them may like to move on to the Senate.
The 25 US Senators whose 6 year term is expiring shall either retire or be included in the prospective nominee pool described below.
The prospective senatorial nominee pool shall not exceed three (3) nominees per party and can include aspiring/retiring Representatives, or any other qualified individual chosen thru party caucus/nominating procedures. Again, and as before, any minor political party that has registered the majority of citizens of the respective state’s population shall be considered a “major” political party and shall receive Federal Campaign Election funds equally, and shall also be bound by the same restrictions as our two “major” political party’s.
A primary election shall be held (just as now) to determine the partys’ actual candidate for the vacated Senatorial seat, followed by the General Senatorial Election in the respective state.
And again, as before, one Senatorial Candidate shall be selected from the “Average Joe/JoAnn” pool, using the same procedure used to select the “Average Joe/JoAnn” candidate for the Congressional House seat. Supporting financial benefits shall be extended to Senatorial nominees/candidates (except those seeking re-election and still receiving their normal salary) as was for Representative nominees/candidates.
At this time election of new Senators shall be for a term of 8 years.
AGAIN, ALL FEDERAL CAMPAIGNS (PRIMARY AND GENERAL) FINANCED THRU FEDERAL FUNDS ONLY – BY LAW.
After 2 years, do it again with the 2nd group of Senators.
After 2 years, do it again with the 3rd group of Senators.
After 2 years, do it again with the 4th group of senators.
Subsequent Senatorial elections shall follow the above procedure unless changed by law. The retiring Senator will have the advantage of incumbency, but the field is otherwise leveled.
Now, we have a Senate that is un-beholden to any outside money influence.
To this point, we’ve provided for elimination of outside money influence in the House and Senate and at the same time and hopefully, created more representation of “average Americans” in Government.
So now, let’s move on the the Presidency;-
our transition from a 2-year term for Representatives to 6-year term, and transition from a 6-year term for Senators to 8-year term has taken 14 years, and we have done nothing concerning the Presidency and there would have been 3 Presidential elections in the interim –
(Presidential term has remained at 4 years during this period).
Presidential elections shall remain as is until the Senate transition is complete, except; Presidential hopefuls shall declare intentions to run by a cut-off date (to be determined) and from that point on shall accept ONLY federal campaign financing funds EXCLUSIVELY (primary and general campaigns financed with FEDERAL FUNDS ONLY).
Now, after Senate transition is complete;-
Those Senators/Representatives whose term is expiring (and any other Senators or Representatives and sitting President or Governors, Mayors, average Joe’s/JoAnn’s, and any other qualified individual) whom wish to run for the Presidency shall be chosen through the respective party’s caucus/nominating procedures. Except that no party shall field more than five (5) prospective nominees. Any minor political party that has registered the majority of citizens of the compliment of the several States shall be considered a “major” political party and shall also receive Federal Election Campaign funds equally, and shall also be bound by the same restrictions as our two “major” political party’s.
Presidential nominees/candidates (who are NOT already in office and receiving a salary) shall receive supporting funds just as Representative/Senatorial nominees/candidates did.
Party primary election will be held (just as now) to choose partys’ candidate for general Presidential Election which shall be held, (just as now) and shall be by popular simple plurality vote (primary and general election campaigns financed through FEDERAL FUNDS ONLY).
At this time, the Presidential term shall be 8 years.
Now we have an “average Joe/JoAnn” in the White House who is un-beholden to any outside money influence.
You will notice there has been no mention of term limits.
If we have leveled the field through public campaign financing – the voting public will effectively exercise term limits by voting for or against candidates.
Any political advertisement not funded through FEDERAL FUNDS shall reveal it’s funding in the advertisement and NO NOMINEE/CANDIDATE MAY PARTICIPATE IN THE ADVERTISEMENT.
ACCOUNTABILITY FOR FEDERAL CAMPAIGN FUNDS.
There shall be meticulous accounting of dispersion of funds to nominees/candidates, expenditure of funds by same, return of unused funds by same.
Now, we know these proposals would be rejected by Congress, (after all, we’re about to disrupt the status-quo) and I don’t think we can count on Congress to propose these amendments.
So that means we have to do it ourselves by getting our state legislatures to call for a Constitutional Convention for the purpose of Amendments.
To do that may not be outside the realm of possibility. The current population of the U.S. is about 310 million now, and according to “Internet World Stats” about 240 million (77%) of that population has access to the internet. See – www.internetworldstats.com/stats26.htm.
If we were to mount a massive campaign thru progressive political organizations, progressive media outlets, universities, churches, social organizations, philanthropic organizations, barber shops, beauty parlors, the corner store, email, facebook, twitter, your friends and acquaintances,
and whatever, maybe we can create a ground-swell of requests on our State Legislators for a Constitutional Convention.
Delegates to the convention should come from the aforementioned pool of “Average Joe’s/JoAnn’s” and be proportional to party’s preponderance in each state.
A monthly stipend equal to delegates monthly
salary/wages plus expenses provided and return to previous employment assured. There could be two conventions; an Amendments Proposal Convention and an Amendments Ratification Convention. Each populated from the aforementioned pool of “Average Joe’s/JoAnn’s”. (No individual shall participate in both conventions).
All residents of the United States should have the same access to Congressional Legislators enjoyed by the Legislator’s constituents (we are ALL your constituents).
All residents of a State should have the same access to the State’s Legislators enjoyed by the Legislator’s constituents (we are ALL your constituents).
Even if we were able to create this ground-swell of demand for a Constitutional Convention, (which may be possible now that we have seen where the focus of Congress lies), we’er talking about a long drawn-out process and none of us “old foggies” would be around to see it to fruition, i. e…
1) Say it takes 5 years to get two-thirds of the States (34)
to call for a Constitutional Convention.
2) Say it takes 2 years for Conventioneers to agree on
what amendments to submit to the States.
3) Congress typically allows 7 years for States to ratify.
4) If amendments are ratified, (it takes 38 States to ratify) and the House transition
starts right away, it will be 6 years before the
House of Representatives is reformed.
5) If the Senate transition starts right after that, it will
be 8 years before the Senate is reformed.
So, 5 + 2 + 7 + 6 + 8 is 28 years!
But all this does not mean we shouldn’t try. In any case, if you think our government is dysfunctional and unrepresentative of the general populace, then we owe it to our posterity to start the process of change. If we don’t do it, no one else will do it for us!
Maybe your grand children can live under a more representative and responsive government.
We have made some radical proposals; increasing the salary of Representatives, Senators, President, Supreme Court Justices, Federal Judges, increasing their term of service, providing generous retirement benefits, paying for all Federal Elections, providing free health care and education for all our citizens.
We also made some suggestions to raise revenue for that purpose;- income tax reform, increase in funds attained through FECA/PECF, eliminate the payroll cap on Social Security taxes, legalize and tax marijuana (like alcohol). Actually, taking over the supply of marijuana will accomplish two things. Transfer the money from sale of marijuana to the U.S. Treasury, and thereby dismantling of the drug cartels which are responsible for the egregious killing of innocent people along our southern border and which will surely spill over into the U.S. unless they are stopped.
We fear that unless we can eliminate secrecy in government and outside money influence on elections, and in government, we may be looking at the end of government “of the people,” “by the people” and “for the people.”
FYI – If you want to know what a “People Friendly” Bill of Rights looks like and you’re open-minded enough, take a look at the South African Bill of Rights.
(If you don’t read anything else, read the right to “Freedom of Expression”).
When I was a young man and first started voting, I heard
a Congressman say “a person may not be rich when he
enters office but if he’s not rich when he leaves, it’s his own fault”.
I don’t remember the Congressman’s name or whether he
was a democrat or republican, but it doesn’t matter.
I never quite understood how that could happen, but now
I know. It’s called “Congressional Insider Information
Trading” and it has existed from the very beginning!
Watch this “The Blaze” video about Congressional Insider Information Trading;- Congressional Insider Trading
At the conclusion of The Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked a question;-
“Well Doctor, what have we got, a Republic or a Monarchy?”
Ben Franklin answered, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” – http://www.ourrepubliconline.com/Author/21
Now that question is thrust down upon us – WHAT WILL OUR ANSWER BE?
America is at a moral/societal crossroads, and it is all about race. We have to decide once and for all, what kind of country we are going to be. Are we going to be a country of “privileged whites only”, or are we going to be a country inclusive of different races of peoples living in peace and harmony?
There are essentially three options;-
1) America could exterminate all peoples of color (about 40% of the population today) and endure the wrath of the whole world – (something similar has been tried before)
2) America could deport all peoples of color (the same 40%) and endure the wrath of the whole world – (some propose this as a solution, maybe a genealogy test to determine who stays and who goes?) or…
3) America could commit to solving its racial problems by full integration of peoples of color into American Society, and gain respect of the whole world – we all inhabit ONE EARTH, it behooves us to find a way to live together, before we destroy ourselves
Since its inception, the United States Government, and followed by state, county, and municipal governments, has enacted and supported some very egregious and unjust laws and policies dealing with peoples of color and has never taken ownership or attempted to ameliorate the affects of its past actions/inactions.
This is not an indictment of the American PEOPLE – but it is an indictment of the American GOVERNMENT.
If your Government says it is “lawful” (the Declaration of Independence notwithstanding) to enslave a certain class of people to perform labor (which you need to do your farming), well, of course, you would be remiss not to take advantage of the situation – that’s where the Government is at fault (the framers of our Constitution and succeeding Senators and Representatives KNEW it was wrong, and they did it anyway).
And yes, I’m talking about slavery and its aftermath, which we have been loath to deal with and to this day, still seem loath to deal with. But not only slavery, we must also deal with the Indian Wars and its aftermath and the rape of Mexico. When you take something that does not belong to you, it is not enough to just apologize and say “let’s move on”. No, in order to have a chance at real amends, it is also necessary to replace that which you took or pay for it. Anything less just leaves a wound to fester and grow worse – (those that were taken advantage of and marginalized are sure to feel some animosity and the perpetrators are sure to feel some anxiety and trepidation). Now, in the circumstance of slavery, the United States Government condoned, facilitated, and codified the TAKING of 250 years forced labor from 4 million slaves, and has never attempted to make amends for that. When emancipation came, the recently freed slaves were given zilch, zero, nothing, to start a new life with. Our celebrated author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson (a slave owner himself) famously said at one point – “If there is a just God, we’re going to pay for this“.
Currently, there are some who advocate “Reparations for Slavery”. Fact is, the United States Government has, in the past, awarded “Reparations” for slavery – but that was to the OWNERS of slaves that were freed prior to the Civil War. Take a look at:- “WHEN SLAVE OWNERS GOT REPARATIONS“. Is what’s good for the goose also good for the gander? You decide.
The preceding link describes a slave owner being paid $18,000 by THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT for freeing 69 slaves. The CPI Inflation Calculator says $18,000 in 1862 dollars would be comparable to $458,636 in todays’ dollars. Check it out at:- “CPI INFLATION CALCULATOR“.
In an effort to create a just and homogeneous society, maybe now is the time to take a look at what some other countries have done to address their transgressions;- South Africa, Canada, and Germany have all implemented some sort of “TRUTH and RECONCILIATION COMMISSION” in an effort to make amends.
It behooves us to take a look;-
SOUTH AFRICA – South African TRUTH and RECONCILIATION
CANADA – Canadian TRUTH and RECONCILIATION
GERMANY – German TRUTH and RECONCILIATION
Forgive me, there is one other option we could take – WE COULD DO NOTHING, AND CONTINUE OUR DESCENT INTO AN IMMORAL RACIST SOCIETAL ABYSS – FROM WHICH WE MAY NEVER RECOVER!
I don’t know, but it must be terrible to go around hating other people. I think you would have to keep on reminding yourself that you hate, and you need to keep on looking for reasons to justify that hate. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
“WRONG NONE BY DOING INJURIES, OR OMITTING THE BENEFITS THAT ARE YOUR DUTY” – (Ralph Waldo Emerson) I think.
“BE ASHAMED TO DIE UNTIL YOU HAVE WON SOME VICTORY FOR HUMANITY” – (Horace Mann).
“IT IS NEVER THE WRONG TIME TO DO THE RIGHT THING” – (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)
ASSAULT WEAPONS: – Make possession of an assault weapon illegal, except for military and law enforcement.