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Part Two: The political process has changed in this country.
And the change has not been for the better.

“I confidently trust that the American people will prove themselves too wise not to detect the false pride or the dangerous ambitions or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under that deceptive cry of mock patriotism: ‘Our country, right or wrong!’ They will not fail to recognize that our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of TRUE patriotism: Our country–when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.” - Carl Schurz

America, it is time to put our country right.

First, we must accept a few harsh realities. The law has been changed. Now corporate money is guaranteed the same political rights as individuals. This means that you, the individual, will never again be able to influence the political system because you cannot compete against the financial wherewithal of businesses. And most importantly for a functioning democratic republic, like ours is supposed to be, this new change essentially prevents small competitors from entering races against the richly backed corporate sponsored major parties. In essence, it kills the real threat of any independent challenger.

Large Political Action Committees, called PACs, can now accumulate as much money as they want to apply to the candidates of their choice. The scale of economics in election politics have now gone beyond any sense of reality and far beyond the ability of individual voters to have any effect on the political process.

It’s estimated that it can now take as much as a quarter to a half billion dollars to get elected to Federal office. That’s $250 to $500 million per candidate. Multiply that by the 537 national elected offices and it could be over a quarter trillion dollars spent on every election cycle.

What a waste of resources.

But the reason major party candidates need lots of money is to advertise for their campaign, or more often than not, against their competitors. This takes a lot of money and now that corporations are involved in the donation side of the equation, the individual will never see any representation from these entities again… ever.

However, it is important to note that the advertising campaigns run by the political candidates and aired on the mass media are all aimed at getting voters to actually leave their homes or place of work and go vote… for them. It is still necessary for these candidates to have our votes to actually win the election.

Here is where the opportunity to bypass the corporate money and big party politics exists.

To do this, we must accept the truth that you cannot elect a solution to a problem that starts with getting elected. What does this mean? It means that the way the system works now is this: people vote for a candidate on the promises he makes during the election. Then when he gets to office, he does what he wants and has little to fear from disgruntled constituents. Corporate money only exacerbates this problem beyond the range of the individual to have any effect on the behavior of the elected candidate once in office.

To address this problem will require changing the contract between the voter and the recipient of that vote.

How do we do that? We change how we choose who to vote for.

First, we must recognize that we are not limited to only those people they tell us we can vote between. We can actually vote for whoever we want, even if they aren’t on the ballot.

Every state in the union allows for some form of write-in candidate. As long as the candidate is legally eligible and has the appropriate paperwork filed ahead of time, write-in candidates are fully and legally capable of winning the election if they receive the majority of votes. Also contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to be in or affiliated with a mainstream party to win. Any independent candidate, whether a write-in or just outside the mainstream parties, can legally be in any election. If they get the majority of votes, then they can legally be the winner of the popular election, too. And this is true all the way up to and including the Presidential election. The electoral college members are ethically and statutorily compelled to vote with the majority of the voters except in a few well known states where it is not mandated by law. It would be impossible, however, for the electoral college in any state to ignore a clear majority. And in this country, a clear majority still wins, even if it’s a write-in or independent candidate. Only in close elections can the Electoral College numerically work against the popular vote.

Imagine if a large group of people from every state went to the polls with a list of names that they had previously agreed on with all the other voters in their group around the country. And imagine when they got to the polls, they were going to write-in all of the names on their list (if they weren’t already on the ballot) and then vote for just those candidates specifically and exclusively. And imagine that this group of potential elected officials, who are receiving this focussed grassroots support, had previously signed legal contracts outlining exactly what set of goals and actions they were going to take when they got in office. And imagine if these potential politicians agreed in the contract that if they didn’t do exactly what they said they would do to the satisfaction of those voters who put them in office (by direct measurement of performance approval voting) the elected official would step down or be recalled by new election. Imagine that for a minute.

This is not a fantasy scenario. This is merely a logistics problem. One that could easily be solved online.

All elections are local in nature. Voters vote in the precincts they live in. They vote for their local, state and federal politicians at the same time. Ignore for the moment any of your doubt about whether it is possible to gather together a large enough group of people across the country to go to the election polls and vote as a group. The point right now isn’t whether it’s possible. The point is that it is legal to vote in this manner. The Republicans have even established a legal precedent regarding signing contracts as part of a political party affiliation. All of these facts together have created an opportunity to create a functional voting block that is united by a different political contract between the voters and the politicians they elect. And we do it by actual, legal, written contract.

Introducing the Freedom Contract

The Freedom Contract is a set of specific contractual demands for immediate national action that address a stated set of issues. The national level planks were determined by research as part of the method of building a majority voter block from disparate groups and, most importantly, as the fundamental steps necessary to:

1) re-establish the Bill of Rights in full force,

2) dismantle the police state structures created since the sixties,

3) sever political ties with the corporate influence industry,

4) ensure future voters have a direct voice in government,

5) pay down the national debt rapidly.

The specific set of demands for action will be codified into a contract and then used to establish a national party called the Freedom Contract Party. Using this contract as a basis for voter support, any person wishing to run for office under the Freedom Contract Party must sign a local or state contract with the specific set of voters from their district and anyone wishing to run as a Federal level official must sign a national contract pledging to support the official party planks. Once elected, if the official fails to address the immediate issues he or she agreed to in writing, then they agree to step down from office right away. If they refuse, a recall election will be called by the majority that put them in office and they will be removed legally and in shame.

So what good does a contract do? How can this help?

Americans need to stop wanting a President, or any elected official, who is going to do what HE thinks is the right thing to do. We should want a President who is going to do what we tell him to do. We’re not talking about the minutiae of day to day operation, rather on the big things. We should have a direct technological way to tell him what we want him to do on the big things and we get to decide what’s big. And that technological method of telling him should be an amalgamated voice of the people who elected him. No one person should be entrusted with the power to represent all the people of the United States. But I’m willing to accept a leader who does what his constituents tell him to do, because to me, that seems like the point of the job. Personally, I want someone who is going to do the will of the people, not the other way around. Neither the President nor any other elected official should have the right to do what THEY think is the correct thing. Elected officials should do what the people who elected them tell them to do and those actions should only be chosen originally if they are good for the majority of all the people.

And if they don’t do what we tell them to do, they should be removed from office immediately.

By the way, this strategy is the same used by corporations. Corporations are only concerned about profit and they are legally bound to be that way. The leaders of the corporation must follow the explicit instructions given to them by a majority of stockholders and the Board of Directors. And they can be contractually obligated to a performance standard or they will be summarily replaced. And if they do anything that has a detrimental outcome on the majority of the stockholders by financially damaging the company, they can be held responsible.

Fine idea if you ask me. And since corporations can now be involved in politics, it’s only fair that we can use their tools against the politicians they buy off.

Every politician who gets elected ought to be required to sign a performance contract. But good luck with ever getting that to happen.

Our idea is different. We won’t give you our vote until you agree and sign our pre-determined and inviolable performance contract called the Freedom Contract. If you think that’s the way the relationship should be with potential elected officials, then you should join the Freedom Contract Party.

Here’s how the math works.

Every member of the House of Representatives must get re-elected every two years. The President must be elected or re-elected every four years. And Senators serve for six years. What this means is that in the coming 2012 election all 435 Representatives in the House are up for potential replacement. The President and the Vice-President are up for potential replacement. And approximately one third of the Senators could be also replaced. That’s only about 470 people total out of the whole country. And in two years at the mid-term election, another 33 Senators could be replaced. That’s 503 elected positions that will be coming up for election in the next twenty-four months. Put another way, that means only twenty-four months are needed to put up for election complete legal control of two out of three branches of the federal government. Once the Executive and Legislative branches were legally controlled by election, any legislation or reforms that were proposed could be done without any limits other than constitutionality. Imagine a functioning government reversing the madness that has been legislatively burdening and anti-constitutional at its core. Wouldn’t that be refreshing.

In fact, it's only 537 jobs to control every single seat of the Legislative and the Executive branches of the federal government legally.

That's it. 537 positions. That’s a small logistical effort when you consider that it’s spread over all fifty states.

537 people who sign a contract for our support and we could transform our country back into the financially mighty nation and peaceful world leader it should be.

From a purely pragmatic standpoint, you actually only need the President and VP along with 290 Representatives and the 33 Senators to have the maximum voting power available for election in November. That’s only 325 people.

So the only real question is this: can we find 325 people who are eligible to be elected and who are willing to sign the Freedom Contract?

Absolutely we can. The beautiful thing about this plan is that the people who we elect, are no longer important. Only the contract is important. The politicians we hire to implement our demands are replaceable like Lego pieces. That’s how it should be if you ask me.

Is this really possible to do? Can a privately arranged group of voters from across the country really have enough numbers to elect a majority of candidates?

Critics are going to scream that the idea is naive or impossible to do. However, that’s just not true. It’s both possible and legal. It would not be easy, but Americans have never shied away from difficulty – if it’s important to them. And it is not naive to believe that you can gather together a group large enough to win an election because that’s what the major parties do. Our idea is that we could do it ourselves and do it better. From a practical perspective, the President, VP and Senators can be elected by a simple majority of voters from an entire state. That would require only gathering a majority and it would not be necessary for that majority to be geographically representative of the entire state. They could all be from one large city or one area. But for the House of Representatives, a broader geographic consensus group will be necessary to put the 290 House seats into play. Although this is a complex proposal, it is not impossible. It’s mostly a matter of logistics and message. The internet is perfect for that. So is the water-cooler. When it’s all said and done, the dinner table and family couch are where viral type influences are most effective.

Can people online really affect political change?

Yes, without a doubt and it has recently been proven that the methodology works. To accomplish something like this would require a grassroots effort from a coordinated online viral based community. This process is not new. It’s been done before. The Arab Spring from last year was undeniably aided because of online and viral efforts. Consider the following examples from recent news:

1) Social media undid a billion dollar brand in two days when Susan G. Komen screwed up. That shows that big money and powerful corporations cannot stop a viral message, especially when the message is against the money interests.

2) The Kony 2012 video hit 100 million views in six days. That shows that viral messages can propagate quickly and big if the message hits a nerve. It also shows political messages can still go viral.

Current research has shown that viral messages are propagated at the individual level. It was once thought that large influence peddlers were necessary to initiate the propagation cascade needed for viral spread. The nature of viral message propagation is now known to be by personal one-to-one sharing often face to face. That’s why you can’t buy viral.

So how do we use viral messaging to get a majority voting block?

Although you cannot purchase viral propagation, we do understand a lot about how it happens and what causes the phenomenon. It has been scientifically shown that in large group dynamics, a strong and compelling minority (of as little as 10%) is capable of influencing the decisions of the entire group. In the United States, that means we only need 31 million Americans actively supporting our party to have a good chance to sway the opinions of a large portion of the remaining Americans.

Is it possible to mobilize 31 million Americans? Could they persuade enough other people to create a majority voting block?

Yes. Look what happened when SOPA hit a nerve on the internet. If a coordinated 31 million people across the country decided to vote as a block it would represent a formidable challenge to any mainstream party. If those 31 million people were able to convince others that making politicians sign a contract of performance is a good idea, then we could easily accumulate an unbeatable majority of voters.

The key will be in the ability to create a majority party from people who don’t necessarily agree with each other.



Here’s how we do that in Part Three: (https://plus.google.com/103984595971776502972/posts/MCkWZpEyzex)



Archive:

Part One: https://plus.google.com/103984595971776502972/posts/9fUWoNmzbZb



Follow the Freedom Contract Party at +Freedom Contract Party




#freedomcontract #occupy #wethepeople #wethe99percent #ndaa #stopthewar #stopthemadness #vote #sopa #acta #pipa #election2012 #philosophy #philosophyfriday
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Kierk Ashmore-Sorensen's profile photoCiam Sawyer's profile photoAnn McPherson's profile photoLucian Randolph's profile photo
69 comments
 
Something this long form belongs on a blog imo to facilitate thorough discussion. Too hard to keep track of on a social networking site.
 
The best would likely be to do both. G+ pointing to a blog post that has some more at least perceived permanance - or at least findability.
 
"The key will be in the ability to create a majority party from people who don’t necessarily agree with each other."

Indeed.

What we need is a majority who want to change how the country is governed. After we've gotten power back in the hands of the people, and it's not a corporatocracy anymore, then we can start worrying about the individual issues.

TO THAT END I think items 3 and 5 from the Freedom Contract are secondary, if not superfluous. Energy is a big influence, but so is Finance.

I won't argue that the national debt is a big problem, but there is significant polarization on how exactly to do that, and those arguments could easily derail this sort of movement.
 
+Brian Kelley If this gets going, I have a page set up here on G+. I think that's a better way to gather forces.
 
So far, this sounds good on paper, and I'm curious to read Part 3, since the question of how to encourage cooperation between people strongly divided by partly lines immediately came to mind. I wish I was eligible to vote in the US; I'd probably be in.
 
I haven't finished reading this yet. I do have a question though. How do we help people understand about write-in votes and get them to start doing that?
 
+Ann McPherson I address that in part at the end. Essentially, it's going to be part of what we use online tools to do. And the idea is simply explained in person. This will rely on one-to-one viral propagation.
 
+Lucian Randolph this is a great idea. If there is anything I can contribute to this please let me know.
 
I just saw your comment +Nobilis Reed. Very astute points. The goal of the initial set of planks was to actually find a set of complimentary differences – or at minimum stronger agreement with some parts than disagreement with other parts in order to build a majority group. If I did my research correctly, it should be close.
 
Remember that in order for this to work, the Freedom Contract candidate will have to defeat corporate-backed candidates. If the candidate commits to reducing the influence of one particular industry, then that industry is going to fight like hell to stop him if he has even the slightest chance to win--not because they worry about losing influence, but they don't want to lose influence in comparison to other industries.

Not only that, people in states that have a large amount of employment in the energy industry (Texas, Louisiana, Alaska) will feel singled out.

Change item #3 to corporate influence rather than specifically energy industry influence, and I think you'll have a much better chance.
 
Perhaps... but at some point, I can see lobbying and jockying among people who wish for their favored candidate to be the write in ... and you're right back to the politics of election... ponders

It's also something of an argument for putting in time constraints on elections (in Britain, campaigns and votes are conducted in six weeks -- granted the parliamentary system is quite a bit different, but still) as well as campaign and lobbying spending limits.
 
I'll have to finish reading this later. :)
 
I'm not an American so have no real say, but when I look at some of the things going on in America, you certainly need something like this.
 
...which brings up a good point. Organized Labor, which isn't exactly in the ascendancy, still puts out a good chunk of campaign contributions. That might also need to be addressed.
 
This may seem a nitpicky point - but it's a point that I feel should be made.

"Corporations are only concerned about profit and they are legally bound to be that way. "

That statement is not exactly true, nor is it exactly untrue. Corporations are in fact, in business to make money. But, a corporation is NOT legally bound to place profit ahead of community relations, the environment, or the enrichment of the community.

The fact is, corporations prosper when the communities they are located in also prosper. A good community will look after the welfare of it's businesses, and likewise, a good business will look after the welfare of the communities that it works in. Kinda like a symbiosis - each works on the other's behalf.

The US, and the world, seem to have lost sight of the fact that corporations aren't independent of community, any more than community is independent of business.
 
Technically, that's true about corporations. However, in practice, that's the direction they have gone: profit beyond all else. I think it's well worth considering more explicit ways to construct corporations to specifically force them to address the needs of their workers and their communities. Not to mention making it easier to dissolve a company that has been demonstrated to cause harm.
 
+Lucian Randolph This is amazingly well thought out and could actually work. I actually have an internet domain name that might work for this. Setting up Word Press or another content management system would be easy enough. G+, Twitter, & FB are all great but having one place to go for ALL the details is helpful for when people miss a day or two here and there.

I can picture myself actually being behind something like this if there is a way to keep things mostly in the middle instead of at the two extremes things to be at now. How do we keep things in the middle and help keep things open to compromise?
 
+Paul Brown while you have a point that is not necessarily the case. Some corps levy their locality to help themselves make profit while others steal, cheat and manipulate to profit. Take walmart for example. I think their Chinese factory "cities" would argue walmart does not help their development.
The fact remains it is about profit. Both paths can achieve it and both can fail.
One path is obviously preferred by communities, but often they have no say it what is done.
 
A very interesting idea. A few comments and critiques:

Your set of planks seems pretty good to me. However, it may not to everyone, and for the longer term it might be worth coming up with some system where people can vote on these planks online to pick the list. Either you could say grab all of them that get 50% of the votes and have that be your "Freedom Party Platform", or have a number of planks that politicians can sign of on one or more of, then provide this information to the freedom party voters.

How would you manage legally binding people to a set of vague principles like that? It will really be a judgement call if people are working properly towards each goal, who gets to make that judgement?

I am a little nervous about completely removing politician's freedom to act independently (even if you could actually accomplish it). I guess it may not be worse than what we already have though. I assume the politicians would still use their judgment on how to implement the goals, and on things that are not specified within the planks.

It is important to structure something like this so that it leaves room for planning for the future, not just following the short term whims of the crowd
 
+Thomas Dimiduk There seems to be a good deal of wiggle room in these planks. I doubt any honest legislator would feel unworkably constrained.
 
+Nobilis Reed I agree, these planks have plenty of wiggle room. I was more worried about some logical extrapolations where the constraints get progressively tighter over time.
 
+Nobilis Reed the specific planks are in part three. These are just the over-riding principles behind the planks.
 
+Lucian Randolph oh, I thought those looked like pretty decent planks. I will be interested to see part three with specifics then.
 
Also, only the first small set of planks is fixed. Those are fundmentally agreeable by most people who might be interested in this idea. All the other issues are to be voted on. That's essentially the agreement we're looking for. We all agree to support the first few issues and then we agree to vote on and debate the other more contentious issues.
 
I'm not normally a paranoid guy, but my internet is suddenly dropping out :0
 
Hey +Paul Brown. As it was explained to me by the attorneys, in the United States, corporations are legally bound by Corporate Charter to pursue profit. This is why the state of California has been trying to create a different type of Corporate Charter, one that allows a corporation to make "public good" part of its goals. Right now if they do that, they are potentially at risk from civil liability to stockholders. Without changing the Corporate Charter, corporations that puts environmental or other considerations ahead of profit could be (and have been) sued by stockholders.
 
if there is a way to keep things mostly in the middle instead of at the two extremes things to be at now. How do we keep things in the middle and help keep things open to compromise?

This is actually making the same sort of mistake either extreme makes -- that a middle way must therefore automatically be the best. I'm more interested in discarding the ideology and focusing on what works.
 
+Cindy Brown well said. That's my issue with most 'political' topics. The media paints a black and white picture and pushes people into one group or the other leaving some in the grey zone.
Fact is some of us are looking at the picture with full spectrum.
 
Some answers are white, some black, some gray. And a few are probably blue.
 
+Cindy Brown You said what I was trying to say but much better than I did. I just want there to be room for compromise. The way things are right now...No one is willing to give an inch to do what's best for the country as a whole. It's really disappointing.
 
+Ann McPherson That's what I'm gonna explain next. Like I mentioned to +Nobilis Reed, if we can get a small core group of planks that everyone can mostly agree to support, then we can all agree to debate and vote on the more contentious issues. None of the other parties are going to give average voters the ability to have a real voice in those contentious issues and the core planks in our party concern the Bill of Rights and Corporate Influence on the political system.
 
I look forward to reading more tomorrow then :)
 
+Lucian Randolph Looking forward to part 3 - very interesting so far and in line with ideas I have been mulling over. I want to absorb the big picture before commenting at length. Cheers.
 
So the platform I would envision also includes:
* reform to minority shareholder rights, in order to allow positive-sum-game corporate policies
* Codify the Chicago Shackman Decree in federal racketeering laws, making it an explicitly impeachable offense
* tax corporate political contributions to fund public campaign finance
 
+Cindy Brown I'm more interested in discarding the ideology and focusing on what works.

I think everyone agree on that statement. Problem is the definition of what works, ot what works best. Here you will get different opinions from different people. That is where the political process starts, and we are back to where we started.
 
I think this idea is very interesting and promising. But I also believe that the weakness will be in the definition of the freedom contract. Already, there are things that can be disputed, like paying down the national debt quickly. Although it is a thing I personally would agree with, it is a thing where a certain percentage of the voters do not agree with. And in this kind of campaign, given that your strategy is starting to gain momentum, you will find massive propaganda on how it can devastate the economy of the US.
 
I have a more fundamental question. Why do we even need the congress? With technology all citizens can vote on all issues.
 
+Shaker Cherukuri: There are the principle question of a representative democracy (as opposed to direct democracy). You vote for someone you trust, that will then take control and manage the details.

It is now technically possible to have everyone vote for all decisions. The question is if it is an effective system. The politician you vote for today will spend full time (hopefully), to make a professional job. But will the voters be able to spend as much time on each question, to be able to make informed decisions when they vote?
 
+Lars Pensjö As you stated, that system of direct vote is now possible. So we could (need to) set up such a system with checks and balances just like the founding fathers did. They set up a system we have today because a direct vote system was not possible at that time.
 
While I agree +Shaker Cherukuri it does not seem now is the time. Currently the political system is so corrupt and certainly will defend itself with every breath.
The fact is our constitution defines a need for congress and they have legal authority. Even if the #wethepeople deem them unneeded we do not yet have that power.
The first steps are as Lucian is proposing, to take back control and weed out the corruption of our political system. Once that is done we can work on changing the core flow.
 
+Collin Jasnoch Well said. I, however, believe in the Big Bang approach. Do it all at once, do it right and get it over with. Jerk the band aid don't remove it slowly!
 
It would seem that is not possible with out a full blown coup.
 
It will take time. Evolutionary process. Gandhi has a good solution. Satyagraha.
 
"Using this contract as a basis for voter support, any person wishing to run for office under the Freedom Contract Party must sign a local or state contract with the specific set of voters from their district ..."

Acting as a "purgatory's advocate," I've got a question.

How would we keep the process referred to in the above quote from looking like this:

http://www.nytimes.com/1997/03/23/us/georgia-gets-tough-on-a-county-tradition-vote-buying.html?pagewanted=all

Specifically, how do we keep the process of "you do this for me, and I do this for you" as part of the act of a citizen voting, from looking like the citizen has sold their vote?

I'm not sure exactly what the Republican's did that is sufficiently analogous to this. If I understand correctly, we are talking about individual voters having their names on a contract with a candidate.
 
Hey +Bernard Matthews, thanks for your comment. The way it works is that our candidate has to sign a document that outlines his campaign promises in writing. According to the legal eagles, from a constitutional perspective, that's exactly what the Republicans did. And only the candidate name is on the contract because it's a contract of performance. There is no issue of selling votes, because there is nothing that passes from candidate to voter except a public campaign promise. Our agreement to vote for them, which is not in writing, is based on the candidate's promises to us in writing. That's legal.
 
+Lucian Randolph, I have no problem with that. What had me concerned, as I believe you understood, was that there was a contract with "a specific set of voters." As I understand you now, you are talking about something like the "Contract with America," or whatever it was ultimately called. I just wouldn't have considered CwA a contract with a specific set of voters, unless that means the specific set that voted for the Republicans after the fact.
 
A contract usually have at least two parties that sign the contract. In this case, the candidate agrees to follow the requirement of the contract. Why would you sign an agreement to requirements, with no benefit to you? At least not as specified in the contract.
 
+Lars Pensjö the benefit to the candidate is that they get the job when we vote them into office. If they don't get elected by us, then the contract isn't applicable to their behavior.
 
+Lucian Randolph : In this contract, there is no "us". There is only one party, the candidate.

How is the condition elected by us going to be evaluated? It is important, as it is a precondition for the contract being valid.

I see a possibility here. If this idea turn viral, then the movement will have some marketing potential. That is what can be offered in the contract.
 
Hey +Lars Pensjö, You're exactly right. The only value we bring is the size of the group we can gather together. That's the basis of the plan :)
 
Introducing the Freedom Contract

The idea is intriguing. To have an elected official who would sign a contract before we decide to vote for him sounds like a crazy yet awesome idea. Crazy because it’s something that seems impossible to do in this current system but it’s what also makes it awesome because the point of changing the system is the goal and changing it would make this concept plausible.

Is this really possible to do? Can a privately arranged group of voters from across the country really have enough numbers to elect a majority of candidates?

One of the things that scare me the most about people today are the ones who believe the status quo cannot be changed because it has been the status quo for far too long already. That is enough to make me crazy to think people are so willing to roll over simply because they have convinced themselves that they do not have the power to change a system that was designed specifically to give us the power to change things. It’s like being given a check for 10 million dollars no strings attached and being afraid to spend it because you are not sure it’s really ours and what if you have to pay it back later.

But I believe we do have the power and the best way to prove it is the effort politicians put to get us to vote for them. If they did not feel we had the power to change things, such as removing a Democrat President currently in the White House and putting a Republican in his/her place then they would not spend so many millions on their campaigns doing so. They would just buy the elections, literally. Although in essence they do it still has to go thru the voting system to be legit, even if the voters are ignorant to who and what they are voting for. We definitely need to use the power we have and put it to good use. The huge influence the Internet had on SOPA and PIPA is but a small test that we can base our next steps on.

Can people online really affect political change?

One needs only to look at several stories started with a simple Facebook page to show just how easy the Internet can have a strong effect on anything. The girl who accidentally shared her Fifteens invitation with everyone on Facebook and had hundreds of people show up at the party which had to be canceled before it even started. Or the kid who was suspended from his school for putting a sign up on the school wall to invite a girl to his prom. Then there was SOPA and PIPA which forced politicians to put it on the back burner and hope people would forget about it so they could bring it back. Then there were the gaming companies who had to make changes to their games to keep their customers happy and most recently the Trayvon Martin case that has the whole world in suspense awaiting the results of the investigation of this tragedy. The Internet has had a great influence over all of these situations; I believe it can have massive influence to strongly affect political change, which is why I believe this Gov’t is working overtime to curb our use of the Internet. SOPA and PIPA were just the beginning of that agenda, Arizona is taking it one step further by attempting to ban trolling and now there are rumors that SOPA may be making a comeback. Obama already signed the ACTA which in essence is an International version of SOPA. All in the name of safety.

Is it possible to mobilize 31 million Americans? Could they persuade enough other people to create a majority voting block?

Considering Google+ already has over 90 million users and many of these users are also part of Facebook who has over 700 million users. I am sure it should not be much of a feat to mobilize 31 million Americans and have them mobilize even more people in order to truly achieve a Gov’t system that was meant to be as the Constitution states it and not this current excuse for a Gov’t system we have today.

The key will be in the ability to create a majority party from people who don’t necessarily agree with each other.

If there is one thing I believe is that most if not all Americans agree on one thing; they want what’s best for this nation where everyone can benefit from it. They simply have different beliefs on how this can be achieved. The real goal is to convince people that the end result does not have to be achieved thru division, thru political affiliation or thru the status quo.
 
+Lucian Randolph I think Zac falls into the category of 'late to the party'. :-)

I agree that we already have at least two parties with fuzzy goals willing to negotiate some things, even for (gulp) money. Zac can go play in their sandboxes.

"We have a plan".

I had some ideas to flesh out, what did I do with them ...
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