Monday, April 16, 2012

Americans Elect is a FIRST ATTACK on the Two-Party System!

Friends of Political Reform!

Americans Elect has entered a new phase. First, it has now gained ballot access in 25 states, and the momentum to have it in the rest of the states is unstoppable. They have a sterling legal team hard at work in every state. All the rich investors are in. Their money has been committed to creating the asset. Now the roots are firmly in the ground and growing. Now, AE is a $30M asset waiting to be used. Any organized group can grab it and use it to put one of their own on 50 state ballots.

Secondly, the investors have laid off most of their paid staff. They are intentionally giving the process over to whomever volunteers to take on the responsibility. Any organized group can become volunteers and rule by democratic means. That is what the Ackermans intended from the beginning. Soon a website, built by volunteers, will come online. Candidates will have pages, blogs, and be able to meet with voters and discuss issues. There will be debates between candidates.

As organized and purposeful volunteers, we can make Americans Elect a first attack on the two-party system! If this succeeds, we will be a threat to that system in every state in 2014 and 2016. If we can unite third parties and independents, and agree on one candidate, we can take over this asset.

This is NOT about policy. So what if a former Dem and a former Repub are the first candidates nominated by AE? So what if they are “centrists”?

Policy is not the key issue in this pregnant moment. Remember, in the 1930s Communist Mao Tse-tung joined forces with his arch-enemy and capitalist Chiang Kai-shek to fight the Japanese invaders of China. These two leaders had their priorities straight – first defeat the common enemy, then go back to fighting over how China should be governed.

Lets learn from that historic event. We can beat our common enemy! Our country is crippled by a two-party system that puts its own interests above those of the nation. They battle each other over the leadership of their system and the spoils their puppet masters reap, while the rest of the country goes down the tubes.

It doesn’t matter if AE lacks a candidate with lots of celebrity. Just because we don’t have a Second Coming of Jesus doesn’t mean we have no chance at Salvation.

We don’t have to roll over and let the two-party system walk on us. We don't have to work, like fools, within that system. If we can unify the opposition to the two-party system, and use AE to erect a viable alternative process to the selection and election of office-holders, we can then go back to disputing the best policies for our country.

This is a HUGE opportunity to begin a real revolution in our sick political system.

The sickness is due to the current PROCESS of selecting and electing candidates for office. As we all know, money rules in the two-party system. That system is the cover used by the Ruling Rich so they can govern and claim we live in a “democracy.” Now comes Americans Elect, and all the candidates are self-chosen or drafted by AE members, and they all appear before the voters FOR FREE. Imagine – winning a national primary and having no political debts, except to the voters.

The original American Dream was to have Liberty through self-government. We can realize that dream with this priceless asset now within reach.

Past conceptions of AE conjured up a trap by Wall Street. Some donors remain unidentified, because they fear economic retaliation from the agents of the Establishment. But the donors are not in control of the process. The process can’t be manipulated without detection. Don't let your concepts from yesterday blind you to today's opportunities! It is an open and transparent PROCESS, not a party.

Their online primary is in June. It is open to all - as candidates or as voters. It is a $30M asset that any organized group can use. We only need to back one candidate, and she/he will be on the ballot in all 50 states. Also, because AE will be conducting our country’s FIRST online national primary, there will be many hours of media coverage; again, free to the AE nominee! Not only that, but the AE nominee will be in an excellent position to qualify for the coming series of presidential debates.

Don't let fear cause you to loose this chance for real reform - the rich guys who pay the bills WILL NOT interfere. That would destroy their asset, because AE's success depends upon being truly democratic. The donors are business people. They aren’t going to throw away $30M by acting like dictators.

“Death to the Two-Party System!”

William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Political Scientist:
CEO, The Internet Voting Research and Education Fund
Twitter: wjkno1

Author: Internet Voting Now!
Kindle edition
In paper

Monday, April 2, 2012

Gail Collins Critique of Americans Elect – Rejoinder Americans Elect Fights Back

A cute little pixy jester who writes for the New York Times recently wrote that what “makes our current politics particularly awful isn’t procedural.” She blames it all on the extremists in the Republican Party. She opines that Americans Elect is not only a mere “fantasy… But it’s too dangerous.” For her, “the whole Americans Elect concept is delusional…” and a cyber temptation for people with a “purity of heart” to waste their votes on “Fred Website.” In her view, the only way to save the nation is to re-elect Barack Obama.

In just a few hours, this opinion drew so many comments (close to 400) for and against that the NYT closed the comments section.

So, here is a comment from AE Delegate, Don Gordon, that didn’t get passed the gate before it was shut. (It’s followed by a few of other comments, as well.)

Well Gail, you should know that I’m a regular subscriber to the NYT and I’m also a Delegate Leader for Americans Elect here in Illinois. From time to time I find your opinions quite lucent and on target. Today is not one of those moments. When I opened the paper this afternoon – yes, I’m one of those dinosaurs who still read the tactile version of the NYT – I was quite dismayed that your opinions on Americans Elect were so off the target. There are so many misconceptions in your short piece that I have to be diligent in not writing a tome in response.

So, let me start by saying that overall you make the same mistake that many others have, though a few get it right. That mistake is to evaluate Americans Elect on what it is attempting to do immediately and to ignore the long term implications. You’re to be forgiven for that because our political system is so banged up that expectations are extremely high for any organization that comes along to make a change to repair that system. Part of the problem lies with Americans Elect as well. [AE spokesperson,] Ms. Malm should have made the point that not only is this about “disruption for the good” but it’s about setting in play “future disruption”. There are lessons to be learned once this is over, and those are going to be valuable lessons that Americans Elect is creating and will inform future initiatives such as this. Now on to some of your quotes…

Gail: “History suggests that this election could be decided by a small number of votes…”
Don: Ok, here we go down the rabbit hole of don’t vote for the other 3rd, 4th, 5th party candidate because they could upset MY candidate from winning – what is becoming known as the “Nader Effect”. Really, Ms. Collins? Well, I’m appalled at that assessment. Your job, my job, everyone else’s job as the electorate is to assess the candidates based on their qualifications – not party labels – and to vote for whom we think is the best qualified not the one who has the best chance of winning. And that last notion may eventually go down in the Republican dialogue as the “Romney Effect”.

Gail: “The whole Americans Elect concept is delusional…we the people are good and pure and if only we were allowed to just pick the best person…”
Don: What is delusional – actually insane by Ben Franklin’s estimation – is that we continue to cough up the same old, same old candidate choices because the Republican-Democratic Party Politburo limits our choices and prevents others from gaining any traction whatsoever regardless of how qualified they may be. To continue to pick from the pre-ordained party hacks in expectation that the system will get better is not only delusional, it is indeed insanity.

Gail: “Buddy Roemer, the former governor of Louisiana whose candidacy was so deeply unsuccessful that he couldn’t even qualify for the debates…”
Don: And should he or anyone else for that matter on the Americans Elect ticket or the Green Party or the Libertarian Party achieve ballot access in most the 50 states, they will still be denied access to the Presidential debates if they don’t achieve a 15% polling as dictated by the Republican-Democratic Party Politburo’s communication arm – The Commission On Presidential Debates.

Finally, and this is my favorite faux pas that I hear so often:
Gail: “There is the opportunity to create a presidential nominee who will promise to bring us all together … Barack Obama.”
Don: Well, you’re either delusional or na├»ve. I voted for Barack and I certainly didn’t drink the Kool-Aid that he – a Democrat – was going to take his partisan ideologies into Washington and convince all those Republicans that they’re on the wrong side of the aisle. I voted for Barack because he could put two sentences together and would keep the rest of the world from viewing us as some bunch of crazed cowboys. Did you really drink the Kool-Aid, Gail? Because it certainly appears from this article that you did…

Thanks, Don! Somebody needs to start fighting back for AE. RE Gail's claim that our problem is "not procedural," here are a couple of comments that did get included following Gail’s essay:

One “JRHCarmel” commented in the NYT,
“The greatest aspect of the Americans Elect process is enabling voters to match their views against those of the candidates based on a battery of policy questions that the candidates must answer. Most voters would like to tune out all the divisive rhetoric and pandering and determine which candidates most closely reflect their views without pundits, ads, or party elites directing their choices. The more of us who participate in AE, the more quickly it will evolve toward a process that places the needs of voters ahead of parties.”

Another comment in the NYT by “W.A. SpitzerFaywood,” states, in part,
“The major problem is the two party primary system which tends to select fringe candidates. This is amplified by the fact that more than a third of the voters consider themselves to be independents, and in many states are prohibited from voting in the party primaries.” His “solution” is to have a national primary, very much like the one AE is now offering. “This would force the candidates to run more toward the center where the majority of voters are truly represented, and would therefore select more moderate candidates; it would prevent a candidate from winning a general election unless they had at least 50% of the votes; and by having one primary rather than two it would not subsidies party politics, and would be less expensive.”

Finally, another critique of the NYT article comes from Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Candidate for President on the AE website

As to Ms. Collins’s fear that AE might result in votes being drawn away from Obama, Mr. Kotlikoff writes
“Gail, … Fear is no basis for choosing our leaders. Americans Elect may be the country's only hope of staving off indefinite political gridlock and watching the country continue to slide down hill. [You need to educate yourself.] For starters you could look at the policies I lay out, [and] the policy plans of the other declared candidates on Americans Elect. … America's future is no joke.”

Way to go, Laurence! Come on AE supporters, more of us need to start fighting back!

“Death to the Two-Party System!”

William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Political Scientist, author, speaker,
CEO for The Internet Voting Research and Education Fund, a CA Nonprofit Foundation
Twitter: wjkno1

Author of Internet Voting Now!
Kindle edition:

In paper: