I am a middle class octogenarian who may not live long enough to see the results of any social improvement project have an impact on the overall condition of society. Still if I can make a contribution by starting such a project I see that as a possible legacy for my grandchildren and theirs. In the big picture of global and national social issues I am a nobody. But, I have ideas that I would like to share with other like minded individuals and I would like to hear their ideas. I know there are many places on the Internet where people are already talking about social issues, but just talk is not enough. If ideas are scattered all over the social media it is difficult for them to become effective. They need to be gathered together and consolidated into some form of a statement of objectives. Beyond that, a plan to achieve those objectives must be developed and a way to execute that plan must be found in order to implement those changes. And above all, throughout this project the influence of people opposed to those objectives must be limited to their fair share as equal members of society.
I have felt for some time now that the Democratic Party was not doing enough to strengthen its Grass Roots base. Every day I get numerous requests for money to combat the Koch Brothers and to support various candidates. Many of these requests suggest an important deadline, or a money matching scheme, as an incentive. Unfortunately, not enough is said about what the results are, how the money is used, or what an analysis of those results reveals about the success of these fund raising effort. All of this may be a good fund raising strategy, but I am afraid it may too soon lead to a major donor burn out. If that happens the Democrats may find themselves forced into the position now occupied by the Tea Party dominated Republicans obstructionists and this country will be faced with many more years of do nothing government. Our country is now beginning to lose face as a world leader among nations because of our inability to manage our own government. If this continues for much longer our leadership role among nations will be seriously damaged.
Our candidates need to know about the wishes of their constituents on all major issues. And the people need to know more about the voting records of the candidates they are being asked to support. We also need to know the position that all of the candidates hold on the major issues. All of this data may well be readily available but it should be assembled into an organized collection and a link to that collection should be included in every solicitation for funds. This will help us evaluate the effectiveness of our participation in the governing process and allow us to make better voting decisions.
One area that I feel is very important now is the problem we have with the way our government is working, or perhaps I should say does not works, for the good of the people. There are many things about The Government of the United States that no longer work well. Our Government was established by a Constitution that was written in 1787 by a small group of people. The basic tenants of the Constitution are great. However, the world was a very different place then and many of the safeguards the authors of our Constitution built into it no longer serve their intended purpose.
When it comes to the particulars of how the government is organized the Constitution is terribly out of date. And many unscrupulous people have found ways to work around various features of the Constitution to serve their own selfish purposes. Each and every part of the Constitution should be examined and revised to allow the government to once again fulfill its objectives and function efficiently in this modern world we live in. To be effective this process should include input from all of the people. And it must keep the influence of big money from tainting the process.
I am quite serious about developing a plan for a project to modernize our Constitution. I envision using Daily Kos as a platform for the early stages of such a project. This is a big project and I will need volunteers to help with the work. I am only one person and I do not have the money for a staff, nor do I plan to ask for money to run the project.
The Constitution has a Preamble, 7 major Articles, and 27 Amendments. I propose to divide it into perhaps 20 diaries, each containing a similar sized portion of the original document, so that comments on each section may be accumulated simultaneously in manageable collections. All diaries should have the same format so that people commenting will not be confronted with the confusion of differing formats. A comprehensive index of all diaries should be appended to each diary to help readers find their way to other segments. All diaries for this project should probably be located within a single Group. I would like each diary to be published by a different diarist who will take the leadership role for managing that part of the Constitution.
In particular, I will need help generating a following for the project, launching the diaries for each segment, collecting the suggestions from the serious comments, and composing reasonable language for including the suggestions into a new diary for each segment. These new diaries will be used to seek additional public comments on the new proposals. This process may have to be repeated numerous times, particularly for the contentious issues. The poll feature may be helpful in guiding this process? The end product of this process should be a statement telling Congress about what the people really want from our government.
In addition to the methods detailed in Article V of the Constitution to actually modify it, we should also investigate the possible use of other methodology for modification of the Constitution such as that suggested in the diary “Witness a Terrorized American Public” by PlutocracyFiles Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 04:40 AM PST. And there may be other methods that have been suggested in the literature to be investigated. Also, during the early stages of development of a modern Constitution it might be possible to do some temporary testing and/or implementation of certain new features through the use of executive orders or acts of congress.
The first phase of this Modification project will result in a statement from the people to the candidates about their desires with respect to the Constitution and how our government should work. The more people who participate in the creation of this statement the stronger it will be. Getting their participation and support will be a big task. I intend to do that one way or another. Once again, I need volunteers to help me. Let’s hear from all you Kossacks who are ready to do more than just talk about our troubles.