voting members in Congress
Philosopher King/Queen


Three domain names, one academic objective:
a (necessity-created) field of study "whose time has come."


Unofficial launch date: May the 4th, 2019



October 17, 2019


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



Key acronym: PAP: Politically Ambitious Politician

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; could process and synthesize large amounts of complex data, and make executive level, life and death decisions. Almost all of us would probably also want someone who possessed the wisdom that comes from many decades of life experience. But more than anything, we would want someone who, once in the House or Senate, would always put the interests of the nation above his or her own interests -- be they personal, political, financial or otherwise.

In other words, our ideal candidate would be an extraordinarily capable non-politician. In fact, our perfect gal or guy would be as far from a politician as you can get inasmuch as the ideal candidate would 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 we are describing the textbook attributes of a philosopher king or queen (PKQ) -- an observation that might lead some of us to muse wistfully: wouldn't it be nice if our voters started identifying, recruiting and electing PKQ-caliber liberals, conservatives, etc. to Congress every two years -- much like corporations identify, recruit and hire top executives when the needs arises, Silicon Valley identifies, recruits and hires our most talented geeks; professional sports teams identify, recruit and sign our best athletes, etc.

Wishful thinking? Perhaps. But also rational thinking. After all, a U.S. Congress dominated and controlled by PKQ-caliber legislators will instantly free the America people from the part-Groundhog Day, part-Twilight Zone nightmare they have been imprisoned in for many generations.

Nightmare, you say? What nightmare is that?

You know, the one in which our voters go to the polls every two years -- election cycle after election cycle -- and, as predictably as the sun rises every day, elect/re-elect Democrats and Republicans to the U.S. House and Senate who then spend the entire two year session NOT solving** America's myriad of economic, financial, fiscal and societal (EFFS) problems, even the easy ones.

**FYI: Not because the problems are intractable (because they aren't), or because everyone assumes that the legislation required to "solve" our EFFS problems will necessarily inflict a considerable amount of pain/suffering/hardship on a number of key constituency groups, e. g., the poor, the elderly, the wealthy, etc. (because it won't if the legislation is crafted by PKQ-caliber D's and R's).

No, Congress will spend its entire two years NOT solving America's EFFS problems because self-serving, politically ambitious politicians, whether liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, man or woman, will always put (as predictably as the sun rises every day) their own personal, political, financial, etc. interests above the interests of the nation.

So, let's cut to the chase and ask four all-important, make or break questions.

One. If a small but critical mass of our voters should decide to start aggressively recruiting PKQ-caliber liberals, conservatives, etc. in advance of the Democratic and Republican primary processes, will they discover that individuals with this particular set of qualities are extremely rare? Somewhat rare? Not rare at all?

Answer: while an exact number is clearly out of the question, if we conservatively guesstimate a range of as few as 0.5% (one out of two hundred) of America's ~250 million adults, to as many as 5% (one out of twenty), there are between 1.25 -- 12.5 million Americans who qualify as "PKQ-caliber." In raw numbers, even at 0.5% that's a lot of people, enough to keep Congress overflowing with a steady supply of highly capable liberal, moderate, conservative, etc. PKQ-caliber legislators for well over ten thousand years* (about 14,000 years to be exact).

* assumes the maximum time served in office for our 100 Senate and 435 House members is six years -- and not a day longer, because both our PKQ-caliber legislators and the American people should understand how easily political power, especially at the national level, can corrupt even the best of us.

Fourteen thousand years...

** pause to let that fact -- and the extraordinary possibilities for our nation -- sink in **

Given the daily soap opera that passes for "governance" in our U.S. Congress -- i.e., the never-ending, all-consuming power struggle between our two factions of craven, pandering, demagoguing, finger pointing, fiscally irresponsible, always scheming, etc. PAPs -- knowing that (in raw numbers) our nation is literally awash with PKQ-caliber Americans brings to mind a wonderful line from an outstanding Kathy Mattea song,

"...standing knee-deep in a river and dying of thirst."

Two. If our nation were continually governed by a veto-proof majority of PKQ-caliber liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans (in both the House and Senate), how many of America's major EFFS problems would get solved -- not kicked down the road, not papered over, not simply ignored, mind you, but actually solved -- no matter which Party controlled one or both chambers?

Answer: Once you have a minimal understanding of Self-Governance Science's key concepts, particularly the array of far-reaching legislative agendas a "PKQ-controlled" Congress will be able to successfully implement, your likely conclusion will be: essentially all of them.

Question three can only be asked by first creating a new, "21st century" concept:

effective voting* (or voting effectively): voters using social media and other 21st century "tools" to: 1) identify, 2) successfully recruit, and 3) elect PKQ-caliber candidates to Congress.

* other possible terms: comprehensive voting, competent voting, multi-objective voting,...(?)

Three. If it turns out to be extremely easy to teach voters how to vote effectively -- requiring not much more on their part than a few mouse clicks here and there -- will enough of our 140 million voters be willing to learn this new self-governance skill(?)/technique(?)/strategy(?)/paradigm(?) that within, say, a few election cycles, they become pros at keeping the House and Senate continually replenished with a steady supply of PKQ-caliber legislators?

Answer: If the history of new ideas is any guide, yes, vastly more than enough voters will.

Four, and the most important question of them all: Are these merely whimsical questions that only a good government idealist would be naive enough to ask? Or are they existential questions born of necessity that America's political scientists have an academic as well as moral obligation to ask, then get to work answering?

Answer: It shouldn't take too much reflection to realize that they're both.


* * * * * * * * * * *

Self-Governance Science is many things...

It is:

  • American democracy's "final frontier"
  • Political Science's "Germ Theory"
  • The holy grail of effective self-governance
  • The source of the Imperial Presidency's demise

* * * * * * * * * * *


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 process is a little further along, the material will be edited, packaged and presented in PowerPoint format, and a national education/awareness campaign started. Until then, a number of unedited sections (think of them as a series of short blog posts, random thoughts and observations, etc.) 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 eye-opening -- and their implications breathtaking.

Also, if the history of new status quo disrupting ideas/theories/knowledge is any guide -- e.g., Astronomy's Heliocentric Model, Modern medicine's Germ Theory, etc. -- 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 academically valid.

Why? Because, if it's truly valid knowledge, once our political academicians start down this new road, they will quickly discover that they will have to radically re-think their well established "18th century" beliefs/theories -- especially re a key component of America's democratic process: our national legislative election process (NLEP).

Our learned political academicians will also have to revise at least two of democracy's foundational definitions: what constitutes 1) an "informed" voter, and 2) a "healthy" democracy, and add a number of new ones, e.g., effective voting and effective self-governance.

Unfortunately -- again, based on the history of new , paradigm changing, status quo disrupting knowledge -- these new foundational definitions represent a category of new knowledge our political science establishment will be loath to validate (because doing so would ruffle the feathers/upset the applecarts of too many in the Washington political establishment).

That said, 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 and/or share 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. For example, 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, on your 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 new knowledge is so new, so outside-the-box, so paradigm changing, and so status quo disrupting, that the vast majority of our society will treat your posts -- but, more importantly, you -- the same way the earliest believers of such outside-the-box theories as Heliocentrism and the Germ Theory -- or radical "social" ideas like abolition, women's suffrage, civil rights, gay rights, etc. -- were initially treated, i.e., as someone naively spouting a whimsical idea.

My advice: be brave, be stoic, and ignore the many Americans who will say you've foolishly taken on an impossible cause.

Focus instead on the many generations of Americans who will be profoundly grateful that you did.

"It always seems impossible until it is done."
Nelson Mandela

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

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


like page




"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 foundational concepts, terms and acronyms (partial list)
  effective voting, effective self-governance
  NLEP: National Legislative Election Process

Two Phase NLEP:

Three Phase NLEP:

    1. primary process
    2. general election
  1. pre-primary candidate identification/recruitment
  2. primary process
  3. general election

Note: the 2 and 3 Phase NLEPs are so critical to our understanding of the process of "effective" self-governance that I've created a graphic which illustrates the relative difference between the two.

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

* * * * * * * * * * *

“If you control the language, you control the argument.”
George Orwell, 1984


Using new language to change the academic and national debate

With just the above lexicon of new terms, political scientists will be able to begin asking, and answering, a brand new category of questions (which, fyi, they should have started asking and answering decades ago).

    Two additional key terms

    PAP-governed democracy: a democracy/constitutional republic (CR) whose national legislature stays permanently controlled by PAPs.

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

Sample questions:

  • How much of America's extreme:
    • poverty,
    • income inequality,
    • social discontent,
    • racial strife,
    • rich vs. poor animus,
    • political/ideological tribalism,
    • etc.

      ...exists solely because America is a PAP-governed democracy?

  • What kind of macro- and micro-social and other changes would we expect to see occur, especially among our younger generations, if America's 535 national legislative role models were no longer 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? (Hint: all of them.)
    • How many of those policies would actually solve the EFFS problems they were enacted to solve? (Hint: for all intent and purposes, all of them.)

  • TRUE or FALSE: a PKQ-controlled Congress will be able (collectively) to legislate and carry out their government oversight duties with the:
    • intelligence of an Einstein,
    • wisdom of a Solomon,
    • 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

      (Hint: TRUE)

  • TRUE or FALSE: PKQ-controlled Congresses will result in America's "Imperial Presidency" going the way of the dinosaurs.


  • TRUE or FALSE: as a society, we are profoundly more:

    rude... crude... loud... greedy... envious... dishonest... angry... resentful... confrontational... judgmental... self righteous... anti-social... etc., etc....

    ...and profoundly less:

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

    ...than we would otherwise be because we are a PAP-governed democracy.

  • (no hint needed)

  • TRUE or FALSE: Self-Governance Science will enable America's 140 million voters to achieve their holy grail of self-governance: a veto-proof, filibuster-proof Congress capable of crafting and enacting the array of legislation needed to solve -- in many cases, completely and permanently -- all of America's major EFFS problems.

    (no hint needed)

* * * * * * * * * * *


LOC: left-of-center . . . . . ROC: right-of-center

Self-Governance Science solves one of American democracy's greatest mysteries: Why 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.

* * * * * * * * * * *

What exactly is Self-Governance Science?

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, or prescriptive, knowledge that America's approximately 140 million LOC and 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.

USEFUL LAYMAN'S ANALOGY: Medical science can be divided into two distinct sciences: the descriptive and the prescriptive. The former describes the causes and symptoms of a host of medical conditions (e.g., diseases, cancers, illnesses, etc.), while the latter works to develop cures, treatments, mitigation strategies, etc. for the diseases, cancers, illnesses, and other medical maladies.

Unlike Political Science, which is a descriptive science -- it describes and opines -- Self-Governance Science can be thought of as a prescriptive science -- it analyzes and prescribes solutions -- e.g., what specific steps voters must take to insure that the candidates elected to Congress in the General Election (in addition to being highly capable) are 100% interested in solving America's EFFS problems, and 0% interested in advancing a political career or achieving some other self-serving objective.

Returning to our voters' existential-level problem, most of our intelligentsia in academia and elsewhere will point the finger of blame for the 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 political academicians 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."

For now, let's call this political science's "Flawed Voter Theory"
(think of it as the Tytler Cycle without the details)

At first glance, their erudite logic seems spot on:

  • America is a democracy (constitutional republic for you sticklers).
  • In a democracy the buck stops with the voters.
  • Generations of American voters have keep Congress filled to overflowing with self-serving PAPs (which, fyi, is de facto proof of our voters' inability to govern themselves "effectively").
  • PAPs have shown themselves to be, election cycle after election cycle, utterly incapable of solving any of America's EFFS problems -- even the easy ones -- yet our voters keep electing/re-electing them.
  • Our nation now finds itself buried under a mountain of major EFFS problems -- and the mountain is growing ever more massive, ever more menacing by the minute.

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.

The key takeaway of that glitch should be 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 Flawed Voter Theory 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.

Poli-Sci's Flawed Understanding of Self-Governance


First thing, we need working definitions for three of the most important concepts in S-G Science:

effective self-governance: the ability of a free society's voters to keep their national legislature continually replenished with PKQ-caliber legislators.

PI-based self-governance: voters relying almost entirely on political/ideological -- i.e., Democratic vs, Republican, liberal vs. conservative -- considerations, factors, etc. to both form their "political" views and dictate their voting decisions, especially (in America's case) in the NLEP.

ANI/PI-based self-governance: voters relying almost entirely on apolitical/non-ideological considerations in the first and second phases (of three) of the NLEP, and almost entirely on PI considerations in the last phase, the general election.


Seen through the lens of 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:

For generations political science and civics educators have been teaching their students and our society to use the NLEP to, in effect, achieve just one objective, a 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 agenda, policy 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" view of the NLEP [read: outdated, primitive] because, among things, it was largely born in 18th century -- i.e., pre-industrial, pre-electricity, just about 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 fit into today's classic liberal vs conservative mold:
    • liberal mold: the voter supports the candidate/party whose policy solutions require the federal government to grow in size/scope/power.
    • conservative mold: the voter supports the candidate/party whose solutions if anything decrease the federal government's size/scope/power.
  • "politics" in Congress was "bloodless war" between factions of "politicians," and congressional elections were bloodless battles largely between two factions/tribes of voters, i.e., LOC and ROC voters.

FYI: We could also call this the "PI-centric" view, or understanding, of the NLEP.

As you will soon learn, our political science and civics educators could just as easily taught their students how voters could use the NLEP to achieve two radically different objectives (which, as you will soon read about, the Three Phase NLEP is specifically designed to accomplish):

  1. the aforementioned political/ideological (PI) objective: decide which party controls the House and/or Senate
    • a.k.a., LOC and ROC voters making PI war to settle their political/ideological differences.
  2. an apolitical/non-ideological (ANI) objective: decide if Congress will be PAP-controlled or PKQ-controlled
    • a.k.a., LOC and ROC voters making ANI love to achieve their shared, apolitical/ non-ideological objectives (which they have a lot more of than PI differences).

In hindsight, this would have required little more than a minor tweak, academically speaking. But what a payoff it would have been for our nation -- in self-governance terms, comparable to the American people winning the Powerball and the Mega Millions -- every two years!!

At some point, there will be a great deal of debate over why it never occurred to our political scientists and other political thinkers in academia, media, good government organizations, etc. that the NLEP could and should be used to accomplish two objectives.

my theory:

    • One part, intellectual hubris.
    • One part, inability to think outside the established [read: entrenched] dogma box that a great many of our political intelligentsia spend their career and/or earn their livelihood in.

Whatever the reason(s), the bottom line is: it never occurred -- which means today's political scientists and civics educators are still, in effect, "teaching" our students and voters an outdated, severely flawed, "18th century," or PI-centric, understanding of the NLEP.

* * * * * * * * * * * *


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:

  • Congress would not be permanently dominated and controlled by self-serving politicians who put their interests over the interests of the American people -- and America would not exist permanently mired in a seemingly endless list of major EFFS problems.

  • Our entire society would be well aware of a number of self-governance "truths" -- for example that, as a general proposition:
    • Political ideologies don't cause, create or exacerbate a democracy's EFFS problems. Legislation crafted by self-serving, politically ambitious legislators does.
    • Political ideologies don't solve a democracy's EFFS problems. Legislation crafted by NON-self-serving, NON-politically ambitious legislators does.

    • A well meaning politician, but one with political ambitions, is a self-serving, politically ambitious politician (PAP) first -- and a well meaning human being an astronomically distant second.

Conclusion #2 :

(a.k.a., 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.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Had our nation's best and brightest thinkers acted on Conclusion #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.

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...


* * * * * * * * * * *


“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” Albert Einstein

examples of "18th century" (or PI-centric) thinking:

  • liberal vs. conservative solutions
  • one ideology is morally superior to the other
    • the morally superior ideology's supporters are morally superior to the morally inferior ideology's supporters
  • the morally superior ideology "fits all" (i.e., it has all the answers/solutions).


examples of "21st century" thinking:

  • PAP-controlled Congress
vs. PKQ-controlled Congress


  • one ideology is not morally superior
  • one ideology's supporters are not morally superior to the other ideology's supporters simply because of their PI views.
  • one ideology does not fit all
    • in key applications, liberal, conservative and libertarian legislation, expertly (and selflessly) crafted, are both necessary and synergistic.

* * * * * * * * * * *


What the NLEP looks like through a 21st century lens

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


  • 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 (probably) 90+%, we must use the 3 Phase NLEP.
  • If we want...
  • If we want...

* * * * * * * * * * *

* * * * * * * * * * *

    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.




The 3 Phase NLEP represents...

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

"one giant leap" for America's voters.




"The best way to predict the future is to create it"
Peter F Drucker


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.

* * * * * * * * * * *


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)


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

* * * * * * * * * * *

"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]

* * * * * * * * * *


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.

* * * * * * * * * * *

The Necessary Second Step:

Destroying the PI Myth that has 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 or advancing 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.


Using America's prohibitively expensive, bureaucratically straitjacketed healthcare system to illustrate the nexus between primitive, or mythological, PI "knowledge" and the irrational, zero-sum legislative policy solutions that are:

  1. crafted and advocated by Congress' Democratic and Republican PAPs,
  2. touted by their respective clique of allies, minions, sycophants, etc. in academia, think tanks, media, entertainment, business, Wall Street, etc., and
  3. supported by America's LOC and ROC voters.

If we think of our healthcare system as our Medical Goods, Products and Services Industry (MGPS Industry), you would be wasting your time if you asked anyone in Congress (or the average voter):

What can Congress do, legislatively, to produce industry wide efficiencies in America's MGPS Industry that will result in the industry's total costs being reduced by, say, 50%?

That's because, for the few who might have a quick answer, all they would do is mindlessly parrot their party's "official" PI-based talking points.

  • The Democrats would favor, for example, a single-payer system, which would lower costs by severely restricting (a.k.a., rationing) access to elective surgeries and treatments, and not paying for expensive surgeries for the very old and the terminally ill.
  • The Republicans would want the government completely out of healthcare (except for Medicare, of course) which would drive down costs (but not by 50%) via a combination of less regulation and greater competition, but leave the poor without a vital safety net -- or the states with a new and massive debt burden.
  • If there were any true Libertarians in Congress, they would say get the federal government completely out of the healthcare system, including Medicare and Medicaid, which would never happen -- because if it did our 535 members of Congress would experience the full wraith of America's elderly (think: Bastille (France), July 14, 1789 x 1,000).

In short, our PI factions, along with their respective clique of allies and supporters, have widely different views of what the many thousands of gears/moving parts of the "ideal" healthcare system/MGPS Industry should look like.

(fyi: yet another example of how a PI-centric "belief system" rooted in the PI Myth can disable the critical reasoning region(s) of the brains of even exceptionally intelligent, highly educated, sophisticated, etc. individuals.)

ideal healthcare system

ideal healthcare system

ideal healthcare system

The PI Myth-free -- a.k.a., "optimized" -- Model

In the abstract this is, conceptually, what the many discrete but interconnected moving parts of an "optimized" healthcare system/ MGPS Industry looks like.

A reasonable initial guesstimate by a reasonably informed layman:

  • 50 % libertarian
  • 40% conservative
  • 10% liberal

The more rational/logical/common sense view is that an optimized system would require -- not compromise between liberal/progressive and conservative/libertarian policies (i.e., "moderate" policies), but discrete elements of all three.

At one end, libertarian policies in order to guarantee the maximum exposure of as much of our MGPS Industry to the quality increasing, costs lowering forces of our free market system (FYI: not our current cronyism-laden market system, but an optimized free market system). And at the other end, a small number of strategically placed "liberal" policies to insure that our society's least able and capable have access to "affordable" high quality healthcare -- which, thanks to our libertarian policies, can now be provided at the lowest possible cost to the individual, to society, AND to society's taxpayers.

ASIDE: an important 21st century concept

More than likely, an optimized healthcare system/MGPS Industry will involve a radical concept: A federal Medicare Agency that provides what it currently provides: an array of health insurance plans (much like our private insurance industry) -- but does not dictate via a mountain of regulations what Hospitals, Medical clinics, Physicians, etc. can and cannot do, must and must not do, etc.

In other words, Medicare becomes a purchaser of medical goods, products and services, like any other major organization -- but stops being the bureaucratic dictator of what the medical goods, products and services industry can and cannot do, must and must not do, etc.

A final point re an optimized HC system. By lowering the overall costs of our MGPS Industry, two of the biggest drivers of federal costs, Medicare and Medicaid, will both be reduced significantly -- which means an end to permanent federal deficits and an ever increasing national debt.


BOTTOM LINE re the PI Myth:

The PI Myth is responsible for two existentially consequential outcomes.

1. Liberalism and Conservatism are now full blown religions with devout adherents dominating in academia, media, think tanks, Hollywood, etc., and among a substantial number of America's voters.


2. Generations of PAPs in Congress have so successfully mastered the art/tactic of PI demagoguery that, in any given election cycle, the miniscule number of issues that ignite voter passion and determine voter turnout (which, in turn, will determine the election's outcome) are largely hot button issues that will have very little, if any, effect on the number and/or severity of America's major EFFS problems.



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 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.



like page

* * * * * * * * * * *


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.

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.

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 Nelson Mandela.

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:


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. For 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).
  • Think of each DLP as a serving of simple sugars or trans fats added to an otherwise healthy meal. One meal, no problem. 200 years of sugar and trans fat laden meals = major systems suffering from chronic "diseases." And the "symptoms" of the diseases: America's major EFFS problems.

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.


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.

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.

* * * * * * * * * * *

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.

* * * * * * * * * * *

The science of self-governance is "radical" science,
but it is not rocket science.



Most of us learn in Civics how laws are made in Congress...


But what we also should have learned is the effect that 200 + years of legislation crafted and passed by self-serving PAPs has had on our nation.



* * * * * * * * * * *

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.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

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 learning HOW, and equally important, WHY they should start keeping Congress continually replenished with "PKQ-caliber" legislators.

* * * * * * * * * * * *


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

* * * * * * * * * * *

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

* * * * * * * * * * *

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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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," 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.


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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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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.



One last reminder....

Three domain names. One academic objective.

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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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Name: Montie Rainey
Profession: Retired, advocate of Self-Governance Science
Education: BS, Mathematics and Computer Science
(University of Illinois at Chicago, 1984)

Opinion columnist, The Jackson Sun



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