To Form a More Perfect Union

 

In the Preamble to the US Constitution, our Founding Fathers spelled out their rationale for writing it:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

tampu-hdr We the People

To form a more perfect union was the very first reason for establishing our Constitution. This means being more united and less divided. It means acting more in concert and less at cross purposes. It means finding common ground. It means that, as Americans in common, we can agree to disagree without becoming disagreeable.

21CommonSense.org offers a series of articles intended to spark discussions about our American democracy, representative government, and elections – that is, about forming a more perfect union. We present problems; we then introduce possible solutions, of which some are easy to achieve and others difficult, some obvious and others outlandish. The topics are intended to engage people interested in our common civic culture, experience, and laws, and to instigate change. Please participate —

  • Regardless of who you are – by race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation,
  • Regardless of your income, social class, education, location (urban/rural, state, region, or zip code),
  • Regardless of affiliation with the Republican or Democratic or any other party, or no party at all, and
  • Regardless of self-identification as a conservative, tea-partier, liberal, progressive, left-wing, or right-wing.

The only criterion for participation in this conversation is your interest in helping this nation “Form a More Perfect Union”. The initial topics include the following:

  • The underlying principles of democracy and of representative government. Democracy works best if all participate, and all on an equal footing: “All men are created equal” – which implies, of course, “one man, one vote”.
  • Voting rights, rules, and culture:
    • Reasons for general apathy, and potential solutions
    • Standardization of elections
    • Timing of elections and campaigns
    • Ranked Choice Voting
    • Multi-seat election districts, both Federal and state
    • Redistricting by computer, both Federal and state
    • All citizens automatically registered
    • Encouraging voter turnout
    • Voting Rights Act
    • Open primaries (that is, primaries without political parties)
  • Campaign Financing
    • As an extension of the principle of equal representation (One-man, one-vote), we should also strive to achieve equal influence/voice, regardless of money
    • Corporations are not people
    • Transparency; disclosure of all donations
    • Congressional authority; need for a Constitutional amendment
  • Effective Congress
    • Divided government and the necessity of compromise – how we can get things done
    • Filibuster; decisions by majority in both the House and the Senate
    • Congressional responsibility for governing, paying our bills, and funding the Government; forcing Congress to act
    • Presidential appointments
    • Executive orders
    • Restoring balance between the President and Congress
  • Constitutional Amendments concerning governmental organization and elections
    • Election of the President
    • Election of the Vice President
    • Makeup of the United States Senate/Chamber of Deputies

Join the Conversation!