It may be possible that Paleoconservatives, Libertarians, Greens,and Leftists can form a coalition against the Neocons in order to bring back the U.S. Peace Movement.
Anti-drone protest by PugnoM
All U.S. presidents (including Obama and Clinton) have supported a neoconservative foreign policy, which advocates a strong, expensive military to "rightfully" police the world to make it obedient to American corporate and central banking interests.
President Bush became a laughingstock when he said, "They [the so-called terrorists] hate us because of our freedom." The truth of the matter is that it is our 700-1000 military bases around the world, and our black budget CIA operations that sabotage democratically elected governments that create most of the tension and turmoil in the world today. But the average American thinks our country is the most benevolent country on the planet, not realizing that when our government gives "aid," there are strings attached.
Paleoconservatives are socially conservative, but they are against an interventionist U.S. foreign policy. Paleoconservatives and Libertarians (as opposed to Greens and Leftists) may not be bothered by a capitalistic system that allows "enterprising" individuals to become billionaires. But all three groups opposed the TARP and later bank bailouts; they currently oppose the abuse of the Patriot Acts, passed after 9/11; the drone strikes; the Guantanamo torture prison; NSA spying, and Monsanto's genetically modified foods. The three groups are opposed to the U.S. Congress pandering to Wall Street, Israel, and the military-industrial complex.
Many members of these three groups would support marijuana/hemp legalization and the right to visit Cuba. Several others would support a new, independent investigation of 9/11, especially in regards to Building 7, which was not even hit by a plane, but fell at the speed of gravity into its own footprints at 5 pm on that tragic day. And Building 7 was not even mentioned in the initial Official 9/11 Commission Report, an investigation that was not done until 2 years later and then by government insiders, with an extremely limited budget.
Though I consider myself a radical egalitarian, who (as a retired teacher) takes a decentralist, non-hierarchical, grassroots approach to the public schools, I was surprised that a recent article of mine entitled "Bring Back the U.S. Peace Movement" was posted at more paleoconservative or libertarian websites than liberal or progressive ones, which gave me the idea that the three groups could form an effective coalition against a government that represents corporations instead of the American people.
In that article, I argued that masses of Americans need to have a March on Washington and city government buildings (like the recent mass protests in Egypt) four times a year until members of Congress pass the necessary amendments and laws that expand democracy and promote world peace--or be voted out of office. Think of the powerful impact it would have if these three groups could unite around ten specific demands that make long-term, structural changes in our government and constitution. Here are the ten demands that I would recommend to save the planet before it is too late:
1. Dismantle all nuclear weapons and nuclear energy power plants the world over as soon as possible.
2. Bring home all U.S. troops and close down the government's 700-1000 military bases around the world. Even with such a drawdown, it would retain more than enough capacity to defend its own borders. The money previously spent on the military would be used to create jobs and rebuild our nation's infrastructure: "[A]nd they shall turn their swords into ploughshares." (Isaiah 2:4). Military ships, submarines, and planes can be used for low-budget travel and tourism.
3. Institute Single Payer Health Insurance with the federal government as the single payer.
4. Remove the influence of money from politics.
5. Elect the U.S. House of Representatives through a system of Proportional Representation, and abolish the U.S. Senate: Why should California and Wyoming have the same number of senators when California's population is about 70 times greater? The seven largest, national political parties will be empowered in a single-chambered, national legislature. Under proportional representation, if a particular national, political party gets 15 percent of the vote, for example, then it will have a 15 percent representation in the federal legislature.
6. Abolish the Electoral College System for electing a president. A president must win by a majority of individual votes (not just a plurality of votes) using the method of Instant Runoff Voting, in which each voter will rank slated candidates from most favorite to least favorite.
7. Allow Congress, not the president, to select Supreme Court judges who will serve for 9 year terms.
8. Implement a decentralized, non-hierarchical, or grassroots, approach to public schools: The neighbors who live within the boundaries of each public elementary, middle, and high school will democratically establish their own school philosophy and curriculum, using public funds. There will no longer be federal, state, county, or township control of neighborhood schools. This will improve neighborhood togetherness and community solidarity.
9. Abolish the Federal Reserve. Congress will oversee a publicly owned banking system like the Bank of North Dakota.
10. Strive to establish a democratic world government that provides equal pay for equal work, with no one earning more than three times the wages of the lowest paid worker. A system of workplace democracy will be instituted. The world map can be divided into 500 rectangular-shaped, legislative districts of equal population. The World Legislative Council could then make executive and judicial branch appointments.
The Occupy Movement could have been more effective if the diverse elements had united around ten specific demands. What is now needed is for one organization such as the Fellowship of Reconciliation to serve as a headquarters for upcoming, regular protest marches and the assimilation of each protester's list of ten demands. Bayard Rustin, who was the organizer of the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington, was a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), a pacifist group. FOR is not yet even aware of my idea for this type of coalition.
What if 25 amendments and laws were agreed upon by all three groups, and from that list of 25 demands, all participating individuals at protest marches could register and vote to select their own ten demands. Then the ten most common demands would be determined and publicized. Every six months there could be a new election, as the number of participants increases, and as previous voters change their priorities. Naysayers will state all kinds of reasons why this strategy will not work, but it is urgent at this point that we focus on solutions and not just complaints. Readers can start thinking about their own ten most important demands to make of Congress.
Here are fifteen more demands that could be added to my ten to make a proposed list of 25 demands:
11. Implement a Fair or Flat income tax, as opposed to a Progressive income tax, to simplify the collection of taxes.
12. Implement a Progressive income tax up to 94 percent for any income amounts over $250,000 with a simplified tax code.
13. Abolish compulsory education--learning is a choice.
14. Phase out fossil fuels through government incentives.
15. Provide free post high school, public education for students whose parent(s) have an annual income of less than $100,000.
16. Reduce taxes for small businesses; increase taxes on large corporations.
17. Provide more restrictions on the ownership of firearms--with comprehensive registration, background checks, and national standardization.
18. Provide fewer restrictions on the ownership of firearms with comprehensive registration and background checks.
19. Legalize commercial hemp, medical marijuana, and the private use of marijuana for adults, on a national level.
20. Call for a new, independent investigation of 9/11 with subpoena powers.
21. Provide incentives for local and organic food production and alternative health practices.
22. Allow citizens of the 50 states to restructure their state governments from the bottom-up, not the top-down: from the neighborhood block club, to the precinct, township, county, and state levels. Each level of legislative government can make executive and judicial appointments. Representatives at a state level, for example, can be voted out of office completely at all levels by the voters in the precinct, township, or county that the state representative emerged from. Representatives at each level would vote among themselves to send a representative to the next level above it. State constitutions can be rewritten using a democratic process.
23. Increase abortion rights and the rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered individuals.
24. Empower the seven largest, national political parties, using a system of proportional representation to elect 100 individuals to meet at a Constitutional Convention to rewrite the U.S. Constitution, in which the delegates will work for three entire months to get a 51 percent or higher approval of any proposed, new constitution. (In other writings, this author has laid out a 23-month timeline for this process to occur).
25. Establish workplace democracy in companies that have six or more employees.
Roger Copple is 63 years old. He retired 3 years ago in 2010 from teaching general elementary, mostly 3rd grade, and high school special education in Indianapolis. He now lives in the Bradenton/Sarasota area of Florida. He is deeply grateful that he stuck it out to get a teacher's pension and started getting his Social Security early at age 62. He now hopes to make a contribution to society through further study, reflection, and writing. Roger can be emailed: roger.
His website: www.NowSaveTheWorld.com
Roger Copple will soon be 65 years old in June. He retired five years ago in May 2010 from teaching general elementary, mostly third grade, for half of his teaching career and also middle and high school special education for the other half in the public schools of Indianapolis. He now lives in Bradenton, FL. He especially likes studying political theory and U.S. foreign policy, playing chess and tennis, and walking. He is in two discussion groups: one is about the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, and the other is a study of the Bhagavad Gita. Roger meditates every day. He grew up in a United Pentecostal Church family and remembers going to church four times a week. His parents have always voted Republican. Roger's website: www.NowSaveTheWorld.com