what direct democracy might be is a blog intended to draw together those who possess the character to make history rather than simply to follow in its wake. Every generation inherits the opportunity — and also an obligation — to lay its own distinctive mark upon the unfolding record of human progress.
What shall our mark be? Individually, most of us leave no mark at all. Even those among us who dutifully elect representatives within our republican system discover that these ballots were largely wasted. Partisan politics, pandering, self-interested politicians, and special-interest lobbyists gridlock Congress — and all with an increasing shamelessness.
But what ought we do? Even our more reform-minded citizens may only support changes in the abstract, yet in practice shrink from substantial alterations to the American way of life — to say nothing of the majority of Americans who take for granted the abiding genius of the Constitution, who judge any perceived U.S. decline only as further proof of our failure to accurately divine the original intent of the Founding Fathers.
Where do you stand? Ought all substantial reforms be introduced in small, cautious measures from within the existing system, wherein all citizens might judge together in turn the impact of each before deciding whether to turn back, to stand firm, or to push forward? Or would not such a collective deliberative process itself engender gridlock and so perpetuate decline?
And could a single, well-crafted constitutional amendment, one embodying a more substantial reform of the American political system, gain sufficient public support to overcome the constitutional barriers to ratification? What change might this one amendment then bring? Term limits? Balanced budget? Universal healthcare? Could any single amendment serve as a panacea for all or most of what ails America today?
Good people can disagree upon the answers to these questions. This blog is an attempt to convince fellow citizens, including world citizens, that the boldest course is at times the only course. This proposal isn’t a negotiation, where the first offer tendered demands more than the desired goal; in politics this strategy is perilous. But neither is it duplicity, where the first bid is but a prelude to a long series of re-negotiations.
The Constitution presented here addresses only what reforms would be necessary so as to transcend partisan gridlock, to avoid impending insolvency, and to perpetuate human progress. Primarily it transfers the lawmaking function of our government to the People, abolishing Congress both at the federal and the state level.
But the long-range goal is to ingrain more deeply among us the understanding that mutual respect and shared responsibility are at the foundation of a stable, healthy society. The document therefore begins by limiting the excesses of majority rule and the risks of financial ruin by devolving the scope of any proposed law to the smallest political and legal jurisdictions, the voting precincts themselves.
Thus ordinary citizens might become writers of their own history, recording for posterity their individual values and their personal beliefs into the laws and the ordinances of their own local communities — while leaving to their fellow citizens the same freedom elsewhere. Trial and error within ten thousand and more such proving grounds cannot but accelerate the pace of human progress, all while each remains protected by a similar Bill of Rights as solid, if not stronger, than the original.
Take a few minutes to read through the work.
Your comments, suggestions, and contributions are all welcome.