Initiatives v Oligarchy

Our Founders' Warning: “Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.” (Thomas Jefferson)

The Founders expected frequent problems requiring amendments, in their lifetime producing the first 12 amendments in 16 years, a rate of one every 16 months. Since then, Congress has produced only 15 amendments (some trivial, one reversed) in 194 years, a rate of one every 13 years. U.S. abolition of slavery took a civil war to ratify; women’s vote took 72 years to ratify. Contrary to the Founders’ intentions, Congress clearly finds responsibility for Constitutional Amendments to be a most inconvenient and undesirable burden. Consequently, in many cases, Congress has laxly deferred to the Supreme Court to produce legal decisions that are equivalent to Constitutional Amendments, e.g., Citizens United v. FECRoe v. Wade, Miranda v. ArizonaMcCutcheon v. FEC, etc. Modification or reversal of such decisions generally requires a Constitutional Amendment because it is nearly impossible for the Supreme Court to justify such action with legal precedent.

A sample of 19 unaddressed, harmful, and unrepaired critical issues is shown in the sample list of Benefits that need to be resolved (the reader will probably know of others). It includes issues such as: drug prices, corporate personhood, climate change, gerrymandering, national debt, electoral college, automation impact, congressional oversight, term limits, retirement issues, voting improvements, etc. There will be inevitable disagreements and reconciliations; nevertheless, issues such as these must be confronted and resolved to the satisfaction of the People if the U.S is to flourish again as a fully Democratic Republic.

The many issues confronting the nation face a single core Problem: The Oligarchy damages our Constitution and our Democracy many times faster than the People, acting through Congress, can make repairs. How can the People compel the Congress to repair and serve the People’s interests in a timely and effective manner or find a better approach?

Any effective solution must be commensurate in speed to Oligarchy’s actions. Speed is a critical factor in repeatedly constraining Oligarchy and in defining the solution’s form–Congress would take about 100 years if they were willing to try. Otherwise, Oligarchy’s speed, agility, and perseverance overcome the Peoples’ existing impractical and ponderous options.

The Problem today is 6 giant companies control 90 percent of media.
6 Giants: 90% of Media

The Press is helpful but has itself been corrupted. In 1983, 50 companies controlled 90 percent of US media. Today, 6 giant companies control 90 percent of media. They work steadily to make the People fearful and compliant; important news is mostly a byproduct. This is key for Oligarchic control and a prerequisite for Authoritarianism.

A solution cannot come from the President or the Supreme Court because they do not have the Constitutional power to solve the Problem; our checks and balances were not designed to address it. The Supreme Court even made the Problem worse by two decisions (Citizens United and McCutcheon), which authorize unlimited and untraceable funds to support the Oligarchy’s candidates. Politics cannot solve this type of Problem because Congress is so obligated to the Oligarchy; moreover, it hardly matters which party is in power. The States have the power to solve some problems by repeated Article V Amendments as envisaged by the Founders (Fed. 43 & Fed. 85). But in 240 years, the States have not once enforced Article V, despite this being the only effective method the People have to limit Oligarchy.

The Oligarchy is strengthening and extending its power in Congress, State Legislatures, Presidential Cabinet, and the Supreme Court. It rewards its friends from its vast supply of funds, and It punishes defectors. For example, if an elected official does not obey the Oligarchy, at the next election the Oligarchy will select and finance another and ensure loss by the first. This threat alone often ensures compliance. It explains things like lockstep voting by officials who have accepted campaign finance, taken gifts, been promised future rewards, or ignored threats, and it explains some votes that to ordinary People may appear as leading to an irrational and unconscionable American nightmare.

Note that wealth and capitalism per se are not mentioned because they are not an essential part of the Problem and are vital to the People’s economic success.

The central problem is therefore how can the People gain enough control that they can make government more responsive in a timely manner to their key wishes instead of the Oligarchy’s wishes?