The Voices of Change are Varied and Growing
Clearly, we are not the only (or the first) group anxious to see changes made to improve the shockingly bad recent performance of our Congress. We do believe we are different from others in several respects:
First, we are, for good or bad, probably more analytical than most enthusiastic social media activists, and will work harder to provide quantitative data (and words!) to support both our "indictments" of the current threats, and our suggested remedies. We cannot resolve these ourselves: we seek to illuminate the full scope of the threat to our future.
Second, we are looking for long-range solutions --like "reboot Congress" -- and not to score a single success -- like "get rid of Citizens United"; we will not advocate for particular candidates, or sign Internet petitions; we are skeptical of quickie solutions -- like meetings outside Congressional offices; and we are not looking for solutions "on the cheap" by arbitrary Federal program cuts;
Third, we are convinced that if our Constitution is to remain our guiding document, both necessary and sufficient to America's continued global "exceptionalism"', it will require substantial -- and continuous -- modernization. We surely do not believe that our unborn children will prosper under the guidelines of our already-dead predecessors.
In this regard, we believe that Constitution must officially become a "living instrument", and should, by its own fiat, be the subject of automatically re-assembled Constitutional Conventions every few years (say, four). Blocking the next convention -- and not asking "what's next" -- should be as unthinkable as skipping the next presidential election;
The presumptive instigators of each Convention should be the States, collectively, and not the Congress. We see the Congress as far more in need of "rebooting" than the States, and much less likely to "fix itself". A small rotating group of Governors could chair each Convention;
Consistent with this approach, we believe the States are far better spokesmen for "we, the people" than their Congressional representatives whose corruption by special interests has become so patently endemic ("so few targets, so much money!").
Fourth, we believe that rapidly emerging communication technologies (currently providing such worrisome distractions for our kids), can be harnessed to conduct state-run electronic opinion polls to provide accurate reflections of "the people's" desires, and extended for use in all state-run elections. Providing quick decisions on Constitutional amendments is a natural extension of the increasingly successful States' process of adopting/dismissing "propositions".
Moreover, these technologies could increase "personal" polling/voting system flexibility to "keep the polls open" until some reasonable fraction of registered voters have responded, for instance, or, if so desired, to keep track of those who did or didn't vote, for whatever system of reward/penalty incentives may be invoked. Why ever should American "voters turnout" be the lowest among 34 "developed" nations?
Fifth, NARPAC finds the modern American culture far too fixated on our "inalienable rights", many of them either stated or inferred in the Constitution, as amended. In fact, that document as originally adopted, deals almost solely with establishing the framework for its intended "republic" form of government, while most amendments deal with citizens' rights within that "'good-leader/good-follower" concept.
Appropriately, our Constitution focuses on federal legislative duties, but there is no mention of requisite skills or morality: such tacit assumptions of competence and/or ethics seem sadly out of place these days. Moreover, nowhere in the body of the Constitution or its appendages, is the matter of citizens' responsibilities and/or obligations (such as voting-- or paying taxes) even mentioned. The reason: such burdens on "the people" were state concerns and would only arise after the "republic" had morphed into a real democracy --at that time, unimaginable.
It is easy for modern Americans to jumble together the various historic documents that combine to form our new and still evolving form of government. But it is clear that the several steps taken by the emigrants to split off from the King of Great Britain were intended primarily to shake off a deeply disrespectful and remote government and replace it with a much more considerate government supposedly "of the people and for the people". But the real concept of a participatory government by the people came only from Lincoln's Gettysburg address -- nearly 100 years after our Constitution was nailed down. Only this deep involvement by the people demands their full commitment.
Sixth, Americans seem well aware that we cannot hold our own in global business without a competitive level of education, but are much less demanding of both our legislators and their voting constituents to comprehend what they are doing as well. NARPAC is toying with the idea of linking together our public school system (staff and students) and our elective political system (office holders and their staffs) at the local level -- in the hopes of substantially increasing the credibility and participation of each.
Seventh, NARPAC believes very strongly that the outlook for the world as we know it depends on anticipating the various long-range physical, chemical and biological changes now threatening our future. We believe that the trivialization of our political system, whether by oversimplification, corruption, or indifference, threatens our culture just as seriously. We cannot survive on "sound bites", liberty, or the hell-bent pursuit of today's happiness.
One way or another, our Constitution must oblige us to: pay attention to what's going on and what we're doing to ourselves; respect pragmatism over fanaticism; and accept some responsibility for our own future -- it is certainly not guaranteed by Our Creator. In fact, as your typical high school world history teacher will tell you, every civilization since their beginnings has fallen as a result of "greed, corruption, and internal fighting".
-- end --Copyright © 2013 Narpac, Inc. All Rights Reserved.