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My Vote Is For Sale
10/19/2011 | Publius

Posted on 10/20/2011 7:00:26 AM PDT by Vintage Freeper


    The problems America faces today originate in Washington. It is fallacious reasoning to suggest that the problem lies with the people of the United States. Our government was formed as a constitutional (read that as a written contract that carefully defines and severely restricts who and how the contract can be changed) republic after the Founders overwhelmingly rejected the idea of a democracy. Our republic was predicated on the theory that those elected to public office would have some combination of higher moral standards, greater intellectual competence, more educational skills, and broader experiences than the electorate and that those elected public leaders would have the strength of character to use their superior collective wisdom to do what they believed to be right for the country and within the restraints of the Constitution even if it meant voting against the wishes of a significant majority of the electorate. During most of the past century, the political class has demonstrably failed to lead, but have instead become political prostitutes selling laws and benefits in exchange for votes. By using the Treasury to buy the votes of their constituents, career politicians have transformed our Constitutional republic into a democracy by surrogates that is destined for bankruptcy. Part of the solution is to change the rules of how candidates must bid for our individual votes!

    As one voice among We the people, it is time to withhold the delegation of that power by only delegating it to selected politicians and then only with strings attached.

    Ronald Reagan won two landslide elections by telling Americans he was going to cut the government in Washington down to size. The Contract with America gave the Republicans control of both houses of Congress for the first time in roughly thirty years. The lesson that Republicans seem to have difficulty in learning is that the people are conservative and when presented a conservative agenda they will vote for it. And conversely, as the 2006 and 2008 elections confirmed, when pandering is all that is offered, the public has shown a distinct preference for the real prostitutes. We have a solution to this problem. It is called the

Contract with Congress

    There was a time when political campaigns provided candidates three significant opportunities. First they could explain their ideas to the public about how they proposed to lead the country and why. Second, they could actively debate the merits of their ideas in opposition to their opponents' views. And third, the public could ask questions or express their concerns about the candidate's ideas as well as raise issues that might not be being addressed at all. Television-based campaigns substitute propaganda for the discussion or debate of ideas, and campaign promises or propaganda (the deliberate attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate opinions, and direct behavior instead of impartially providing information) are poor substitutes for written contracts.

    We are not giving our votes to anybody in November.

We have decided to auction our votes in each November's Congressional elections as politicians are already very familiar with using taxpayers' money and transfer payment benefits to bid for and to buy votes. Using this political framework, politicians are going to have to bid for our votes, but the price of those votes will not be measured in money or benefits. We have decided not to exclude any particular politicians or parties from the bidding. And We have decided to attach some rules to the bidding itself:

  1. There is a minimum bid.
  2. Anyone defaulting on any part of the minimum bid will be barred from consideration for future auctions.

  3. A public pledge to guarantee to bring the minimum bid to the floor for a vote may be accepted in lieu of a written and signed contract, but anyone offering a written and signed contract similar in format to the Contract with America will be given preference.
  4. Any part of the minimum bid or "contract" not enacted into law will be supported and returned to the floor in the next or subsequent sessions of Congress as required until enacted into law.
  5.  If there are no acceptable bids for our votes in Congressional races per the rules above, our votes (normally Republican, commonly straight ticket) will not be cast at all. Here is a simple illustration to help you understand how this can be leveraged into enormous political power. In Saddam Hussein's Iraq, there were hundreds, if not thousands of men who had the power to condemn other men to death. The power to lawfully condemn men to death is indeed awesome power. But in Hussein's Iraq, only Saddam had the power to grant a reprieve for a condemned man. Real power is the ability to withhold something deemed essential and that no one else has the power to grant. If the members of Rush's audience were to delegate him the authority to negotiate the Contract with Congress, and delegate to him the power to withhold their votes from candidates not willing to sign the Contract or from any officeholders that didn't live up to their pledge, the leverage would be almost irresistible for Republican politicians. And in turn, the Contract with Congress, used in conjunction and coordinated with Reagan Wing targeting, would have the same effect as a powerful magnet pulling Democrats, wanting to stay in office at any cost, in the same direction.
  6. Despite the superficial resemblance, the Contract with Congress differs significantly from the Contract with America. In the Contract with America, Republicans sought power by reaching out and promising certain things to conservative Americans. In the Contract with Congress, freedom-loving Americans will bestow power on Republicans who unite in Congress to deliver on the demands made by freedom-seeking Americans. During the period of time for the abolition of socialism and before Term Limits have become a reality, instead of law flowing from Congress to the people, We the people will hand the law down to a Congress that has not yet proven that it can be trusted. History has proved that in the absence of Term Limits for members of both Congress and the Federal Judiciary, the checks and balances of the three branches of government are not adequate to constrain government within its Constitutional leash. The Contract with Congress provides a simple and easy way for We the people to reassert our authority and restore the Constitution without having to resort to violence or revolution, or even public demonstrations.

  7. How do we get the existing Republicans and even the Democrats in Congress to vote for Term Limits? How can we provide incentives to Reagan Wing candidates and future statesmen to seek office forsaking their existing careers for limited terms in Congress? The current Congressional Retirement Plan is a significant piece of the puzzle. We the people must be willing to exercise our prerogatives to make law. If the current members of Congress vote for Term Limits, We will allow them to keep their retirement plan intact. If they refuse, We will revoke their retirements completely, replacing the current plan with a plan that gives them the same benefits as any other Social Security recipient. And We will keep the current plan for all future Congressmen and Senators who serve at least eight years in office and votes to repeal the XVIth and XVIIth Amendments. We will also remind them of our option to call a Constitutional Convention if members of Congress want to challenge the ex post facto repeal of their retirement plan in Federal Courts.

Minimum Bid:

  1. Complete scrapping of Title 26, Subtitle A-Income Taxes.
  2. Replacement of the Income Tax with the Fair Tax, the Flat Tax, a combination of the two or simply a return to tariffs.

  3. The growth of government spending is unacceptable. We not only want it stopped; We demand that it be reversed by cutting every government agency by at least 5% per cent per year for at least the next several years. Every election year will provide the opportunity to re-evaluate to determine whether or not the rate of reduction should be adjusted for future years.
  4. No more socialism. That means no new payments to individuals except for services rendered or goods purchased. That means no new grants to organizations, public or private, and no new grants to state or local governments.
  5. Immediately begin the voluntary privatization of Social Security based on the Cato model.
  6. Appointment of a Presidential commission to initiate the abolition of Medicare, Medicaid and every other social welfare program.
  7. Amend the Constitution to provide for Term Limits for members of Congress and the Federal Judiciary.

This is only the Minimum. There are a number of suggested options that our Reagan Wing statesmen could add now or that WE could add in future contracts for future elections.

Suggested Additions:

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Politics/Elections; Your Opinion/Questions
There is an old adage that is relevant to understanding this article: "The majority is almost always wrong, and on the rare occasion when the majority is right, it's always for the wrong reasons."

The paradox is the majority thinks the vote of politicians can be readily bought by campaign contributions. The truth is that political campaigns are diversions that distract the public from ever recognizing the truth. Politicians are not bought with campaign contributions, politicians use the public treasury to buy the votes of their constituents. Bread, circuses, and socialism are how rulers (whether self-appointed or elected) have gained and maintained their power since the beginning of government.

It would also be a mistake to believe there is no flip side to this coin. Politicians can be legally bought, and there are no affordable laws that can prevent it. Pension plans (public and private) hire "retired" politicians as consultants, officers, and managers. There is also no way to prevent corporations, businesses, or state and local governments from doing the same. It is almost impossible to overestimate how large the "posted elected officeholder" lobby industry has become nor is there a foreseeable way to limit it or its perpetual growth absent Term Limits.

But there is a very important paradox that is extremely difficult for most people to see. Political power is not created for voters who sell their votes. The voters can affect the price at which they "sell" their votes, but no political power is generated in the process as long as everybody knows the votes are there to be purchased and that only the price is in question. These battles are fought in Congress in the form of tax reductions or increases and entitlement growth or limited growth entitlement growth. These battles effect peoples lives, but are again distractions and diversions from the issues that actually matter.

Real political power comes from being able to completely withhold your vote, or better yet to withhold a block of votes, and the larger the block the larger the amount of leverage created, especially in close elections.

More and more Americans are becoming aware that "public education" is an oxymoron, an illusion at best. Polling data shows that almost any issue can be polled and forty percent will be in favor, forty percent opposed, and twenty percent undecided. Thomas Edison once said, "Five percent of people think. Ten percent of people think they think. And the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think."

Teddy Roosevelt did not like William Howard Taft, the incumbent Republican President. Teddy tried and failed to take the Republican nomination away from Taft. Undeterred, and with financing for his campaign from the Rockerfellers and Morgans, Teddy ran on a third-party ticket. The Rockerfellers and Morgans also financed Wilson's campaign and it was Wilson's campaign finance chairman who became Secretary of the Treasury. Wilson won the 1912 election with only 42% of the total vote. That fateful election was the beginning of the end for the United States. The following is a quote attributed to Wilson, ""I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."

Ross Perot's Reform Party helped or allowed Bill Clinton to beat an incumbent Republican eighty years later and Ralph Nader's Green Party was almost certainly an undeniable factor in the 2000 election.

Third party elections provide some proof of the political paradox being discussed. Every third party vote is A VOTE that has been withheld from one of the two evenly divided major parties. Something akin to third party candidates bargaining their leveraged political power appears in the 1800 election where Thomas Jefferson became the ultimate victor of the process.

Estimates appear on the internet that Free Republic could have as many as 300,000 members or more. No one knows how many lurkers frequent the site. And if we estimate average household size at 1.5 voters, is it reasonably possible that a well-organized effort on Free Republic could determine the outcome of an election? By way of example, there can be little or no doubt that Free Republic's efforts led to the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

Free Republic is made up of independent freedom-loving individuals. "Group think" is not part of the character trait of individuals. Organizing Free Republic brings to mind the image of someone trying to herd cats. Having said that, our small group sees the United States in the same light as the Titanic headed toward the iceberg in the cold waters of the North Atlantic. We believe there is still time to change course in time to avoid the soon to be inevitable crash, sinking, and unthinkable aftermath.

Our small group is convinced our plan is sound and that it can work if it's tried and correctly applied. We have been at this long enough to know that the chances it is going to be tried are slim. But when the odds are extremely high that catastrophe is at hand, SLIM is a lot better than none.

There is another very important political factor to consider when considering tactics that involve withholding votes or voting for third parties. This project is NOT an exercise to use revenge as a way to teach the Republican Party a lesson. Throwing elections to Democrats in order to teach Republicans would be self-defeating. This project is about building a conservative coalition that is large enough that the Republican Party leadership would know that it is the Republican Party that must yield to the conservative coalition. And part of the purpose in building this large coalition is to show and teach not just Republicans, but all Americans the economic and quality of life benefits that are gained by following policies based on freedom, free-market principles, and logical economic thinking. The United States was borne through efforts to increase individual freedom and this Renaissance is going to be spawned on the same principles. This is not about Republicans losing elections; it is about showing them how to win and increase the gains.

After taking my oath when I joined the USAF, I was told about the BMICC- the "big mother in complete control." At Free Republic, that would be Jim Robinson. Is there anybody here who can convince Jim Robinson that what Free Republic and WE the people really need is a "cat-herder" willing to unify a herd and lead them in a new direction before our ship hits the point of no return.

"We have it in our power to begin the world over again."

1 posted on 10/20/2011 7:00:28 AM PDT by Vintage Freeper
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To: Vintage Freeper; Jeff Head; Cen-Tejas; sport; MWS; seekthetruth; Liz; ForGod'sSake; DollyCali; ...


2 posted on 10/20/2011 7:01:38 AM PDT by Vintage Freeper
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To: Vintage Freeper

Romney is dead to me.

3 posted on 10/20/2011 7:13:22 AM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: SaraJohnson
Romney is dead to me.

Send him a fish.

4 posted on 10/20/2011 7:19:34 AM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Pearls Before Swine

I’d have to move to the dead fish city, Chicago.

6 posted on 10/20/2011 7:30:26 AM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: Vintage Freeper
You didn't mention Tort Reform. Reducing Regulation needs to be done in conjunction with Corporate and Medical Tort Reform. I do not know exactly what good (fair) Tort reform looks like. But... For Class Action, Corporate and Medical suits, I would recommend a mandatory Escrow account whereby the Prosecuting attorney in all civil cases must put 50% (or a bond of 50%) of what they are seeking in total damages. Then, if the court is either thrown out or ruled frivolous by the judge, the state keeps the money. If it goes to trial and the prosecution loses, the defense keeps the money. Otherwise, the lawyers get their money back along with fees they earned in the corporate lawsuit.

I think this would at least get some actual skin in the game for lawyers. They would have to put some level of risk into their effort. It would make them actually consider their chance of a valid suit and consider real potential monetary damages to seek.

Most importantly, it would provide the defense some incentive to fight frivolous lawsuits instead of settling for pennies on the dollar to make it go away and extenuating the precedents.

7 posted on 10/20/2011 7:53:37 AM PDT by Tenacious 1 (Government For the People - an obviously concealed oxymoron)
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To: Vintage Freeper
Weary But Not Beaten!

Click The Pic To Donate

Consider Becoming A Monthly Donor

8 posted on 10/20/2011 8:30:14 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are here! What will you do?)
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