Oct 17 2016
In a quest to promote the idea that we need more legislation into the minds of fellow progressives and liberals, I recently published the zany idea of a constitutional convention, which needless to say did not go over well with any Kos commentator. Now that I understand where my good intentions went bad, I’ve retracted that compulsion, but remain steadfast to the notion that continued reliance on the Supreme Court will not solve our issues that really require legislation to fix and that interpretation is not the same thing as the far more powerful act of double house legislation.
Well, with the Trump meltdown and the blowup and unraveling of the GOP, we just don’t know what’s coming next, do we? But the chance of democratic majorities in both houses and a Clinton Presidency no longer seems impossible to imagine. And with it we could have opportunities for legislation that we have not had for a very long time indeed. And if we do we may not have such an opportunity for very long.
Below are some wish list amendments and acts of mine, in no particular order of importance because they are all important. If you hate any of them, are all of them (!), please don’t just sound off but tell me why. For some I’ve put in explanations in italics. Last, please add legislation you’d like to see in the comments section and over the weeks I’ll gather them and republish them. Finally, I’ll conduct a poll to act as a vote.
I am open to guidance on how to follow through with the suggestions and present them to the houses. I’ve been studying the procedures but they raise just as many questions as they do answers. I’ve also been reviewing our peers’ articles on legislative topic, which I have found to be enlightening. The only thing that I can add is that if there were ever times in our nation’s history that indicated a dire need for action and change, this is one of those times. Anyone who does not agree I would suggest has their proverbial head in the sand.
I know some these are bad, or just plain impossible. But this is brainstorming; anything goes!
-Ratification of the Civil Right’s act as a constitutional amendment This is a great Act, wide in scope and interpretation. Why is it not an amendment? What would happen to the act if the commission regulating it dismantled?
-Revision of the Second Amendment to: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to maintain a state national guard shall not be infringed. (No more mass shootings! What does it take for our country to say enough is enough? We will protect the innocent, and we will protect our children. I would pray that no President has to attend as many funerals as President Obama has.)
-An amendment or act to require that a public servant be qualified to run for congress, senate, or the Presidency, including but not limited to having passed a bar exam in law I think the Trump disaster is proof for a change in the law. People might say, ‘yuck! Lawyers!’ but isn’t being an expert in the law a foundation for service in the law?
-An amendment or act to shift the tax base for public school funding from local to national This law is NOT meant to benefit private schools or to introduce charter schools. It is to address the unacceptable gap between the quality of education in our poorest neighborhoods compared to that of our richest. It’s not education pork.
-An amendment limiting nuclear arms and a provision that require the proposal of nuclear disarmament talks each year
-An amendment declaring an oath to put the services of the United States at the disposal of the United Nations; to promote the United Nations as the foremost authority and regulatory body in world affairs
-An amendment to limit the amount of arms production as only that necessarily adequate to protect the physical integrity of the United States
-An amendment to allow the executive branch only three days to wage war or take military action whereupon a declaration of war must be made and approved by Congress; shall Congress decline to declare war an immediate cessation of military action must be obeyed by the commander-in-chief
-An amendment to express our commitment to explore space, settle space, and reap the benefits of whatever discoveries, be they resources or scientific knowledge, gained in that pursuit
-An amendment to now and forever establish a public central bank, under protection and management of the United States Federal Government, for the purpose of setting interest rates and creating cash; any privately owned central bank is hereby abolished Call this one the London Bridges Falling Down amendment
-An amendment to protect the environment and to proscribe the use of renewable energy resources; ratification of the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts as part of the Environmental Protection Amendment
-Ratification of a Food Safety Amendment. Provisions would make the copyrighting of genetic material unlawful, protect animals from cruelty, place limits on food processing, and require full transparency of ingredients
-Ratification of a Drug Safety Amendment. Provisions would require that generic drugs be made available at cost, that the health industry be regulated and be made affordable, and that drug patents be more tightly restricted
These last amendments should not be mere laws, given that they have gotten so out of control and the central role they play in our health and well-being. However, they could be combined into one amendment. We already have legislation in reference to food and drug safety. In real life practice, the efficacy of these laws and regulations has been deplorable. Cheez whiz anyone?
So that’s what I have so far. I’m not looking forward to another outright rejection of everything I’ve worked on, but criticisms are welcome of course. Most of all, I’m looking forward to hearing other people’s ideas!