US governmen is dysfunctional. Neither of the major political
parties will let the other accomplish anything, so we are not
addressing major problems. Special interests and big money control
the agenda, and the Supreme
Court made things much worse by allowing Corporations to spend as much money as
like to influence elections.
On January 21, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that
corporations are entitled to spend unlimited funds in our
elections. The First Amendment was never intended to protect
corporations. This cannot stand. Join our campaign
protest this decision. Protect our democracy! Free speech is
for people — not corporations.
Our politicians are either unable or unwilling to regulate
themselves or protect us from economic predators like those who
nearly led us into a second great depression in 2008. Many
politicians are the unabashed paid agents of corporations,
political action committees and the top 1% of wealth owners. The
corporations and people who control these concentrated sources of
wealth hire lobbyists and others to ply our politicians with gifts,
money, inside financial information, promises of future benefits
and unlimited campaign funding so they sellout to do their
clients’ bidding. The United States of America is no longer a
republican democracy. It is a poorly functioning corporate
oligarchy. Through our own apathy and complacency, we have allowed
our government and economy to be hijacked by professional
corporatists who unceasingly crave money and power for its own sake
regardless of the consequences. Fortunately, Americans are
awakening and the Continental Congress 2.0 and resulting Petition
for Redress of Grievances is one of many steps being taken by
average people to “reboot” our democracy. (from the99declaration)
finance law underlies all other law.
writes that we have lost our republic because politicians are
beholden to the funders and not the people. Public financing of
elections is necessary so that candidates are not beholden to
Nothing will change without a Constitutional Amendment to roll
back Citizens United.
It is clear that the two party monopoly has become corporate, polarized people
and government to an extent that the US is incapable of recognizing,
let alone dealing with serious challenges.
The two party monopoly does not work for the people. It has
resulted in gridlock and dysfunction.
We should insist on Instant Runoff Voting
or Range Voting for all of our elections as a first step to
weakening the two major parties.
Gerrymandering allows politicians to select voters instead of the other way around. It has resulted in the current crisis.
should be done by non-partisan entities.
See this note.
The Constitution is over two centuries old and very difficult to change.
Because we have a partisan Supreme Court that insists on trying determine
the intent of the framers two centuries ago, the law is quite inflexible, obsolete,
and unresponsive to people. The corporate supremacists use that to
keep a wealthy minority governing, but that is an insult to democracy.
it is clear that the electoral College is not functioning to keep qualified
Presidential candidates in office, nor is our current President the winner of the popular vote.
It is our misfortune to have a government that does not serve the people.
Good Americans believe in fair elections
in which all votes are accurately counted. Voting machines are
currently manufactured by Republican
partisans and their inner workings are trade secrets. For that and
many other reasons (see the elections
page), US elections cannot be trusted. Election procedures
should be reformed and standardized.
We need voting machines to be open source, transparent,
standardized, and auditable. Procedures should be in place to
Range voting ought to be in place at all
levels: State, Local, and Federal.
Gerrymandering has polarized the Congress.
Almost everyone agrees that the electoral college should be abolished.
Election procedures need substantial reform, but it is not even up for
discussion. Media, in its own downward
spiral, doesn't talk about it.
Corporations, to retain their
charter, must act like good citizens, since the law says they exist
only for profit they are more often sociopaths. If they are too big
to fail, they need public oversight. Yes, regulations.
They are not people. Their
political spending should at least be disclosed. If they act
contrary to the public interest, they should lose their charter.
Many of them are trans-national, so they have no allegiance except
to profit. They can choose the most lax tax environment to have
their headquarters, the lowest wage country to employ workers, and
the most lax country to dispose of their waste. The only way to see
that they are responsible is to build an international consensus. Globalization requires global
Like many empires before, we are
headed for an imperial head of state. It is
contrary to the US Constitution that a single individual decides
important matters on his own. Sometimes we have wise leaders, but
more often they are quite fallible...if not outright self-serving.
Congress has allowed much of its power to be usurped.
Another Republican bad idea is
making the Presidency all-powerful. Bush, in signing statements made the law
or distorted it beyond recognition. He thumbed his nose at international law.
Bush, like Nixon, argued that the
President is above the law. The Constitution needs to be altered so
that no President ever makes that mistake again.
The Danger from the Imperial
Supreme Court justices
should be held to the same ethical standards as is the rest of the
It should be expanded so that a single individual
cannot be making important decisions. Policy change after Presidential
elections is destabilizing both domestically and internationally.
The debt ceiling should be ruled out as a weapon.
Government shutdown should not be an option.
Majority rule should be restored to the Congress.
The US has been at almost perpetual war
since WW II. Most wars were carried out by the CIA,
and none of them have been successful. We are now experiencing what Chalmer's Johnson has richly described as
blowback. Although we spend hundreds of billions of dollars
annually on 'defense', we are still seriously
threatened by a few people with box cutters. Because our
politicians have visions of empire, our
own people are not well served
and the country is broke. Republicans
want to cut domestic spending though.
Without Congressional oversight, checks and balances are
inoperable. Bush Republicans put the
Constitution at risk by carrying on public dialog in secret, even
Alan Greenspan admitted that the War in Iraq
was about oil. All the other pretexts for the war have been
discredited now. Massive quantities of emails from the White House
have disappeared, so they are not available for Congressional
scrutiny. A partisan Supreme
Court, which also threw the election
of 2000, protected Cheney's secret
discussions of energy policy. Secrecy is
a dagger in the heart of democracy and the Bush administration has
maximized its use.
A fundamental assumption of the Constitution is the need
for constant vigilance against concentration of power. Bush's
FCC pushed for concentration of media, and
in return media became lackeys for the Administration. He provoked
two wars without any serious challenge. The Iraq War was
based on twisted intelligence and that is a crime. Without a free
press there can be no democracy.
Over the last centuries Europeans nearly destroyed themselves
in horrendous wars. But they appear to have learned that a head of
state who, on his own whim, can make war, can disappear people, can
torture, can ignore habeas corpus, or can otherwise act without
regard for law is a clear and present danger. After nearly
destroying themselves, they have now limited their royalty to
mostly ceremonial functions, and their people are more the
deciders. That's what democracy is
In contempt of Congress, transparency, and democratic
principle, Bush minions refused to testify before Congress. They should be
held accountable and Republicans
should be driven from office.
A few months ago, a 'blue ribbon' commission decided that the
1973 law which attempted to decide whether the Congress
or the President had war power decided that the old law was 'quaint' and needed to be revised to give the
President the power to make war after discussion with Congressional
leaders. Get real. A President that
can go to war at will and, without accountability, operate without
restraint, is a dictator. In history, such strong-men governments
have been typical of countries building empire.
War Powers Commission
There is nothing in the Constitution that supports the policy
of the Bush administration that we need to
remake the Middle East. Anyway it likely cannot be done with military force.
When the US signed the UN charter it agreed to go to war only
in self defense. Did we do that ?
Media has become too corporate, too
concentrated, and its message is not in the public interest. Such
media, particularly talk radio, has clearly
shown the way to fascism. There should be
a mix of public and private media so that the corporate voice is
not the only one. Without good information, we cannot have an
informed public, or fair elections. We
Canada's lead and sanction broadcasters if they lie.
Medieval religions are a major
cause of wars and terrorism. They are divisive, often uncompromising, and
since they indoctrinate with the unbelievable, they degrade
education with misinformation, and they polarize our politics. They
are often highly profitable as well. Some have become propaganda
channels for Republicans and, as
such, they enabled the disastrous Bush
adventures, denied likely environmental
catastrophe, incited violence,
and, more recently, have shutdown government. If they preach
violence, they should at least lose their tax exempt status.
The wall separating Church and State needs shoring up.
Secrecy is corrosive for all
traditional American values and it continues to expand to cover up
much of our government. The national security state is designed to
stamp out opposition to the agenda of building a world dominating
empire. Whistleblowers, who might leak real information, are
quickly silenced. Our prisons are bursting. Torture
Arianna Huffington Karl Rove's Contempt for the
Constitution and the Public's Right to Know
The Bush Administration was probably one of the most secretive. Lack of information led to
dysfunctional Constitutional checks and balances.
Covert agencies with secret, undisclosed
budgets continue to operate in ways that Americans would never
approve. They are (and ought to be) unconstitutional.
Secrecy Report Card 2007
Secret agencies construct our view
of the outside world, provide controlled versions to media, and frame
issues to justify actions. The pretext for the war in Iraq, for example, was made to fit the policy.
Communism was a red flag used to justify an immense arms
buildup and a justification for the permanent war. When the USSR fell
apart, we needed a new adversary and that after a period of time
became Muslims. We have engaged in a new crusade. Since religious
war is politically incorrect, we now have a new enemy that can
never be defeated: namely terrorism. Since terrorism will always be
with us, we can have an endless war. This pleases corporate war profiteers.
Secrecy is poisonous for a Constitutional government.
Wiretappings True Danger
FISA Bill's real target is freedom of the Press
Thank Senator Dodd for fighting FISA
Senator Feingold: The Problems with the FISA Bill
Posted: 09 Jul 2008 11:59 PM CDT
I cannot believe that we
are still debating the legality of this program on the Senate
floor, and that anyone seriously believes that merely notifying the
Gang of Eight - while keeping the full intelligence committees in
the dark - somehow represents congressional approval. -- Senator
Russ Feingold more...
There are a few in Congress who take
their oath seriously and actually do protect the Constitution.
Senator Dodd for being one of them. He has opposed the warrentless surveillance, FISA, law
National Security State
Bill of Rights
The Patriot Act inverts the constitutional
requirement that people's lives be private and the work of government officials
be public; it instead crafts a set of conditions in which our inner
lives become transparent and the workings of the government become
opaque. Either one of these outcomes would imperil democracy;
together they not only injure the country but also cut off the
avenues of repair. Elaine Scarry
See other ideas for reform.
People's Campaign for the Constitution
Move To Amend Resources
Port Huron Statement
American Constitution Society
American Constitution Society Blog
Broken Trust: Dysfunctional Government and Constitutional Reform Stephen M. Griffin
Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (And How
We the People Can Correct It): Sanford V. Levinson
More Perfect Constitution: Larry J. Sabato
Constitution 3.0 Freedom and Technological Change:
Second Bill Of Rights: FDR's Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It
More Than Ever: Cass R. Sunstein
Limits of Power, the End of American Exceptionalism: Andrew
chaos : what happens when the government breaks its own laws by
Napolitano, Andrew P