Franklin D. Roosevelt
To exercise our power as “the ultimate rulers of our democracy” we must unite in support of candidates who support the legislation that makes up the Democracy Agenda. We must make support for that legislation our top priority in deciding which candidates to support. We must temporarily set aside our differences of opinion regarding the wedge issues that divide us (abortion, gun control, gay rights, immigration, taxes, and the proper role of government).
To believe in democracy means to agree that major political decisions (what laws should be enacted, what rights should be secured and protected, and the form of the government) should be made by "the voters of this country"– not by government officials, politicians, or Supreme Court justices.
The election of 2024 is going to be a referendum on democracy. That is not a matter that is up for discussion or debate. It is simply the way things are and the way things are going to be.
The sides in the never-ending contests between democracy and autocracy and between freedom and tyranny. are not Democrats versus Republicans or liberals versus conservatives. The sides in the campaign to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” and to make America a perfect democracy are Champions of Democracy on one side, and the false friends and true enemies of democracy, on the other side. Which side are you on?
If you believe that we are all endowed by Our Creator with unalienable rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness - you are a Champion of Democracy.
If you believe the primary reason we institute governments among us is to secure and protect our rights - you are a Champion of Democracy.
If you believe that we, the people of America, should decide what rights are secured and protected by our government (not Supreme Court justices or politicians who do not truly represent the will of the people) - you are a Champion of Democracy.
If you believe that governments derive their "just powers from the consent of the governed" - you are a Champion of Democracy.
If you believe in majority rule - you are a Champion of Democracy.
If you believe that "the consent of the governed" is only properly obtained when everyone who is governed by the acts of a government has an equal vote or truly equal representation as major political decisions are made - you are a Champion of Democracy.
If you support the legislation included in the Democracy Agenda - you are a Champion of Democracy.
If you believe it is our Right and our Duty to alter the form of our government when our government is not a true democracy - you are a Champion of Democracy.
In a referendum on democracy, for democracy to win, we need a plurality of the voters in a majority of the states, congressional districts, and legislative districts to vote for Champions of Democracy.
To make it as easy as possible for voters to identify Champions of Democracy, we have posted a list of the Champions of Democracy who are already serving in Congress and state legislatures. That list will be updated regularly and will include all the incumbents in Congress and state legislatures who have sponsored or cosponsored any of the legislation included in the Democracy Agenda and any non-incumbent candidates who have posted a clear statement of support for legislation included in the Democracy Agenda on their campaign website.
We need a majority of VOTERS in every state to be well-educated, well-informed and respectful of the rights of others -
and to understand the essential elements of democracy, recognize Champions of Democracy, and vote for them.
We need POLITICALLY ACT IVE CITIZENS to focus their time and money on candidates who are true Champions of Democracy.
We need CHAMPIONS OF DEMOCRACY on the ballot for every seat in Congress and all 50 state legislatures.
We need PRO-DEMOCRACY LEGISLATORS to sponsor and cosponsor the legislation included in the Democracy Agenda.
(We need to support incumbents who support democracy, regardless of party,
and focus on finding candidates to replace legislators who do not support the legislation included in the Democracy Agenda.)
Once we have elected legislators who support democracy to a majority of the seats
in both houses of Congress and both houses of a state legislature,
the legislation included in the Democracy Agenda will be enacted, and we will have A PERFECT DEMOCRACY.
PHASE ONE: GET THE LEGISLATION THAT MAKES UP THE DEMOCRACY AGENDA DRAFTED AND INTRODUCED
Members of Congress and state legislatures do not ordinarily draft and submit legislation that has no realistic chance of being enacted in a legislative session. We need to find at least one Champions of Democracy in each chamber of Congress and each chamber of every state legislature who will draft and introduce the legislation called for in the Democracy Agenda even if there is little chance of it passing in 2024. That will make it easy for us to identify the incumbents who are Champions of Democracy and give them our support.
Within our present political system, members of Congress and state legislatures are most likely to respond to requests from their own constituents - the people who can vote for (or against) them. It is, therefore, very important for as many citizens as possible to contact their own senators and representatives to encourage them to draft and introduce the legislation included in the Democracy Agenda. Much of the legislation in the Democracy Agenda needs to be enacted by Congress.
At the state level our focus should be on the four foundational reforms (Proxies for Citizens, Perfect Democracy Amendments, and both forms of ranked choice voting (single winner and multiple-member districts).
PHASE TWO: RECRUIT COSPONSORS
Once the legislation included in the Democracy Agenda has been introduced, we need to get members of Congress and state legislatures who believe in democracy to make their support the Democracy Agenda clear by signing on as cosponsors to the legislation included in the Democracy Agenda.
PHASE THREE: GET PUBLIC STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT FROM NON-INCUMBENT CANDIDATES
As the filing period for candidates opens (and closes) in various states, we need to get non-incumbent candidates who believe in and support democracy to make public statements of support for Pure Democracy Amendments and the rest of the legislation included in the Democracy Agenda.
Our goal should be to have at least one candidate who supports the Democracy Agenda on the ballot in every state and district for congressional elections and election to state legislatures.
When an incumbent does not support the Democracy Agenda, we need to do our best to recruit one or more candidates who do support the Democracy Agenda to run in both major party primaries. It will be especially important to recruit a candidate for the major party that is dominant in districts that have been gerrymandered to strongly favor one of the two major parties.
We need to encourage every non-incumbent candidate for Congress and state legislatures to post statements of support for the legislation included in the Democracy Agenda on their campaign website and notify us when they have done so. We will be posting links to the appropriate pages on the websites of Champions of Democracy on our website. Our primary focus throughout the election will be on various ways to encourage voters and politically active citizens to visit our website before deciding what candidates to support with their time, money, and votes.
PHASE FOUR: CONDUCT UNOFFICIAL PRIMARIES (AS NEEDED)
Except in Maine and Alaska (where ranked choice voting is already in place), when there is more than one candidate in a primary election who supports the Democracy Agenda and other candidates who do not, we will need to conduct some sort of unofficial primary election to unite behind a single Champion of Democracy and to minimize or neutralize the “spoiler effect”.
When an incumbent in Congress supports the Democracy Agenda, they deserve our support across party lines and regardless of their position on other issues. If a challenger has made a clear and firm pledge to support the Democracy Agenda, especially if that challenger is from the opposing major party, voters who are members of one or the other of the two major parties will understandably want to take advantage of that fact to vote for the candidate of their own party.
When a Congressional incumbent does not support the Democracy Agenda, we need to do our best to recruit candidates who do support the Democracy Agenda to run in both major party primaries. It will be especially important to recruit a candidate for the major party that is dominant n districts that have been gerrymandered to strongly favor one of the two major parties.
When the primaries are over, if both major party candidates in a state or district support Democracy Agenda, voters can cast their votes based on other issues. If only one major party candidate who supports democracy is on the ballot, we need to support that candidate even if we disagree with their position on other issues.
When only one major party candidate supports the Democracy Agenda, we need to avoid running or supporting any minor party or independent candidates (except in Maine or Alaska where ranked choice voting has eliminated concerns about the "spoiler effect"). If neither major party candidate supports democracy, if there is more than one minor party or independent candidate who support the Democracy Agenda, we need to identify the candidate with the best chance of winning and unite in support of that candidate.
Within our “winner-take-all” system, with plurality winners and single-member districts, if there is more than one pro-democracy candidate on the ballot in a given state or district, we need to provide some means of uniting in support of one pro-democracy candidate, especially if there is only one antidemocratic candidate on the ballot. In those cases, we must convene a pro-democracy caucus, convention, or unofficial primary election in order to avoid splitting the pro-democracy vote.
PRIORITIZE U.S. SENATE RACES
Getting two-thirds of the members of the U. S. Senate to support the constitutional amendments called for in the Democracy Agenda will be our biggest challenge. The fact that senators serve significantly longer terms than representatives makes voting anti-democratic senators out of office in every election especially important. We need to make support for the Democracy Agenda the key consideration of as many voters as possible as they decide which candidates for the U. S. Senate to support.
SUPPORT CANDIDATES FOR STATE LEGISLATURES WHO SUPPORT PERFECT DEMOCRACY AMENDMENTS, PROXIES, AND RANKED CHOICE VOTING
Getting constitutional amendments ratified by three-fourths of the states will also be a major challenge. Introducing resolutions of support for the legislation included in the Democracy Agenda is the most obvious means of determining which members of state legislatures support genuine democracy and which members need to be replaced by a champion of democracy. Hopefully such resolution will be adopted by state legislatures, but simply introducing such resolutions will enable us to identify which incumbents support the Pure Democracy Amendment, even if the resolution is not adopted.
Those among us who contribute time and/or money to candidates for office have additional leverage with candidates. We need to make it clear that we will only contribute time and money to candidates who support Proxies for Citizens, Pure Democracy Amendments and Online Accounts for Politically Active Citizens. Regardless of what other issues concern us, we need to realize that we are not likely to see meaningful action on any of the many issues that have popular support until we fix our broken, dysfunctional, and antidemocratic political system. Once we have made America a perfect (or at least a true) democracy, we will see action on ALL of the issues that concern us.
If enough of us withhold our support from incumbents who have not signed on to the legislation included in the Democracy Agenda, that legislation is more likely to be introduced. If enough of us simply refuse to support candidates who do not support democracy, candidates who do support democracy will emerge – and they will have a better chance of winning elections.
The key to making America a perfect democracy is to elect Champions of Democracy to a majority of the seats in Congress and state legislatures .
USE THE INITIATIVE TO GET PERFECT DEMOCRACY AMENDMENTS ON THE BALLOT
There are fifteen states that already provide for both referendums and the initiative for both statutes and constitutional amendments in their constitutions. Those states are: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and South Dakota.
A campaign to get a Perfect Democracy Amendment on the ballot in Missouri is already underway. Time is running short to submit petitions in the other 14 states. The details of getting constitutional amendments on the ballot vary from state to state but require collecting a lot of signatures by a deadline in every state. We would need to get petitions drafted and submitted and organize campaigns to gather signatures as soon as possible in those states. It would require major organizational support to collect enough signatures by the various deadlines.
ENCOURAGE CANDIDATES FOR OFFICE TO LEAD PETITION DRIVES
In Missouri, we are encouraging candidates who are running for office or people who are even thinking about running for office, to takie an active and leading role in getting petitions for the Perfect Democracy Amendment signed by the May 5th deadline. If we succeed in getting the Perfect Democracy Amendment on the ballot, we are confident it will be approved by voters.
Citizens in states with the initiative could (and should) enact Perfect Democracy Amendments to make it easier to use the referendums and the initiative. That will shift political power from special interests that dominate state legislatures and vest all political power in the people.
The rulers of America will spend a great deal of money seeking to keep democracy from breaking out. And they will use that money to spread a lot of misinformation and disinformation about the dangers of “mob rule” and the “tyranny of the majority”. Those of us who are excited by the prospect of democracy breaking out need to invest a lot of time (and, yes, some money) educating voters about the many true blessings of pure democracy.
They have the money. We have the votes. And our votes are not for sale.
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The material on this website is adapted from a soon to be published book: Government by the People: A Citizen's Guide to Making America a Perfect Democracy by Winston Apple.
This website was created by, is maintained by, and paid for by Winston Apple, Content is Copyright 2024 Gary Winston Apple, unless noted..
Permission is granted to share with proper attribution. All Rights Reserved.
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