We the People

Declaration of IndependenceI’d like to welcome you all to today’s event. Your support means the world to me, even if we’re bucking the tide, going against the grain, swimming upstream and any other clichés you’d care to apply. Whether or not my candidacy inspires or disappoints, I’m in it to make a difference…or at least to stir up trouble.

I could claim to speak for the American people but I can’t with a straight face pretend to know what they’re thinking—or even if they are thinking. My platform aims to correct some of that by focusing  solely on how we improve the quality of our voters, our candidates, and our Congressional representatives. I’m confident that if my recommendations are implemented, every other issue affecting our country, from education to economics, will be resolved.

Voter Reform

  1. Everyone born in this country will be automatically registered to vote. You’re born here; you’re a citizen. You’re a citizen, you pay taxes and you vote.
  2. Every registered voter will be required to vote.  Not voting will mean the loss of driving privileges and a fine. However, no one can vote until they’ve taken and passed a qualification test. I propose using the first section of the test administered to our naturalized citizens. It deals with American government. There are fifty-seven questions divided among three subsections; a passing grade will be 45 correct answers.
  3. Voters will also be asked to summarize, in one or two sentences, the views of the candidates running for office. Please note: The test will be given in English only.
  4. Voting will be possible through a variety of methods, including via Internet or mobile applications. Where necessary, polling places and machinery will be used. Every effort will be made to prevent fraud; however lawsuits after the fact will not be entertained.  It is a waste of court resources. Note that currently, 51% of the eligible voters actually participate. If that percentage is raised to 98%, the increased participation will more than make up for any alleged fraud.
  5. Every registered voter may be excused from participating in three local and one national election during his or her lifetime as voters for any reason whatsoever.

Candidate Reform

  1. Candidates will be asked to take the ENTIRE naturalization test, which includes sections on American History and Integrated Civics, in order to run. They must answer 94 of 100 questions, including all of the questions in the American Government section, correctly.
  2. Every candidate must demonstrate experience/expertise in one of the following areas: budget planning and implementation, facilitation, team-building, hostage negotiation.
  3. Candidates will be forbidden from using the following phrases: “the American people”, “American values”, or “take back our country”, as will those elected to office.
  4. No private money may be used by office-seekers, including funds from one’s own coffers or family holdings, PACs or 501c3s, or corporations, institutions, unions, or interested third parties here or abroad. Anyone found to be soliciting money will be immediately disqualified. There will be no exceptions.
  5. Each candidate will pay a nominal amount to a fund overseen by a committee of volunteer citizens.  Private donations can also be made into this fund for tax credit. The fund will evenly distribute money to credible candidates for limited advertising.  Ads may appear on one channel only, along with public service programs offering discussions, debates and presentations by the candidates and their surrogates; this will likely be an Internet channel. That channel may advertise on other venues in order to remind voters where they can access information that will help them make informed decisions.
  6. Candidates must be available for one month prior to the election to the voters in their district, appearing at debates, forums or town hall meetings to explain why they deserve to be elected.  I recommend elections take place just after Labor Day so candidates can use their vacation days in August.

Representative Reform

  1. Representatives will serve a term of four years (not two in the House or six in the Senate). They will then be eligible to run for office for another single term. This stricture will allow them to do the work required of them without stopping every fourteen months (in the case of United States Representatives) to focus solely on fundraising.
  2. Representative pay will be computed based in part on amount of meaningful legislation passed in any session, the naming of post offices being an example of “non-meaningful” legislation. Pay will also be affected by periodic surveys measuring voter approval of Congress.  Favorable or unfavorable ratings from interest groups will have no bearing.
  3. All representatives are required to support at least one piece of meaningful legislation (see #3 above) working with a member of an opposing party.  Failure to do so will result in early termination.
  4. Each term, the representative deemed by a citizen committee to have done the most to raise the prestige of Congress will receive an award, either monetary or in free publicity. Awards will also go to the representative who has done the most to convince school-aged children of the importance and/or value of public service.

I recognize these proposals are both far-reaching and narrow in scope. I continue to believe in the power of people to make the changes necessary to put our country back on track, assuming these people aren’t total fools, zombies, or prone to learning more about Miley Cyrus than about their elected representatives.

Thank you and have a pleasant week.

“I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.”

About Nikki

Author of non-fiction books HOPE IN SMALL DOSES and BECAUSE I SAY SO as well as numerous published essays. Her new novel, THE FORMER ASSASSIN, is due out January 2018.
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11 Responses to We the People

  1. Greg Correll says:

    So much that’s new (to me) and crafty here. I like and support 95%+; not so sure about VR3, esp English Only.

    But I also think they should get minimum wage. Period. And they should get the minimum standard EVERYTHING (healthcare, insurance, benefits) so they know and never forgeet what they give to the least of us.

  2. Sheila Luecht says:

    We are on a similar wave length. We need desperately to clean up America’s act, otherwise it will be no more. It is beyond on it’s way to being a shell of it’s former greatness. Time to step out and get this platform in some form going strong. Submit to the press, to civic leaders, and to those monkeys in Washington who are already elected, yet doing nothing; make sure they all get a copy. Your efforts matter. It is a good step.

    • Nikki says:

      I wonder why civics is so out of favor. If civics were a requirement in the fourth grade, we might be able to move towards making voting not only a right but an obligation. I know people chafe under the idea of obligations, but too bad. I honestly don’t think this is a liberal or conservative idea. There will still be opinions that differ from mine, Presidents whose party is not the one I generally support. But if people actually KNEW how the government operated–and what it does, including the many necessary and beneficial functions it serves–AND if they knew what the Constitution does (and does NOT) provide for, then a semi-civilized discussion might ensue. I say MIGHT because I remember Vidal and Buckley having at each other way back in 1968 (I should pause to lean on my cane or something) with massive amounts of vitriol disguised by erudition. Entertaining, though every bit as snarky as anything we see today. Still, we wouldn’t hear things like “the government doesn’t do anything for me” or some inane claims to know what the FOunding Fathers meant. We might still be left with a country in which the majority of the people don’t give a rat’s ass what happens to the unfortunate few, but at least we’ll all begin on the same page. After that, we could look into require classes on compassion 😉

  3. AJ Calhoun says:

    I saw the bottom line. It doesn’t matter. You have planted a seed or maybe started a small fire. Whichever it is, may it grow exponentially. Someone will run on this platform. We need you right here, starting fires or planting future mighty oaks or whatever. Brilliantly simple. Simply brilliant.

  4. Jim says:

    I can imagine how funny this Socialistic solution will sound to the Fox Network and those who can see Russia from their homes. Refreshing Nikki, imagine, holding both politicians and taxpayers accountable, are our founding fathers rolling in their graves? I hope so.

  5. Big Bro says:

    Sis-issues can be analyzed in two ways: the onion method and the avocado method. You are in the latter category. The former is merely the peeling away of layer after layer and ending up with … nothing. The latter requires peeling away some prickly leaves, but eventually you get to the heart. Well done.

  6. Matt Paust says:

    Nikki, the Koch bros. sent me to say, “You inna heapa trouble, girl!” for, in the words of H.L. Mencken, “stirring up the savages.” If you ever change your mind and decide to run, tho, you know you have my support, no matter how many Koch dollars might be offered to the contrary.

    • Nikki says:

      Matt, I’d never get enough money to run so I could try and change the campaign finance laws…anyway, read the bottom line 😉

  7. Greg Randolph says:

    Love you Nikki and your spirit. Keep on enlightening.

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