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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/22/17

Candidate Contracts: A Democratic Renewal

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If you can handle my tinny, nasally mid-Western voice, this video offers a detailed explanation on how candidate contracts take the guesswork out of voting and set a whole, new standard for electoral integrity in our country. Or you can just read the entire text of the presentation, which follows here:

The candidate contract idea is simple and straightforward.

The candidate contract takes the guesswork out of voting.

It sets a new standard for deciding where a candidate stands on crucial issues, how serious that candidate is about solving problems which are important to us voters, how serious that candidate is about representing his or her constituents. In fact, it sets down in writing what exactly that candidate will be doing when they arrive in Washington DC, right from Day One.

Every candidate says the right things. They always say what they think the voters want to hear, the things that will get them elected. Everyone understands this.

But talk is cheap. And after they get elected, when these folks arrive in our nation's capital and get inside that DC bubble, amnesia sets in.

How do I know?

That's simple. It's so obvious anyone can see it. You just have to look.

Just consider a few of these items.

63% of Americans want a federal minimum wage of $15.00 per hour.

That means more than 6 out of every 10 citizens want the minimum wage hiked to $15 per hour. Mind you the minimum livable wage in urban areas like New York, San Francisco, Boston is over $22 per hour. But $15 per hour would be a good start in the right direction. What is it now? It's equivalent in today's dollars to what it was in 1950! It's a paltry $7.25 an hour. It hasn't increased since July of 2009. That's eight years ago!

75% of voters want fair trade agreements protecting jobs, workers, the environment. 75%! That's a huge majority opposed to the trade bills which now give corporations enormous advantages, are responsible for exporting our jobs, destroying our unions, replacing good permanent employment with low wage temporary jobs. Is Congress listening? It doesn't matter which party is in the Oval Office or even on Capitol Hill. We still get NAFTA, CAFTA, TTIP, WTO. Last year our pay-for-play legislators in the deep pockets of the multinational corporations fast-tracked TPP, the worst trade bill in history. These neoliberal lapdogs won't quit until we're all back to being hunter-gatherers!

76% of voters want a cut back on military spending. So what do we get next year? Trump proposes an increase of $56 billion in the official defense budget with members of Congress from both parties cheering him on like a bunch of snarling pit bulls.

76% of voters want the U.S. completely out of Afghanistan. We've been fighting that miserable pointless war for 16 years, folks! They promised to get U.S. troops out of the country by 2014. Now it's 2017 and they're putting more troops back in. We're going to be there forever! For what? To waste another $600 billion dollars and have more of our best and brightest come back in body bags?

79% of voters want no reductions in Social Security. 70% support expanding it. 79% of voters want no reductions in Medicare. Here we have two of the most successful programs in our history, loved and supported by the people. Yet every new session of Congress, there's talk about cutting benefits, raising eligibility age -- slash slash slash. Or they talk about "privatizing" it, which is doublespeak for turning it over to Wall Street so they can gamble with the money we've put away all our lives. It's truly a crime!

There are many more. So far I've just scratched the surface.

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John Rachel has a B.A. in Philosophy, and has written eight novels and three political non-fiction books. His political articles have appeared at OpEdNews, Russia Insider, The Greanville Post, and other alternative media outlets. Since (more...)

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