Though I'm not a fan of "pledges" as I feel that politicians need to uphold their pledge to the Constitution rather than to outside interests, in this political climate, we have seen how effective the "Norquist Pledge" has been in shutting down our government and keeping Obama & the Democrats from being able to strengthen the jobs situation & reforming the tax code to something more equitable for the 99%.
For that reason I propose that Occupy have it's own litmus test for candidates that claim to be for the 99%. Occupy has been very successful in changing the discourse from one of austerity pushed by the so called "Tea Party Caucus" to one of Social, Economic & Political Justice. Now we need to mature as a movement and turn that into political capital. Just wanting change won't make change. And in our society, the only was to effectively garner change is to use the system to our benefit.
Now, I understand fully that there are so many things that are wrong with our society at this juncture in history that we have not been able to come up with a "one demand" as the MSM has demanded of us. To expect a movement that's based on Social, Economic & Political Justice to have a single demand is downright ludicrous at best. That being said, it's fairly clear to me, and most that I have talked to over the past 7 months about Occupy that the underlying factor to being able to make lasting and serious change on the many fronts we have protested on is fairly simple. Get money out of politics. We cannot enact change without that one principle. I don't care what your political persuasion is, we all want our politicians to LISTEN to the people, not the corporations.
To do that, we need to overturn Citizens United. Senator Bernie Sanders has started on that with his proposed Constitutional Amendment stating that corporations are not people. But that's not enough. We also need meaningful Campaign Finance Reform that undermines the strength of the K Street Lobbyists & shadow organizations such as ALEC. While we have been making great strides against ALEC, don't make the mistake of thinking that's enough. There are several other shadow groups out there ready to step in when ALEC falters.
I think we need to have a pledge that states a prospective candidate will work to overturn Citizens United by working with Senator Sanders on his Constitutional Amendment. I also feel we need to set up limits, also through a Constitutional Amendment (to bypass the clearly compromised SCOTUS) on donations & "perks" that law makers may receive from Lobbying groups. We also need them to work on forcing the MSM (Mainstream Media) to give equal time to ALL candidates, not just Republicans & Democrats. Perhaps the only way to change how the MSM reports is to break them up using the Anti-Trust Laws that are in place. When 6 corporations own 70%+ of all the media outlets it's the American People who suffer.
Again, I understand there's far more that needs to be done, but these steps will go a long way towards allowing us the ability to work on those other things. Without these steps, other things will continue to be nearly impossible to work on.
Mind you, I'm not an expert on Constitutional Law, but it seems clear to me that these steps are simple common sense.