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How to Regain Control of Our Government

By       Message Richard Backus       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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The following are a few quotes from William Greider's book Who Will Tell The People. "When incumbent officeholders begin to perceive a real threat developing to their power, that is the moment when election politics can begin to become serious and interesting again. When the organized presence of citizens can deprive others of power, all the deeper power relationships surrounding government will be put to risk too." This article will explain how you can win back power from Congress and have representatives interested in your welfare rather than the welfare of the political elites.
If in the coming election the candidates that you are to choose from have been selected by various "special interests" groups, the winner will, when in office, simply do the bidding of these groups without regard for any other interests. If that is the case, what would be the point in voting? Many people believe that this is the case and will either not vote, or vote for a third-party candidate who has no chance of winning, both simply a repudiation of the candidates selected by others. But, in both of these cases, the "winner" will not care a hoot because he is well aware that no matter how disillusioned or angry these voters are, they haven't the power to affect him in any way.

But voters can do something that will make a difference. They have the power to vote the entire Congress out of office, if they vote in concert. They should be doing this whenever they are dissatisfied with the government's performance. They only need vote against all incumbents, whatever their party affiliation.
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What the public is missing in this election is that, even if they vote into office a populist like Barack Obama whose intention is to promote policies and actions beneficial to the general public, if the Congress won't go along with his program, Barack will be powerless and ineffective. That's what happened to Jimmy Carter, another populist. Jimmy's campaign promises were all frustrated by Congress with the active concurrence of fellow Democrats beholden to their benefactors, those rich and powerful folks who financed their campaigns. Don't let this happen to Barack!
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The public has to realize that it must break up the Congress's power blocks before Barack will be able to serve the public in the ways that he has promised. The only way to break up these power blocks is by voting out all incumbents, regardless of party. The remaining part of this article is a reprint of a previous article of mine explaining how this can be done.
                                   How to Win an Election, Any Election
All of us have just about had our fill of unconstitutional and corrupt actions by our representatives in Congress and, considering their current extremely low "favorable rating" from the public, this is an ideal time for the public to take charge and dislodge them from office. This should be done en mass because they are jointly responsible for laws passed on their watch, and all recently passed legislation that I am familiar with has been in the interest of the rich patrons sponsoring their campaigns.
Some will claim that his own representative is serving him well, and will only attempt to toss out the other guys rep. For your "hero" to say that he is not party to this lamentable mess is like Frank James saying he really did not believe in what brother Jesse was doing and tried to prevent him from doing it. Laws are passed(and laws are at times not enforced) with the cooperation of all members of Congress.To protect your own rep simply will not work. The incumbents almost always win, considering that the big money is on their side. The 'democracy' which everyone so enthusiastically extols simply does not exist today for the working classes of the U.S. The sole democratic tool left to the public is the ballot box. 
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I have a sure-fire method for the people to again gain control over their representatives. It consists of simply voting against any incumbent on the ballot, regardless of party. The last election, won by George Bush with a 3 million vote majority over John Kerry, was contested by less than 57 percent of the qualified voters. More than 90 million qualified citizens failed to vote, mainly because they felt that their votes would not count. This figure roughly corresponding to the number of adult citizens without jobs(i.e., the job "participation rate" of U.S. workers is now around 66 percent (34 percent 'not participating') with another 5 percent 'officially' unemployed). If a person is not employed, he is, by definition 'unemployed'. Only our government can not understand this concept. There are about 85+ million 'unemployed' people of working age now in the U.S. The results of this particular election are typical for most elections, where the winner has less than a 5 percent majority. If only ten percent of these 90 million citizens who failed to vote were to vote against any incumbent he would stand little chance of winning. A simple ten percent increased participation in the Bush/Kerry election could have changed the popular vote margin of 3 million in favor of Bush (a solid majority) to a margin of 6+ million votes in favor of Kerry(a pretty respectable whompin'). 
If this proposal could become a reality the pols would finally take the public very seriously, that is, if they wanted to be reelected! The sole problem is one of getting these citizens to vote and providing them with a candidate who could win. The fundamental problem for those interested in placing a candidate responsive to the general public in office has always been the choice of an alternative candidate who had a chance of winning. We all now pretty well agree that the incumbent politician's opposition is also one who has his snout firmly affixed to the money trough and in many cases is following the same policies as his opponent.
But the charm of this solution is that it should be applied in every election in which the Congress has failed to do what was promised in its platform or was inherent in its party policies. After a very short time the pols would get tired of serving just one term(losing seniority and committee representation), and start paying attention to the needs of their all their constituents, including the American working classes.
A coordination of candidate selection and election such as this differs little from what the Religious Right has been doing for the Republican party, providing an "en bloc" vote which has biased recent elections enough to get our current pathetic officeholders installed. In the future, when the public becomes aware of their power at the polls, it will be able to select its own candidates for a "peoples party" by setting up sites on the Internet. These sites would collect suggestions for the party's candidates and provide the consensus candidate at election time.
If we all could get behind this movement, we would at last obtain the government we deserve. Other efforts to regain control of Congress, such as that of amending the Constitution under Article V of the Constitution, could well be the ultimate solution but will take time. A project such as this could very well speed up the process. So I encourage all of those voters who have been disregarded or damaged by their current representative to vote in this coming election. Vote for the opponent of the current incumbent or, if he has left office, for the candidate of the opposite party. Encourage all your friends to do likewise. If each of you will do this I believe that we can win back our government in this election.


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Richard Backus is a journalist specializing in economics and politics.He has degrees in physics and engineering, and considerable experience in computer systems development. He is single, a good bridge player, and an enthusiastic tennis player.

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