Part Three: The National Freedom Contract Planks.
How to create a group from people who disagree about things.“There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes. And the other is the Bill of Rights.” – Marine Corps General Smedley Butler (Two-time Congressional Medal of Honor recipient) War is a Racket by Smedley Butler
First and most importantly, we are not all going to agree on these planks. But the Freedom Contract Party is not about what we agree or disagree on. It’s about the defense of our homes and the Bill of Rights. And it’s about defending those two things both metaphorically and literally. And it’s about re-establishing our democratic republic in a functioning manner by removing corporate influence from the political process. But wait, if we disagree, how can we get along?
Each of our planks is based on protecting and enforcing the Bill of Rights and castrating the Political Influence Industry. If you don’t agree with that, then you probably will not find the Freedom Contract Party appealing. Everything more than these core planks are separate issues we can debate and vote on, like a Democracy should work. We will never all agree on everything. But if we can agree on a few core principles, then we can agree to debate and vote on the remaining more contentious issues.
There are 7 planks in the Freedom Contract Party national platform. The first 6 are involved with the protection and restoration of the Bill of Rights and the last involves the opening of the political influence industries to public scrutiny. These planks were determined by aggregate analysis of the trending concerns expressed by the majority of U.S. internet users on the open social networks and a combination of groups that have strong feelings about specific issues that are outside the political mainstream parties. This group of foundational issues is how a majority block of voters can be assembled. Although it is probable that no one person will agree with each of these, they are mutually connected by the overlapping support for the majority of items by the identified active U.S. users that will comprise the voting block of the Freedom Contract Party. Although these planks may seem extreme to some Americans, they are all actually based on a reversal of bad policies that were created over the last five decades.
In general the planks can be grouped by their immediate call to dismantle or revoke the laws, mechanisms and departments involved with:
1) The unending and un-winnable war on terror
2) The ever-expanding police state and support industries
3) The lobbying and political influence industries
A by-product of these efforts will be an immediate elimination of the deficit and a reining in of the U.S. Military, which spends more than one trillion dollars every eighteen months in total expenditures. Both of these will have a positive impact on the debt over a few years without doing anything but not spending. A second by-product will be the assurance that American citizens will have a real direct voice in their government.
It is likely that you may disagree with some parts of the planks. But if you agree strongly with any of them, even just one, then you should consider supporting our party anyway. Because no mainstream party or candidate will ever support, much less enact, any of these planks in its entirety. Even if you disagree with some of the details in one of the planks, your only chance to get any of the part you agree with is by supporting our party. That’s why these individual planks were chosen and written the way the were. They overlap in a manner that should be more acceptable, or at least less contentious, than the other main party issues to the group of people we are trying to reach.
To repeat for importance, it’s not about what we agree or disagree on. It’s about what we can compromise on to get accomplished. That means for any individual voter to get the parts they agree with to be accomplished, they might have to accept a few things they may not agree with. Without this type of overlapping consensus, it will not be possible to build a winning majority of voters as calculated by the actual desires and numbers of online voters. Not every type of voter or online user will agree with this and it does not contain any positions that would be attractive to mainstream partisan political voters.
However this platform is not intended to attract mainstream political supporters and it is important to note that these seven planks cannot be changed once ratified into the contract. They were chosen because they represented a calculated achievable combination of specific political goals that have no chance of passing in the real world of partisan politics. Since no mainstream candidate would agree to any of these planks, much less all seven, not allowing their alteration prevents any outside group from using the Freedom Contract Party to support their candidacy by tossing out what they don’t like once they start building support. And since every person chosen to represent the Freedom Contract Party will have to sign a legal document that states they will support these seven planks or voluntarily step down, it will prevent any mainstream candidate from trying to sneak into office as one of our candidates with our support.
The National Freedom Contract Planks:
1) End the “police state” in America. Cancel, repeal or reverse the Patriot Act and all subsidiary laws. Release (or recharge under former law) all prisoners held under any aspect of the Patriot Act and expunge any convictions for those not recharged. Reinstate and enforce FISA on all surveillance activities nationwide and cease all wiretapping of U.S. communications without warrants. Stop the NSA from recording and storing all domestic communication. Clean house entirely in the Justice department and direct them primarily toward prosecution of violations of the Bill of Rights. Mandatorily reinforce habeas corpus as an absolute legal right. Repeal or reverse the relaxation of Miranda. Outlaw no-knock entry by police and enforce prior probable cause and peaceful warrant delivery. Immediately stop all police department subsidies by the federal government especially for military weapons. Openly push for the institution of state and local bans on all police departments using military tactics and weapons except in hostage situations only, as SWAT was originally intended. Repeal any ban on public photography or videography by anyone anywhere in public for any reason and issue an Executive order that citizen recording of any public official (and specifically any police) performing their job in public is legal whether video or audio. Government should be transparent to its citizens.
2) End the “war on terror.” Cancel, repeal or reverse the NDAA, NDRP and any subsidiary, subsequent or related laws regarding the military and terrorism inside the country and stop the active prosecution of the “War on Terror” immediately. Return all terrorism investigative and prosecutorial activities to the FBI but force them to revert to rules in place prior to 9/11. Close all US foreign rendition and interrogation programs and restrict the CIA to pre 9/11 rules of these activities. Publicly charge, try and execute all prisoners in Guantánamo – or free them and send them back to their homeland immediately. Send all activated National Guard and Reserve personnel home and immediately release them from future active deployments. Place an immediate cease of all weapon systems procurement orders other than firearms and ammunition pending a full re-evaluation of the entire budget for arsenal expenditures and the relationships between vendors and the government. The U.S. Military spends over a trillion dollars every eighteen months and it’s time to stop. The only exception is the pay for soldiers, which needs to be increased by 35% immediately and across the board for enlisted men and officers under the rank of General. Use half of the saved money on infrastructure projects at home overseen by Army Corps of Engineers. Infrastructure projects will use local contracting firms and require them to hire new employees from unemployed ranks. The only “nation building” our military should assist in is here at home.
3) End the “war on free speech.” Cancel, repeal or reverse the ACTA, SOPA, PIPA and all of the upcoming laws aimed loosely at child pornography. Repeal all restrictions on free speech over the internet. Reinstate the “Fair Use Act” that was cancelled by Reagan and begin enforcement of penalties on broadcasters using all forms of live transmission; only the internet is excluded. The reason this rule was in place is because the radio and television airwaves belong to the people and broadcasting can too easily be used to propagate propaganda or brainwash. Look what's happened since it was stopped (Rush Limbaugh for instance) and it’s easy to see that the law was needed. The internet, on the other hand, should be a completely free speech zone with no government involvement with, or administrative capability over, any content. This is mostly because we don't own the internet. If Rush Limbaugh, or anyone else, wants to spout stupidity or hatred on the internet, they should be free to do so where we, the internet public, can crucify them by direct response. But not over the radio or TV airwaves where he has a fortified pedestal for propaganda. For illegal content such as child pornography on the internet, let the FBI handle it as any traditional form of interstate or international crime. Cease all internet domain seizures and stop the criminal prosecution of all online piracy claims. Let the media companies spend their billions fighting their claims in civil court where juries will treat them accordingly. Force the FCC to mandate net neutrality and force open network technology. Review all spectrum usage and purchases since the digital transition, change the egregious violations and build the contiguous national emergency services network for our first responders without any lobbyist input.
4) End the Homeland “Security Theater.” Disband the DHS immediately. The best way to secure any “homeland” is to have a strong national investigative police capability that can use historically successful methods of crime prevention to thwart the criminal conspiracies that surround any type of terrorism. As such, return the national level investigative police function to the FBI exclusively. By the way, it’s been the FBI, and not DHS, that has stopped or prevented all of the attempted attacks on our country since 9/11. Disband TSA and remove all new passenger scanning equipment nationwide. Place airline security responsibility back into the airports and local governments and let them individually decide how to implement it. Disband ICE and reinstate the Immigration and Naturalization Service as a separate entity and stop all private border fencing activity. Deploy successfully developed military-type airborne and canine patrol systems instead of fencing. Our military uses dogs and planes to shut down wilderness borders anywhere else in the world. It’s the only effective method and it’s cheaper. For the amount of money we’ve blown building the DHS, we could have effectively sealed our borders and secured our ports from the air a long time ago. Also, federally enforce the right of Americans to peacefully protest anywhere at anytime. Peaceful protests are not a threat to homeland security. Violent police reaction is.
5) End the “war on drugs.” Disband the DEA and completely stop all federal drug enforcement immediately. Stop all federal prosecution of all drug charges and stop all foreign drug interdiction, prevention or prosecution activities immediately. Release all prisoners held on any aspect federal marijuana drug charges immediately. Review every other existing federally convicted drug criminal’s file for non-violence
in the original crime and order immediate conviction dismissal and release for any who are found. Cancel, repeal or reverse all mandatory drug sentencing guidelines, rules or laws and review for dismissal all drug sentences over 24 months nationwide. Cancel, repeal or reverse all property seizure laws by police departments for any reason and stop the practice by force if necessary. The Police should not be allowed to take things from citizens for any reason; not phones, not money, not cameras… nothing. Destroy the Federal restricted drug list and then separately classify marijuana just like alcohol for taxation. Let individual states handle all other drug issues internally and the same for all foreign countries. Use the new Federal tax on marijuana to pay down national debt directly. Throughout all of our modern history, when governments (including ours) stop prohibition of recreational drugs, crime and drug use problems go down. The other way hasn’t worked. Let’s try this.
6) End the “war on private behavior and guns.” Disband the BATFE and hand over taxation of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana to the normal tax-collecting process. Stop all taxation or registration of all firearms at the federal level and return the control of registered explosives to the FBI. Issue an Executive order that forbids any form of national gun registration of new or old firearms. Repeal all limitations on the cross-state sale or transportation of all firearms, tobacco, alcohol or marijuana made and sold only in the United States and remove any Commerce Department oversight. Alcohol, tobacco and marijuana are for adults and other than taxing them, which is fair, the government should stay out of what adults do in their private lives. The only role of the federal government is to ensure that states do not sell alcohol, tobacco or marijuana to children or minors under 21. Let individual states deal with driving under the influence laws, too. And it should be perfectly legal and easy for Americans to make and sell guns to each other both intra and interstate. It should be hard to make guns and sell them to other countries. The right to keep and bear arms is about defending your home and, more importantly, protecting and defending the Bill of Rights. It’s not about the right to sell guns overseas.
7) Neuter the political influence industries. Repeal the corporate identity laws immediately and revoke the right for companies to invest in politics and political campaigns at any level from local to national. Issue an executive order identifying all lobbyists as a threat to Executive and national security and then restrict all registered lobbyists from entering the city limits of Washington DC under Presidential national security rights. Officially move all lobbying activity back to the states where the public officials involved are from. But require all lobby activity involving any public employee, at any level, to be video recorded in public or face revocation of Lobbyist registration and criminal or civil charges to the public employee. It’s time to turn the bright spotlights and video cameras onto the lobby business and let the cockroaches scramble under scrutiny because our nation’s capital should be off limits from now on. This is well within the rights of the President. As it should be, Executive privilege regarding national security is supreme, and mostly unassailable, inside the borders of the District of Columbia. Lobbying should still be allowed, preferably at the home states of the politicians involved so their constituents can watch. But it should not be allowed in DC for the same reason that you don't let children onto the floor of a factory. It's dangerous for the factory productivity. At best, it's a distraction. At worst, they stick their fingers into something and break it. For far too long, Lobbyists have been able to roam the halls of government freely, especially when the Lobbyists were former government employees. When a government employee leaves and becomes a Lobbyist, it should be the same as if a Prosecution attorney left to become a Defense attorney. You're now on the other team. And you don't get to come into the Judge's Chambers, unless invited. We're un-inviting you, forever.
These are the core planks. As you can tell, no mainstream party or candidate would ever support any of these ideas fully. In fact, you may be thinking to yourself:Whoa. These are pretty radical.
Only if you consider reversing something bad as a “radical” idea. Every single one of these planks is a reversal of something that has been put in place since the sixties. With the exception of the last one, they are all a basic re-establishment of one or more of the ten Bill of Rights. It’s time that we, as Americans, grow up and mature. As adults, it’s not important whether we agree with how the other thinks, lives or acts. The Bill of Rights ensures that we cannot strip away our rights from each other because we don’t agree. It’s radical that we have let our freedoms slip so far away from what our forefathers fought to create.
The last plank is to re-establish the power of American citizens alone to affect and influence the political process. This is also not a radical idea. I don’t know how someone could argue that allowing the corporate influence industry to flourish has improved our government. Nor do I see a compelling reason to think that allowing corporations into the election finance game is going to improve the election process. Here’s a radical idea. If you agree with this core set of planks, then we, as a group, get to decide what the other issues will be. Our differences should be used to help us, instead of divide us.
There are several other major issues that need to be addressed. Many of these are the very same contentious issues that the mainstream parties are fighting over. But no matter what they say, the mainstream parties and candidates will not take your voice into consideration when they decide on these issues. These are the issues that we will agree to debate and vote on as a democratic organization. No other mainstream party will offer voters that. You’ll never find anyone to agree with this plan. Where do you think you’ll get any leaders to support or join your group?
America has lots of leaders. You might be surprised where they are or come from, too. We need good leaders. We just need new leaders. And there is an easy and important process where we can find the best ones.
Here’s how we pick our candidates and their staffs in Part Four:
Part One: https://plus.google.com/103984595971776502972/posts/9fUWoNmzbZb
Part Two: https://plus.google.com/103984595971776502972/posts/DzN2iyTe2Pz
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Edited the last paragraph to change the order of the next essay - Lucian (25-Mar-12)