Or signing similar petitions on other issues they feel strongly about?
Some might still be reluctant. They may want to know why we need signatures on the petition. If they press the matter, then explain what happens next -- which is what I'll discuss in detail in Parts V and VI of this series.
"Once we know we have enough voters behind this, we'll demand that each candidate signs a legally-binding contract. That will be the 'absolute commitment' to do what you've asked them to do."
"And if they refuse to sign it?"
"We don't vote for them and we find someone who will. No contract, no vote."
"They're not going to like this."
"But we will. And we'll get something done for a change that we want done."
This idea is so simple, yet so powerful. But there's only one way it can work . . .
People must unite not under party banners, but as a voting bloc around issues that are important to them. Party labels -- also very much the case with ideological labels -- muddy the waters, get people unfocused
on what's truly consequential. 'Democrat', 'Republican', 'liberal',
'conservative', 'libertarian' -- even more so with 'socialist', 'Tea
Party', and 'Green Party' -- have now become so emotionally charged,
clear thinking becomes difficult, constructive dialogue impossible.
Forget the labels, affiliations, philosophies. Stick with the issues. They're staring us right in the face.
I hate sounding like a broken record, but please look again at the issue polls cited in my previous two articles:
75% of Americans want a federal minimum wage of $12.50 per hour.
63% of Americans want a federal minimum wage of $15.00 per hour.
75% of voters want fair trade agreements protecting jobs, workers, the environment.
76% of voters want a cut back on military spending.
76% of voters want the U.S. completely out of Afghanistan.
79% of voters want no reductions in Social Security, 70% support expanding it.
79% of voters want no reductions in Medicare.
80% of voters oppose the "Citizens United" U.S. Supreme Court decision.
68% of voters think taxes on the wealthy should be increased.
71% of voters support massive infrastructure renewal.
74% of American voters are for ending oil industry subsidies.
93% of voters want GMO labeling on their food.
These are huge consensuses. These are the big issues. To set the stage for real reform, to get our future elected officials listening, these are the issues which draw a line in the sand. Either the candidates commit to getting these things done or they simply don't get elected. Period!
This is how we force candidates to pay attention.
Why will they pay attention?
Their jobs depend on it.