temp hold – Ch. 1 text about Russian interference in 2016 US elections (currently in Ch 1 post)

January 15, 2018

How did the Washington

Why fixing this problem is so important at this particular time in our history

Clash of the TITANS: USA & the Russian Republic

In addition to irreconcilable divisions over race, religion, gender, economics, ethnic identities, immigration, sexual identity, women’s reproductive rights, etc, our country is also facing the aggressive and disruptive intrusions of foreign governments – particularly the interference by Putin’s oligarchic Russian regime via an aggressive cyber warfare that threatens all of our democratic institutions.

When this is combined with a profoundly dysfunctional nature of the central government in Washington, DC — the US Congress, executive branch and incremental stacking the entire federal judicial system and Supreme Court with activist justices appointed for life — we can easily see that our way of life and even the foundations of our modern civilization is in extreme danger.

We need to know exactly how and why our democratic institutions became so insulated from the American population that our personal experience is disturbing similar to colonial subjects living under King George in the 1700s, only then the central government was in London instead of Washington, DC.

While the citizens of the American territory of Puerto Rico do not have the right vote in American elections, we who do vote find ourselves with no more actual political power than Puerto Ricans.  We too must come to Washington, hat-in-hand, fight to even get into the office of our elected representative to petition, and at times beg, the federal government to address problems that are beyond what we as individuals and non-governmental groups (NGOs) can accomplish. If we fail, there is no lawful recourse.

Who’s to blame? Answer: no one, but the problem still has to be fixed by us!

This is not the fault of any political party or any currently elected or appointed federal official. As Americans, we all equally inherited a system created more than two centuries ago by our Founding Fathers, one that was purposefully designed to ‘protect’ the federal government from the domestic threat of ‘factions’ and mob rule, as well as what our Founders pejoratively described as the meddling of its own citizens, who they considered to be uneducated, uninformed and unable to make important decisions affecting our democracy.

No one is to ‘blame’ except for ourselves and only if we fail to become “informed” about these problems or being informed, refuse to use that new understanding and our personal skills to become an agent of political change.

What is needed is principled action designed to bring us back together and help heal the divisions between us.

Only then can we make American democracy what it ever should have been – a robust and sustainable form of government that can encompass the entire political spectrum, as well as universally respecting human rights to as an honorable and “Shining City” that sets a good example by ‘walking its talk’.

Having a moral compass that points to true north means we can never unilaterally give away someone else’s human rights. Other people can never be thought of or used as merely the means to our ambitions. In the context of our democracy, this is both uncivilized and ultimately politically unsuccessfully.

At least as envisioned by me, human rights for Americans includes the issue of civil rights, voting rights, climate change, pollution, energy efficiency, walkable cities, universal access to affordable healthcare (including unfettered access to women’s reproductive services) and the right to our personal sexual identity.

American Flag ~ strips made from US currency and the stars represented by coins

It also includes a more fair and efficient federal government, which means promoting (instead of suppressing) federal voting rights. Eventually, we must switch to a system of federal financing for national elections in order to reduce corruption and bring an end to ‘pay for play’. This would also open the electoral field up to ordinary people (not just the famous and uber-wealthy) who have a passion for public service.

In that regard, I believe the “Citizens United” decision by the Supreme Court is fatally flawed and must eventually be reversed.  The notion that corporations should have the same constitutionally-protected right of free speech as people to influence our elections, while they are spending other people’s money (corporate profits that originated with us as their customers) is repugnant and illogical.

When we buy toothpaste, a computer, new car or pay for cell phone or internet services, the Citizens United decision allows the profits generated by those sales (i.e. our money) to be used by corporations to exert enormously disproportionate influence over our electoral system and the workings of the federal government. This has resulted in a ‘pay for play‘ system, that in essence is making us ‘vote’ by proxy against our own interests.

The biblical verse that forbids “cooking a kid (i.e. baby goat) in its mother’s milk” applies to this circumstance, since it is our own money that is being used against us and causing us harm.

After we can get over the shock of all this new information, we can slowly wrap our mind around the historical flaw in our constitution and its many negative consequences. Then We, The People will be able to come together and do whatever is necessary to fix these problems. 

Taken together, this is the Second Revolution of the Mind that I spoke of in the title and my opening remarks.