The civil liberties and human rights we currently enjoy and take for granted are an inheritance of a permanent revolution. The American war of Independence and global struggle for decolonization has never ended, it has just evolved over time, and today presently we are still in embattled in the attack against our most basic freedoms that took centuries to achieve such as the right for anyone other than a white male Christian landowner to vote and participate in “democracy”.
The brutality and violence directed against the most marginalized and downtrodden of society: indigenous peoples, women, people of color, minority religions, LGBTQ + , the disabled and working class poor has never ceased. It has been our solidarity and unity as a collective force, and refusal to submit and be silent that has given us the power of freedom we currently possess, and this power is forever fleeting requiring the most diligent of maintenance.
Voter suppression of the poor and minorities through such injustices as Jim Crow laws and the 13th amendment which allowed for the continuation of slavery through inmate labor continued. Poll taxes and literacy tests were institutionally acceptable until 1964 with the ratification of the 24th Amendment, but the attempts of systemic electoral suppression have never gone away, and we see attempts of reenacting forms of poll taxes today in Florida through conditional fines and debts to be paid before felons are allowed to vote. I believe felons and even inmates in prison should be allowed to vote and this isn’t an extreme idea if you believe voting should be a human right in a democracy.
Power to the peasants and equality of the people means stripping masochists of their weapons, oligarchs of their gold, and kings of their crowns. This is why authoritarians hate us, and this is why their followers hate us, because there lives inside of every one of them a petty tyrant, who fantasize themselves about wielding this domination in their own lives over the people they have been taught to hate by the very leaders they so dearly worship, blindly chasing their tails downward into a descending spiral of their own self destruction while taking whoever they can with them.
Sociopaths of a feather flock together, in their lust for control over others. The right wing has always been the “Reich Wing”, regardless of what political party or organization they have hidden behind. They have always been on the side of the inquisitors, the witch burners, the slave owners, the book banners, the robber barons and the concentration camp enforcers.
After our multiple centuries long resistance seeking liberation from the forces of oppression, we find ourselves at the crossroads of decline, collapse, dystopia and annihilation. The weaponization of our warranted collective outrage, fury of the failure our leadership to govern this disaster capitalist system whose very existence itself is destined to fail by its own design, has been misdirected against each other by career leadership interested more in maintaining their wealth and positions of power than doing what’s right for our civilization and the planet. The democrats and republicans have both failed us in every way, and instead of owning their mistakes, taking responsibility, and trying to solve our problems, they just point the finger at each other and constantly undermine and sabotage each other’s efforts while they enrich themselves at the expense of our own prosperity, stability, and freedom.
The byproduct of this failure, aside from a nation divided against each other more than anytime in the past 50 years, and even possibly in some ways since the Civil War, is the pervasive feeling of political powerlessness resulting in an unfortunate fatalistic and defeatist apathy. This is why so many people don’t take electoral politics seriously or bother voting. 80 million eligible voters did not cast ballots in the 2020 election. Furthermore, our electoral system is purposely constructed to suppress and disenfranchise various segments of the population from having a voice while deliberately making it harder for everyone to vote. There are many who believe that electoral politics are a failed futile effort. While I can sympathize with their sentiments, I must disagree. I believe in democracy and that voting is a human right.
I also recognize that voting and electoral politics is just one of many revolutionary weapons at our disposal and it is problematic and flawed just like everything else that we create is, but we cannot abandon progress. We cannot have the freedom to vote without the radical direct action that has made it possible: from opposition to theocracy, abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, the street fighting of the civil rights movements, resisting ongoing genocides of indigenous peoples, to the fight for labor rights and unionization, the struggles for reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ equality, and achievement of social egalitarianism. Civil war is not the answer or even an option, but revolution, by any means necessary, peaceful or with direct action, only being viable with a unified proletariat, a rainbow coalition of the intersectional public. Through the organization of labor and all underclass; grassroots power comes from the bottom up. Here I propose these electoral political reforms as a path forward towards a more direct and pure democracy.
- GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS
- ABOLITION OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE
- ENACT FURTHER VOTING RIGHTS LEGISLATION
- MAKE ELECTION DAY A PROLONGED HOLIDAY
- INSTITUTE MANDATORY VOTING
- ENFORCE PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION AND STOP THE GERRYMANDERING OF VOTING DISTRICTS
- IMPLEMENT RANKED CHOICE VOTING
- IMPLEMENT OPEN PRIMARIES
- TERM LIMITS FOR CONGRESS AND SCOTUS
We have the best democracy money can buy. The establishment leadership of our two party system is dominated by the wealthy. Billionaires and corporations are buying out our elections. Its always been this way, but things have become worse over the past few decades. The first step we must take is getting money out of politics.
In 2010, the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case dealt a serious blow to ethical elections free of the influence of money. It overturned 100 year old campaign finance constraints and enabled corporate entities and other unaccountable organizations to spend limitless cash on elections, further enabling and empowering the influence of dark money on our elections. We should move to ban super PACS, overturn the Citizens United ruling and pass the For the People Act; which is the absorption of the former Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections Act or DISCLOSE Act. This federal campaign finance reform bill is purposed to increase transparency in election financing which has steadily been eroded thanks to the Citizens United ruling. Passing The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 would also further strengthen the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which has had a massive positive impact on voters rights.
Senator Bernie Sanders has been a leading critical voice for getting money out of politics. His proposals are crucial in this endeavor that we should relentlessly be working for including:
- Ban all corporate contributions to the Democratic Party Convention and all related committees, and as President he would ban all corporate donations for inaugural events and cap individual donations at $500.
- Abolish the now-worthless FEC and replace it with the Federal Election Administration, a true law enforcement agency originally proposed by former Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold.
- Enacting mandatory public financing laws for all federal elections.
- Updating and strengthen the Federal Election Campaign Act to return to a system of mandatory public funding for National Party Conventions.
- Passing a Constitutional Amendment that makes clear that money is not speech and corporations are not people. (https://berniesanders.com/issues/money-out-of-politics/)
Election day should be a national holiday, early and mail in voting should be normalized and we should have national open primaries. Voting should not be an obstacle for the disabled and senior citizens, or military personnel deployed overseas to be inconvenienced with. It shouldn’t be a burden for anyone to cast votes and stand up for what they believe in. Every step must be taken to make sure that every citizen’s vote count. There are numerous actions that must be taken to give power back to the people through their votes. I am not opposed to making voting mandatory, and public, even for no confidence and or write in, like Australia’s compulsory voting system. Show your cards if you truly stand for what you purport to believe in, even if its nothing. While some would be critical of this idea as a violation of privacy, I think its transparent implications would drastically reduce accusations and instances of voter fraud.
Of the most important measures is the implementation of proportional representation and the immediate cessation of gerrymandering of congressional districts. Gerrymandering is destroying the democratic process in the U.S. There are feasible solutions to address this issue. One is to draw congressional boundaries without regard to voting preferences. Geographically, this simply entails identifying the number of voting-age individuals in a geographical space and drawing a boundary around this space based on the requisite number of voting-age residents. The district should be blind to political affiliations, race, religion, etc. With current redistricting, that’s unlikely to happen unless the federal courts refuse to sanction blatant gerrymandering, such as we’ve seen in Virginia, Texas, Kentucky, and elsewhere (in fact, in all 50 states!). The real solution to gerrymandering is to move to a proportional representation system.
In Kentucky, regardless of how you gerrymander the districts, with Proportional Representation if there are 10 seats up for election and Democrats get 40% of the total vote, then 4 seats would go to Democrats – it would be irrelevant where those voters are districted in a PR system.
The electoral college must be abolished. It is an antiquated system devised in an era completely unrelatable to our current political system, outdated and anachronistic. The Electoral College is poorly suited for an era of high income inequality and widespread geographic disparities. At a time of high income inequality and significant geographical gaps across states, the Electoral College works systematically to overrepresent the views of relatively small numbers of people due to its very structure. As currently established, each state has two Electoral College votes irrespective of population size, and additional votes to match its number of House members. That format overrepresents small and medium-sized states at the disadvantage of larger states. Thus, the notion that California and New York electoral votes dominating the electoral college is discredited when states with the lowest populations such as Idaho and West Virginia can combine to neutralize larger urban voting blocks.
The abolition of the electoral college would mean the destruction of the main roadblock inhibiting the power of all citizens the right to more voting power, dismantling the throttling of the electorate by the establishment democan-republicrat duopoly. Independent and 3rd parties can never fully gain power until the electoral college is dismantled. In a thriving democracy, the candidate with the most votes should be elected, period, or its not a democracy.
Secondarily, a tested and efficient system of ranked choice voting would be another powerful step towards strengthening direct democracy, in addition to a strong objective public education system. The citizenry should have an equal access to quality education, and this directly influences the power of democracy. The more informed the voter, the better choices they will make.
In some jurisdictions without ranked-choice voting, if no candidate has a majority of the votes after the first primary or election, then a second election takes place in which only the two candidates with the most support in the first election run. Those candidates must campaign again – often in a very negative head-to-head race – and voters must return to the polls to vote again. Whether this runoff election occurs in a primary or on Election Day, turnout often plummets in the second round.
With ranked-choice voting, a jurisdiction can get the benefit of two rounds of voting in a single, more representative, higher turnout election. That is why ranked-choice voting is often called “instant runoff voting.” In this context, RCV can save the jurisdiction a lot of money – the entire cost of a second election – while helping promote majority support and civil campaigning (https://www.rcvresources.org/why-adopt-rcv)
We must remove money from politics. No one in a democracy should have the power to buy their power and influence into office. We need enforcement of a maximum wage. He who has the gold makes the rule, and this corrupt concept has influenced our politicians since time immemorial. We must fight to codify the For the People Act; to expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and implement other anti-corruption measures for the purpose of enhancing our democracy. Voting rights are human rights.
Proportional representation, independent redistricting commissions, open primaries, ballot initiatives, universal term limits for congress and SCOTUS and the abolition of the electoral college are the greatest steps towards strengthening democracy at home and abroad, and I support these measures, in conjunction with militant direct action with the working class to achieve victory for our causes of global peace, equality, freedom and justice for all.