Direct Democracy - Why the American People must disband Congress
Monday, November 09, 2009 by: Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
Key concepts: Congress, Democracy and America
View on NaturalPedia: Congress, Democracy and America
(NaturalNews) Given that the massive health care reform bill just passed by the House was one of the largest pieces of legislation in U.S. history, you might wonder why you didn't get to vote on it. When it comes to federal legislation, your vote doesn't count in America, didn't you know? You are dictated to by a small band of the political elite who may or may not represent your interests (or even the interests of your fellow citizens).
Those people are called members of Congress. And as you'll read here, they are essentially obsolete. Society no longer has any need for them. Here's why...
Why Congress was created
Consider why the U.S. Congress was created in the first place: Back in the 1700s, there was no internet. There weren't even telephones. Heck, this was pre-telegraph! Long-distance communication was simply impossible, so the people had a very practical need to send a representative to Washington to represent their wishes on the legislative front.
And so the idea of the U.S. Congress was born. Senators and Congresspeople would be representatives of the People from their home states and districts, and they would vote according to the wishes, desires and best interests of the people back home. They would essentially be proxy voters. Sounds good in theory, right?
Fast forward 230 years or so...
Now, instant communication is available to almost everyone. A new law being proposed in Washington could be instantly read -- and voted on -- by the People all across America. The internet has made the whole purpose behind the U.S. Congress obsolete... irrelevant. Why do Americans need someone else to represent them when we can all just read and vote on the bills ourselves? In an age of instant communications, Congress is no longer needed.
But of course, the current members of Congress would heartily disagree with that assessment. If there's one rule about power, it's that those in power always seek more power. And because only members of Congress can vote federal laws into existence -- not the actual citizens of the country -- they hold a tremendous amount of concentrated power... and they're not about to let it go.
Corporations love the current system, too, because they can simply bypass the People and lobby Congress to pass the laws that favor their own interests. This is how the U.S. Congress has become a legislative auction house where new laws are passed to appease whoever raises more money for reelection campaigns. Meanwhile, the People have been abandoned in this equation, and the interests of the People that were supposed to be "represented" in Washington have been long forgotten.
Did you realize that 237 members of Congress are millionaires? (http://www.politico.com/news/storie...) And seven of them have a net worth greater than $100 million. When lawmakers are rolling in that kind of cash, how can they possibly represent the interests of the People, of which 99% earn far less?
Further demonstrating detachment from the people they claim to represent, one new Congressman -- just sworn in yesterday -- managed to break four campaign promises in his first hour of office (http://www.gouverneurtimes.com/inde...).
It's time for Direct Democracy
In a Direct Democracy, the People directly participate in the debate and passage of new laws. All laws are publicly published for debate and discussion -- unlike the current situation where 1,000-page laws like the Patriot Act or the new health care reform bill are covertly written, then often deposited in the federal register just minutes before a scheduled vote.
Today, we have a system of "ambush lawmaking" going on in Congress where even the members of Congress voting on the laws have little time to read the bills (much less understand them). In a Direct Democracy, however, all proposed laws are posted publicly so that the People can read them, debate them and vote on them.
After all, if the whole point of the U.S. Congress was to represent the votes of the People, in an age where people can now vote directly thanks to internet technology, shouldn't the U.S. Congress step aside and just let the People vote for themseles?
How to disband Congress and give power back to the People
Disbanding the U.S. Congress would, of course, require a Constitutional amendment. That is extremely unlikely to happen, given that such an amendment requires an approval of the majority of U.S. states (and existing members of Congress happen to be quite influential in their home states). So to disband Congress, you'd have to convince hundreds of power-hungry people to vote themselves out of power. The odds against that happening are astronomical.
The other option is to just wait for the current U.S. system to collapse, and then replace it with a form of Direct Democracy that makes more sense. This is the more likely scenario, and it may be closer than you think: The financial blowout of America is well under way, and it's only a matter of time before unbridled debt spending leads to runaway inflation and the disastrous demise of the dollar. The passage of the $1 trillion health care bill, in fact, will accelerate America towards financial collapse.
Within a few short years, there may be an opportunity to "reboot America" and create a smarter society to replace the corrupt, outmoded system of government that's failing the American people right now. I support the idea of a Direct Democracy that eliminates the entire U.S. Congress. Of course, there would need to be some sort of process for deciding which proposed laws get put on the public website for discussion and voting, but even that process can be crowdsourced to some degree.
It's time to decentralize power in Washington and distribute it back to the People. In one sense, it's the most politically progressive idea yet proposed, but at the same time, it's also about preserving personal freedom, liberty and responsibility. So it appeals both to progressives and conservatives (Libertarians, too).
The point is, it's time to give back to the American people the power they once granted to their representatives out of practical necessity. Besides, the People can do a far better job debating and voting on proposed laws than the U.S. Congress ever did. Many of the comments I've read about the health care bill on discussions boards are far more intelligent than the debate that took place in the House. The People deserve the right to directly vote on laws that deeply impact their lives and finances.
After all, if the United States is supposed to be a government of the People, by the People and for the People, then why not let the laws be directly voted on by the People?
We the People don't need Senators and Congresspeople to make our decisions for us. What we need is the freedom to vote for ourselves. If we continue to allow Congress to make our decisions for us, they will drive America into the dirt, leaving us all penniless, diseased and neck-deep in debt. (Actually, we're sort of there already...)
Congress promises freedom but delivers financial slavery. It promises to take care of us but then it sells us out to the corporations. Congress puts the corporations first and the people last, and it's time to advance to a better form of Democracy where individual participation in our democratic lawmaking process is the norm.
Now, I know what the main critics of this idea will say: "The People aren't qualified to vote on legislation!" It's a fair question. But I answer, "Are the members of Congress any better qualified?" I'm willing to bet that not 1 out of 5 members of Congress can even cite the Bill of Rights (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United...). They are nutritionally illiterate. They almost universally have little or no knowledge of the banking system or how the Federal Reserve really works. How are they any more qualified to vote on health care than you or I?
Truth is, they aren't. The hard-working, tax-paying people of the United States of America could do a much better job voting on legislative bills than members of Congress.
Congress has become a big part of what's wrong with America today. Disbanding Congress and invoking a Direct Democracy might be the only remaining way to save America from destruction at the hands of greedy corporations, powerful lobbyists and contemptible Congresspeople.
About the author: Mike Adams is a natural health researcher and author with a mission to teach personal and planetary health to the public He is a prolific writer and has published thousands of articles, interviews, reports and consumer guides, impacting the lives of millions of readers around the world who are experiencing phenomenal health benefits from reading his articles. Adams is a trusted, independent journalist who receives no money or promotional fees whatsoever to write about other companies' products. In 2007, Adams launched EcoLEDs, a maker of energy efficient LED lights that greatly reduce CO2 emissions. He also launched an online retailer of environmentally-friendly products (BetterLifeGoods.com) and uses a portion of its profits to help fund non-profit endeavors. He's also the CEO of a highly successful email newsletter software company that develops software used to send permission email campaigns to subscribers. Adams is currently the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit, and enjoys outdoor activities, nature photography, Pilates and adult gymnastics. Known as the 'Health Ranger,' Adams' personal health statistics and mission statements are located at www.HealthRanger.org