Fix America's Political System

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American voters and their democracy are under attack, as politicians seek to change election rules to benefit incumbents, regardless of the will of the majority of voters. America's workers are under attack as American corporations and companies, who contribute to election campaigns in record amounts, seek cheaper labor overseas. America's political system is broken. And it is ruining the the government which made this nation great. If voters do not remove these politicians responsible for America's decline, our democracy will be lost, and our vote rendered ever more meaningless.

American education continues to fail the students of American citizens. The American economy continues to limp along at an anemic 1 to 2% growth rate, at a time when a 3.5 to 5% growth rate is required to get the unemployed back to work. The anarchists in Congress continue to block legislation that would grow the economy and put Americans back to work, while defending the tax breaks and loopholes for the wealthiest and corporations that would help pay down deficits and debt.

Our democracy is failing and the evidence could not be clearer. Take a look at the following polling issues of the majority of voters, which our politicians refuse to act upon.

1) the wealthiest and corporations should pay higher taxes to help bring down deficit spending (66% and 70%, respectively).

2) government should expand efforts, in the short term, to stimulate economic growth and grow jobs (53%).

3) to reduce deficits, defense spending should be reduced (51%).

4) cut medicare and medicaid spending, and cut social security (28% and 18%, respectively).

5) elected officials in the nation's capital are mostly influenced by the pressure they receive from campaign contributors (86%).

6) it is unacceptable for groups to spend heavily on political advertising in districts where they are not located (66%).

7) oppose cutting spending on education (67%).

8) cut spending on foreign aid (59%).

9) voter's own representative in Congress should NOT be reelected (57%).

Some would argue that America is not a democracy, but, a republic, in which the elected officials should decide policy without regard for the majority will of the public in this or that public opinion poll since, the public is both fickle and uninformed. While there are instances in history that can be offered up as evidence that this is a valid argument (American public opposed to entering war with Hitler until Pearl Harbor, for instance), it is illogical to argue that a government which denies the will of the public, routinely and persistently, is healthy or good for a society. The Arab Spring movement, or collapse of the Soviet Union,  is clear evidence of that.

One might conclude from the above poll of 57% saying their own representative should not be reelected in 2012, that the reelection rate for Congresspersons in 2012 should reflect only 43% of incumbents being reelected in 2012. That, however, will NOT be the case. The reelection rate in 2012 will most likely be in the 65 to 77% range. A majority of Congress will be reelected, and that means the horrible policies and failures of the current Congress will continue in the 2013 and 14 Congress, after the elections. That is not what Americans signed up for, as voters. The political system is rigged to deny the voters their majority will.

There are many ways in which incumbent Congress persons have rigged the system. Here are just a few of the worst forms:

Gerrymandering 'safe' districts for incumbent parties and representatives. This involves splitting up populations and redrawing district maps to dilute the voter opposition to a particular party or Congress person in office.

Use of tax dollars by Representatives to mail out thinly veiled campaign materials touting the "outstanding performance" of the incumbent politician, which gives a financial advantage to the incumbent over any challenger.

A Two Party System which gives voters only a choice of the lesser of two evils, and which creates enormous barriers to the rise of any third or independent party from gaining sufficient ballot and media access to pose a challenge to the two party system. (See the bipartisan Federal Election Commission for evidence of this.)

Collecting massive sums of campaign contributions from a minority of the wealthiest (in exchange for legislation protecting those wealthiest person's interests), which negates the influence of the individual voter's and non-wealthy citizen's contributions and vote. Those massive sums of wealthy person contributions are put to work creating a campaign which will weaken voter's resolve to show up and vote, or, even persuade the individual voter that the problems in Congress are everyone else's fault, not the incumbent seeking reelection (who is protecting the interests of his/her wealthy campaign contributors).

Changing laws at State and Local levels to create burdens and barriers to citizens wanting to show up to vote. Many States are, at this very moment, moving legislation to shorten the time available, and increase the requirements for, early voting, which disadvantages seniors and the handicapped and those pressed for time to vote on a work day.

Conducting elections on a weekday work-day, instead of on the weekend or on an Election Day holiday, prevents millions of Americans concerned with keeping their jobs or with taking time off from work to vote, from showing up to vote. This clearly is biased against American workers, just the way businesses and corporations expect for their large contributions to incumbent politicians.

Still, despite all this rigging of the system by incumbent politicians seeking to protect their cushy political jobs with great pay and benefits, Americans succeeded in recent elections in dropping the reelection rate from an average of over 90% down to 77%. But, when only 33% of voters believe their own U.S. Congress representative should be reelected (2010), and 3 out of 4 are reelected, it is obvious that the system is rigged against the American public voter. And like all oppressed majorities in the world, to change the system to their advantage will require an enormous effort on the part of that majority.

All that is required for bad government to continue to grow, is to reelect incumbents responsible for bad government.

We have an obligation to ourselves and our children, to do whatever is necessary to vote in 2012, and convince as many others as we can, to do the same. The polls show us that the more we citizens vote, the more incumbents will be thrown out of office, and the more challengers will be reelected.

The politicians don't want us to vote - they will reelect themselves in our absence.

To remove them from office, we have only to show up and vote for challengers; who in their turn will want to be reelected, and will be forced to recognize that serving the people's interests is their ticket.

(This article was previously published at Vote Out Incumbents Democracy.)

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on October 1, 2011 12:23 PM.

America: Knowledge v. Belief was the previous entry in this blog.

Occupy Wall Street Potential is the next entry in this blog.

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