June 1, 2021
God is Love. When we love unconditionally, God is within, and we are happy. Love requires that we make a human connection with another person. There are several ways to put love into action and forge a connection with someone. Connection, at a human level, creates meaning and makes love possible.
There are multiple ways to forge a connection with someone.
Commonality (discover something you have in common with another person)
Here is a good example:
In our local supermarket, one of the butchers specialized in selling fish and seafood. He was a black guy by the name of Michael. One day I was buying apiece of fish from him, and I thought I heard traces of a Southern accent. I said, “Michael, are you Southern?” He pointed to his chest and said, “Mobile Alabama!” I pointed at my chest and said: “Birmingham!”
“My brother!” He said and ran around from behind the counter and gave me a hug! It was like hugging an oak tree! After that every time I showed up at the meat counter, if he wasn’t busy, he would run around and give me a hug. What a great connection our common background had forged! It made me happy.
Kindness (Love in action)
I was paying for something and the checker was a young woman who was probably five feet two inches tall and weighed 350 pounds.I said, “how are you, dear?” And struck up a little conversation with her.Nothing much was said, but I knew that by using the term of endearment, I had forged a connection. I felt happy.
Respect (treating someone as an equal/Love in action)
A young man arrived to fix my heating system. I shook his hand and introduced myself as Allen. First names are wonderful for establishing equality. Your first name is who you are; your first and last name include your family connection and your first and last name, with letters after, include professional status. This is why using first names with doctors is so important. I want to be treated by someone I know is an equal on a human level, not by Doctor So-and-So.
Using first names is a surefire way to show respect when connecting with someone.
Humor (the great social lubricant/Love in action)
I am 85 years old. I have a standard joke. When someone asks me how I am, I say “fine, if you don’t look too close!” This often breaks the ice and forges a connection at a human level. Occasionally when asked how I am I make a pathetic whining noise that sounds like something between an old geezer and a lost dog. This almost always gets a laugh and starts to make a connection.
To put meaning in your life and feel happiness, find ways to connect with others and to put love into action!
—Allen Johnson Jr.
February 25, 2021
Politicians and commentators are all talk and no action.
Teddy Roosevelt, however, was a man of action. He said:
“To complain about a problem without proposing a solution is whining.”
When politicians and commentators describe what’s wrong with our government, it’s also condescending, because it implies that most of us don’t understand what’s wrong.
We already know!
We need to find innovative, powerful ways that allow the individual voter to take action.
TermLimitPledge.org is a good example.
—Allen Johnson Jr.
February 3, 2021
So here is a radical idea:
Let’s assume that most Americans already understand what is wrong with our country. If we assume that, what follows?
There is no need to enumerate the many things that are wrong with our government. In other words, there is no need to complain!
Complaining is negative, but that is not the main problem. The main problem with complaining is that people wrongly believe that it accomplishes something. It doesn’t! People who disagree with your complaints ignore them. People who agree with them simply get more frustrated but don’t do anything about the wrongs they perceive.
Theodore Roosevelt got it right. He said: “Complaining about a problem without proposing a solution is called whining.” Whiningi s a way of admitting that you lack the courage to take action. There are several people whose thinking I greatly admire who have regular public forums on radio, television and the Internet, telling us what is wrong with our government. They are whining. They should be proposing ways to take action!
My own belief is that corruption in our government is so wide and deep that the only way forward is to start over! We need a majority third political party constructed by and of men and women of high integrity and decency. This has never worked in the past, but now, for the first time, the timing may be right. So many people are fed up with government. Right now there are more Independents than members of either party! What’s missing is the leadership to make this happen.
Come on you whiners! Get behind this idea.
There’s another idea that I helped to create: TermLimitPledge.org. It is away to take action! Come on you whiners! Help us with this!
—Allen Johnson Jr.
December 28, 2020
Our wonderful country is being poisoned by hatred. What is generating the hatred? It’s simple. The poison pill is politics. The poisoners are politicians. Since politics involves electing people to positions of power, and since power corrupts, it is essential that We the People have a clear understanding of how to reform corruption and prevent it going forward.
Both the Democrat and Republican parties are corrupt—motivated by a lust for power and money. In fighting each other to gain power and money, the two political parties are generating hatred. The media are totally complicit. They make their money through generating controversy. In promoting controversy they have no regard for truth. Politicians generate the seeds of hatred, and the media sows the seeds, broadcasting them all across the country. Money is the fertilizer! The crop that is harvested is hatred! What the politicians, the media and the social media are doing is divisive and destructive to our wonderful country.
The first method of reform to correct this is for the public to stop watching the so-called “news” channels and social media. Stop, altogether. I know this is not going to happen 100%, but already, it is happening. People are turning off the channels responsible for the most egregious lies. The ratings are dropping. Keep it up folks! They do not deserve an audience!
The second method of reform is to begin to elect representatives who are motivated to serve the people. While the motivation to gain power and money creates hatred; the motivation to serve generates love. TermLimitPledge.org is our attempt to change the type of candidates we are nominating for Congress. A candidate’s motivation discloses his or her fundamental character. A candidate who signs a term limit pledge and agrees to self-limit his or her time in Congress, and to never lobby, is probably motivated to serve. We seek to nominate candidates based on the quality of their character rather than the words they say about issues. Words are only words, whereas a signed pledge is an action and a commitment.
The third way of reforming our government and healing the current political divisiveness is the creation third majority party. We could call it the Party of Decency (POD). Such a party will allow us to shift the political focus from liberal versus conservative, to character. Most Americans are decent . . . have good character. Most of us have some common sense, kindness and integrity. This explains why there are currently more Independents than Democrats or Republicans. Many decent people don’t want to belong to either of the two existing corrupt parties. Of course, there are many decent Democrats and Republicans. Given a choice—a third majority party—many will switch.
If we come together in a third majority party, we can drop the old, divisive, liberal versus conservative (left versus right) way of thinking. Some problems need liberal solutions and some problems need conservative solutions. (Some problems need a bit of both!) A Party of Decency must select candidates based on the quality of their character and not on some divisive, us-versus-them way of thinking. Such a party will help us to reform our government and heal the current hateful divisiveness.
We are used to third-party efforts only creating minority parties that function as spoilers in an election. Now, however, Independents are a solid majority. With their support, and with strong leadership, we could organize a majority third party with focus on candidates’ character.
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 corrupt Republican/Democrat system. Our best leaders are sitting on the sidelines! A third-party . . . a party built on commonsense, kindness and integrity, will give them a way to participate in reforming our democracy. We need one such leader to step up and organize POD, A Party of Decency!
—Allen Johnson Jr.
November 13, 2020
HATING POLITICIANS? LOVE IS THE ANTIDOTE!
Do you want to poison up your mind? Hate somebody.
Hate is toxic.
Probably the most futile dose of hate you can give yourself is hating a politician (someone in government). The politician knows nothing of your feelings for him or her and is therefore totally immune to your hatred. All the poison remains in you. How can one avoid hating a politician whose ideas are exactly opposite from your own?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg had an answer. She was asked how she—a diehard liberal—could have been friends with Anthony Scalia—a diehard conservative. (They cared deeply about each other.) She said it was because — Scalia had told her: “I attack ideas, not people.” I took a different approach:
Recently I began to develop some negative feelings towards an extremely unlikable congresswoman. At one point, I realized that my feelings about her were approaching hatred. I knew I had to get rid of them Here is my spiritual trick:
I conjured up a mental image of her, put my right arm across her shoulders, smiled at her and gave her a little mental hug. The hatred was gone! Love is the antidote. My beliefs and values are still completely opposite from those of this woman, but I cleared out the poison.
I hate nobody! I may not be the smartest guy in the world, but . . . I’m smart enough not to poison up my own mind. By the way, Fear and Hate create each other. They are equally toxic.
Everything must be grounded in Love!
—Allen Johnson Jr.
October 30, 2020
What is the foundation of our country. Is it the Constitution or the Bill of Rights? No, it is our motto:
IN GOD WE TRUST.
Everything comes from, and must be grounded in, God. If this is true, we need to understand God.
God is Love
Our country is currently bitterly divided. This division is caused by hate and fear, which have poisoned our national culture. This has happened because we have separated from our Foundation.
To heal this division, we must return to God/Love. We must remember how to love our enemies. We won’t have to admire them. We don’t have to vote for them, but we do have to forgive them and show them compassion and kindness. (Kindness, by the way is Love in action!) At worst, our enemies are mistaken, not evil.
We must let Love win!
In so doing, we will once again be grounded in our foundation:
IN GOD WE TRUST
—Allen Johnson Jr.
October 15, 2020
Like acronyms? Here,“POD” stands for:
PARTY OF DECENCY.
Such a party is the key to REFORMING OUR GOVERNMENT and HEALING OUR CURRENT POLITICAL DIVISIVENESS.
A PARTY OF DECENCY will allow us to SHIFT THE POLITICAL FOCUS FROM LIBERAL VERSUS CONSERVATIVE TO:
Most Americans are decent... have good Character. Most of us have some common sense, kindness and integrity . . . In other words, decency.People like us are in the majority. This explains why there are currently more Independents than Democrats or Republicans. The two existing parties, however, have the power, because they are organized. Sadly, both theDemocrat and Republican parties are corrupt (deeply influenced by self-interest and money).
When it comes to voting, currently, Independents are reduced to voting within the confines of candidates selected by two corrupt parties. This must change. If we are to reform our democracy, we must organize as a third majority party, a PARTY OF DECENCY.
CANDIDATES MUST BE CHOSEN FOR HAVING GOOD CHARACTER!
We must drop the old, divisive liberal versus conservative (left versus right) way of thinking. (Some problems need liberal solutions and some problems need conservative solutions.)
A PARTY OF DECENCY must select candidates based on the quality of their character and not on some simplistic black-and-white, us-versus-them way of thinking.
Of course, there are many decent Democrats and decent Republicans, but they have no choice. Given a choice—a third majority party—many will switch.
Only by organizing decent Americans into a third, majority party, will we be able to reform our democracy, come together as a nation.
AND HEAL OUR CURRENT DIVISIVENESS.
We are used to third party efforts creating minority parties that can only be spoilers in an election, but now Independents are a solid majority. By organizing a third party with focus on candidates’ character rather than on left versus right and with powerful leadership, we can create a majority third party and take back our government.
Within the population of decent Americans, there are many with good character and powerful leadership gifts. We never find them running for office. They refuse to participate in the corrupt Republican/Democrat system.Our best leaders are sitting on the sidelines! A third-party... a party built on commonsense, 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 ofIndependents will never happen until one gifted leader steps up and starts it.
SUCH A LEADER MUST:
HAVE HAD DEEP, SUCCESSFUL EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE,
BE HONEST, KIND AND WISE
HAVE COMMON SENSE
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 you create:
POD! THE PARTY OF DECENCY!
—Allen Johnson Jr.
September 7, 2020
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!
PART 1 – MY QUALIFICATIONS
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.
PART 2 – THE MISSING RIGHT
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.
THE MISSING RIGHT
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.
PART 3 – A MAJORITY THIRD PARTY
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!
PART 4 – QUALIFICATIONS
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.
PART 5 – CONCLUSION - TAKING ACTION NOW
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.
June 16, 2020
In 1863, Abe Lincoln called ours a “government of THE PEOPLE, by THE PEOPLE, and for THE PEOPLE.”
He was reminding us that OUR democracy belongs to US. It belongs to ALL of us TOGETHER.
In this sense we are like a family and our government can be thought of as a family-owned business. At first glance, this may seem far-fetched, but the comparison of the United States Congress to a family-owned business provides key insights into what has gone wrong and how to fix it.
Great family-owned businesses are birthed with simple and profound values that are internalized by employees and management and manifest in their behavior. These simple and profound values are a set of truths that everyone in the organization lives by. These core values govern everything and eventually emerge as a “culture of service”. Members of such a company serve each other, their customers and their communities. It sounds like an impossible generalization, but after decades of experience in tracking this phenomenon, I am convinced that it is absolutely true.
Family-ownership of such a business provides the continuity to preserve and nurture the culture of service long term.
The founders intended that our Congress be run like a family-owned business (the family being the people). When an organization is grounded in simple and profound values – that organization automatically shifts from an inward to an outward focus. That outward focus can be identified as a Culture of Service.
The fact is that “We – The Family”, all of us together, are the owners of Congress. It does NOT belong to the “few” - the untouchables in Congress, that embrace a system that practically guarantees them a job for the rest of their lives!
The fact is that OVER 92% of incumbents WIN RE-ELECTION! How can that be when only 10 – 15% of us think they are doing their jobs well? The reason is that the two parties have “BAKED-IN” huge advantages designed to keep incumbents in office for decades. This has created a group of professional politicians and transformed the Congressional culture of service into a Congressional Culture of Contempt (for each other and for the people). This culture of contempt means that Democrats and Republicans cannot work together for the good of the people. The people (the family) could not preserve the culture of service because they have been edged out by professional politicians in favor of special interests, and big money.
In other words, the professional politicians of both parties care more about power than they do about serving the People. They need to be informed that “we – the family” own our democracy, not them.
The only people who deserve to be our representatives in Congress are the ones who understand that government belongs to The People.
The Solution: a self-limiting Term Limit Pledge. It’s a simple tool that empowers any voter with the ability to get involved and take the reins of the family business back from career politicians. When a candidate signs the Term Limit Pledge he or she is not only pledging to limit their time in office, but they are also committing to serve in the public’s interest instead of their own.
If you would like to get started today, simply download the Term Limit Pledge signature kit and follow the included instructions. Just one pledge could change our country for the better!
—Allen Johnson Jr.
April 7, 2020
Returning from the market yesterday, we were surprised to see a sheriff’s patrol car parked alongside our house. It was a lady officer. As I walked to her car, she rolled down the window. She was grinning.
“What’s going on?” I asked her. In the interest of being polite, I won’t quote her, but basically here’s what had happened:
Our neighbors, just across the street owned a delightful, black labradoodle. Another neighbor, further down the street had a female dog. The labradoodle had escaped and very quickly formed a romantic alliance with the female dog.
Witnessing this, the other neighbor had called the police, hence the lady officer. It seems the labradoodle was a repeat offender.
“I hope this isn’t the start of a neighborhood crime wave.” I told my wife.
“No”, she said. “We are simply going to have to get used to living next door to a labradoodle sex offender!
—Allen Johnson Jr.
April 6, 2020
Having been stuck in my home for several weeks, a victim of “social distancing,” I decided to walk around the neighborhood in the hopes of finding someone to talk with. All I found was a brown, skinny hound-like dog who was standing at the end of his driveway barking at me. Well, he was better than nothing, so I decided to answer. I can do two rather credible barks—a small-dog bark and a large-dog bark.
I tried the large-dog bark and the hound looked bored, so I tried the small-dog bark. He responded with enthusiasm. I wasn’t sure what I had said, so I said it again. Same response. I am not sure how long we kept this up, but finally, when he was having his say, I started to think the following:
"This dog is speaking dog and knows what he is saying. His behavior is normal. I, on the other hand, am a human being speaking dog and haven’t a clue what I am saying. My behavior is stupid!"
At this point, I stopped speaking to the dog and looked nervously up and down the street to see who had been watching. (No one wants to be observed behaving stupidly.) Phew! There was nobody on the street. Saved by Social Distancing!
—Allen Johnson Jr.
November 19, 2019
You would think that an organization called TermLimitPledge.org would have one goal: to establish term limits for Congress... and we do! There is a hidden agenda, however.
We the people want our representatives and senators in Congress to be amateurs. The word amateur comes from the Latin verb “to love.” An amateur is one who loves, in this case, our country. Every candidate who signs a term limit pledge declares that he or she is an amateur who loves our country enough to want to serve the people. Here is the rub: for every amateur we elect to Congress, a professional politician (incumbent) must be defeated — thus Our Hidden Agenda: to end the entire class of professional politicians in Congress.
It is very difficult to unseat an incumbent. 90 percent of incumbents are reelected. This 90 percent reelection rate has made it possible for representatives (and senators) to build long-term careers as professional politicians. That was before the term limit pledge, however! Term limits are so popular with the American people that a signed term limit pledge is a game changer in an election. A candidate who signs the term limit pledge can pick up 7 to 10 percent support in an election. In many cases this is enough to unseat an incumbent!
How do we know this?
We are blessed to have Steve Bosch as our Executive Director. For 15 years, Steve, and his company, Brand Truth, did market research for some of America’s biggest companies. His research methods were so accurate that his metrics were relied on by companies such as Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Nintendo, Nike and Coca-Cola. In the first study he did on the potential impact of the term limit pledge, Steve interviewed over 1200 people. The results of this study clearly showed a 7 to 10 percent gain in an election... A game changer!
Clearly we are going to have to educate our candidates that the Term Limit Pledge is a powerful tool to help them unseat the incumbent they are running against. Once this is fully understood, we will be well on the way to achieving our hidden agenda: the elimination of the entire class of professional politicians in Congress.
—Allen Johnson Jr.
November 4, 2019
"Complaining about a problem without offering a solution is called whining." This quote from Pres. Theodore Roosevelt says it all! Complaining is cowardly. To see this, substitute the word “whining” for “complaining.” If you don’t like something, don’t sit around complaining (whining) about it; do something positive about it! Take action!
Consider the politicians you see on television complaining how wrong or unfair the other side is. If you listen to this stuff for very long, you will hear the same nagging complaints over and over, ad nauseam. Every complaint is nothing more than an admission of how helpless the complainer is. Every complaining politician is really admitting over and over that he or she lacks the courage, strength or imagination to take positive action to make things better.
Ironically, street demonstrations do not constitute taking action. Street demonstrations are merely collective whining. They do nothing positive to make things better.
Even the most thoughtful, insightful commentators are doing little more than complaining. Unless they show their audience how to take action, they have contributed nothing positive to correct our national problems. There are two problems that underlie all the others:
1. The first major national problem is the question of ISSUES VERSUS CHARACTER. We are currently electing representatives to Congress on the basis of what they say they are going to do about the issues. They can talk a good game, but once elected, they often don’t do squat!. Our basis for choosing a candidate should be the candidate’s character. Does the candidate have good character? This means:
2. The second major national problem that we face is the fact that OUR POLITICAL SYSTEM HAS BECOME TWISTED. It is no longer responsive to the people. Our political system is now responsive to big-money, special interests and the needs of an elite group of professional politicians and their parties (the Democrat Party and the Republican Party).
Our political system is closed and the people have been shut out, but, If we choose high quality candidates of good character, we will have solved the first problem. Once we have high quality people in Congress, they will solve the second! There is a way we can get ahead of these two problem: VIBE--Voter Influence Before Election.
The tool you can use for this is:
THE TERM LIMIT PLEDGE!
BECOME A "CHALLENGER MEMBER" - Get Your Candidate to Sign THE TERM LIMIT PLEDGE!
—Allen Johnson Jr.
November 3, 2019
Grover Norquist was the first to recognize and use THE POWER OF A PLEDGE.
In 1986, Norquist, a dynamic, far-seeing, young political activist, with the support of President Ronald Reagan, founded Americans for Tax Reform. He connected political candidates to their constituents with a powerful pledge: The Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Once signed by a candidate, the pledge became a binding contract with his or her constituents to never vote to raise taxes.
Today the pledge is offered to every candidate running for state and federal office and to all incumbents. Nearly 1,400 elected officials—from state representatives to governors to Senators and members of the House of Representatives—have signed the pledge.
When a candidate signs a written pledge, the candidate has made a formal promise to his or her constituents. The candidate’s honor as an honest human being is ON THE LINE. This formal, contractual connection between candidate and constituents is nearly impossible to break. Therein lies THE POWER OF A PLEDGE!
Now, the voters—with the help of TermLimitPledge.org—can use the same kind of tool to achieve term limits, one candidate at a time.
—Allen Johnson Jr.
November 1, 2019
I was drafted in 1959, and when I found myself in basic training at Fort Hood, Texas, I was amazed at the diversity in our platoon. The draft didn’t play favorites. We had all kinds of people in our platoon. We had black guys, Hispanics, an American Indian, WASPs, Jewish guys and some tough guys of Italian heritage.
There were guys from all kinds of backgrounds, including one—who, told by a judge to choose between prison or the Army, had chosen the Army. Facing the center of the barracks, to the left of my bunk, was a delightful, innocent young black guy straight out of the Mississippi cotton fields. I don’t think he had ever been off the farm. To my right, was a Harvard graduate. There were steelworkers from Steubenville Ohio and an effeminate guy who repaired pipe organs! Here’s the amazing part: with minor exceptions, we all got along and very quickly became a unit, which is to say, we work together in harmony. What brought us together? Well, we had a common problem: The United States Army, which did not want to treat us with tenderness and respect! They wanted us to do some extremely unpleasant things, but they were democratic about it. All of us had to do them. This brought us together... welded us into a unit. There is no greater catalyst for unity than a common problem.
Very quickly I came to like, respect and even admire most of the guys in my platoon. The Army showed me the value of the wonderful diversity we have in our unique, melting-pot country. If we pull together, nothing can stop us!
Now, however, we find our country badly divided with (as usual) the extremists making the most noise and getting the most attention from the media. Most of us, however, are moderate—either just left of center or just right of center—and most of us are fairly decent people who would prefer unity to the divisive culture of contempt in which we find ourselves. We can come together. All we need is a common problem, and guess what, we have one: the United States Congress. We find ourselves governed by a Congress of professional politicians, many of whom are mainly committed to protecting and furthering their own careers. Over 50 percent of the people in Congress are millionaires Only five percent of ordinary citizens are millionaires. Are people in Congress 10 times smarter than us?
What’s even worse, is the fact that Congress is not doing its job. In mutual dislike, the two parties have created a Congressional Culture of Contempt. With a few exceptions, this culture of contempt has precluded cooperation and compromise and prevented Congress from solving our most pressing national problems. This is a massive failure. Congress is not serving the people.
Congress is our common problem. Let’s come together and—using the Term Limit Pledge and the WORK Pledge—start to solve it! WE, THE PEOPLE, ARE THE BOSS!
—Allen Johnson Jr.
October 9, 2019
From 1933 to 1942, there was a public works program called the CCC, an abbreviation for Civilian Conservation Corps. In our time, CCC stands for Congressional Culture of Contempt.
Every organization develops its own culture, a set of unwritten rules, norms and values that guides the behavior of each member of the organization. Organizations that develop a positive, human, ethical and caring culture function well. Organizations that develop a negative, unethical, uncaring, dog-eat-dog culture barely function at all.
In his beautifully reasoned book, Love Your Enemies, Arthur C. Brooks refers to a Culture of Contempt that is developing in our country and points out that Congress has also fallen victim to this kind of negative thinking. Increasingly, Democrats and Republicans have extreme negative views of each other. This Congressional Culture of Contempt has resulted in the almost total paralysis of Congress. They have made almost no progress in solving the major problems that currently plague our country.
Who is responsible for the Congressional Culture of Contempt? We are! In the United States of America, we the people are the Boss. Harry Truman used to say, “The buck stops here!” In reality, the buck stops with the people and, we allowed the Congressional Culture of Contempt to develop. We the people, therefore, need to confront and remedy this paralyzing problem.
So — In addition to the Term Limit Pledge, using our same VIBE mechanism—our foundation has developed a second pledge called the "WORK Pledge" in which a candidate pledges to help change the Congressional Culture of Contempt to a Congressional Culture of Cooperation.
The two pledges compliment and strengthen each other!
You can download the Work Pledge signature kit here.
—Allen Johnson Jr.
August 10, 2019
Government of the people, by the people, and for the people?
We (the people) get to vote, but the choice of candidates is essentially controlled by the two parties, special interests, and large donors. We (the people) have been marginalized and rendered powerless.
Using contemporary technology and the internet, our foundation, the Serve the People Foundation, has created a revolutionary way to re-empower the people. We call our attempt to return power to the people, “VIBE,” an acronym for Voter Influence Before Elections. Under the VIBE strategy we are creating tools in the form of pledges to empower the people.
The first tool, the Term Limit Pledge, helps assure that a candidate is motivated to serve the people. Thanks to the internet, TermLimitPledge.org has the potential to reach 240 million eligible voters (any voter can ask their candidate to sign the Term Limit Pledge! Research shows that a candidate who “signs the pledge” will gain an extra 4% - 10% range boost in their election vs. an incumbent who hasn’t made a Term Limit Pledge.
We will publicize all signed pledges --- and the name of any candidate who defaults --- on the Term Limit Pledge website (and other media platforms) for all the world to see.
A success with TermLimitPledge.org in the next election, will be a game changer! We will have proved the validity of the VIBE strategy to empower the people.
In addition to the Term Limit Pledge, Serve The People Foundation has developed a new pledge dedicated to enhancing civility between the two parties (See “The WORK Pledge” under the “Get Involved” tab at TermLimitPledge.org).
—Allen Johnson Jr.
July 15, 2019
In the long, complicated political history of humanity, it is clear that we have not found a system of governing that is sure to benefit the common good. The political history of humanity 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 a Congress containing many self-serving, elected representatives who are motivated by a lust for money, power and fame. Our Congress is now mostly millionaire—professional politicians who work to advance their own interests while neglecting the interests of the American people. This negative 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.
Alas, we cannot go back in time and insert this right into the Constitution, but there is a way to stop those who are selfishly motivated from running for Congress: Term Limits! If Congressmen are limited to three terms in the House and two terms in the Senate... and if the problem of selling influence for personal financial gain (lobbying) is fixed, it will be impossible to make a career out of Congress. The entire class of exploitive, professional politicians will disappear. Our government will start to work for the people once again! While we must solve the problem of lobbying, the first challenge we face is to achieve Term Limits for those in Congress.
The polls show roughly 80 percent of voters want congressional term limits. Our representatives know this. If they were motivated to serve the people (give us what we want), they would’ve legislated term limits many years ago. The fact that we do not have what 80 percent of us want, makes it obvious that our representatives are motivated to serve themselves, not the people.
Who are the leaders in the United States? We are! “We, the people.” In a government of the people, for the people and by the people, “we, the people are the leaders. Is it enough that we vote?
No! We need to assert our leadership earlier in the process so that only candidates who are MOTIVATED TO SERVE THE COMMON GOOD are nominated. TAKE ACTION TO ASSURE THIS WITH THE TERM LIMIT PLEDGE!
—Allen Johnson Jr.