Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Some folks are quick to blame the voters for the mess this country is in. Not me.

In 2008, Americans overwhelmingly opposed the TARP bailouts. Which candidate — Democrat Obama or Republican McCain — represented the majority of us on that central issue?

Neither.

This year, President Obama promises a significant tax increase and more government investment in crony capitalism. Republican nominee Mitt Romney pledges he won’t raise taxes and he’ll reduce at least the growth in spending via Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan.Initiative sign

But who would be surprised were Romney, even given a GOP Congress — especially given a GOP Congress — to fail miserably on his promises?

Voters choose candidates for the right reasons only to see those candidates, from both major parties, jettison their campaign promises, ad nauseam.

We aren’t mind readers. We’re simply not to blame for good-faith decisions in a bad-faith system.

We are to blame, however, for not taking the initiative to change the rottenness in the system.

Yet, how best to get outside this box, to effect real change, to take the initiative?

Why, the initiative, of course!

Twenty-three states have viable processes for citizens to put initiative measures on state ballots. Even in states where no statewide initiative or referendum exists, like Texas and New York, most local jurisdictions have the initiative.

National changes can come from local action.

Increasingly, we must use the initiative not only to change the law, protect freedom, hold government accountable, reform the system, but also to set the political agenda directly from the grass roots.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

7 Comments

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  2. JFB says:

    The concept of a initiatives is fine in some states, and exist in and are being put to use in Michigan by interest groups om both sides of the political spectrum.
    The problem however, in my opinion is the usurpation of power and freedoms by the federal government.
    As many of the districts are gerrymandered a recently emerging group in interesting and deserving of your attention, the Campaign for Primary Accountability campaign4primaryaccountability.org)which seeks to hold imcumbants in “safe” districts accountable for moving off their message.
    Their’s is a method of review and discipline presently needed, and which should be emulated.

  3. Brian Wright says:

    Good column and comment. I do think the nullification movement (http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com) is a great adjunct to the initiative/referendum/recall tools. Interestingly, New York, which does not have i/r/r is for all intents and purposes a three-person oligarchy: http://brianrwright.com/CoffeeCoasterBlog/?p=691.

    Also, on a more fundamental level, the jury nullification movement has much to contribute. In fact, how about an initiative to require all judges in a state (including federal district court judges) to inform jurors they may decide verdict and law. [With suitable inspirational language that this is a final bastion against tyranny.] 🙂

  4. Paul Jacob says:

    Brian — I like the way you think.

    JFB — The states do need to fight the Fed’s and their monopolization of power. But I think few politicians will have the backbone to fight the Feds without the people holding their feet to the fire through efforts — including initiatives — at the state and local levels.

  5. Pat says:

    And how are we to deal with the courts’ overturning citizen-passed laws?

  6. DoctorT says:

    Unlike you, I blame the majority of voters for being lazy and for voting based on looks, glibness, fanciful promises by the candidate, and pork barrel spending in the home district by candidates running for reelection. Few voters actually look at the candidates’ histories and attitudes.

    Anyone who was willing to spend a few hours searching the Internet could have uncovered Obama’s many flaws (including disdain for the Constitution) and would have realized that Obama was a continual liar and a typical sleazy Chicago pol.

    I remember when Senator Alphonse D’Amato was running for reelection in New York despite being investigated for corruption and bribe-taking. A reporter did an on-the street interview with a woman who said she would vote for D’Amato. The reporter asked about the allegations of corruption. The woman replied, “Yeah, we know he’s a crook, but he’s OUR crook.”

    The saying goes, “People get the government they deserve.” There is much truth to it.

  7. MoreFreedom says:

    While initiatives do play a role in local and state governments, we don’t have it for the federal government. And initiatives can be nullified by legislative acts later.

    I have some other recommendations.

    Instant Runoff Voting: so you can vote for who you believe is best, rather than the lesser of 2 evils. This could be used in any vote among candidates, and could eliminate parties and primaries entirely. Obviously using this for president would require a constitutional amendment, but it should (and is in some locations) be used for state and local races.

    Get government to use standard accounting practices, requiring they put aside funds now for promises to pay in the future.

    Balanced Budget amendment

    Line item veto (this would probably take a constitutional amendment for the feds)

    I’d like to see candidates submit a proposed budget for their office to get on the ballot. So Obama would submit a federal budget. This would force candidates to show where they stand, rather than not telling us or misleading us.

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