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Here’s a copy of a note to a friend who asked about my opinion of the recent Benghazi hearings:
Bottom line: I fear that our government structure and processes, including the current two-party system, is failing the republic, and us.
The archaic structure of the US. senate worked against the will of the vast majority of the American people yesterday when the Senate rejected legislation that would have required minimal background checks for purchasing a gun.
A 21st century democracy requires more of a Senate and Federal government than what we are getting.
Is it time for a new American government, one that is a 21st century evolution of our original American Revolution?
We need a government that reflects the popular vote, not the archaic Electoral College. We need a government with a Senate that reflects the population distribution in our country. We need a House of Representatives that is not gerrymandered to serve partisan political interests. We need a government where elections are federally funded and that rejects being purchased by special interests. We need term limits for Congress, to restore civilian rule of our country.
Our government is not doing its job. Both parties are failures. It’s time — we need a new government, a Constitutional convention, a re-invention of America.
Have you wondered how the red and blue states came to be? And why those colors? I wondered too, and discovered that we owe the current U.S. political color palette to Tim Russert. And I learned a lot more about the use of colors in politics, going way back in history.
The whole story can be found in my essay called “Red, White, Blue and You — or The Color of Politics,” which I presented before the Literary Club of Chicago on election eve 2012. And yes, Cleaopatra had a hand in the story, too. And so did the obsolete and dangerous Electoral College system of electing our Presidents. And why is purple in our nation’s future?
Read about all this and more in my essay at http://www.chilit.org, then search for the title “Red, White, Blue and You” under “Ebeling.”
– federal financing for national elections
– reform or end zone the distorting Electoral College
– initiate term limits for President (one 6-year term); two terms for Congress and Senate
– align retirement and medical benefits of Congress with private sector
– require Senators and Congressmen to live and work full time in D.C.
Of course, I voted in Illinois, not one of the handful of swing states, where every vote REALLY matters.
Down with the Electoral College! (go to http://www.nationalpopularvote.com)
Two years ago, I put up the following cautionary entry on this blog. The threat still looms over us all. Also, check out http://www.nationalpopularvote.com.
Start by Fixing the Electoral College
September 22, 2010
One day again (see the election of 2000), the Electoral College will put in a President who did not win the national popular vote. This archaic instrument is not fundamental to our democracy, in fact it is anti-democratic. It was the product of a 18th century political compromise by the founding fathers. It is not needed anymore. It doesn’t do what it was meant to do. It could destabilize the nation at a time when grassroots voters demand to be heard.
What is the history? What is the risk? What are the arguments, pro and con? What can we done to change it, before it’s too late?
To join the discussion and find some answers, read my essay, “One Collage Too Man.” Go to chilit.org, click on “Roll of Members” found on the left column, click on “E”, then go to “Charles Ebeling” and click on the essay title to read or copy it.
Make up your mind, then do something! Isn’t it time for a National Popular Vote? Thanks.
Five questions for which the debaters won’t have answers…
October 3, 2012
In the Presidential debates tonight, I doubt whether either candidate will have realistic answers for these 5 questions.
1. When will our endless wars and military occupations stop?
2. How and when will we unwind our spiraling national debt?
3. When and how will we implement election reform and restore civility to federal government?
4. How will each American receive the medical care they deserve and how will it be paid?
5. How and when will the banking and financial risk industries be separated again?
Because the archaic Electoral College is where the President is really elected, and because of the College’s “winner-take-all” voting system, the states that are reliably liberal or conservative are already in the bag for the respective candidates. That leaves the current nine battleground swing states, where the election could go either way, to determine our next President.
If you live in Illinois or Wisconsin, you do not, at this writing, live in one of those crucial swing states that will almost certainly determine the next President. If you lived in CO, FL, NC, NH, NE, OH, PA, or VA, that’s where the candidates will focus their campaign appearances and spending. This could change before the election, but it probably won’t.
It’s too late to change the system before this Novermber’s election, but not before the next one. Google National Popular Vote for a discussion of how and why this is so, and what YOU can do about it. Make a difference for the future. Bring democracy back to America, while there is still time. You can matter, if you take action.
As the U.S. Supreme Court debates whether the government can mandate that citizens buy health care insurance, and try to rationalize a decision based upon the Constitution, what are the implications for other mandates, such as taxes, Social Security, and auto insurance (in many states)? Yes, the highest court must interpret the law in light of the Constitution. But is the court prepared to throw out these things which mean so much in terms of the stability and security of our nation?
Whether health care is determined to be a right or a privilege, it is still something every person needs to survive and prosper. If the Constitution proves to be the problem standing in the way of universal access and payment for health care, change the Constitution. And while we’re at it, let’s discover true one person/one vote democracy by abolishing the obsolete Electoral College system for electing our Presidents.
Will common sense prevail in the Supreme Court, or is that asking too much in the 21st century?
The lesson is perhaps that populism doesn’t always make good politics, however tempting it is to the thought-leaders. Of course, to some the real issue is why after 200+ years of the increasing power of populism — call it democracy — we still elect our Presidents through an arcane, unbalanced, non-democratic system that makes political advertising calculations, and vote counts, so corrupted — the obsolete and dangerous Electoral College!