There has never been a grass roots movement (at least a successful one) in America. However, if we are to save this nation, we need to start one now.
Goal of a Grass Roots Movement
Restore the integrity of our election system, our Constitution, repair the damage that impairs We the People being able to self-govern our nation, restore our classical liberal values (the ideal of limited government, constitutionalism, rule of law, due process, and liberty of individuals including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets).
The net effect of this is that our federal government would be limited to what it is authorized to do under the Constitution and We the People (grass roots) have ultimate control over it. Other than to prevent local despotism (things than undermine the general welfare), all domestic issues would be handled at the lowest possible level—by the people, local communities, cities, counties and as absolutely necessary: at the state level.
In effect, the grass roots movement would be about restoring and then furthering the Great Experiment in Self-Government by We the People that our founders wanted for the United States of America.
Any expansion of national/federal government power would be via the Constitutional amendment process and not by the unconstitutional means that have been in play for the past 100 plus years in this nation.
Background as to how we lost our freedom to a powerful elite
At its founding, each of the colonies (now states) had a functioning system of government which ended up supporting the struggle for independence from British rule. After the war against England started, the colonies developed its first constitution, the Articles of Confederation, which was sent to the colonies for ratification in 1777 and was ratified by 1781. Time proved it inadequate and a further convention was convened in 1787, which yielded our current Constitution.
There are many forms of government, and as Benjamin Franklin was famously quoted as saying when asked about the form of government developed at the convention, he remarked “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
Having studied history and just extricated itself from the tyranny of an elitist government, the founding fathers expressed greater trust in the wisdom of the general population than in those who sought to gain power over others in order to rule over them. In effect, our Constitution was to provide a great American experiment in self-government by We the People.
This new constitution was ratified in 1788, and in 1789 it held its first Congress. Under the Constitution, each decade a national census was to be conducted and the House districts reapportioned. The initial minimum for a House district was 30,000 population, but no maximum was set in the Constitution.
As the colonies (and by then States) had functioning government systems, they well understood the importance of district size if the people were to elect representatives of known character who would actually represent their interests. Congress had two branches, the House and Senate. The House was to be the people’s house, with representatives elected for 2 year terms, known and accountable to the people. The Senate was to have senators who represented the interests of their state and would be chosen for 6 year terms by the state legislatures (who were comprised of legislators similarly chosen and accountable to the people,)
A business of the first Congress was to finalize and send to the states for ratification a set of proposed amendments as our Bill of Rights. We are taught there were 10 amendments for our Bill of Rights. That is not true, there were 12. The very first, called Article the First, was to place a limit on the population size of a Congressional House district, which would allow district size to grow to a maximum of 50,000 population. However, the version that went out to the states represented neither of the versions (as approved by the House or Senate), but instead changed one word (“less” to “more”) in the final clause effectively rendering it purposeless.
This was the first coup against the concept of self-government by We the People. It took more than 50 years after ratification of our Constitution for House districts to grow larger than the maximum approved for Article the First by the 1789 congress. By then the founder’s were dead. Strangely, we don’t hear about it, it is not taught in schools nor by the pundits. Plain and simple, people are not taught the importance of small representative districts in order for the people to know and control who they elect to represent them. Perhaps it is because it is not taught or discussed that the enemies of our republic were able to effectively destroy We the People’s (the grass roots) ability to control the representation in Congress.
For those who seek to gain power over others, it is much easier to do so when the number of people critical to the process is kept as small as possible—as it is easier to control (corrupt) a small group than a large one.
Gradually, district size grew to over 200,000 population by the beginning of the 1900’s. A public ignorant of the critical importance of district size, became captive to party politics and powerful special interests in regard to the selection of candidates to the point that what went on in Congress was in most cases independent of the will or desires of the grass roots.
The 17th Amendment was passed, changing the method of selecting U.S. Senators from that of the state legislatures to a statewide election process. While this sounded great to the naïve, it was a boon to the powerful special interests, for they only had to corrupt one candidate that they supported in order to gain a Senator, instead of having to corrupt a majority of each state’s legislators.
Even with the early defeat of Article the First and the virtual squelching of all discussion of the importance of district size, the House of Representatives was still growing in size and becoming increasingly difficult for the power brokers to control. Thus, it was critical for the power brokers to limit the size of the House of Representatives and in 1911 an apportionment act was passed by Congress, to limit the size of the House of Representatives to 435 members, as it remains to this day, where the average size of a House district exceeds 750,000 and growing in size in direct proportion to the population growth.
Under such conditions, it is no wonder that the grass roots has lost control over both houses of Congress. After all, that is the way the power brokers worked it to be.
Our Constitution was created to be a “living Constitution” in the sense that Article V of the Constitution provided various methods to amend it.
However, those who sought to have power over We the People, saw the amendment process too difficult for them to expand the powers of the national (we call federal) government—in order to impose changes that otherwise We the People would not endorse. President Wilson famously promoted the idea of a “living Constitution” and by this he meant inventing methods—in fact unconstitutional methods—by which the three branches of the federal government could amend it by circumventing the legal Constitutional amendment process.
As a consequence, starting with such as the Federal Reserve Act and then the New Deal, the Great Society, the War on Poverty, as with an abundance of court cases, the federal government has exceeded its limited powers under the Constitution, to usurp, especially in regard to domestic issues—what had been the prerogatives of the states, local municipalities or the people.
At this point, a vast number of us cannot even trust the integrity of our election process. The power brokers have created regulations and licenses to restrict businesses, which in fact are able to harm the general welfare of our nation and undermine its founding concepts. As expressed multiple times, at this point in time these four issues must be addressed if we are to restore a semblance of self-government to We the People to this nation.
Basically, I see we have two choices in government in the United States: 1) Allow a class of powerful elites to continue to rule this nation in disregard for our Constitution and will of the people, or 2) Educate the grass roots to the point they demand the basic changes necessary to restore the founder’s design for self-government at the federal level, as well as restore state and local government to the people and essentially independent of the federal government.
If there was ever a need for a real grass movement—to grow and take charge of this nation from the powerful elite—I see this as the time.
In the past, I tried to get involved in my political party’s county central committee, and soon discovered it was simply a top down organization with no interest in grass roots ideas or creative input.
Many of you got involved in the early Tea Party movement that occurred, primarily starting in early 2009. The early rallies, such as the April 15 Rally in Sacramento, was inspiring and hopeful.
This was followed by the formation of local Tea Party groups that started to hold weekly meetings, primarily in restaurants. Despite a hopeful start, it fizzled as it turned into some rather perfunctory meetings with a guest speaker. There was no real local, national cohesion or overall agenda, vision, or plan—thus it fizzled.
The fact is, and should be obvious to a vast number of Americans; the swamp, the Left, the power elites have done everything they can to divide us from one another into factions, isolate us from one another from face to face meaningful interaction, and to control us by the force of government, be it regulations, taxation, mandates and increasingly tyrannical methods.
At this point in time, the sheer magnitude of interlocking bureaucracies, regulations, subsidies and other interactions between the federal, state and local government—is such a maze of complexity that it is mind boggling to comprehend, let alone consider seriously rectifying.
Starting a grass roots movement
For a grass roots movement to take hold and effect the needed change, it must be both a national as well as local movement—with the local sharing similar concerns, but not controlled by the national. We were not designed (at our nation’s founding) to be a one size fits all top down system.
As we have never had a functional grass roots movement in the United States, or possibly elsewhere in the world, it is a novel endeavor—the breaking of new ground. The purpose of the movement is to restore the concept of self-government to the people. And, not everyone is supportive of that. 1) Many want control and power over others, and unfortunately, thanks to the federal overreach over the past century, 2) many are either employed by the government system and would oppose changes that could jeopardize their livelihood and security, and of course 3) many are the recipients of government programs and would be opposed to losing their government welfare benefits....this includes subsidies and benefits to industry, agriculture as well as individuals.
Of the three groups listed above, we must consider those in group 1), those who want control and power over us as the enemy—as those who will fight us tooth and nail to prevent self-government by the people to work. Their primary tools are disinformation (promoting a biased perspective and an agenda that suits their purpose), as well as fear, and intimidation.
The other two groups must be converted to see the wisdom of the Classical liberal position, the philosophy committed to the ideal of limited government, constitutionalism, rule of law, due process, and liberty of individuals including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets. That under such a system, we can maximize the opportunity for everyone in society to enjoy the blessings of a decent life...better than experienced in other nations or previous generations.
Just as the Humpty Dumpty rhyme goes, once you do damage, it is not easy to repair a broken system—which will require massive dismantling of existing counterproductive systems throughout our society in order to fix.
EDUCATION – At the local and at the national level we need to call upon creative expertise to find ways to educate the nation to our Constitution, how it has been undermined, and what it could be like if we united to fix the system. This will require educational videos, local educational meetings/seminars, and most important: we need to develop inspirational dramatic films that entertain, enlighten, enrage and motivate the public. While these four points are essential to the education, the last point regarding election fraud is of immediate need to protect our system from a total collapse. We must push to develop a national referendum sufficient to force our Congress to enact (enough to override a veto if necessary) election reform.
Of course education extends beyond that. We cannot continue to allow the government bureaucratized and unionized tax payer funded system to both dumb down and indoctrinate our youth. We must push for immediate universal choice in education...public, private, parochial, home school, work/study, and other healthy options to suit individual needs.
RESTORE COMMUNITY – While email and the internet are valuable resources, social networks is not a substitute for face to face human interaction. Small groups of a couple, preferably a dozen or less people is a place to begin. The meetings should be informal, fun, and yet with a purpose. A starting point might be in restaurants, churches, homes, and have a large screen TV hooked up to a computer, where some video can be played. As there is little useful video at this time, one might use the website www.PolicyUSA.com and access some of the articles for discussion—as a start.
I would suggest that the average person has little interest in any sort of intense involvement, but educating them to the basics of civics and especially the need to address these four points is essential. Without belaboring the point, we need to restore community interaction on the issues that impact our lives.
The Left and the swamp would like to picture any such grass roots meeting as some sort of insurrection movement. And many still believe our major institutions as gospel. Care should be exerted not to try to convince people of the ills of society, but instead promote insight to civics and to healthy discussion. Like a personal experience of God, it does not happen because someone forces it upon you. We have to trust that each individual, in their own time, if exposed to healthy discourse, will eventually see reality without it being forced upon them. To win this nation back to its founding principles is not a partisan issue—and the Republicans can be as swampy and counterproductive as anyone.
As citizen involvement aside from voting is virtually unknown for most, a serious topic to be discussed is the reality of how the local community can regain control from the existing bureaucratic and interconnected system existing today. Education regarding the interconnectivity and funding issues have evolved and choke citizen control can be illuminating without seeming conspiratorial.
Our goal is to restore local control over the issues that affect the community. Among other things, this includes education, housing, use and development of private property, local values, criminal justice, vagrancy homeless and unemployed....as well as all the things government regulates, especially housing and businesses that has more to do with furthering certain industries and protecting businesses from competition than benefitting society at large.
Without simply riling people up, we need to educate and get people pointed to a healthy track from which we can gradually and sometimes rapidly effect change. Educating people in an entertaining and hopefully fun way would be a healthy way to move in that direction. A weekly meeting, with purpose, sharing ideas and small enough people are not intimidated from sharing would be a good start.
But most important of all, we need to start broadening our interaction with others in our community.
DEVELOP HEALTHY TERMINOLOGY – As a classical liberal, I keep hearing people on the supposed right refer to themselves and others as “conservatives” and the color ‘RED”. If someone calls themselves a conservative, I can only guess what they believe—but it is just a guess—they may very well be a simple compromised RINO for all I know. And referring to a community or state that is predominately supporting our Constitution and freedom as a RED state makes me cringe every time I hear it—and I have been hearing it for over 20 years now.
The Left adopts terminology and symbols that benefit their agenda and undermine the opposition (opposition being those who believe in our nation’s founding values and the Constitution). Not only do they use language and symbols to further their agenda, they use terminology to fool the naïve into thinking they are the good guys.
I would never refer to a Leftist as a liberal. They are anything but liberal. They might be “libertines” promoting every type of degeneracy in order to undermine society, but in fact—when push comes to shove—they are intolerant, power mongers that pursue a narrow minded, bigoted, social ideology that is disastrous to every nation and society that has tried to implement it.
So, we need to get smart and consistent. Unlike the Left, we are not out to deceive, we are out to educate, and transform our system back to one that promotes the maximum degree of freedom and opportunity it can, while dealing with the reality of mankind.
Some of my suggestions:
Always refer to the Left as the Left, the swamp, the degenerates, the liars, the schemers (whatever) – but never call them liberals. Being considered as “liberal” is a good term, and in today’s society a drawing card the Left can use to attract those who are politically naïve. We have to take back that term and not let the Left get away with it.
And in regard to the term “conservative”, I would give up using that term entirely and switch to terms like liberal, classical liberal, patriot, or some other term that a politically naïve person would find attractive. As it is, not only do I not know what a person who labels themselves as a “conservative” actually believe, it conjures up images in my mind of some narrow minded bigot who is not open to change. Why do that?
Caution when using the term “law and order.” When Trump used that term during his campaign, I would bet he turned many off—I know he turned me off, because so much of our laws and especially the implementation of our justice system is lopsided and anything but healthy. The term law and order can easily be synonymous with a police state—and I doubt many of us who love our Constitutional republic want the tyranny of a police state.
Stop referring to the Republican dominant states as RED states. Especially for the naïve, the immediate reaction in regard to the color RED politically is that it refers to Nazi Germany, Red China, Red Russia – in fact it is analogous to calling the Republican dominant states as fascists, communists, dictatorships, etc. Stop doing it. If you have to use a color, use the color BLUE, which most people identify as a patriotic color. Here is an article I wrote on the color issue a few years back.
Anyway, I am not going to go further at this time with the subject. The point is, we need to use terminology that the least politically aware people in society will find attractive, rather than negative. I believe the patriots in this nation lose a lot of close elections because they use terminology that is offensive, misunderstood, and turns off the voter. We must stop that.
In regard to terminology, we need to promote positive terminology that promotes understanding and does not turn off the naïve.
STOP THE UNSCIENTIFIC DIVISION – Many justified the institution of slavery by promoting the idea that Africans were of a different race. Our schools teach our children, from the earliest age, that there are different races of mankind. Just about every government form and many non-government forms, ask us to identify which ethnic or racial group we are in. This is evil and promotes exactly the type of division we want to minimize or eliminate.
Currently, especially since 2009, division between people of differing ethnic and supposed racial lines has escalated to the point of crisis—and getting worse, not better. We must reverse that.
Scientifically, it has been proven that there is only one race in regard to us humans and we are all descended from common ancestry. We need to promote that, and we need to both discourage and seek to outlaw the practice of both teaching there are different races as well, as such on applications and forms used by business and government.
While bigotry and hatred of differences is not going to be erased from the human genome, we do not have to feed in to it, and we can certainly work to minimize it.
PROMOTING A HEALTHY VISION – We aren’t going to make much progress without painting a healthy vision of how society can operate if we work to restore the founder’s vision of a limited national government where We the People were in charge—instead of a powerful elite.
The quality of life we could enjoy if we weren’t paying a significant share of our income to pay for counterproductive government services, many of which hinder our freedom and opportunities. Domestically, how richly diverse our neighborhoods, cities, and states could become if not forced to comply with top down mandates by those who wish to control us and curb our freedoms—those elites that simply know better how to live our lives than we do.
Books, major motion pictures, so much needs to be written and said in this regard....
But for now, I am going to stop. This is just some of my thoughts on a Grass Roots movement—that I believe is absolutely essential if we are to turn this nation around—let alone save it from utter destruction.