How we the people can get off the lose-lose field of reaction, and get on the win-win field of creation.
All those satisfied with governance in America today, raise your hands.
Oh … wait a minute. I see some lobbyists from over on K Street with their hands up. And there’s Congressman What’s-His-Name, the one who’s been indicted for fraud and still is expected to win re-election. Another hand — isn’t that the CEO of Monsanto? No, wait. It’s one of those two Koch Brothers, I forget which.
But wow. As far as I can see, through the vast audience throughout America, no hands are up.
How did the richest, most resourceful, most innovative country in the world lose its middle class?
How did the land of the free come to have the largest percentage of citizens behind bars of any country in the civilized world?
Why does no one trust our national government?
Why does the media have more influence than ever before, and less credibility? Who knows what to believe anymore?
How has it happened that just a few Congressional races are in contest — and yet billions are spent on campaigns?
Why has corruption become “just the way things are” as influence is bought and sold with impunity?
Whatever happened to government of, by and for the people?
And … what can we the people do to restore ethical and trustworthy governance?
For more than 50 years I have held a keen interest in politics, and have pondered the question, how do we create and sustain a healthy, wealthy commonwealth?
My major was political science, and though I never advanced far enough to actually dissect a politician in poly science lab, I did learn one powerful principle, courtesy of Lord Acton: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
That’s why I have been an admirer of our American system of balance of powers, except that all three branches of government now seem to have been captured by the unchecked, unbalanced and unmitigated power of money. A recent article declared that our system of government has devolved into an oligarchy … or maybe a more accurate term is “oiligarchy”.
A New “Independents” Movement is Emerging
As more Americans awaken to the political dysfunction we are facing, and recognize that the missing ingredient in government by the people is … the people … programs and organizations are emerging with exciting new ideas for how to “turn the funk into function” and create transparent and wise governance.
I call this transpartisan movement to overcome the partisan trance an “independents” movement, because a growing number of citizens recognize that their interests — and the interests of the greater commonwealth — are independent of both political parties. A Gallup poll this past spring indicated that some 42% of American voters consider themselves “independents”, with 31% identifying as Democrats, and just 25% as Republicans. When we realize that voter turnout in 2014 was just 36.4% — lowest since World War II — we can truly say that the overwhelming “winner” in 2014 was “None of the Above”.
Of course, when voters stay home because of disgust, disheartenment, cynicism and apathy the de facto winner is the corrupt system.
So what can be done? How can the energy of frustration and anger be used constructively to transform the system? How do we empower a wise and functional transpartisan independents movement to do an “intervention” on a system too sick to fix itself?
How can we get off the lose-lose field of reaction, and get on the win-win field of creation? How do we unite transpartisans and independents in a strategy that will “overgrow” the current system?
An important first step is the Wiki Politiki project designed to bring together and curate the most promising ideas, and at the same time build an “Independents” community, narrative and movement. In partnership with the Virtual Country Foundation, whose mission is to “give direct voice to the wishes and priorities of the people unfettered by the influences of unregulated corporate and other special interests”, Wiki Politiki will:
Select and interview key “solutionaries” whose work offers promise to the independents movement, record and transcribe these interviews and make them available for free to the general public.
Develop a Wiki Politiki podcast to broadcast these interviews, and other conversations that build the independents movement and develop ideas into strategies.
Produce a book, Healing the Body Politic, that aggregates and contextualizes the best ideas and projects, to be published early in 2016.
As a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, the Virtual Country Foundation is positioned to accept tax-deductible contributions that will fund this project. If you’re tired of your political contributions going to reinforce an unworkable political system, here is an opportunity to make a “non-political” contribution to help cultivate and curate the wiser voice of we the people.
To launch, we are looking for 50 individuals (or groups of individuals) willing to contribute $100 (more is OK too) before the end of the year. When we reach this threshold amount in pledges, we will call for the actual contribution. That way, you only contribute knowing the full amount is in place to accomplish the initial interviews. If you are interested in supporting this venture now, please let me know as soon as possible, and include the amount pledged.
— Steve Bhaerman
To find out more about how you can help fund this endeavor, please contact Steve Bhaerman firstname.lastname@example.org