Thank goodness and hallelujah – the U.S. Presidential Election is almost over.
And while this has been the most dismaying election season I can recall ever in my life, I have found a glimmer of hope. I have found a cause I want to begin assisting in whatever way I can, as soon as the dust settles on this election. I’ve already started reaching out, and intend to do so with greater intent as soon as folks wake up from a long-deserved rest.
Here is what I want to help make happen:
- Increase voter turnout
- Ensure fair and equitable access to voting
- Eliminate the electoral college
- Eliminate corporate personhood
- Get money out of politics once and for all
Yeah, it’s a full-size dream platter. Thing is, it’s doable. First, it’s doable because it’s not physically impossible, so it must be possible. From there, we just need to think strategically, which is to say, we need to reverse engineer this.
So then what would it take (for example) to eliminate corporate personhood? Clearly it would take a constitutional amendment stating the obvious – that only people are people (hard to believe we are even having this discussion, right?).
A constitutional amendment would mean that either 2/3 of both houses of Congress would have to propose the amendment OR that 2/3 of the state legislatures would have to call on Congress to hold a Constitutional Convention. Given the current debacle that is the US Congress, let’s assume for this example that it might be easier to get the state legislatures of 34 states to make that demand.
Once Congress blesses the amendment, it then goes back out to the states for approval, where 3/4 of the state legislatures (38 states) must ratify it.
Rather than arguing the likelihood of any of that, let’s ask this question:
What conditions / circumstances / environment would lead to ratification not only being possible, but being overwhelmingly likely?
Clearly there would need to be overwhelming and unswerving popular support for establishing in our constitution that only people are people. For ratification to happen, the overwhelming majority of voters (which, for the time being, are still limited to humans…) in the overwhelming majority of states would need to demand it.
So then, what conditions would lead to the people demanding such an amendment?
One easy answer is “solid education about every aspect of the issue.”
And a precursor to people learning enough that they are moved to take action would be that the education comes from people they trust – organically, in living rooms, in discussions among colleagues and friends and family.
Which seems to suggest that a first step might be a national effort towards community organizing, in every single community in the nation. Which does indeed seem rather do-able…
So those are the thoughts that are carrying me through this last day of campaign BS. There is something we can do to trip the levers that will trip other levers that will create the result we want – a government that lives up to the promise of being of the people, by the people, for the people.
If we really want this, then as soon as this circus is over, it’s time to join with people who are already walking this path – folks like the Election Protection Coalition. It’s time to stop crying in our collective beers and get to work.
Thanks to Wikimedia Commons for the 1963 Civil Rights photo.