Summary: How can we reclaim and reform America? Here is a five-step program. All it requires is time and effort. This is a content-free path. I do not know where this will take us. Only that if widely followed America will become what we wish it to be. No matter what the outcome, we will meet the future as citizens. Not sheep.
“Everything is very simple in politics, but the simplest thing is difficult. These difficulties accumulate and produce a friction, which no man can imagine exactly who has not seen politics.”
— Chapter VII of On War by Clausewitz, slightly paraphrased
To reform America requires nothing more — or less — than that we re-take responsibility for the Republic. One person at a time. Then we re-take the Democratic and Republican Parties. Here are actions that could start the process. They are undemanding, after one has taken the initial leap of faith. None of these things are new; such methods have worked before for America — and can work again.
(1) We must have clarity about our goal. This is the most important step, and has two parts.
- Start by reading the Constitution. Don’t skim the parts you don’t like. Those are the important ones.
- Look in the mirror and swear that “to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Protect and defend the full Constitution, even the parts you don’t like. The Republic is not like some Christian-lite church (Only six Commandments – You pick ’em!).
(2) Vote in every election and primary. To win you must first show up.
(3) In every major election year (at least every other year) contribute time and money to at least one candidate or political party (special interest groups do not court for this). Even if your donation is just a widow’s mite, it matters. From Luke 21: 1-4:
As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
(4) Donate at least 12 hours per year of your time to the campaign of a candidate or political party (special interest groups do not count for this).
(5) Attend one political meeting every month, with a diverse group of people. Neighbors are great candidates. Not just people like you, so that all re-enforce and cheer each other’s beliefs (that way lies social strife and fanaticism). Best would be a small group meeting to discuss US domestic or foreign policy, ideally led by somebody acknowledged by both groups as some form of leader. Some precepts:
- Make your goal to listen and learn, not to preach.
- Search for common values, the starting point for politics.
- Focus on facts. A generation of intensive propaganda will make this difficult; these shackles are welded tight on us (breaking them is a task for our children). Debate is futile; looks for areas of agreement!
- Find common goals.
- Update (per Pluto’s comment): stay cool; whenever possible applaud those with whom you disagree. It’s about us winning, not you winning.
- Then and only then discuss policies.
- Avoid the search for enemies. To divide the people is the age-old tool of elites, and designating heretics and apostates is the first step.
Expect no miracles or fast cures. We have sapped the foundation of the Republic. Rebuilding will take time and work.
For more information
For a full list of articles see the FM Reference Page America – How Can We Reform It?
Some solutions, ways to reform America:
- Diagnosing the Eagle, Chapter III – reclaiming the Constitution, 3 January 2008
- Let’s look at America in the mirror, the first step to reform, 14 August 2008
- Fixing America: shall we choose elections, revolt, or passivity?, 16 August 2008 — Part One.
- Fixing American: taking responsibility is the first step, 17 August 2008 — Part Two.
- Fixing America: the choices are elections, revolt, or passivity, 18 August 2008 — Part Three.
- How to stage effective protests in the 21st century, 21 April 2009
- The first step on the road to America’s reform, 29 May 2009
- Correction to my previous posts – not all citizen activism is good…, 16 October 2009
- The first step to reforming America (the final version), 7 December 2009
- Question of the Day, about reforming America, 12 March 2010
- The project to reform America: a matter for science, or a matter of will?, 16 March 2010
- Can we reignite the spirit of America?, 14 September 2010
- The sure route to reforming America, 16 November 2010