SelfGovernanceScience.com

21stCenturyCivics.com

 

535PKQs.com

535:
PKQ:

voting members in Congress
Philosopher King/Queen

 

Three domain names...
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One (necessity-created) field of study "whose time has come."

SELF-GOVERNANCE SCIENCE

 
 
Unofficial launch date: May 4, 2019

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July 15, 2019

 

"If you want something you've never had, you must be
willing to do something you've never done."
Thomas Jefferson

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Preface

If de Tocqueville were alive today, his idea of a "superior" candidate, particularly one running for Congress, would probably be much the same as ours. Someone who was intelligent, educated, knowledgeable; capable of processing large amounts of complex data; who possessed the wisdom that comes from many decades of life experience. But above all, someone who, once in the House or Senate, would always put the interests of the nation above his or her interests -- personal, political or otherwise.

In short, our ideal candidate would be an exceptionally capable individual who did not have (relatively speaking) a self-serving, politically ambitious or power hungry bone in his or her body.

It shouldn't take too much reflection to realize that what we are describing is a philosopher king or queen (PKQ). Which logically leads to the most tantalizing question America's voters and America's political scientists could ask:

How many of our nation's major economic, financial, fiscal and societal problems would finally get solved -- rather than kicked down the road or papered over or simply ignored -- if our nation were "ruled," not by one unelected philosopher king or queen, but by 535 elected "PKQ-caliber" liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans?*

* Who served in Congress, but only for a few years as a "one-time duty," because both they and the American people understood how easily political power, especially at the national level, could/can corrupt even the best of us.

Whimsical question that only a good government idealist would be naive enough to ask? Or an existential question, one born of necessity? One that America's political scientists have an academic as well as moral obligation to ask, then answer.

It shouldn't take too much reflection to realize that it's both.

 

Please note: this part educational, part advocacy website deals almost entirely with new knowledge -- i.e., new concepts, new terms, new thinking, etc. -- and therefore exists in a constant state of "conceptual" construction, deconstruction and reconstruction.

When the construction/discovery process is a little further along, the material will be packaged and presented in PowerPoint format, and a national education/awareness campaign started. Until then, a number of unedited sections (think of them as semi-connected, non-linear blog posts) are provided to readers who wish to begin learning about, digesting and critiquing this new knowledge immediately.

Political science and civics educators (and their students) should find the new, self-governance-based terms and concepts especially thought provoking.

Also, if the history of new, paradigm changing ideas/knowledge -- e.g., Astronomy's Heliocentrism Theory, Modern medicine's Germ Theory, etc. -- is any guide, then it is important to point out that our nation's Political Science establishment's initial reaction will almost certainly be to treat this new knowledge as whimsical idealism rather than an academically valid field of study. That's because, if it's the latter, it necessarily forces them to radically re-think their well established "18th century" beliefs/theories re the democratic process, generally, but America's national legislative election process (NLEP) in particular.

Our learned political academicians will also have to update at least two definitions right away: what constitutes 1) an "informed" voter, and 2) a "healthy" democracy -- and many more (more than likely) when all is said and done.

In our social media-savvy society, one of the fastest ways to convince, minimally, a critical mass of these educators and other political thinkers that Self-Governance Science is, in fact, a valid field of study "whose time has come" is by this web page and it's Twitter and Facebook pages receiving a respectable number of likes and shares.

So, if you want to see Self-Governance Science become a reality, simply "like" this web page and it's Twitter and/or Facebook pages.

aside: if you want to see S-G Sci become a reality -- sooner rather than later -- your only limit is your energy level. You can begin writing about this new field of study, why it's needed, how it will change our "politics," why Imperial Presidencies will quickly become a thing of the past, etc., and posting it on your social media platform(s), those of your friends and favorite media sites. etc. Feel free to copy and paste any of this site's graphics.

One word of warning: it is precisely because this is new [read: radical], paradigm changing knowledge that the vast majority of our society will treat your posts -- but, more importantly, you -- the same way the earliest believers and supporters of such radical scientific theories as Heliocentrism and the Germ Theory -- or extremely radical "social" ideas like abolition, women's suffrage, civil rights, animal rights, gay rights,... -- were initially treated, i.e., as someone naively spouting a whimsical idea.

My advice: be brave, and take comfort in a quote by Margaret Mead...

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

For your convenience, the like (or follow) buttons have been placed at several spots on this page.

 
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"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge
but imagination."
Albert Einstein

 

A layman's overview of the key concepts of a new academic discipline: Self-Governance Science, and why this new field of study will enable America's voters to take a giant leap forward in both their understanding, and mastery, of the national legislative election process (NLEP).

 

  important acronyms/terms/concepts
  EFFS: economic, financial, fiscal and societal
  NLEP: National Legislative Election Process
 
  • 2 Phase NLEP
  • 3 Phase NLEP
  PAP: politically ambitious politician PKQ: philosopher king/queen
 
  • PAP-controlled Congress
  • PAP-based solution paradigms
  • PAP-controlled legislative policy formulation process
  • PAP created pathologies
  • PAP-governed democracy
    • a.k.a., dystopian democracy
  • PKQ-caliber candidate, legislator
  • PKQ-controlled Congress
  • PKQ-based solution paradigms
  • PKQ-controlled legislative policy formulation process
  • PKQ-governed democracy
    • a.k.a., neartopian democracy
 
  • Political/Ideological (PI) Ignorance
  • POM (purity of motive) rating

 

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

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Using new language to change the academic and national debate

    With just the above lexicon of new terms, political scientists will be able to pursue an entire new category of questioning and investigation (and a significant percentage of the American public will be raptly attentive).

    Here's a small sample of questions:

    • Sociologists use the term, social pathologies, to refer to a myriad of poverty caused (or associated) societal ills: crime, violence, antisocial attitudes and behavior, chronic government dependency, etc.
      • What percentage of these societal ills would it be more accurate to classify as PAP-created pathologies?

    • If we define a PAP-governed democracy as a democracy whose national legislature stays permanently controlled by PAPs, then how much of America's social discontent, racial strife, rich vs. poor animus, political/ideological tribalism, etc. exists because America is a PAP-governed democracy?

    • What kind of societal and other changes would occur, especially among our younger generations, if America's 535 national legislative role models weren't (with exceedingly rare exception) pontificating, finger pointing, responsibility avoiding, craven, demagogic, etc. PAPs, but were PKQ-caliber legislators?

    • What kind of legislative policies could (and would) a PKQ-controlled Congress craft and implement that a PAP-controlled Congress couldn't?
      • How many of those policies would be overwhelmingly supported by voters from across the political/ideological spectrum?

 

While there is no formal definition for this new science, yet, for now it can be described as the field of study whose focus will be developing the body of "instructive" knowledge that America's approximately 140 million left-of-center (LOC) and right-of-center (ROC) voters need to solve their existential level self-governance problem -- namely:

They know how to keep Congress overflowing with self-serving PAPs who can't solve the myriad of major EFFS problems our nation now exists permanently mired in, but don't have the slightest idea of how to identify, recruit and elect NON-self-serving, NON-PAPs who can.

Most of our intelligentsia in academia and elsewhere will point the finger of blame for this existential problem at our voters' many shortcomings, i.e., they are unintelligent, uninformed, naive, gullible, apathetic, etc. -- but more than anything else, voters are greedy, wanting more government largesse and benefits than they're willing to pay for in the form of taxes.

"When all is said and done," our academic elite will say (just as generations of their predecessors before them said), "the human flaws and failings of a democratic society's voters are what has doomed nearly every democracy in history -- and so will doom America's democracy, as well."

KEY POINT:
For now let's call this political science's "Flawed Voter Theory"
which explains why, if our democracy does "fail," it did
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At first glance, our elite's logic seems spot on:

  • America is a democracy (constitutional republic for you sticklers).
  • In a democracy the buck stops with the voters.
  • Our voters keep Congress filled to overflowing with self-serving PAPs (= de facto proof of our voters' inability to govern themselves "competently").
  • Our nation is buried under a mountain of major EFFS problems that are growing larger by the day.

Ergo, we're screwed, our democracy's "end is nigh!" -- and it's the voters' fault. QED.

There's just one glitch in this centuries-old logic/conventional wisdom:

a substantial number of our nation's approximately 140 million liberal, moderate, conservative, etc. voters are not unintelligent, not uninformed, not gullible, not apathetic, not greedy, etc. Yet they vote (election cycle after election cycle), along with our intelligentsia, for the same self-serving PAPs that our gullible, greedy, low intelligence voters vote for.

What that one glitch should unambiguously indicate is that if our society's best and brightest political scientists and thinkers want to actually "save" our (and their) democracy, they will need to toss their centuries-old conventional wisdom out the window, then don their Sherlock Holmes hats and cloaks and begin tracking down the real culprit responsible for our voters' self-governance problem.

Fortunately, the sleuthing phase of their investigation will not take long, for they will need look no further than the nearest mirror.

Self-Governance Science solves one of American democracy's greatest mysteries: Why do our most intelligent, most educated, least gullible (LOC and ROC) voters vote for the same self-serving PAPs for Congress that our least intelligent, least educated, most gullible (LOC and ROC) voters vote for?

Seen through the lens of competent, or effective, self-governance, here's the far more instructive explanation for why generations of America's voters have kept Congress filled with largely well meaning individuals -- but who care about their political career, and about political power, far more than they care about doing what is in the best interest of their nation:

Generations of political science and civics educators have been teaching their students and our society to use the NLEP to, in effect, achieve one (political/ideological) objective: decide which political party will control the U.S. House and (after the 17th Amendment) Senate. And the basis for each voter's decision is simple: which political party's ideals, principles, legislative policies/solutions, etc. is the (presumably, informed) voter most supportive of and/or wants to see Congress implement to deal with the issues most important to that voter.

For definitional purposes, let's call this the "18th century" [read: outdated/primitive] view of the NLEP because it was largely born in 18th century -- i.e., pre-industrial, pre-electricity, pre-everything -- America when (as seen from this layman's perspective):

  • our nation was new,
  • our population was tiny compared to today,
  • our federal government had almost no power,
  • there were only a relative sprinkling of laws on the books that affected the daily lives of the American people, and
  • odds are that the few issues that the few voters (who were allowed to vote) voted on fell into today's classic liberal vs conservative mold:
    • liberal mold: the voter supports the candidate/party whose policy solutions requires the federal government to grow in size/scope/power.
    • conservative mold: the voter supports the candidate/party whose solutions if anything decreases the federal government's size/scope/power.

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AN "INSTRUCTIVE" ASIDE: At some point in our nation's 230 year history -- certainly with the advent of the Internet and social media -- a sizable portion of our best and brightest [liberal, moderate, conservative, libertarian] political thinkers and problem solvers should have arrived at, then acted on, the same three (glaringly obvious) conclusions:

Conclusion #1:

We (as a democratic society) are not practicing democracy, i.e., engaging in the process of self-governance, as effectively or as competently as we could and should -- because, if we were: 1) Congress would not be permanently dominated and controlled by self-serving politicians who put their interests over the interests of the American people, 2) America would not exist permanently mired in a seemingly endless list of major EFFS problems, and 3) substantial numbers of passionate and principled liberals would not believe that conservatism was morally inferior to liberalism, while equally substantial numbers of passionate and principled conservatives would hold the exact opposite view.

Conclusion #2:

So long as Congress is controlled by self-serving PAPs, it will not matter which political party is in power, or which philosophy, liberalism or conservatism, they govern by. Over time, with rare exception, America's EFFS problems will continue to get larger, or more severe, or both.

However, if Congress is controlled by PKQ-caliber legislators, it will not matter which party controls the House or Senate in any given election cycle, America's EFFS problems will get solved -- in many cases, completely and permanently -- with legislation that is neither "liberal" nor "conservative," but will be strongly supported by large majorities of America's liberals, moderates, conservatives, libertarians and social democrats.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Had our nation's best and brightest thinkers acted on C#2 as recently as a few short decades ago, they would have developed Self-Governance Science back then, and today:

  1. Our voters would routinely be electing PKQ-caliber liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans to Congress.
  2. America would not be drowning in EFFS problems.
  3. The vast mainstream of our society would respect the ideals and principles of both liberalism and conservatism, and understand that, just as our bodies need beneficial bacteria to maintain our health -- a combination of both liberal and conservative policies are needed for our society to operate optimally, i.e., at its healthiest and strongest possible.

Conclusion #3:

For our society to have any chance of escaping the same fate that history says awaits all democracies, America's academicians, scholars, political thinkers, etc. must join forces and create new theories and concepts re the process of self-governance that will both enlighten and empower our voters.

Then our best and brightest should have gone into warp drive developing the new body of knowledge our LOC and ROC voters desperately needed to start practicing democracy effectively.

Unfortunately, for reasons that will be explored elsewhere, they didn't. As the following graphic illustrates, they chose to pursue the "18th century" strategy they are still intently pursuing...

 

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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

 

What the NLEP looks like through a 21st century lens
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An instructive insight re the "21st century" view of the NLEP

If we think of the NLEP as an instrument, or a device or tool that voters use to engage in the process of self-governance, then there are actually two distinct NLEPs, the 2 Phase NLEP and the 3 Phase NLEP, voters can use to elect their members of Congress.

For now, conceptually, the important cause/effect association is:

  • The 2 Phase NLEP -- i.e., the one we've always used -- is a very ineffective self-governance instrument because when used by voters, the 435 House and ~33 Senate candidates they end up electing/re-electing in the general election are overwhelmingly self-serving PAPs who are so self-serving, so politically ambitious, and so caught up in their struggle for political power, they are utterly incapable of solving even one of America's major EFFS problems.

  • The 3 Phase NLEP is a very effective self-governance tool because when used by voters, the candidates they end up electing in the general election phase will overwhelmingly be NON-self-serving, NON-PAPs who will be able to solve essentially all of America's major EFFS problems.

Once a relative handful of Self-Governance Science's key terms become part of our society's working vocabulary, the thought process for most LOC and ROC voters will go from:

  • LOC voters: To save America, we must insure that more Democrats are elected to Congress than Republicans.
  • ROC voters: To save America, we must insure that more Republicans are elected to Congress than Democrats

to:

  • If we (LOC and ROC voters) want to see all government created crony capitalism come to an abrupt end, and the playing field truly leveled, we must use the 3 Phase NLEP.
  • If we want to see America's major systems -- e.g., free market, healthcare, financial, immigration, criminal justice, etc. -- "optimized," we must use the 3 Phase NLEP.
  • If we want to see the immigration crisis on our southern border actually solved, and the "solution" Congress implements be strongly supported by the vast majority of the American people, we must use the 3 Phase NLEP.
  • If we want to see all poverty-caused crime and violence reduced by 90%, we must use the 3 Phase NLEP.
  • If we want...
  • If we want...

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    Political science's outdated understanding of the NLEP explains why our voters only know about and use the 2 Phase NLEP -- which, in turn, explains why our nation exists permanently mired in major EFFS problems.

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The 3 Phase NLEP represents...

"one small step" for America's political scientists,

"one giant leap" for America's voters.

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Here's the 3 Phase NLEP in a nutshell.

important acronym
ANI: apolitical/non-ideological

Pre-Primary Candidate Identification and Recruitment Phase:

    • Mainstream LOC and ROC voters use social media and other 21st century "self-governance knowledge tools" to identify and successfully recruit "superior" (i.e., PKQ-caliber) liberal, conservative, etc. candidates.
      • PKQ-caliber candidates will NOT engage in largely vacuous campaigns like "politicians" do (because they aren't), but will do what NON-politicians should do:
        • Post their credentials online.
        • Provide the specifics of, and logic behind, the ANI-based legislation they would commit to crafting and voting on if elected to Congress.
        • Engage in a series of live-streamed town hall sessions designed to educate/inform voters on why (and how) a Congress filled with PKQ-caliber Democrats and Republicans can easily solve America's major EFFS problems -- in many cases, completely and permanently.

Primary Process Phase:

    • The vast majority of LOC and ROC voters who are not unintelligent, not uninformed, not greedy, etc. -- as well as a substantial number of LOC and ROC voters who are -- cast ballots in their respective primaries for these highly capable, PKQ-caliber candidates in order to insure that, regardless of which candidate is elected in the general election, he or she will not be a self-serving PAP.

General Election Phase:

    • The vast mainstream of ALL voters vote for these highly capable, non-politicians because even our least intelligent voters are more than smart enough to understand the implications of Conclusion #2: a.k.a., the Fundamental ANI Principle of Self-Governance.

      The Fundamental ANI Principle of Self-Governance.

      So long as Congress is controlled by self-serving PAPs, it will not matter which political party is in power, or which philosophy, liberalism or conservatism, they govern by. Over time, with rare exception, America's EFFS problems will continue to get larger, or more severe, or both.

      However, if Congress is controlled by PKQ-caliber legislators, it will not matter which party controls the House or Senate in any given election cycle, America's EFFS problems will get solved -- in many cases, completely and permanently -- with legislation that is neither "liberal" nor "conservative," but will be strongly supported by large majorities of America's liberals, moderates, conservatives, libertarians and social democrats.

Clearly, the idea that a significant number of America's voters not only could but would willingly learn how to practice democracy effectively or competently is a mind boggling idea to say the least.

Which is great news since those are the kind of ideas that have gotten our species to where we are.

 

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The Necessary First Step:

Creating the lexicon of new terms that will form the conceptual
building blocks of a "21st century" political orthodoxy

The following is a partial list of worst vs. best terms our political scientists should have made an integral part of our electorate's working vocabulary a long time ago.

Worst possible national legislator: PAP (for politically ambitious politician)

Definition: a legislator who, no matter how well meaning he or she may be, cares considerably less about doing what is in the best interest of their nation than they care about such things as:

  • their political career,
  • the many perks and privileges that come with national elected office,
  • political power (much of it purely for power's sake)

KEY POINT RE POLITICAL AMBITION: there are roughly half a million Americans serving in some form of elected office, most of them at the local level. My operating assumption is that, not all of them but the vast majority ran for office, not because they had political aspirations or they craved political power, but because they constitute that tiny minority of individuals in every democratic society who actually get off their butts and offer to perform what are often times the mostly thankless tasks that have to be performed to insure that the many gears of a community (and a society) that are essential to their successful functioning don't stop turning.

(Because when enough do, civilizations stop being "civilized.")

That said, there is no doubt a maybe small(?), maybe substantial(?) percentage of our half million who, once in office, experienced the perks and privileges that came with their position, however small or minor those perks may have been, and it corrupted their decision making -- maybe ever so slightly in some cases, considerably in others. The reason for pointing this out is to underscore the larger takeaway: political ambition should be seen as a necessary evil at the local and, to a lesser extent, state level -- but a 100% unnecessary evil at the national legislative level.

Best possible national legislator: PKQ (for philosopher king/queen), or PKQ-caliber legislator

Definition: a highly capable and demonstrably selfless legislator who:

  1. is not a "politician,"
  2. had never been a politician,
  3. does not want to become a politician, and
  4. has absolutely no desire to make a career in politics, but
  5. is serving in the national legislature for a few years as "a one-time [civic] duty" -- and only a few years -- because he or she and the voters both understand just how easily political power, especially at the national level, can corrupt even the best of us.

Here are two new terms for the worst vs. best U.S. Congress the American people can have.

  • worst possible Congress: PAP-controlled Congress
  • best possible Congress : PKQ-controlled Congress

And the worst vs. best democracy (constitutional republic for you sticklers) America can be.

  • worst possible democracy: PAP-governed democracy
    • a.k.a., dystopian democracy

  • best possible democracy: PKQ-governed democracy
    • a.k.a., neartopian democracy

Finally, the worst vs. best NLEP.

  • worst possible: 2 Phase NLEP
  • best possible: 3 Phase NLEP

A presentation of these new self-governance
terms and concepts in graphic form

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A Very Important Question

Q: How can a Congress controlled by "amateurs" -- i.e., legislators who are not "professional" or career politicians -- run a nation as large and complex as America?

A: First, the PKQ-caliber legislator-candidates that America's liberal, conservative, moderate, libertarian, etc. voters will be identifying, recruiting and electing to Congress will not be "amateurs." As a group, PKQs will be among the most intelligent, most educated -- most knowledgeable -- and most accomplished members of our society.

FYI: they will NOT be, as some might fear, erudite academicians who will rule from high atop Mt. Olympus, divorced from the reality of everyday life; blindly indifferent to the daily plight of the unwashed masses. The average voter, unwashed or otherwise, wouldn't give such people the time of day, much less recruit them to run for our national legislature.

PKQs will also have what no other generation before us has had: the sum total of all human knowledge at their fingertips (or, rather, their smartphones). And the help of IBM's Watson, Alexa, Siri and other forms of artificial intelligence to help them make sense of it all.

Our PKQs will also have a wealth of flesh-and-blood human knowledge, experience, wisdom, expertise, etc. at their disposal -- in our federal agencies, our many think tanks in Washington and around the country, our universities, Silicon Valley, our business sector, etc.

Next, it should be abundantly clear that our PAP-controlled Congress doesn't "run" America (it's destroying America). Our nation is "run" by tens of millions of Americans distributed throughout:

  • dozens of major federal agencies
  • 50 fully functioning state governments
  • thousands of county, city and other government bodies, and
  • millions of:
    • businesses
    • community and social organizations
    • school boards, churches
    • charities, etc.

More importantly, it is precisely because PKQs are not professional, or career, politicians (i.e., self-serving and politically ambitious) that when they are in control of America's national legislature they will be able to govern our nation, collectively, with the:

      • wisdom of a Solomon,
      • intelligence of an Einstein,
      • logic of a Mr. Spock,
      • compassion of a Mother Teresa,
      • moral compass of a Nelson Mandela,
      • ingenuity of a MacGyver
      • vision of a Steve Jobs
      • common sense of a Mark Twain

In my view, this is yet another example of a self-governance knowledge that every American of voting age -- along with everyone who will soon be of voting age -- should possess.

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The Necessary Second Step:

Destroying the myths that have grown up around
Liberalism and Conservatism

One of Self-Governance Science's greatest contributions to humanity will be debunking the major political/ideological (PI) myth that says, as a practical matter there are only two legislative agendas (which, fyi, exist in a zero-sum relationship) that Congress can realistically pursue to "solve" one or more of America's myriad of major EFFS problems: the conservative/libertarian agenda and the liberal/progressive agenda::

The conservative/libertarian agenda:

  • trusts in, and relies on, "free market" solutions.
  • rooted in the belief that reducing the size, scope and power of the federal government is the best way to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
  • places a higher value on protecting individual freedom than achieving economic/social justice.

The liberal/progressive agenda:

  • trusts in, and relies on, "government" solutions.
  • rooted in the belief that increasing (when and where necessary) the size, scope and/or power of the federal government is the best way to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
  • places a higher value on achieving economic/social justice than protecting individual freedom.

It is because of the PI Myth that:

    • a significant number of America's LOC voters believe liberalism is morally superior to conservatism -- and therefore, by extension, liberals are morally superior to conservatives. While a significant number of America's ROC voters believe just the opposite: conservatism is morally superior to liberalism -- and therefore, by extension, conservatives are morally superior to liberals.

    • Liberals generally place blame for America's many problems on all things conservative -- conservative values, conservative policies, conservative legislation, conservative politicians, etc. Using a medical metaphor, liberals are inclined to see conservatism as the disease responsible for America's major ills, while liberalism is the cure. While conservatives are equally sincere and passionate in their belief that the lion's share of America's current spate of problems can be traced back to all things liberal -- liberal values, liberal policies, liberal legislation, liberal politicians, etc. Which means it is liberalism that is the disease responsible for America's major ills, while conservatism is the cure.

The PI Myth is responsible for the fact that, in the General Election, the rule of thumb:

    • for liberal/democratic voters is: Better to elect a self-serving, politically ambitious liberal "politician" to Congress than a non-self-serving, non-politically ambitious conservative.
    • for conservative/republican voters is: Better to elect a self-serving, politically ambitious conservative "politician" to Congress than a non-self-serving, non-politically ambitious liberal.

 

USEFUL DEFINITION

PI ignorance: belief in one of the above PI myths, and their variants, because of a lack of new, "21st century" self-governance knowledge.

USEFUL ANALOGY: Just as medical ignorance explains why primitive man did not know how to prevent, protect against or cure infections and infectious diseases -- and probably blamed evil spirits (read: evil ideology) for causing them in the first place -- PI ignorance ultimately explains a great many things, for example, why:

    • Our best and brightest liberal minds believe that the only way democratic voters can achieve such liberal objectives as social and economic justice is via a Democratic controlled Congress implementing a "liberal" legislative agenda.

    • Our best and brightest conservative minds believe that the only way republican and libertarian voters can achieve such conservative objectives as protecting individual freedom, and limiting the size, scope and power of the federal government, is via a Republican controlled Congress implementing a "conservative" legislative agenda.

Because of PI ignorance, there is a mile wide wedge between LOC and ROC voters that should not be there over the legislative agenda Congress should be pursuing to successfully deal with the left's economic/social injustice issues, as well as the right's individual freedom, size/scope/power of federal government issues -- and solve America's major EFFS problems.

 

Because of PI ignorance, America's LOC and ROC voters do not know that only a PKQ-controlled Congress can solve America's major EFFS problems -- and solve them no matter which party is in power in either chamber in a given election cycle.

To make a large portion of that wedge simply disappear, our society's voters, and students, must start exploring a number of never before explored thought experiments, which will give rise to a number of never before asked questions -- whose answers will open the floodgates to a number of new insights re the NLEP.

FYI: For now, it will help to think of those never before explored thought experiments as 21st century thought experiments, those never before asked questions as 21st century questions, those new insights as 21st century insights, and those legislative policies as 21st century policies.

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"Power is such a dangerous thing that ideally it should be wielded by people who don't want to use power, who would rather be doing something else, but who are willing to serve a certain number of years as a one-time duty, preferably at the end of a career doing something else."

Thomas Sowell [boldface and underline added]

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Once a small dictionary of new, 21st century terms becomes part of the working vocabularies of our LOC and ROC voters, it will become obvious to both groups -- as you are about to find out -- that they are actually in almost 100% agreement on:

    • The legislative policies they want Congress to enact to solve our major EFFS problems.

    • The specific type of liberal Democratic and conservative Republican legislator-candidates they must start actively locating, aggressively recruiting – i.e., arm-twisting into running (mostly via social media) – and electing to Congress.

    • Their ultimate shared objective (and American democracy's holy grail): a veto-proof, filibuster-proof Congress that is both capable of and eager to craft and enact those 21st century policies into law.

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the most important of the 21st century thought experiments*

* may qualify as the most thought provoking, most “new knowledge” spawning, and longest titled thought experiment of the 21st century.

The
U.S. Congress Consisting Of One Passionately Liberal Philosopher King
And One Passionately Conservative Philosopher Queen
Thought Experiment

(a.k.a., the Two PKQ Congress Thought Experiment).

To begin, let's imagine that America's voters wave a magic wand that instantly turns our two chamber, 535 seat Congress into a one chamber, two seat Congress – one seat permanently reserved for a passionately liberal philosopher king, the other for a passionately conservative philosopher queen.

Let's call them PKQ-caliber legislators, or PKQs for short.

IMPORTANT FYI:
the mirror opposite of a PKQ is a PAP: Politically Ambitious Politician

To make our PKQs even more exceptional, let's give both of them the intelligence of an Einstein, the wisdom of a Solomon, the compassion of a Mother Teresa, the pure logic of a Mr. Spock, the ingenuity of a MacGyver, the vision of a Steve Jobs, and the moral compass of a Martin Luther King, Jr.

We now have what Plato and others in history have called the most perfect or ideal form of government possible (given our species' many human flaws and shortcomings):

a benign dictatorship.

In this case, it's a benign co-dictatorship. One that issues its decrees in the form of legislation, jointly crafted by our co-dictator-legislators, which they then wisely assign our Executive Branch the responsibility of implementing and enforcing.

FYI: this is the Legislative/Executive Branch relationship our founders drafted into the Constitution, with the expressed intention that the President of the United States never become an Imperial President (which, fyi, is exactly what an unbroken chain of craven, responsibility-phobic, PAP-controlled U.S. Congresses allowed to happen starting a long, long time ago).

Back to our PKQs. For any legislation to become law, both of our PKQ-caliber legislator-dictators have to vote for it. And since one PKQ is passionately liberal while the other is passionately conservative, any legislation they craft must not offend either PKQ's ideological values or principles.

From this thought experiment, a number of questions come to mind:

1.

How many of America's major EFFS problems can our PKQ-controlled Congress solve with legislation that doesn't offend the ideals and principles of liberalism or conservatism?

Answer: Essentially, all of them, principally (but not solely) via a new legislative agenda and new category of legislation, whose main focus is systematically going through the tens(?)/hundreds(?) of thousands of pages of legislation enacted into law by all 116 current and past Congresses (= 230+ years) -- then, relying on hindsight, common sense, Einstein-level intelligence, Solomon-like wisdom, etc., removing every self-serving legislative provision inserted by every self-serving "politician" who has ever served in Congress -- which, fyi, is a lot of politicians.

For the time being, let's call these self-serving provisions: "dysfunctionalizing" legislative provisions (DLPs). At some point, it should start becoming apparent that DLPs, which one could reasonably estimate number in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions -- PLUS the tens of thousands (?), hundreds of thousands (?) of bureaucratic rules and regulations that directly or indirectly were created as a result of the DLPs -- are responsible for dysfunctionalizing America's major systems:

  • free market system
  • healthcare system
  • financial system
  • public education system
  • criminal justice system
  • mental heath system
  • immigration system
  • etc.

FYI: there are a number of ways to think of DLPs. One example, think of each DLP as a tiny wrench thrown into the gears of one or more of our major systems. One tiny wrench, too small to notice. A million or more wrenches (= dysfunctionalized systems).

DLPs help explain where the lion's share of our major EFFS problems "come from" -- and also why so many of them seem so intractable, so impervious to (painless) legislative solutions.

The concept of DLPs opens the door to other 21st century insights as well -- for example, why our free market system isn't even remotely free, or fair -- inasmuch as DLPs are the means by which the last 230 years of self-serving PAPs in Congress have engaged in the wholesale practice of various forms of legalized cronyism -- i.e., government created and/or sanctioned favoritism -- e.g., special interest-, vested interest-, and political cronyism (e.g., patronage).

It's important to note that making our nation's free market system truly free and fair will not, in and of itself, rid America of all its EFFS problems. It is, after all, just one of many of our major systems in serious need of substantial repair by PKQ-caliber legislators (think: extensive "de-dysfunctionalization" agenda). But "optimizing" our economic system will get us well down the road to that highly desirable, easily achievable objective.

   
2.

How many of America's LOC and ROC voters will support this new legislative agenda?

Answer: Once they have a working knowledge of these new, 21st century terms and concepts, a reasonable estimate: 90-95+% of them.

   
3. Can a Congress permanently controlled by self-serving PAPs 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, craft the same kind of de-dysfunctionalizing legislation our benign co-dictator-legislators would craft?

Answer: After hell freezes over, maybe. Before then, no.
   
4.

What might be the best and fastest way to develop the body of new, 21st century knowledge our society needs to go from being a "dystopian" democracy -- i.e., Congress permanently controlled by self-serving PAPs -- to a "neartopian" democracy -- i.e., Congress permanently controlled by selfless PKQs?

Answer: Get these new terms and concepts on everybody's radar and into their working vocabulary -- ASAP. Also, convince a small but critical mass of America's political scientists to become vocal advocates of a new sub-field in their discipline: Self-Governance Science (a.k.a., Comparative Self-Governance).



"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Lao Tzu

This thought experiment constitutes the first step in a journey that will move at a snail's pace until social media's movers and shakers start climbing on board -- at which point it will turn into one of the fastest thousand mile journeys in history.

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re. America's political role models

What most stands out about essentially all of Congress' PAPs -- even the most well-meaning of them -- isn't pretty.

  • They are skilled in the art of demagoguery.
  • They pander to their base.
  • They are adept at avoiding responsibility for bad/unpopular outcomes and quick to take credit for good/popular outcomes.
  • Given the size of our national debt, and annual budget deficits, it is obvious that, with rare exception, PAPs are fiscally irresponsible and blatantly unaccountable.
  • PAPs resort to personal attacks, questioning the other side's honesty, integrity, motives, agenda, etc. if it is politically expedient for them to do so.
    • especially the case if their re-election is in jeopardy
  • 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.

Our nation's children and students grow up watching PAPs act like, well, PAPs -- i.e., finger pointing, quick to blame, bloviating, pompous, 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.

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 unethical behavior and actions of literally generations of unethical PAPs in our nation's national legislature.

That's why, 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, 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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The science of self-governance is "radical" science,
but it is not rocket science.

 

 

The Necessary Third Step:

Convincing our political scientists to toss their
18th century political orthodoxy
into democracy's trash bin of dumb ideas

The aphorism, "knowledge is power" (attributed to Sir Francis Bacon, 1567 AD), has proven to be true throughout human history, in both the natural and social sciences. However, it is much more informative to say that all of humanity's great advances have occurred because bad and/or primitive ideas, theories, knowledge, solutions, etc. eventually give way to good/better ideas, theories, knowledge, solutions, etc.

Where that not the case, 21st century "man" would still look, think and act a lot like prehistoric "man" -- i.e., living in caves, wearing animal skins, using stone tools, practicing medicine with animal bones and magical chants, etc.

Suffice to say, the history of new scientific/cultural/societal/moral ideas strongly suggests that the new ideas, theories, solutions, etc. collectively constituting Self-Gov. Science will supplant our current "18th century" understanding of the democratic process. And a lot sooner than one might think when you consider the speed at which new ideas now routinely take root in our 21st century society.

If today's political scientists want to be the driving force behind fixing, improving, saving, etc. America's democracy, they "must be willing to do something [they've] never done."

Abandon their 18th century political orthodoxy -- because its outdated understanding of the NLEP is directly responsible for voters using the "2 Phase" NLEP -- and begin teaching our society's students and voters what a "3 Phase" NLEP is, and how to use it to keep Congress continually replenished with PKQ-caliber liberal D's and conservative R's.

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a short overview of the shortcomings
of the 2 Phase NLEP

If America's voters are disgusted with the way Congress is doing its job, yet consistently fail to produce satisfying outcomes at the polls, there are a number of recourses available to "the people" (per our U.S. Constitution):

  • convene a constitutional convention
  • amend the Constitution, e.g.,
    • term limits amendment
    • balanced budget amendment
  • pursue reforms, e.g.,
    • ethics/campaign finance reform
    • redistricting reform.

Unfortunately, none of these remedies will produce Congresses capable of solving even a tiny fraction of America's major EFFS problems, because none will result in America's voters knowing HOW, and equally important, WHY they should start keeping Congress continually replenished with "PKQ-caliber" legislators.

 

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IF
KNOWLEDGE =
POWER

THEN
new KNOWLEDGE = new POWER
new, self-governance KNOWLEDGE = new, self-governance POWER

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Self-Governance Science will develop 21st century apolitical/non-ideological truths which will destroy "18th century" political/ideological myths.

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Making the transition from a 2 Phase to 3 Phase NLEP will almost certainly require the active involvement of our academic community, our political scientists in particular -- which will require a willingness on their part to remove their 18th century eye glasses and begin exploring a radically different line of 21st century questioning, starting with one that, at first glance, makes no sense at all:

Why isn't it apparent to America's ~70 million left-of-center (LOC) and ~70 million right-of-center (ROC) voters that they both want Congress to pursue the same legislative agenda to “solve” our nation's major EFFS problems?

Clearly, anyone who knows anything about liberal and conservative legislative policies will scratch their head and ask: how is that even possible? Our LOC voters largely favor "liberal" values and principles -- from somewhat to very strongly -- and therefore support the policies advocated by the Democratic Party.

At their most basic, those policies boil down to (from this layman's perspective):

    • Using income redistribution measures, e.g., subsidized healthcare, food stamps, etc., to make life more bearable for our society's poor and needy -- paid for by making the wealthy pay their “fair share” of America's income taxes.
    • Placing more rules and restrictions on what business, especially big (read: greedy) business, can do in pursuit of the almighty dollar.

Meanwhile, our ROC voters largely favor "conservative" values and principles -- from somewhat to very strongly -- and therefore support the policies advocated by the Republican Party, which, at their most basic, entail:

    • Cutting government programs and spending, and lowering everyone's taxes -- income and otherwise.
    • Reducing government's burdensome rules and regulations on everyone, but especially on the business community (read: our nation's job creators).

It's obvious that these two legislative agendas couldn't be further apart -- polar opposites, in fact.

Yes, but -- everyone is operating on the "18th century" assumption that there are only two categories of legislation Congress can realistically craft to solve America's EFFS problems:

  • "government" solutions, which = liberal/socialist legislation
  • "free market" solutions, which = conservative/libertarian legislation

Or a compromise somewhere between the two positions, requiring give and take by both sides (i.e., horse trading/quid pro quo-ism behind closed doors in what used to be smoke filled rooms).

The roots of this severely flawed, PI-based assumption can be traced back to an academic debate among political philosophers that began long before our nation's founding. One that divided many of our founders -- and our legislators in Congress -- into two "political" factions almost from the very beginning:

 

Fast forward to today. We all have in our working vocabularies a small dictionary of well established liberal and conservative code words and talking points which the left uses to trash the right's conservative agenda, policies, politicians, etc., and the right uses to trash the left's liberal agenda/policies, etc. -- all in an effort by both sides to convince America's mainstream voters that the "other" party's policies are the disease responsible for most of America's myriad of EFFS ills, while their own side's policies are the cure.

So embedded are liberalism's and conservatism's code words and talking points in our collective psyche -- along with the daily, soap opera drama of their neverending Hatfield and McCoy feud -- that it is all but impossible for us to recognize that, in legislative terms, neither political/ideological (PI) agenda has ever truly solved more than a tiny fraction of our nation's major EFFS problems -- if even that.

That's because of two "21st century" general (read: very broad brushstroke) propositions:

  • Political ideologies/governing philosophies don't cause, create or exacerbate a democracy's EFFS problems, self-serving, politically ambitious legislators do.

  • Political ideologies/governing philosophies don't solve a democracy's EFFS problems, NON-self-serving, NON-politically ambitious legislators do.

Long story short, as has already been pointed out, our PI-based vocabulary and talking points have effectively created a mile wide wedge between LOC and ROC voters over EFFS issues that should not be there. A wedge whose presence goes a long way toward explaining why both groups don't think twice about the fact that both of them keep Congress permanently filled with what they consider to be one of the most loathsome species on the planet: career politicians.

To make a large portion of that wedge simply disappear, our entire society must start exploring a number of never before explored thought experiments, which will give rise to a number of never before asked questions -- whose answers will open the floodgates to a number of new insights, especially re the democratic process.

 

 
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Two new terms and definitions you will need
to make sense of the graphics that follow:

Dystopian democracy:
(or dystopic democracy)
a democracy/constitutional republic (CR) whose national legislature stays permanently controlled by (mostly well-meaning) PAPs engaged in a never-ending struggle for political power, much of it purely for power's sake..
Neartopian democracy:
(or neartopic democracy)
a democracy/CR whose national legislature stays permanently controlled by PKQ-caliber legislators.
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USING GRAPHICAL METAPHORS TO ILLUSTRATE POLITICAL SCIENCE'S SHORTCOMING

... AND THE SOLUTION:

 

GRAPHICAL METAPHOR #1

 

GRAPHICAL METAPHOR #2

 

GRAPHICAL METAPHOR #3

 
 
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RE: THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE MINION GRAPHIC

The fact that our young minion friend immediately grasps what has been impossible for America's intelligentsia, but especially our political scientists, 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?

My theory is intellectual hubris.

What began as an academic debate between political philosophers several hundred years ago over which governing philosophy, liberalism or conservatism, accomplishes the greatest good for the greatest number of people...

...eventually deteriorated into today's "my political ideology is better than your political ideology" intellectual urinating contest among and between our liberal and conservative elite in academia, think tanks, media, etc. That contest is presently so strong that, if it 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.

Their pitch to voters became:

"Elect me and my party to Congress because policies based on my side's (morally superior) political ideology are the only way to "cure" America's EFFS ills. While policies based on the other side's political ideology aren't just incapable of solving our problems. In many cases they are 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 liberalism and conservatism (as governing philosophies) became full blown, zero sum, good ideology vs. evil ideology religions.

 

With the result that this is what our voters have become...

 

 

If only...

...our political thinkers back in the 18th century had made it a point to emphasize a profoundly more important apolitical/non-ideological (ANI) truth...

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,"

  4. America would not be drowning in EFFS problems, and

  5. America's ~ 140 million left- and right-of-center voters voters would be acutely aware of their shared ANI objectives, and the "Voter's Rule of Thumb"

 

 

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.

 

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IMPORTANT FYI: the fear that Washington's professional bureaucrats -- because they know how to run things -- will end up running the show with PKQ-controlled Congresses = 18th century thinking.

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Political Science's current understanding of America's NLEP can best be described as primitive, or outdated, because it is rooted in the view that:

  1. "politics" is bloodless war between factions of politicians over which side's clique of constituency/special interest groups receive government's limited resources, and
  2. legislative elections are bloodless battles between groups of voters over which political party gets to control the legislative agenda and purse strings (read: spoils of war) in the U.S. House and Senate.

Political Science's "18th century" political orthodoxy explains why today's political scientists have amassed over two centuries of knowledge re how politics is practiced in Congress, and the kind of legislation produced by that process, when Congress' political factions are overwhelmingly dominated and controlled by the worst possible kind of legislators a free society's voters can elect to their national legislature: self-serving politicians. Yet are clueless about how politics would (and should) be practiced -- and the kind of legislation that would be produced by the process -- if Congress' political parties were permanently dominated and controlled by the best possible legislators.

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interesting FYI

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 "fix" their broken Congress, broken politics and broken democracy, the table would be approximately twice Earth's circumference.

 

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IMPORTANT FYI

There should be a great deal of debate among our political scientists (and a protracted national discussion among our voters and media) over the wisdom of electing lawyers to Congress because of their inherent conflict of interest -- i.e.,

  • more laws = more work for lawyers;
  • fewer laws = less work for lawyers;
  • simple, straightforward, commonsense laws = fewer lawsuits = less need for lawyers;
  • complex, convoluted laws = more lawsuits = greater need for lawyers.

 

 

 

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useful 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)

 

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 EFFS problems as it is possible to be.

De-dysfunctionalizing legislation (see optimizing legislation)

Dysfunctionalizing Legislative Provision (DLP): a provision inserted into a piece of legislation to advance the self-serving interests of the legislator.

Dysfunctionalizing legislation: any legislation that contains one or more provisions, or is written in its entirety, to advance the self-serving interests of the PAPs crafting the legislation.

FYI: two plus centuries of dysfunctionalizing legislation accounts for 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.

...have become infected, or 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 make one or more of America's systems operate at its/their maximum effectiveness, efficiency, health, strength, etc.

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-Serving Legislative Provisions (SSLPs): provisions inserted into legislation for self-serving reasons.

Shared ANI Objectives: objectives that voters of every political and ideological stripe 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..

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

1. Decide in the primary process which type of Democratic, Republican, etc. candidates will face each other in the General election: PAPs or PKQ-caliber.

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

 
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ABOUT

Name: Montie Rainey
Profession: Retired, advocate of Self-Governance Science
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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