Welcome to

535: number of voting members in Congress
PKQ: Philosopher King/Queen

...and
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21stCenturyCivics.com

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Two domain names...

One idea "whose time has come."

 

 

Preface

America's political science and civics instructors don't know it, yet, but they are at a major course-of-history-changing inflection point very much like the one our nation's medical instructors were at in the late 19th century.

That's when medical schools began struggling over a profoundly consequential academic decision, a decision laden with equally profound moral implications.

The decision:

EITHER:

Continue teaching medicine the way medical schools had been teaching it for the past two thousand years -- i.e., based on the Four Humours Theory of Medicine -- a theory that over two centuries of the medical field’s greatest, most revered minds had contributed to and expanded upon, whose premise was that: 1) people succumbed to infections, diseases and other ailments when their body's major fluids fell out of their "proper" balance, and 2) curing the patients required doctors getting those fluids back into proper balance (via standard treatments like bloodletting, ice cold showers, scalding hot baths, etc.).

OR:

Toss all two thousand years of that accumulated medical "knowledge" in the trash bin and begin the long, arduous task of developing and teaching a whole new body of knowledge based on what is now our modern day Germ Theory of Medicine -- a theory that, at the time, had been derisively dismissed by the medical establishment's intelligentsia because it was based on what they considered a nonsensical premise: infections and diseases are caused by microscopic organisms. But equally nonsensical, curing the patient did not involve getting the body's major fluids back into their proper balance but, rather, killing the harmful organisms directly with specific drugs.

Fortunately for the field of medicine, the decision mostly made itself after experimentation -- notably by biologist and chemist, Louis Pasteur -- made it glaringly obvious that our medical intelligentsia's beloved Four Humours Theory wasn't just wrong, it was Beavis-and-Butthead-level-of-idiocy wrong. However, as you might expect, even then there were the inevitable "bitter clingers," those who were unwilling to accept the Germ Theory's validity because it meant the remedies and treatments they had been administering as physicians, and teaching their medical students to use, not only had zero medical benefit -- in many cases the treatments added greatly to their patients' suffering (and, often times, actually killed their patients).

That kind of knowledge -- i.e., knowledge that utterly destroys one's most fundamental, cherished beliefs -- was a very bitter pill to have to swallow.

In a nutshell, this is the same kind of academic and moral decision our political science and civics educators will soon be forced to make.

They can:

EITHER:

Continue teaching America's students (our nation's future voters) a severely flawed, "18th century" theory/science/philosophy/model of self-governance (or self-governance paradigm) that produces an electorate that doesn't have the slightest idea of how to recruit and elect legislators to Congress who can solve America's myriad of major economic, financial, fiscal and societal (EFFS) problems.

OR:

Toss that curriculum in the trash bin and begin teaching a self-governance theory/science/philosophy/model based a whole new body of "21st century" knowledge and insights that will produce a nation of voters who know how to easily recruit and elect highly capable Democrats, Republicans, etc. to Congress who can solve America's EFFS problems -- in many cases, completely, permanently, and largely painlessly.

The Herculean task for every American who wants to see our political science and civics educators toss their revered 18th century philosophy/theory into the trash bin, as soon as possible, is convincing them that this new science of self-governance -- complete with an entire subfield of new, self-governance related knowledge -- is a course-of-history-changing idea "whose time has come."

 

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Please note: this (90% blog) site is currently undergoing major "conceptual" overhaul and reconstruction.

It is turning out to be a time-consuming process. So, while it is taking place, unedited segments (along with a lexicon of new, "21st century" terms) will be provided to readers -- political science and civics educators in particular -- who wish to begin learning about this new knowledge immediately.

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synopsis (working draft)

America's political science and civics educators are unwittingly complicit in teaching a "Four Humours" -- i.e., outdated, severely flawed, ignorance-based -- understanding of and approach to the "process" of self-governance (or what we generally refer to as the democratic process).

This voting strategy/paradigm might have made sense in 18th century America, a time when: 1) the federal government had very little power, 2) there were a miniscule number of laws on the federal books, and 3) only a relatively tiny number of major issues for the few voters who were allowed to vote to go the polls and decide on.

But in 21st century America that paradigm is woefully inadequate -- not to mention, riddled with flawed logic/thinking.

One major consequence of our society being taught a Four Humours understanding of self-governance is that our approximately 140 million voters mistakenly assume that the sole function of the national legislative election process (NLEP) is to enable them to use the "power of the ballot box" to achieve just one objective, and of a very specific type: a political/ideological(PI) objective: namely, choose which political party they the voters want to see in control of the U.S. House and Senate.

Yet, if properly instructed, our voters can just as easily use the NLEP to achieve a second, apolitical/non-ideological(ANI) objective -- an objective that, figuratively speaking, is a million times more important:

choose which democracy* they want America to be: dystopian or neartopian.

* constitutional republic (CR) for you sticklers

Dystopian (or dystopic) democracy: a democracy that stays permanently mired in relatively easily solvable economic, financial, fiscal and societal (EFFS) problems because its national legislature stays permanently controlled by self-serving, politically ambitious "politicians" (PAPs).

Neartopian (or neartopic) democracy: a democracy that exists essentially free of major EFFS problems because its national legislature stays permanently controlled by a continual supply of PKQ*-caliber legislators (* Philosopher King/Queen) -- i.e., highly competent, NON-self-serving, NON-politically ambitious NON-politicians -- who only serve in office for a few years (~4-6) as a one-time civic duty because both they and the voters know how easily political power, especially at the national level, can eventually corrupt even the best of us.

In order for our civics instructors to rectify their educational "malpractice," they must begin teaching our nation's students (and voters) a new civic "skill" -- competent self-governance -- which our educators can accomplish by providing students with a comprehensive, real world, no-nonsense understanding of:
  • the central role that self-serving PAPs play -- and have played in America's history -- in causing, creating and/or exacerbating America's major EFFS problems,

  • the kinds of unethical behaviors that two human shortcomings, political ambition and political power-lust, will cause otherwise good, decent, well-meaning people to engage in to get elected -- particularly to national legislative office -- in the first place; and, once elected, repeatedly re-elected.

    • extensive class time devoted to studying:
      1. examples of "PAP behavior" in past Congresses,
      2. the various types of self-serving legislative provisions (SSLPs) that PAPs from across the political/ideological spectrum have inserted into legislation over Congress' 230 year history (a.k.a., "acts" of cronyism),
      3. the different types of cronyism -- e.g., special interest, vested interest, political -- as well as the myriad of harmful effects that the accumulation of hundreds(?) of thousands of individual acts of cronyism have had (over the span of, in some cases, 200+ years) on America's major systems, e.g.,
        • free market system
        • financial system
        • federal tax system
        • healthcare system
        • public education system
        • criminal justice system
        • mental health system
        • welfare system
        • etc.

  • the nexus between America's "dysfunctionalized" (or diseased) systems and America's major EFFS problems,

    • KEY POINT: highly instructive for our EFFS problems to be thought of (and "treated" legislatively) as symptoms of America's diseased systems.

  • what voters must do to keep Congress continually replenished with a steady supply of highly qualified (mostly) liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans who have the requisite "purity of motive" (POM) needed to craft and enact legislation that:
    1. is neither "liberal/Democratic" nor "conservative/Republican,"
    2. will actually "solve" America's major EFFS problems -- in many cases, completely, permanently, and largely painlessly,
    3. will be strongly supported by the mainstream of liberal, moderate, conservative and libertarian voters.

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America Needs a 21st Century Civics Curriculum.

Here's why...
(a parsimonious overview from a layman's perspective)

A substantial majority of Americans will probably agree that our nation exists permanently mired in major EFFS problems because Congress is "broken." And Congress is broken -- along with our national politics and our democracy -- because Congress is permanently controlled by two factions of self-serving, politically ambitious “politicians” (PAPs) who stay permanently engaged in a never-ending, all-consuming, all's-fair-in-love-and-political-war struggle for power, much of it purely for power's sake. (aside: nothing new here; this is pretty much what self-serving PAPs the world over have been doing since the beginning of time.)

Chances are that almost all of our political intelligentsia and elites in academia and elsewhere point the finger of blame for this at our voters' many human shortcomings -- i.e., they're uninformed, misinformed, unintelligent, naive, apathetic, etc. But above all, they're greedy*; voters always want more goodies from government than they are willing to pay for in taxes.

* According to some scholars, it is voter greed that eventually destroys all democracies -- because, in the long run, voter greed leads to ever larger budget deficits, a ballooning national debt and, eventually, economic collapse.

Technically, our intelligentsia are correct. America is a democracy. In a democracy, the buck stops with the voters. Voters keep electing/re-electing PAPs to Congress. Ergo, don't blame the "politicians" because Congress is broken and America is drowning in EFFS problems, blame the voters.

Yes, but...

Turns out, that centuries old conventional wisdom doesn't hold up to simple scrutiny, not least because it ignores the major role played by our voters' principal "advisors" -- i.e., the folks they have always turned to for information, insight and advice on most matters, including matters of self-governance: our intelligentsia and elites in academia, media and elsewhere.

Not that our nation's "unwashed masses" -- i.e., our uneducated, simple-minded, gullible, misinformed, etc. -- shouldn't rely on America's best and brightest for guidance in all matters large and small, but particularly matters of self-governance.

However, in this case, our intelligentsia dropped the ball -- BIG TIME.

In two key respects.

First, they have clung blindly to the flawed "18th century" philosophy/theory of self-governance (SG) that our nation's students have been taught (in elementary, high school and college civics) -- and our voters continually reminded -- essentially since the 18th century.

The 18th Century Philosophy/Theory of SG
(in a nutshell)

To be a responsible citizen, one should register to vote as soon as one is legally allowed. And to be a responsible voter, one should first do their due diligence and become informed, either on the major issues of our time, or on the issues that matter the most to them personally -- or, preferably, on both sets of issues. Then they should vote for the candidate(s) whose position on those issues they are most aligned with -- and/or vote for the candidate(s) whose political party's ideals, principles, governing philosophy, etc. they are most supportive of.

key aside: one of the unintended consequences of this philosophy in the modern era is that most left-of-center voters would rather see a self-serving, politically ambitious, Democratic "politician" elected to Congress rather than see a NON-self-serving, NON-politically ambitious, Republican NON-politician elected -- and vice-versa for most right-of-center voters.

And sadly, this decision making calculus applies to both our least and most:

  • informed,
  • intelligent,
  • naive,
  • greedy,
  • etc.

It is an easy case to make that Congress, our politics and our democracy are all broken --or, a far more useful and instructive term: diseased -- because of the unintended consequences of voters using (for the last ~90 years, especially) this 18th century, "one objective" paradigm (and thought process) to elect their members of Congress.

Second, when you consider the mountain of evidence our learned scholars have amassed, and insights gleaned, over a span of many centuries, millennia even, regarding the amount of EFFS harm that self-serving PAPs the world over have inflicted on their nations, there are two radically different self-governance strategies that, at the very minimum, the wisest among our intelligentsia could have advised voters to take to solve their "America is drowning in EFFS problems because Congress is broken" problem:

  • the 18th Century Strategy
    • AKA:
      • the Beavis-and-Butthead-Level-of-Idiocy (BBLOI) Strategy
      • the One Objective Voting Strategy

  • the 21st Century Strategy
    • AKA:
      • the Commonsense Strategy (see Minion suggestion below)
      • the Two Objective Voting Strategy

Unfortunately, it's likely that our intelligentsia never even thought to develop, much less pursue, the Commonsense Strategy -- which explains why they continue blindly clinging to the BBLOI Strategy:

 

The fact that our young minion friend immediately grasps what has been impossible for America's intelligentsia to see these many decades easily qualifies as the greatest mystery in the fields of both political science and civics instruction. And, of course, begs the question: why?

There are any number of possible answers, but the same type of intellectual hubris that our best and brightest medical minds in the late 19th century were probably guilty of probably plays the pivotal role with our modern era's best and brightest political thinkers. Not in explaining why they began pursuing the BBLOI Strategy in the first place, but why they have blindly and stubbornly continued pursuing it for as long as they have.

Why intellectual hubris? Because what began as an academic debate between political philosophers several hundred years ago -- which governing philosophy, liberalism or conservatism, accomplishes the greatest good for the greatest number of people -- eventually deteriorated into a "my political ideology is better than your political ideology" intellectual urinating contest.

That contest is probably going stronger today than it ever has. So strong that if intellectual pissing contests produced an odor, our universities and think tanks (and cable news networks) would reek with the stench of urine.

At some point in our history (my layman's guess, around the time of FDR's New Deal), Congress' self-serving PAPs "weaponized" these two governing philosophies. Meaning they co-opted the intellectual debate and turned it into the single most powerful (by far) demagogic weapon a PAP could possess -- i.e., their pitch to voters became:

"Elect me and my party to Congress because policies based on our (morally superior) political ideology are the only way to "cure" America's EFFS ills. While policies based on the other party's political ideology aren't just incapable of solving our problems, in many cases they should be looked upon as the "diseases" responsible for causing our problems in the first place."

Our (Democratic and Republican) PAPs' demagogic narratives -- both of which were echoed by their respective cliques of "faithful believers" in academia, media, think tanks, Hollywood, etc. -- worked exceptionally well because, as the years progressed, the calculus/thought process for an increasing number of our nation's voters -- both unintelligent and intelligent, uninformed and well informed, greedy and non-greedy, etc. -- became: better to vote for the loathsome, self-serving politician who supports policies that will cure America's EFFS ills than vote for the likeable, NON-self-serving NON-politician who supports polices that will make America's EFFS problems, if anything, worse.

You might say that's when, for many voters, liberalism and conservatism (as governing philosophies) became full blown, zero sum, good ideology vs. "evil" ideology religions.

It's also when, in the course of our American intelligentsia's ongoing peeing contest, BOTH sides should have discerned, then posited and acted upon, a manifestly larger and profoundly more important apolitical/non-ideological (ANI) truth:

The Fundamental ANI Truth of Competent Self-Governance
(working title)

So long as Congress' major political factions are continually dominated and controlled by self-serving politicians whose political careers and/or the acquisition of power are far more important to them than doing what is in the best interest of the nation, it will not matter which party controls the U.S. House or Senate in any given election cycle -- in the long run, America's myriad of EFFS problems will, if anything, only grow worse.

BUT, if the reins of power in Congress begin to be continually wielded by a steady supply of highly capable legislators who (relatively speaking) don't have a self-serving, politically ambitious or power hungry bone in their body, it will not matter which party controls the U.S. House or Senate in any given election cycle -- America's myriad of EFFS problems will get solved, largely via legislation that is:

    1. neither "liberal" nor "conservative," and

    2. strongly supported by large majorities of America's liberal, moderate, conservative and libertarian voters.

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KEY POINT:
The Fundamental ANI Truth is essentially the
21st Century Theory and Philosophy of Self-Governance

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Had our nation's best and brightest acted upon this (self-evident) ANI truth as recently as a few short decades ago, today:

  1. An entire sub-field of new, self-governance-based knowledge would now exist in political science,

  2. Every American would know by the fourth grade what competent self-governance meant -- and by the sixth grade, how to practice democracy competently, or effectively,

  3. Congress would not be broken, i.e., controlled by self-serving (and fiscally irresponsible, unaccountable, responsibility-phobic, demagogic, etc.) "politicians," and

  4. America would not be drowning in EFFS problems.

Key takeaway: Better late than never.

Our political science and civics educators should get to work, ASAP, exploring what they will quickly discover is an entire continent of new knowledge. And their incentive for beginning this exploration (beyond pursuing knowledge for its own sake): the certain knowledge that successfully teaching our voters a new "self-governance" skill, competent self-governance, will be infinitely easier to accomplish than trying to get our nation's self-serving PAPs to start putting the needs of their nation before their political careers and lust for power.

Specifically:

  1. Our "leaders" in the field of political science should begin leading the charge for a new sub-field in their discipline: the Science (or Study) of Competent Self-Governance.

  2. Our civics educators should replace our current "18th century" civics curriculum with a 21st century curriculum that teaches our future and current voters how to keep Congress continually replenished with highly capable (mostly) liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans who (relatively speaking) don't have a self-serving, politically ambitious or power hungry bone in their body.
 
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The Foundational Concepts
of a
21st Century Theory/Science/Philosophy/Model
of Self-Governance
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“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking.
It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

Albert Einstein

“Change your language and you change your thoughts.”
Karl Albrecht

 

A thought experiment (and food for thought) using new language.

If America's 140 million voters had the ability to sit down around a giant kitchen table in order to discuss among themselves -- and only among themselves -- how to "cure" their diseased Congress, diseased politics and diseased democracy:

  • The table would be approximately twice Earth's circumference.

 
  • Early on, to insure that they didn't quickly divide into their two camps, liberal vs. conservative -- with their traditional liberal vs. conservative mindsets and talking points; their same old "government vs. free market" solutions, etc. -- at least initially, the voters would have to:

    1. tape the mouths of the 5% most rabidly liberal and 5% most rabidly conservative voters,
      THEN
    2. create a small dictionary of new words/terms to describe a number of new apolitical/non-ideological (ANI) concepts, legislative solutions, etc., which would enable them to think about America's EFFS problems, and the solutions to them, entirely outside the political/ideological (PI) -- i.e., outside the Democrat vs. Republican, liberal vs. conservative -- box

  • Our voters (including hopefully out most rabid liberals and conservatives) would soon discover that these new terms opened the door to a treasure trove of exciting new voting insights and powerful new voting strategies.

In my opinion, the two most useful of these new words would be acronyms/terms to describe the (theoretically) worst possible and best possible legislators -- be they liberal, moderate, conservative, etc. -- that voters could elect to represent them in Congress.

worst possible: PAP (for politically ambitious politician)

best possible: PKQ, or PKQ-caliber, (for philosopher king/queen)

Those terms would logically lead to terms for describing the worst and best possible Congresses:

worst possible: PAP-controlled Congress

best possible: PKQ-controlled Congress

Which, in turn, would led to terms for describing the worst and best possible democracies/CRs:

PAP-governed democracy: a democracy whose national legislature stays permanently controlled by self-serving PAPs.

PKQ-governed democracy: a democracy whose national legislature stays permanently controlled by PKQ-caliber legislators.

Which, in turn, would led to two new categories or classifications of democracies/CRs:

Dystopian (or dystopic) democracy: a democracy that stays permanently mired in EFFS problems because its national legislature stays permanently controlled by self-serving PAPs.

Neartopian (or neartopic) democracy: a democracy that exists essentially free of major EFFS problems because its national legislature stays permanently controlled PKQ-caliber legislators.

At this point, our voters would have all the new-knowledge "building blocks" they needed to begin exploring and developing radically new theories (similar to this page's 18th and 21st century theories) that filled in major gaps in our understanding of the democratic/self-governance process, and answered a number of important questions.

Some examples

    • Why we are a dystopian democracy?
      • What "caused" America's major EFFS problems, i.e., where did they come from?
      • Why have our voters kept Congress filled with self-serving politicians -- even though voters loathe self-serving politicians?

    • How does Congress solve America's major EFFS problems without crafting "liberal" or "conservative" legislation?

    • Why is it impossible for a Congress filled with PAPs to craft the legislation that will solve America's EFFS problems, but laughably easy for a Congress filled with PKQ-caliber legislators -- especially legislation that "breaks" the cycle of "inner city" crime and violence?
 

 

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT
re. a dystopian vs. neartopian democracy

One of the many heartbreaking consequences of America being a dystopian democracy is that our nation's overall character is shaped considerably by America's ultimate role models:

our elected legislative class in Washington -- i.e., our self-serving PAPs.

And what most stands out about essentially all of Congress' PAPs -- even the most well-meaning of them -- isn't pretty, especially if they think their re-election bid is in jeopardy. For example:

  • PAPs resort to personal attack ads.
  • In debates, PAPs are quick to attack, demean, ridicule, etc. their opponents.
  • In debates, or when questioned by reporters, PAPs have no qualms about:
    • pointing the finger of blame at anyone and everyone except themselves,
    • not answering questions that might reflect negatively on them,
    • obfuscating, e.g., providing such mangled answers that no one knows what they said or meant.
  • PAPs not just demean and dismiss the other party's legislative policies and reforms, but question the other side's honesty, integrity, motives, agenda, etc.

Because everyone in America is born and raised in a dystopian democracy, our nation's children and students grow up watching PAPs act like PAPs -- i.e., finger pointing, quick to blame, self-serving, etc. Equally damaging, our youngest minds watch our PAPs' armies of true believers (and well-paid believers) in cable news, academia, national media, think tanks, Hollywood, etc. viscously belittling and disparaging the "other" sides' policies, motives, integrity, etc.

As a result, our children and students naturally assume that, contrary to what their parents, teachers, etc. may be preaching to them, this is "normal" behavior for people who disagree with each other on issues large and small. Which means they are learning early on that this is how one responds to, interacts with, and talks about people whose views on the issues they disagree with.

The harmful (direct and indirect) ripple effects of this are almost impossible to calculate.

Suffice to say, a good case can be made that our nation's overall social behavior, attitudes, value systems, "character," etc. are all extremely unhealthy -- or diseased -- thanks to the unconscionably unethical behavior and actions of generations of consciously unethical role models -- i.e., our national legislature's self-serving, politically ambitious, demagoguing, pandering, fiscally irresponsible, blatantly unaccountable, finger pointing, responsibility avoiding, etc., etc. "politicians."

And why, therefore -- as a society, we are profoundly more:

    rude... crude... loud... greedy... envious... dishonest... angry... resentful... judgmental... self righteous... etc.

...and profoundly less:

thoughtful... conscientious... respectful... principled... courteous... peaceful... generous... civil... altruistic... resourceful... stoic... goal oriented... civic-minded... community focused... etc.

...than we would otherwise be.

Of course, what that also means is that when America's 535 role models are selfless, PKQ-caliber legislators who AREN'T self-serving, politically ambitious, demagoguing, pandering, etc. "politicians," we will find our society -- especially our children -- quickly emulating the behavior of PKQ-caliber legislators.

Meaning they will quickly become profoundly LESS:

    rude... crude... loud... greedy... envious... dishonest... angry... resentful... judgmental... self righteous... etc.

...and profoundly MORE:

thoughtful... conscientious... respectful... principled... courteous... peaceful... generous... civil... altruistic... resourceful... stoic... goal oriented... civic-minded... community focused... etc.

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Here are some of the other new, 21st century concepts that would almost certainly end up in our voters' treasure trove of new, "self-governance" knowledge.

important acronyms:

ANI: apolitical/non-ideological

CTG: capacity to govern (as in CTG rating)

EFFS: economic, financial, fiscal & societal

NLEP: national legislative election process

PI: political/ideological

POM: purity of motive (as in POM rating)

SSLP: self-serving legislative provision

 

additional terms/definitions:
(working definitions)

ANI-based legislative policy formulation process (see systems optimization)

Competent Self-Governance: the ability of voters to keep their national legislature filled with legislators who can keep their nation as free of major economic, financial, fiscal and societal problems as it is possible to be.

De-dysfunctionalizing legislation (see optimizing legislation)

Dysfunctionalizing legislation: any legislation that contains one or more provisions (hereafter referred to as, dysfunctionalizing provisions), or is written in its entirety, to advance the self-serving interests of the PAPs crafting/writing the legislation.

FYI: dysfunctionalizing legislation is how America's myriad of systems, e.g.,

  • free market system
  • federal tax system
  • financial system
  • healthcare system
  • public education system
  • criminal justice system
  • mental health system
  • etc.

...become infected with/diseased by political-, special interest- and vested interest cronyism.

Incompetent Self-Governance: the inability of voters to keep their national legislature filled with legislators who can keep their nation as free of major economic, financial, fiscal and societal problems as it is possible to be.

One Objective Voting Strategy: voters use the NLEP to achieve one objective: decide which political party controls the U.S. House and Senate.

Optimizing legislation: legislation whose purpose is to undo the damage done to one or more of America's major systems by past dysfunctionalizing legislation.

PKQ-caliber: capable of governing and legislating with both exceptional competence and exceptional selflessness.

POM rating: the score a potential candidate for Congress receives which rates their purity of motive based on a list of relevant, objective factors (to be determined at a later date).

Self-Governance Savvy: understands such things as what competent self-governance means -- esp. how voters in a free society keep their national legislature free of self-serving politicians, and their nation as free of major EFFS problems as possible.

Self-Serving Legislative Provisions (SSLPs): a. provisions inserted into legislation for self-serving reasons; b. dysfunctionalizing provisions.

Shared ANI Objectives: a. objectives that voters of every political and ideological stripe want to achieve via the self-governance process, e.g., a PKQ-controlled Congress; b. objectives that voters want to see Congress achieve via ANI legislation, i.e., legislation that is neither liberal nor conservative, Democratic or Republican -- e.g., optimized free market system, optimized financial system, optimized healthcare system, etc.

Systems Optimization: the primarily (ANI-based) legislative formulation process used by PKQs to insure that America's major systems operate: 1) free of all forms of government created or sanctioned cronyism, and 2) at their maximum possible health, strength, efficiency, effectiveness, etc.

Systems Optimization and Integration: the seamless integration esp. of systems whose principle responsibility is providing for the welfare, and wellbeing, of society's least able, least capable, lowest marketable skills, etc..

Conceptual comparison:

 

CURRENT SYSTEM CONFIGURATION

 

OPTIMIZED & INTEGRATED

 

Two Objective Voting Strategy: voters use the NLEP to achieve two objectives:

1. Decide in the primary process which type of democracy America will be: dystopian or neartopian.

2. Decide in the general election which political party will control the U.S. House and Senate.

 

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A tale of two distribution curves

 

THE EASY PART...

Diagnosing the two major symptom(s) of the PROBLEM:

1. Congress is overwhelmingly dominated and controlled by self-serving PAPs rather than selfless PKQs, and

2. America is needlessly drowning in (solvable) EFFS problems.

 

 

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THE HARD PART...

Diagnosing the many facets of the PROBLEM:

First, this distribution curve is a rough breakdown of the ideological makeup of the ~140 million voters who vote in the general election (in presidential election years).

GENERAL ELECTION

 

Next, this is a rough approximation of how many voters cast ballots in the 435 Democratic and Republican congressional and 50 Senate primaries (in midterm elections).

PRIMARY PROCESS

+ =

~ 7-14 mil. voters
(5-10%)

 

Finally, this is a guesstimate of the number of people (most probably: party members) who actively seek out individuals (every two years) and urge, beg or entice them into running for Congress as ideological warriors whose campaigns will be about going to Congress and fighting FOR their party's values, policies, reforms, etc. and AGAINST the other party's values, policies, reforms, etc.

 

PRE-PRIMARY PROCESS
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+
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= < 1,000 people
(< 0.00071% of voters)
  Unfortunately, the Democratic and Republican ideological warriors who end up getting elected to Congress -- no matter how sincere their political/ideological beliefs, or how well meaning their intentions -- quickly begin thinking, acting and legislating like self-serving PAPs who are more concerned with getting re-elected than doing what is in the best interest of their nation.  
 

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IF HISTORY IS A GUIDE...

our political science and civics educators will soon begin doing what scientific minds in other disciplines did when forced to choose between old, outdated, "ignorance-based" knowledge vs. new, "knowledge-based" knowledge.

 

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WHY THE "EFFS" ACRONYM IS IMPORTANT:

The EFFS acronym allows our society to, among things, lump together all of America's major EFFS problems, largely because they all have the same "solution" -- systems optimization via optimizing legislation.

Rather than every academician, talking head in media, political activist, etc. endlessly arguing the same liberal vs. conservative talking points about how to fix individual problems as varied and seemingly intractable as:

    • crony capitalism,
    • political cronyism,
    • income inequality,
    • chronic, structural unemployment,
    • our (prosperity draining) 70,000+ page tax code,
    • our (prohibitively expensive and maddeningly inefficient) healthcare system,
    • the myriad of societal problems and social pathologies associated with our urban and rural poor,
    • massive budget deficits and unsustainable national debt,
    • etc.

... it will be much more meaningful, and productive, to place the whole lot into a black box marked: America's EFFS problems. Then, rather than continue the endless, fruitless screamfests back and forth, our nation's best and brightest can begin strategizing on how best to "teach" a critical mass of America's voters how practice democracy competently -- i.e., elect PKQs to Congress .

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FDR's New Deal is a useful demarcation point for the beginning of today's liberal vs. conservative war, at least from the point of view of a layman like myself, because that era marks the first time in our nation's history when the big picture decision for voters at the ballot box came down to the same political/ideological issue that today's voters must ultimately grapple with. In the case of the Great Depression's voters, the decision they had to make was: which governing philosophy, liberalism or conservatism, do they want Congress to use to "solve" the myriad of major EFFS problems brought about by the Great Depression?

The liberal philosophy: rely on "government" solutions -- e.g. create government programs, which will be paid for by a combination of government borrowing and raising taxes on businesses and the "wealthy." Said programs will help the unemployed for the Depression's duration by creating temporary make work government projects as well as providing, if needed, a package of temporary government benefits and services.

The conservative philosophy: rely on "free market" solutions -- e.g., stimulate the economy by cutting everyone's taxes. With more money in everyone's pocket, spending on products, manufactured goods and services will increase, which will require businesses to hire new employees to meet the increased demand.

It is almost certainly the case that, especially back in FDR's time, the vast majority of voters weren't looking at the Depression through a political/ideological lens -- i.e., Democratic vs. Republican, liberal vs. conservative policies, solutions, legislation, etc. -- so much as they just wanted their legislators in Washington to do what legislators were expected to do (beyond defend the nation from foreign and domestic enemies and provide vital services): namely, do whatever they had to do, legislatively, to keep good paying jobs plentiful, unemployment low and the economy running on all cylinders.

Eighty years later, that has changed. Liberalism and conservativism have both undergone a major transformation (devolution, actually). They've gone from governing philosophies to full blown religions, and a sizeable majority of our nation's voters are devout adherents of one or the other. The central tenet of each group's most ardent believers is that theirs is the superior ideology while the other side's past policies, legislation, reforms, etc. are the disease responsible for causing, creating or exacerbating America's myriad of EFFS ills.

For example, dyed-in-the-wool conservatives blame 80 years of (naive) liberal/Democratic policies, legislation, reforms, etc. for most of America's economic and financial problems, and all of her societal problems.

And naturally, dyed-in-the-wool liberals blame it all -- especially the number and severity of America's societal problems -- on 80 years of (heartless) conservative/Republican policies, legislation, reforms, etc.. Policies (liberals will argue) that all work off the same "cruel" template: cut government programs for the poor in order to pay for tax cuts for the rich.

Of course, both sides are as wrong as it is possible to be. Governing philosophies/ideologies don't cause, create or exacerbate a democracy's EFFS problems. Dysfunctionalizing legislation does.

COROLLARY: Governing philosophies and political ideologies don't solve EFFS problems, optimizing legislation does.

Unfortunately, these and other 21st century "truths" aren't obvious to everyone because the terms and concepts which would make them not just obvious but unavoidably obvious haven't existed until now.

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ABOUT

Name: Montie Rainey
Profession: Retired, 21st century civics curriculum advocate
Education: BS, Mathematics and Computer Science
(University of Illinois at Chicago, 1984)
Misc:

Opinion columnist, The Jackson Sun
(2005-2010)

Contact:

 

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