Printed: 2020-07-09

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Fourteen Reforms to Rescue USA Democracy

Hank Pellissier

Brighter Brains Institute

November 27, 2019

The USA is a sub-par, wretchedly-flawed ‘democracy.’

A Princeton/Northwestern study suggests the US government more closely resembles an oligarchy or a corporatocracy than a democracy because “economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”

The 2018 Democracy Index ranks the USA #25 in the world behind currently-rioting Chile and longtime sex-slave-trafficking Mauritius. Only 40-50% of American vote; a statistic far, far, far below average for a developed nation. 

USA DEMOCRACY SUCKS. The “Land of the Free” never really was, but it’s worsening quickly, crippled by narcissistic leaders and paralyzed institutions. What can we do? 

To gain actual ‘Rule by the People’ let’s follow these 14 steps: 

Abolish the Senate: This 100-body assembly is shamelessly warped. Wyomingans get 70X the representation as Californians; Senators representing just 16% of the population can pass a bill. Send them home & cancel the checks. 

Abolish Electoral College: The 21st century already elected two less-popular Presidents due to this byzantine, anti-egalitarian relic. Let’s snuff it & blot it out of history books so our grandkids won’t know how stupid we were. 

Limit Presidency #1 / End “Commander-In-Chief” status: OMG, the USA hasn’t declared war since Hitler, but we’ve been murdering anyway ever since. Let’s disconnect the POTUS from the Pentagon and let legislature decide.

Limit Presidency #2 / End Veto Power: Congressional decisions have been cancelled by ham-fisted executives 2,580 times & this is near-impossible to override due to the 2/3 majority requirement. Veto the veto. 

Limit Presidency #3 / Eviction from White House: Why did a rebel anti-tyrannical nation install celebrity demigods in a lavish palace? EVICT! Get a Potomac apartment; WH can be a Democracy Museum.

Abolish the Presidency: Saw me aiming this way, didn’t ya? Let’s defenestrate the bloated POTUS position & demand the 435 Congresspeople to work cooperatively. If they’re annoying, they only have 2-year terms so they’re easy to get rid of. 

Adopt Parliamentary Government: DC - POTUS + Senate = Parliament, with Speaker of the House as Prime Minister. If this sounds sickeningly-British to you, read the studies. Presidential governments are destined to be unstable with coups d’etats & assassinations, plus their populations are poorer.  Let’s escape!

Tear Up Constitution: We could have & probably should have done this first. Dimwits who view it as ‘sacred text’ will snivel, but truth is it’s a horrid four pages of parchment. Its worst fault is rigidity; out of 11,000 amendments proposed since 1789, only 27 have passed. 

End Gerrymandering: This corrupt, cowardly practice was conceived by Governor Gerry of Massachusetts, who shaped a partisan district like a salamander in 1812. The remedy? Ask an apolitical robot to draw the lines. 

Only Public-Funded Elections (ban corporate & private donations): This reform would be a world’s 1st, but it’s essential if we truly want ‘one person, one vote’ instead of may-the-best-beggar-or-richest-candidate-win. Nominees would get cash & public airtime from the government. Recruiting volunteers might sway the day?

Break up Major Media: Glenn Greenwald says mainstream media spreads “patriotic state propaganda.” Noam Chomsky says its goal is “manufacturing consent” for war and voter manipulation.  Today six companies control 90% of media. What to do? Let us break up big media into hundreds of small autonomous units, to resurrect neighborhood newspapers. 

Supreme Court Reform: “Justice for life terms” is another foolish idea to discard; replace it with 6 years max. Judges should also be elected by the general public. Going further, SCOTUS could be dumped entirely; just let state courts decide.  

Direct Democracy: Referendums & Plebiscites: Here’s a fossilized concept from 1700’s: Let us select representatives to travel to the capital and speak up for our interests. ??? Today, that’s needless & dis-empowering! Every US citizen can easily be connected to issues & vote with a smart phone, via responses to text messages.

Decentralize Power / Adopt Rojava Confederalism: Kurds in northern Syria established multiethnic, grassroots, green, secular, feminist ‘openDemocracy’ in three cantons, using ideas formulated by US political philosopher Murray Bookchin. “Neighborhood assemblies” formed the initial block of this bottom-up structure. Let’s try it.

Hank Pellissier serves as IEET Managing Director and is an IEET Affiliate Scholar.


Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
IEET, 35 Harbor Point Blvd, #404, Boston, MA 02125-3242 USA
phone: 860-428-1837