We Can Fix America’s Corrupt Political System
Just about any person you talk to today feels that our government is corrupt. That’s right, the most powerful nation on earth is eat up with corruption. More and more Americans feel our democracy is completely broken.
What is sad is that huge segments of people in America have disenfranchised themselves from the political process thinking there's nothing we can do about it. [corruption]
This thinking is one of the biggest cancers we have in our American democracy today! When you put this corruption under the microscope it's not that politicians are breaking the laws, in fact, there are no laws in place for them to break. There are some exceptions but not many or enough.
Right Now, Corruption Is Legal in America
This factoid is something we can fix. For example, right now it's perfectly legal for "special interest groups" to hand over humongous checks to members of Congress who regulate and write laws. There is nothing to stop these members of Congress from passing laws that favor these groups even if said laws are a detriment to our society.
Often, we see these same politicians accepting comfy jobs with these lobbying firms. This example is just one in a million we could use.
We Must Make Corruption Illegal!
That's why the House of Public Discourse supports the "American Anti-Corruption Act."
The American Anti-Corruption Act (commonly referred to as the "AACA" or "Anti-Corruption Act") is a piece of model legislation designed to limit the influence of money in American politics by overhauling lobbying, transparency, and campaign finance laws. ... Stopping political bribery by overhauling lobbying and ethics laws. [Wikipedia]
The "AACA" introduces a stringent set of ethical standards. For example, if you're a senator on the Banking Committee you can't take money or gifts from banking lobbyist.
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What About Citizens United?
While a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United would help corral those shadowy groups like "Americans for Freedom and Jobs and More Freedom." It would not fix any of the previously-mentioned problems. We could overturn Citizens United tomorrow and bribery, extortion, conflicts of interest, all of it would still be legal.
However, this corruption does pose an opportunity for those of us who desire to see it end. We can solve these problems with one comprehensive law. Which begs the question, but how?
How do we get such a law passed? Asking Congress to do so would be like asking a " Fox to put a lock on the Henhouse." However, not all is a loss here. We can go around Congress by using the " Ballot Initiative Process." This process allows citizens to pass laws ourselves. No politicians required. All we must do is gather enough signatures that would put the "AACA" up for a public vote and we can start fixing this out of control corrupt system we know as American Democracy.
Here's the Plan
We need to bring all Progressives, Independents, and Conservatives together and get organized for this endeavor which in fact is one of the few political issues in modern politics that has bi-partisan appeal among the electorate. This is the only way to combat both the Global and National Oligarchs that control our two-party system in the present. For example, in 2014 both the " Tea-Party," and "Progressives" teamed up to pass the first anti-corruption act. In November 2014, a bipartisan coalition of Represent.Us members in Tallahassee, Florida, put America’s first municipal Anti-Corruption Act on the ballot – and they won. Since then, voters have passed initiatives for sweeping anti-corruption reforms in more than a dozen cities and states across America. In 2016, for the first time ever, comprehensive statewide anti-corruption legislation passed in South Dakota. [See Source]
Using the Ballot Initiative process Represent.us proclaims there are some 22,000 cities across the country that we could pass locally tailored anti-corruption legislation. We have always felt here in the House of Public Discourse that solid positive change within our political system always starts from the local level.
By starting from the local levels our efforts affect the communities we live in by protecting our schools, healthcare, resources, environment, and jobs from being sold out to special interest. Local politics matter! Also, starting at the local level builds momentum for passing legislation at the state level.
State Acts not only would clean up statewide corruption it would change how elections are funded. In doing so, "We the People" get clean politicians, not one's like in the present who are in the hip pocket of special interest groups. State Acts would affect federal candidates as well. Once these state laws are passed we can truly "drain the swamp," by sending a new wave of clean politicians to Washington.
By taking this fight against corruption to the local and state levels we can win this struggle against political corruption from the outside. And, once we have elected these fair-minded ethical politicians on the federal level we can then pass the "AACA" at the federal level.
Some may say this is a loss cause that it's pie in the sky thinking and isn't practical. Our response here in the House of Public Discourse to these claims is quite simple.
- Was it pie in the sky for a band of thirteen colonies with no standing army to win a war against the strongest military power of its time?
- Was it thought practical that slavery would be abolished?
- Or, that woman and blacks would be allowed to vote.
- Was it unpragmatic to think that Same Sex Marriage would be a reality in American society?
- How many people said there would never be a person of color in the White House?
Corruption of Influence - The History of Campaign Finance
Written By: Johnny Hill