Martin Luther King Memorial, Washington D.C. © 2016 Robert R. Gerlits, All Rights Reserved.
1) Observation: To resolve an issue, first we need to observe and acknowledge that the problem exists.
Applied to current election issues
1) Observation: Our election systems do not accurately reflect voter intent. They are designed to produce distorted results, concentrate power in a wealthy elite, and exclude many or most of the electorate from decision making.
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2) Understanding: Without understanding root causes and why issues persist, no solution(s) will successfully address the underlying issues.
3) Remedies: Solutions are devised to specifically address known and anticipated issues.
4) Attention: Support must be gathered by educating and motivating a critical mass of people.
5) Action: Legislation must be passed to resolve the issue(s).
See an excellent dramatization of this process in the film “Selma”.
2) Understanding: Election issues that distort outcomes like Gerrymandering and the Electoral College, did not happen suddenly, in a vacuum. Current issues have historical roots in archaic 18th C. value systems. 21st C. values are significantly different from those of the Founders, most of whom owned slaves. To prolong slavery and keep a wealthy elite in power, Madison designed the government and electoral system to "protect the minority of the opulent against the majority".
Today's financial elite continue to expolit legacy systems to concencentrate wealth and power in a small percentage of the population. Our goals in 2019 are vastly different than the goals of the Founders and today's ruling, plutocratic elite. The 2 Party Cartel controls a giant industry called Government. They have kept in place goverrnment and electoral systems designed to exclude competition. Until we remedy the slavers' product, their government structures and electoral systems, we're stuck with their legacy, archaic values. We will have concentrated power and wealth until such time when government and electoral systems are designed to reflect the full diverse spectrum of voter intent and interests.
3) Remedies: Inclusive, group decision making is better than exclusive, autocratic decision making. Dispersed power is better than concentrated power. The majority of OECD countries use Proportional Representaion (PR). PR governing systems and voting methods designed to disperse power and include nearly eveyone can serve as proven models for remedying persistent issues.
4) Attention: Educating candidates and voters, we can introduce these solutions to the public, with the goal of widespread adoption.
We can implement election reform following Dr. Martin Luther King's proven protocol for abolishing 100 years of Jim Crow.
Does it take a Selma? Getting people's attention.
One of the largest issues Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had to contend with, was getting people’s attention. Some folks just wouldn't accept that Jim Crow was a problem that should be addressed. They resisted change to the point of lynchings and other forms of intimidation, they loved their discriminatory form of democracy so much. People who have power don't give it up voluntarily. It has to be taken away from them.
King and other civil rights activists in the 1950’s and 60’s, encouraged non-violent civil disobedience like the Birmingham bus boycott and lunch counter sit-ins. When that didn’t get people’s attention, they escalated their efforts. The lengths King and everyone involved with the Civil Rights movement had to go through to get Congressional attention to pass laws abolishing Jim Crow, were absurd. The problems were there all along. The "leaders" didn't want to acknowledge that Jim Crow was something that should be remedied. Just as in 1964, today's institutions are still inflexible, unable to acknowledge problems and accommodate change. The powers that be weren’t accountable to their slaves in 1787. Today's elites aren't accountable to their constituents either. Slavers who designed our electoral systems didn’t feel the necessity of representing people they had excluded from representation, 94% of the population. Today's elites follow traditional strategies of voter suppression and a comprehensive set of other tools (see the Issues page) to predetermine elections and stay in power.
Finally, the March on Washington and the Selma marches got Johnson’s and the US Congress’ attention. It took a crazy amount of effort and people dying to move Congress to pass legislation to address known issues. Congress finally passed the 1964 Civil Rights Bill and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law. It took 100 years to abolish Jim Crow. Not all the residual effects are resolved.