19 February 2010

My letter to Alan Grayson

Dear Congressman Grayson:

I respect your commitment to the Rule of Law and restoration of majority rule in this country, and I deeply appreciate your willingness to throw over convention and stand up for the American people.

It seems clear to me, and to millions like me, that what we need, in addition to various specific policy goals, is a set of structural changes, which will require changing the Constitution. We all know how difficult that is… just 12 states can block it, and with the country as deeply divided as it is, it will be a long slog to get anything done.

Jonathan Turley recently published a terrific piece in the Los Angeles Times outlining some of these necessary changes, to restore majority rule.

Here’s my idea: why not pledge, and demand that every member of Congress and the Senate, and every governor and member of state legislative bodies pledge, to support the following changes to our system, and urge people not to vote for anyone who won’t sign on, regardless of party?

  • End the electoral college, and majority popular vote needed to elect the president (run-off if no majority)
  • End gerrymandering. All Congressional districts to be drawn fairly, "minimally contiguously", and without regard to constituency (there are various methods to ensure this)
  • End the filibuster… majority cuts off debate in the Senate, majority changes rules
  • Overturn Citizens United, end the power of corporate money, and instigate meaningful public financing of elections

If these four things, worded in a catchy and memorable way, could be accomplished, we’d still have less “democracy” than many advanced countries that don’t have anything like our Federal system and inherently undemocratic system for electing Senators. But is sure would go a long, long way to restoring “one man, one vote,” and giving renewed legitimacy and respect for government.

Thank you.

David Studhalter

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