Joseph M. Firestone and Nancy Bordier
We think most people agree that money has corrupted our politics. Some even think that we now live in a Plutocracy, and not in a Democracy, and that both parties are corrupted and now represent only the financial oligarchy. So, the central issue of our time is how can we break its hold? How can we overcome the influence of money in politics and make our political system more responsive to most Americans once again?
The way we can do that is by modifying the political system so that much less money is needed for new citizen voting blocs to organize and make themselves felt as a political force. In turn, we think, this modification comes down to removing the necessity for candidates and new movements to engage in mass media advertising, and direct mail marketing campaigns to become popular, grow strong, and win elections.
There’s only one way to get that done, however, and that’s to create a system of communication and political organization that relies primarily on the Internet, and makes organizing so cheap for people, that money is irrelevant to formulating one’s message, getting it out, and joining with others to produce platforms and candidates with capability to compete with others who have huge amounts of corporate and personal money. We have to make campaign resources like Meg Whitman’s $100 million — plus irrelevant to winning elections. We need a software application and Internet site(s) that will provide people with a virtual place through which they can: define their own policy options and prioritize them to create political agendas, social network with others who have similar agendas to their own, work together with these others to create collective political agendas, voting blocs, coalitions and new political parties that, partly by using monitoring, evaluating, and communicating capabilities of the application will make their representatives accountable. In this post on the Interactive Voter Choice System, Nancy Bordier and I described the premises of such an application, for which she has a patent pending, and also how it would work to help people overcome the problems of political organization, while providing a very low cost environment.
The application will supply the most comprehensive current environment available for developing a rich inner life for new voting blocs, and the people within them. It will provide a richer ecology for voting blocs to evolve within, than anything available now. It will also support openness, transparency, and political inclusiveness within its voting blocs. Because of these characteristics, including the openness of the blocs, more of the blocs will solve their problems, and adapt better to their environments, improving the chances that some of them will transcend the awkward brittle stages of voting bloc growth, and survive long enough to grow into a real force that will challenge the legacy parties and force the changes in the American political system we are all looking for.
Most Americans want to do something about the mess that we’re in. They’ll respond to an application like the one we’ve outlined, because it will facilitate their efforts to self-organize coalitions, evaluate their representatives, influence them, and, finally, hold them accountable. Since it will cost little more than time to organize and get one’s messages out by using it, the application will eliminate the need for voting blocs and candidates to rely on big money to evolve support. It will de-fang the Citizens United decision. It will be the solution to the problem of how we can shift the balance back from Plutocracy toward Democracy.