“Where Were You When…”

 

There are certain movies that, as soon as the first image comes to life on the screen, you know with out a doubt, what year you are looking at. Maybe it’s the type of car that passes in the opening credits. Sometimes it’s the clothing the actors are wearing. It strikes the mood in an intended way, as directed by the script. Usually the time of occurrence is integral to the plot.

But certain movies are unavoidably tied to a specific time period due to iconic events. As soon as that is flashed on the screen, no matter when the movie is trying to portray, we automatically know this movie is history.

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As soon as you see this, you know a specific time period, specific circumstances. If you lived it, songs on the radio that summer, smells from events that took place, people you haven’t seen since then. Feelings that you felt from seeing such an amazing sight.

I hope that historians will look back at our current situation and see this image of Lady Liberty under repair, as how they describe the nation. It is a fitting metaphor for our society right now.

After hundreds of years of storms, hurricanes, earthquakes… dirt and damage due to neglect has left a noticeable mark on Liberty! The torch does not shine quite as bright as it did not so long ago. She STILL stands, but no one seems to notice the beauty as much as they used to. “Yeah, yeah… we know. What else ya’ got?”

I suppose that’s the problem with such a beautiful thing. You take for granted the idea that this powerful force stands with you everyday and you don’t stop and recognize just how wonderful it is. So many long to see her and make a point of visiting, just once, and then hope one day, they can make this place their home, too. To Us, it’s as reflexive as inhaling or blinking.

Until one day… there’s talk of changing it. What?!! There’s nothing wrong with her? Look… Keep your hands off my Lady! She’s the best thing in the world and ain’t you, or NO ONE gonna change that! You hear me?!!

Then the scaffolding goes up…

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And now, that beautiful lady we didn’t want to leave, has faded from view. It’s temporary they say, but it hurts none the less. It forces us to remember just how precious having her around really is. But even more than that, it awakens a love deep within us we didn’t know was there. Seeing things in a way not seen in hundreds of years…

My God, when she’s gone, how we ache! And the comfort, and safe feeling… I wish EVERYONE could feel that way, forever. The gift of universal love and acceptance shining brightly, we must recommit to it and reaffirm just how wonderful she is!

Anyone can tell you, after so many years, every relationship has to be worked on. It cannot just sit and “be”. As we all grow, so too must our connections to others. Things get rough from time to time, and sometimes, when something separates people, it can rekindle a passion long forgotten. It will force you to question what is the priority and what is the obstacle. Having that destination in mind, of returning to that warm embrace, clarifies and emboldens.

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And both understand, that this commitment is only an optional thing. We knew going into this, that we could change it at ANY POINT. The majority of relationships before ours have been dissolved, and odds are stacked against us. Some days its hard to see the common ground we want to achieve. Some days we think maybe there is greener grass. But there is something to be said for the comfort we get from being in a relationship with Liberty. The ability to chose, to bend, to grow. The freedom to gain scars from failed endeavors, and know a place to heal awaits us in times of trouble.

As disconnected as we sometimes feel we are, when we see her, we remember why we get out of bed some mornings. Because we gotta try and get it right… if not for me, then for Her.

Keep your head UP.

JC

 

“Into the seeds of time” 2024

The future isn’t written. It can be changed. You know that. Anyone can make their future whatever they want it to be. – Doc Emmett Brown

We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future. – John F. Kennedy

The best way to predict the future is to invent it. – Alan Kay

 

Calendar of US House of Representatives
The highlighted days are working days in the US House of Representatives.
2016 Primary by Month
A system that includes no direct ballot vote, no input from all eligible voters.

If you have not read my blog post titled “How Should the Constitutional Amendment Read?”, please read through that for the proposed wording for changing our election system. https://jackcharbonneau.com/2018/04/30/how-should-the-constitutional-amendment-read/

I will attempt to paint the picture I have in my mind’s eye using the two calendars above.

Starting in January of the Presidential election year, each State will begin their State Primary Elections. (House calendar shows term resumes at the beginning of January) A support system of multimedia assistants and directors, staff as needed, press coordinators, will be available for each candidate in each State’s primaries, paid for with Federal Tax Dollars. The focus of this, and the Main Primary, will be in the hands of the candidate, the creative control falling to the candidate. The Federal Election Fund will provide tools, tech, people, staff, communications outlets, as needed as directed by the candidate. The debates and ballots should wrap up by the beginning of March.

The 1st congressional working day in March should be the day the President of the Senate announces, in Joint Session, the names of the candidates eligible for election. I see it being a renewal of our pride, a celebration of our peaceful transition of power. A public recognition of the will of the People. A celebration of what unites us ALL. All States participate, and all States send their best and brightest with hopes that our common good is realized. Proud of ALL candidates, because ONE among them will be the next CinC.

Preparations starting on that day, the first of three National Ballots will fall on the first Tuesday in April, narrowing down the 50 to 25. (Adjustments in number of candidates will be necessary as new States are added to Our Union) Another month of debate and discussion leads us to another National Ballot on the first Tuesday of May, narrowing the remaining field from 25 to 10. One month later, on the first Tuesday in June, the 10 candidates will be narrowed by National Ballot, down to the two final candidates.

At the discretion of the President of the Senate, the two remaining candidates will be announced no later than 4 July, before Congress leaves for the summer. Personally, I believe the tradition of announcement should fall ON The 4th of July for two reasons-

1.) It will provide sufficient time to allow for any contesting of votes or systemic issues that should come to light between the June ballot and announcement.

2.) It is an affirmation! A National Celebration of our Country. Why NOT?!! Fireworks, parades, a Celebration of our INDIVIDUAL POLITICAL POWER! We, The People, realize the dream of our founders, every time we stand up, speak out, and pick a citizen who will lead us ALL into the future.

A fitting date to present extraordinary individuals as the people We choose to represent the US in the world.

This idea must be expanded upon. It is a skeleton to be sure. But it is a starting point for discussion about the size and scope of staff that will be required. MANY thousands of jobs in technology and design, web strategists, media strategists… IF we want participation, this must be a big production. A tour de force in order to captivate our country. AVAILABILITY and OPENNESS with SECURITY and OVERSIGHT. This is an institution of THE PEOPLE, and we demand the BEST system possible. It must ensure that the candidate’s platform is heard by all who seek the information. It must be advertised in all appropriate ways to ensure the public is fully informed about times, places, locations, directions, debate venues.

By working in coordination with Federal level elections officials and the Secret Service, the ability of States to decide how, when, where, certain aspects of the system will work will allow variation. An official set of requirements and laws with enforced punishment, must be met by each State with regard to ballot access and procedures in the process of voting. ALL VOTES MUST BE BOTH DIGITAL AND PHYSICAL. All voters must have their voter ID. A new photo ID, verified via a documentary in-person process (either a citizen goes to a location OR the Elections official will come to them if circumstances demand)  and provided as a FREE SERVICE TO ALL ELIGIBLE VOTERS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Locations opened in all States to be run by the Federal Government, integrity and security ensured by the Secret Service.

These sites could serve a multifunctional headquarters for press centers, voting centers, registration centers… a community level hub for candidate information and Citizen Voter Initiatives, campaign rallies, etc.

This system will allow for a National voice in the selection of a candidate for president, where our current system is… a potato. NO State seems to hold any power in deciding who will be president NOW. Let’s attempt to ensure ALL States have a say in the CANDIDATES, not just the President.

 

How Should the Constitutional Amendment Read?

What do We want Our government to look like? Who should Our government represent? When the choices that appear on the ballot look and act nothing like me or my family, why should I expect they will make choices with my family in mind?

Our election system currently forces a candidate to acquire money to have their voices heard. Therefore, the more money, the LOUDER your voice becomes. THIS has led to the upside-down view of “government is not the solution to our problems- government is the problem.”

I believe this should change.

When We elect a President born OF this country, A President who is FROM The People, we can see the change We need. Our government is seen by special interest groups and MASSIVE corporations as an obstacle to overcome. But this is NOT the case.

It IS the FRAMEWORK that holds us ALL together. A ‘referee’ in the daily battles of life, for the economic world AND the consumers. BOTH are dependent on the other for survival. And Our government ensures the playing field is fair for everyone. It protects the field’s VERY EXISTANCE.

Money should NOT DECIDE who can become President.

ideas should.

The government (We) should create the “venue”, the “vehicle” for the debate on ideas. A “Coliseum” for a “Battle Royale of the Minds”. To decide the President of THIS Country?!! We deserve No Less!

We need a Constitutional Convention to create a ONE CITIZEN=ONE VOTE, OPEN, SECURE, Election system to change the way the candidates are selected. In an open and honest debate, the BEST ideas ALWAYS rise to the top. We can do better than the system we have now. End the Electoral College.

Considering that an amendment requires 2/3 Congressional approval and 3/4 of the States’ Legislatures for ratification, this is a process that requires everyone to speak up and participate. EVERYONE benefits from this. This change will also require us ALL to take full personal RESPONSIBILITY for the HONOR and POWER of the Office of the Presidency. It is, after all, an embodiment of the unified spirit of all who participate in this system. Whomever holds the Office, holds it for us all. So my following text is an idea.

Proposal for Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America

Article II, Sec I.2 shall be undone.

Article II, Sec I.3 shall be amended to read as follows-

I.3 Each of the Several States shall select, by ballot of eligible voters, in the respective States, an eligible candidate for President. The Chief Executive of each State, the elected Legislatures of those States, as well as the Secretary of State of the respective States, shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate, the name of the selected candidate. The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and the House of Representatives, open and announce the name and State of each candidate.

At the end of the announcement, discussion/ decent shall be voiced and heard by the President of the Senate. At such point, either by determination of ineligibility or by majority vote by both Houses in separate votes, dismiss any candidate. If the votes of the House and the Senate stand in opposition, deference  falls to the original Vote of the State that had certified the candidate.

Article II, Sec. I.4 shall be undone and Amended to read as follows-

I.4 The Congress may determine the timing of a series of primary debates and discussion designed with the goal of narrowing down the list of eligible candidates, by ballot of eligible voters, to a choice of two eligible candidates. The two remaining candidates will be announced by the president of the Senate no later than July 4 of the election year to give the electorate sufficient time to become familiar with the candidates, to be voted upon for President in November.

The integrity and security of Our Intellectual Debates for Our Elections shall be overseen by the Secret Service, with full Congressional oversight and direction.

-END

Keep your head up.

JC

 

 

“The Electoral College”, Full transcript of the YouTube Video

The Electoral College: Is it Time to End the Experiment?

A YouTube Commentary, by Jack Charbonneau

US Presidential Candidate, 2020

 

In 1789, practice of citizens directly electing the leader of a country was… limited. Not unknown in the world at that time, a genuine Republic, where power came directly from the People, was not the universal standard throughout the world. The majority of the world was ruled by hereditary monarchs with a “concession” given to the People, in the form of an elected body of SOME sort… to keep the rabble at bay.

Even as our Constitution was being considered, the thought of giving the People the vote for the Executive Officer was terrifying to many. This concern is spoken of in “The Federalist Papers”. How easy it would be for a silver-tongued charlatan to woo the 13 States, especially if the person was fully funded by a foreign adversary.

Anything less than a Republic would be unacceptable after fighting the Revolution. Anything short would dishonor those who died for the cause, and surely lead us back into tyrannical rule. The fear is eloquently expressed in “Federalist 39”-

“It is essential that a Republican government spring from the great body of society, NOT from a small proportion or a favored class. Otherwise, a few tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might call THEMSELVES ‘republicans’ and claim, for their government, the honorable title of Republic.”

It goes on to rationalize the concept of an “Electoral College”-

“It is sufficient that the persons administering such a government are appointed, either directly or indirectly, by the People and that they hold their appointments… at the People’s pleasure, for a limited period, or during good behavior.”

…either DIRECTLY or IN-DIRECTLY by the People… It is “sufficient“? Wait…

This “experiment” in democracy has been in motion now for over 200 years. Imagine, looking at what has become, now… THEN.

As one reads “Federalist 39” it is easy to forget that the entire article was written in SPECULATION and HYPOTHESIS. No concrete conclusion could be drawn as to how it would go! As I read it, I take for granted that these words, written in argument for a theoretical form of government are now, over 200 years later, FACT.

ALL of it. Every bit of it. It is astonishing how clear these minds were when considering the possible outcomes and pitfalls. The historical precedents drawn upon by these scholars, some now lost to the dungeon of time, seem to have served well as guideposts for forging a new body.

A body not seen before, but envisioned by a few, and longed for by all that hope to see humanity live free, ruled by themselves. Could people rule themselves? Would the People see through the duplicitous nature of a candidate backed by an enemy?

After 200 years of experimentation, we can conclude the answer is- YES!

…but what about Donald Trump?

The PEOPLE of the United States have now, TWICE in twenty years, NOT been fooled and voted the correct way. Seeing through the bitter and divisive 2000 Election cycle, seeing that the term “Compassionate Conservative” was just a feel-good throw-blanket for people on the fence. And knowing the family that George W. Bush came from, the voters said “No!” to the Bush Dynasty and voted for Al Gore. Like myself, most people felt that having someone who was IN The White House for the last 8 years become president, would be beneficial for Our National Security.

And now, with Donald Trump’s blatant disregard for even the smallest of political norms, and his disgusting inability to feel even the slightest compassion for those he perceives as less than himself… EVEN THOUGH it would mean electing ANOTHER CLINTON…. The American people picked the winner. We saw through the Bullshit!

Unfortunately, the “security system” devised 200 years ago could not have imagined the massive amounts of wealth and power held by corporations today. Couple that with unlimited technological advancement, and here we are.

The fear that a majority of the electorate could be fooled into voting for a President that could harm Our nation is what led to the Electoral College. Little did the Framers know, they ensured tyranny’s victory in the end. Now, you don’t need to fool a majority to get what you want. Evil can win even if the majority votes against it.

Evil wins with 46%

The Popular Culture winds turn fast, even faster than the winds in 1789… climate change, I suppose… We must NOT act in terms of popular opinion in the moment. I believe this is NOT a passing fad. In fact, after 18 years of contemplation, a clear conclusion can be made regarding the “American Experiment”

It IS a success! Mankind CAN govern itself!

“I strongly believe in the response of our citizens, when they are fully informed.” -JFK

In Conclusion-

IF We still believe the betterment of ALL humanity comes from a highly educated electorate, if we commit to steadfastly adhering to the protection of Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of the Press, and we once again, pledge our fates and fortunes, UNITED, I believe the Electoral College can be amended. The strength and beauty of this theoretical form of government, envisioned by god-fearing Men (who were at heart, Humanists) can now be unbridled.

So long as we ALL still hold that fear, that the Framers feared, as ‘gospel’. Our government is only as “good” as its people. Our government is strong only when we are strong TOGETHER. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Male, Female, Humanity, MANKIND… WE ARE ALL, BUT MEN… we are NOT gods.

But unified, in SPIRIT and in ACTION, Mankind can strive to achieve greatness that would HONOR the Gods of ALL Men.

… not too shabby!

-end

Posted to YouTube on 4 March, 2018. Keep your head UP!!

JC