2016’s campaign cycle, as “unconventional” as it may have turned out to be, clearly demonstrates one distinct fact—people are pissed off with the status quo! Why shouldn’t they be? The two national parties of Democrats and Republicans continue to make false promises and actually end up doing nothing.
Furthermore, the country’s corporate-controlled national media is complicit in propping up the illusion that America’s partisan establishment will change with a new election. What a load of bull!
However, this simmering cauldron of public outrage is falling prey to the same old song and dance. Many voters are blindly convinced that either the “revolutionary” movements of “Feel the Bern” or “Trumpism” will steamroll into Washington and actually accomplish real meaningful change. How quaint! The sad reality is that nothing is going to change if either Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump makes it to the White House.
Simply put, they’re both operating within the same broken partisan system. They’ll both still have to deal with a corrupted Congress.
Let’s face facts. While everyone is so focused on this heated presidential race, both political party apparatuses are busy behind the scenes to maintain the established status quo in Congress, the governors' mansions, and the state legislatures. Contrary to public opinion, the president doesn’t control government.
The president is a temporary “appointment” that is restrained by an entrenched bureaucracy. Sure the president brings in their gaggle of executive secretaries and advisers. However, a majority of these are subject to approval by the Senate and their annual budgets must first get through the House of Representatives.
That’s part of the noble checks and balances system of our constitutional democratic republic as it should be.
No matter who is sworn into the presidency on January 20, 2017, America’s political system will roll along as usual. There’ll be the 100 days of a so called “honeymoon” between the “new” administration and the “newly” elected Congress, but then the drudgery of governing sets in. Then what?
Once again those dedicated and enthusiastic citizens of change that swelled to usher in a new era will shake their heads, scream and holler, but eventually throw up their hands in abject frustration. While wallowing in their tearful disappointment, the real power brokers and partisan handling hacks will clink champagne flutes at yet another consummate victory over the people.
As the 2016 “silly season” marches on toward the media frenzied Republican and Democratic conventions this summer and then the gut wrenching and commercially driven ad overload of the fall campaign, Americans need to start grappling with a new reality. As long as the citizenry relies on the two-party dominated system to decide the fate of our nation, nothing is going to change!
Both the Democrats and Republicans feed at the same poisoned trough of big money. They and their sponsored candidates have all “drank the Kool aide” and are addicted to it. Not only will they deny their addiction, refuse to get help, but will fight like rabid dogs to resist any interruption of the “witches brew!”
Historically speaking, we Americans have generally viewed independent or third party challenges to the Democrats and Republicans in one of two lights. The general electorate tends to see these upstarts as either impossible campaigns or so far outside the norm that they seem almost crazy.
Take for example arguably the most successful third party challenge in recent history, that of billionaire Ross Perot in 1992. Even though he racked up 19% of the popular vote, his campaign theme song was Patsy Cline’s Crazy. Though he chose this as a somewhat humorous response to his critics, it summed up the contemporary popular opinion of his candidacy. All in all, there is almost a general consensus that independent challenges are even characterized as “un-American.”
In today’s political climate with deep-seated polarization both culturally and politically, only a serious independent shake up of the partisan status quo can break the establishment’s gridlock and dysfunction. The American electorate’s blinded obsession with voting either Democrat or Republican brings to mind the famous quote credited to Albert Einstein — “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
This quite possibly explains why the Sanders and Trump campaigns have achieved such popular support. However, the fundamental fallacy is that both groups of well-intentioned, loyal and deeply patriotic supporters are setting themselves up for grave disappointment. They’re still voting either Democrat or Republican!
In light of well documented evidence, these notoriously idealistic movements are doomed to failure.
Let’s look seriously at the delusions both of these campaigns are hypnotizing their followers with. Bernie Sanders, though definitely a liberal, is far from being a modern day Democrat. He declared himself independent years ago and is listed as 1 of 2 independents in the U.S. Senate.
Donald Trump’s historic declarations and numerous financial contributions clearly indicate he’s a “Republican In Name Only” (RINO). He is most definitely a questionable conservative.
Furthermore, neither can seriously be labeled an “outsider!”
“Bernie Sanders is serving his second term in the U.S. Senate after winning re-election in 2012 with 71 percent of the vote. His previous 16 years in the House of Representatives make him the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history.” (Source: www.sanders.senate.gov/about)
As for Trump, though he has never held political office before, he has spent over four decades playing contributor, political “king maker” and savvy corporate manipulator of the political system, domestically and internationally.
This brings us front and center to the question at hand.. What is the new day that needs to dawn in America?
After the 2016 election comes and goes; when all of the enthusiasm fades and the light bulb suddenly flashes that the voters have been duped once again, Americans MUST embrace this realization. No Democrat or Republican and certainly no single president will ever again be able to break the corrupt stranglehold of our two-party establishment and the corporate interests that fund them.
Real change and political revolution to re-establish the People’s control of their government must come in a national wave of transforming the electoral process. ONLY through a successful wave of independent candidates being voted into office that shakes the political elite class to its core can decades of corruption possibly be disrupted.
Even then another more radical solution (to be discussed later in Part II of this article) might be the American people’s only hope for meaningful change and reform.
Now is the time to begin a sweeping grassroots movement at the local level. Our time is rapidly running out because the 2020 census will be here before you know it. Why is that so important? Every decade the national census initiates the process of congressional redistricting in every state. Unfortunately this will not be a contributing factor for the 2020 federal elections affecting Congress or the presidency.
However, states will already begin the initial process through legislation immediately after the 2016 election to address how each will draw lines affecting local legislative races which seriously affects the final outcome.
We have already seen this impact in states like Arizona, California, North Carolina, and Florida.
Citizen vigilance, input, and participation are essential. Increased outreach to potential independent candidates that are centrists advocating unity and common sense solutions must be undertaken immediately. State independent parties must be organized to pool volunteers, generate voter data collection, and foster petition drives. Ballot initiatives and fundraising are all key elements to creating the campaign apparatus necessary for success.
“Independent commissions draw the lines for both state legislative and congressional districts in six states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho,Montana and Washington. Specific membership requirements for these commissions vary from state to state. Generally speaking, however, these commissions do not include legislators or other elected officials” (SOURCE: Ballotpedia).
These IRCs created by judicial order or voted in by ballot initiatives break partisan control of the electoral process. They are intrinsically more democratic re-establishing voter control ending the trend to put party before country. Now both of the IRCs in AZ & CA have been plagued with criticisms of concerted attempts by outside partisan influences to corrupt their well-intended guidelines. However, their impact on fair and competitive district boundaries have significantly had a positive outcome on local legislative elections. IRCs are the primary tools for combating undue partisan influences that result in “safe seats” for career minded incumbents who put party before country. Creation of IRCs in as many states as possible is essential for preserving democratic principles that offer Independent candidates a fair chance at the polls.
This process will be hard. It will take time and is fraught with seemingly undefeatable resistance. This is primarily due to the entrenched partisan bureaucracy that will fight reform tooth and nail. Both the Democratic and Republican parties as well as their wealthy and powerful special interests have everything to lose and nothing to gain from this democratic revolution. Any assertion that pursuit of this reform would be “un-American” is a lie!
In the end, the very future of “a government of the People, by the People and for the People” is at stake!
THAT CORE PRINCIPLE OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY AS A MATTER OF MORAL IMPERATIVE IS WORTH DEFENDING AND FIGHTING FOR!
Perhaps the greatest obstacle to any successful independent or third party challenge of the status quo isn’t the well-financed, well organized opposition of the combined Democratic and Republican parties but rather the extremely disjointed and highly specialized interests of America’s growing nonpartisan electorate.
There are far too many “independent” or third parties to mount a concerted campaign. From the Green Party to the Libertarian Party to an endless number of other special interested political affiliations, the American voters have too many choices. This single factor successfully assists the two major parties in their campaign to divide & conquer.
If these fragmented representatives of America’s growing dissatisfied electorate want to seriously challenge the status quo, then they must unify as a coalition. They must find common ground in the single policy of fighting the post Citizens United political establishment.
These independents must join together, forging a comprehensive centrist political platform that encompasses not all of their core principles, but the most important ones. This unified display of compromise and moderation would appeal to a majority of voters who are sick and tired of polarized division.
Therein they could convey confidence and solidarity to the electorate as a viable alternative that is capable of governing. Furthermore, they could combine their vast and diversified sources of financial support into unified revenue funnel.
Read More: A New Day Needs to Dawn in America (Part II)
We’ll discuss yet another option that many Americans crave but are never given the opportunity, except in Nevada—A NONE OF THE ABOVE BALLOT IN EVERY STATE!