Every organized group of human beings eventually develops a culture (a set of norms and values that guides the behavior of the members of the group).
The nature of a group’s culture is always shaped, preserved (or changed) by the leader of the organization.
In our country, bad leadership has created a negative, toxic culture in our Congress that is in desperate need of reform. I call it The Congressional Culture of Contempt.
In addition, our Congress is corrupt, that is to say, composed of an elite class of professional politicians who are overly- controlled and influenced by the two corrupt political parties who, in turn, are controlled by big-money donors and lobbyists. As decent Americans, this is our common problem.
Congress is a family-owned enterprise. The family is composed of the American people, so I am one of the owners and so are you! There are millions of us, and If we unite, nothing can stop us!
In this essay, I will attempt to think this problem through and simplify what has gone wrong in our Congress and try to come up with some workable fixes. Somebody else is going to have to do the fixing!
I am 84-years-old and know my limitations!
FIX US? (“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”)
Are we “broke?”
What does “US” in the title stand for?
America including all of US.
Who am I?
Allen Johnson Jr: slightly less than 6 feet tall. A Hundred and 70 pounds, Male, Caucasian. Age 84. My body is the car and I am the driver. I am very young, but the car is wearing out!
Assuming there is something seriously wrong with our country, why am I qualified to write an essay on how to fix it?
FIRST, I am an American. I have spent many years loving and admiring this country and her people. I believe that most Americans are decent.
SECOND, I am grounded in God, the source of all goodness. This is important, because of the official motto of the United States of America: IN GOD WE TRUST. I believe that God Is Love.
THIRD, I am not an intellectual. By that I mean, I do not define myself by my intellect. Intellectuals often use too many words and make things complicated. I have spent many years trying to simplify and clarify my thinking.
FOURTH, I am not a celebrity (What is the last time you saw a movie star solve a national problem?)
FIFTH, I am honest. I try very hard to match my actions to my words. I have no experience in government which is in my favor, because I am in no way caught up in the corruption.
SIXTH, I am a decent American. I am one of YOU, THE SILENT MAJORITY.
What is wrong with our Congress?
Due to “The Missing Right” (see below). Many of our representatives are wrongly motivated. Many are deficient in good character. Some are just plain dumb! (Cannot find their rear end with both hands!) They cannot cooperate with each other due to the Congressional Culture of Contempt created by bad leadership. They are under the influence of two corrupt political parties, big-money donors and lobbyists.
To understand what has gone wrong with Congress, we have to take a look at the past.
In the long, complicated political history of our country, it is clear that we have not found a system of governing that is sure to benefit the common good. Our political history contains one long attempt to devise a system that will protect the people from tyrannical leadership.
Our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) are the most successful experiment thus far, in devising such a system. The rights in the Bill of Rights, however, are all designed to protect us from tyrannical governmental abuse. The founders were in the process of breaking away from the tyrannical British Empire. Their focus was naturally, and rightly, on devising a system that would protect against tyranny. They did an admirable job of this but did not see far enough into the future to protect against corruption from within — the gradual development of a Congress containing many self-serving, elected representatives who are motivated by a lust for money, power and fame. Our Congress is now is over 50% millionaires. Most are professional politicians who work to advance their own interests while neglecting the interests of the American people. This corrupt situation exists because of THE MISSING RIGHT:
THE PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE GOVERNED BY THOSE WHO ARE PROPERLY MOTIVATED TO SERVE THE COMMON GOOD.
Our process of selecting candidates is badly flawed. It is controlled by two corrupt political parties both of whom campaign by trying to destroy the reputations of opposing candidates. The process is so nasty that decent Americans won’t even consider running for office. The emotional quality of congressional elections is contempt. Republicans hate Democrats and Democrats hate Republicans. If people in a group hate each other, they can’t work together. Also, this hatred gets emphasized by the media and filters into the general population—part of the reason for the destruction we see going on now in the big cities. This, of course, is the the pathetic Congressional Culture of Contempt(CCC) that has paralyzed Congress causing its massive failure. The two parties cannot work together and compromise to create legislation to help of the American people. I see only one way out of this quandary. We have to have a fresh start with a third majority party. Attempts to create a third-party in the past have only been able to create minority (spoiler) parties, but the timing may be right For a majority third-party. I say this, because we now have more independents than members of either party. Independent voters are now substantially in the majority!
Can independents be welded into a majority political party?
It will be difficult, but—with the right leadership—not impossible. Most independents are moderates, slightly to the left or slightly to the right of center. In the interest of making a fresh start, if they can put aside the old liberal-versus-conservative enmity, third-party candidates would be able to campaign with the idea that each problem is unique. Some problems involve liberal solutions, and some problems involve conservative solutions, and, in fact, some problems involve a mix of conservative and liberal solutions. By putting aside, the divisive liberal/conservative conflict, independent moderates—both left of center and right of center—should be able to come together and form a majority third-party. There should be a unifying principle. I suggest “CENTRIST. Our new-start party could be THE CENTRIST PARTY, the Party of Decency!
Most Independents (even most Americans) are centrists.
Most Americans are decent.
Most of us have some common sense, kindness towards others and integrity . . . In other words, decency. People like us are in the majority. There are currently more Independents than Democrats or Republicans. The two parties, however, have the power, because they are organized.
Only by organizing Independents into a majority third-party, will we be able to reform our democracy. Since many Republicans and Democrats are decent people, I am convinced that—when a majority third party is organized, and they have the option—many of them will join the new Centrist party!
Within the population of decent Americans, there are many with powerful leadership gifts. We never find them running for office. They refuse to participate in the nastiness of the corrupt two-party process that now exists. Our best leaders are sitting on the sidelines! A third-party. . . a party built on common sense, kindness and integrity will give them a way to participate in reforming our democracy.
Of course, a third-party that is able to attract the support of most Independents will never happen until one gifted leader steps up and starts it. Such a leader must be motivated to serve.
You know who you are! I challenge you to come forward!
We, the decent people of America, the majority . . . are waiting to help!
A third party must establish qualifications for someone to be a candidate. The Democrats and Republicans currently have no qualifications required for someone to run for office. How dumb is that? Would you go to a doctor that didn’t have a medical degree? Even plumbers and electricians must have qualifications. Shouldn’t someone who’s going to be trying to solve national problems have qualifications? Here are some suggestions for qualifications for a Party of Decency candidate to run for office:
1.TRUST IN GOD.
This is in keeping with the official motto of the United States of America which is “In God we trust.” A good candidate must start with God, the source of all goodness. If a candidate starts with God, he or she will wind up with the right motivation to serve the people.:
If you believe, as I do, that GOD IS LOVE, here’s how that works:
If you truly CARE about others, and implement your CARING with KINDNESS and RESPECT, you will be motivated to SERVE THE PEOPLE. This is the only acceptable motivation for someone who wants to be in public office.
2. INTEGRITY (honesty). A candidate must be an authentic human being whose actions and words match. Many of today’s professional politicians glibly spout wonderful promises with no intention whatsoever of keeping them.
3. SIGNIFICANT, SUCCESSFUL, ADMINISTRATIVE EXPERIENCE RUNNING A MAJOR ORGANIZATION — a business, a charity, a military organization or a state or local government, etc. The people who worked in the candidate’s organization should be asked to verify the candidate’s character and intelligence.
Note: those who serve in Congress will be trying to solve complex national problems. To do this, they need an understanding of how things work and the right kind of intelligence to solve complicated problems. Requiring a candidate to have had successful, administrative experience assures both of these requirements and provides a way to verify the intelligence and the character of the candidate.
Will there be a majority third party?
Maybe. It will take a hell of a leader to pull it off! The good news is that our country is rich in the resource of good leaders. The problem is in convincing one to take on this formidable challenge.
While we wait for the formation of a majority third party, is there a way to take action, now?
Currently, we are at the mercy of a group of self-serving professional politicians who are paralyzed within the Congressional Culture of Contempt. The people have been edged out of the candidate choosing process by the two corrupt political parties, big-money donors and lobbyists. My partner, Steve Bosch, and I are trying to develop a way to get the people back in the selection process. Our way utilizes modern technology, the power of the Internet.
We have set up a foundation that we call SERVE THE PEOPLE FOUNDATION. The purpose of this foundation is to create tools to empower the people and educate as many Americans as possible on how to use these tools.
The process we have developed for this we call VIBE, an acronym standing for:
The first such tool is the TERM LIMIT PLEDGE. It is being put into action by TermLimitPledge.org. Any voter anywhere in the country can go to this website and either download or print out a copy of the pledge and send it to their candidate asking them to sign. A candidate who signs, pledges to serve no more than three terms in the House and two terms in the Senate and to never lobby. This fixes the problem of selling influence for personal financial gain. A candidate who signs the pledge will not be able to make a career out of Congress.
There are two motivations for a candidate to sign A Term Limit Pledge:
First, it’s the right thing to do.
For over 200 years Americans have been trying to get term limits for Congress. Currently, 80 percent of Americans want congressional term limits, but the elite professional politicians in Congress will not give us what we want. Asking professional politicians to limit their time in office is like asking the fox in the henhouse not to eat chicken!
Second, we have research that clearly shows that a signed pledge will give an 8 to 10 percent advantage in a general election.
For those candidates who are trying to unseat an incumbent, this is a very big deal! Incumbents are extremely difficult to unseat. An 8 to 10-point advantage just might be enough!
Using the internet, ServeThePeople.org and TermLimitPledge.org will also track which candidates have signed the pledge and, once candidates are elected, which of them are honoring their pledges. Candidates who sign the pledge declare that they are motivated to serve the people. Candidates who refuse to sign are clearly motivated to become professional politicians and serve themselves.
If we can get congressional term limits, the entire class of exploitive, professional politicians will disappear, and our government will start to work for the people once again!
If you choose to help TermLimeiPledge.org, we greatly appreciate it. Meanwhile, please decide who is the most powerful, decent leader you know. Send him or her a copy of this essay and ask him or her to consider organizing a THIRD MAJORITY PARTY.
GOD BLESS US EVERYONE!
Allen Johnson Jr., Co-founder TermLimetPledge.org