FRONT PAGE

 

          //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

             W e d n e s d a y,  D e c e m b e r  1 3,  2 0 1 7

             CURRENT U.S. NATIONAL DEBT:  $20.5 TRILLION

PROJECTED FY 2018 BUDGET DEFICIT:  $589 BILLION

PROJECTED FY 2021 BUDGET DEFICIT:  $1 TRILLION

PROJECTED FY 2018 INTEREST PAYMENT:  $266 BILLION

            ANNUAL INTEREST PAYMENT IS GROWING AND PROJECTED TO PASS DEFENSE SPENDING WITHIN 20 YEARS AND POSSIBLY SOONER IF INTEREST RATES RISE FROM THEIR HISTORIC LOW.

          //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

         Joe Mokler, Project Manager

FOR AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO MEDIA INQUIRIES, EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS, COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, QUESTIONS, OR TECHNICAL ISSUES, CONTACT US AT:

       SmartVoters.org@gmail.com

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

SmartVoters.org is an advocate of changing HOW TO DEFINE America’s problems and HOW TO ORGANIZE .

An outgrowth of a 1968 VISTA experience that confirmed statistical evidence of a poorly informed electorate, SmartVoters and its four predecessors* have remained firmly committed to the proposition that solving the nation’s problems is inseparably linked to developing alternative syntheses and strategies that significantly improve voter competence.

*IC2, DISGROT, IDAPI, and Inform America, Inc. (1991-2002), a 501(c)3 educational organization focusing on pacifying myths and negative national trends.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

SmartVoters.org advocates a three-part strategy to revitalize America: 

1./  CHALLENGE conservative, progressive, populist, libertarian, and independent voters to support development of an agenda aimed at making Washington smaller, more focused, and more prudent while simultaneously increasing the power and role of state government and ending all forms of bias that promotes a rigged economy;

(an agenda that ends unsustainable deficits and debt, breaks up the bureaucracy, cuts massive waste, stops deficit spending, ends programs that are duplicative, unnecessary or better left to the states, ends bias for big business and wealth, radically simplifies the tax code, stops the Fed’s currency manipulation breaks up the biggest banks, makes trade agreements jobs neutral, strengthens Wall Street regulation, sends white collar criminals to jail, revitalizes the economy, heavily promotes small business, mass entrepreneurship, and innovation, adopts real health care reform that significantly lowers cost, and saves Social Security and Medicare by reforming entitlements)

2./  CREATE a new foundation committed to supporting research and demonstration projects to assess and raise low voter competence– the nation’s missing centerpiece problem; and

3/  DEVELOP a non-partisan website focusing on local, state, and national issues using the context of the ideas described above

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

BUILDING A CHANGE COALITION

The War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, bad trade deals, the 2008 financial crisis, and unsustainable debt and deficits are just a few examples of Washington’s failures. In fact, the record of Democrats and Republicans in preventing, identifying, defining, and solving problems since the 1960s has been abysmal.

With the Democratic and Republican Party base  approximately the same strength and independents being almost evenly divided, the parties’ commitment to vague and partisan agendas that protect big government liberalism, big government conservatism, plutocracy and crony capitalism will continue to produce predictable results.

Any attempt to change this dynamic to reverse national decline and revitalize America necessitates the creation of a bold and diverse ideas agenda that appeals to liberals, conservatives, populists, libertarians, and independents.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN DIDN’T UNITE AND INSPIRE A DIVIDED AND PESSIMISTIC ELECTORATE

According to NBC News / Wall Street Journal polls conducted over the past six years, two-thirds of respondents believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Despite this level of voter dissatisfaction, no candidate in the 2016 presidential campaign came close to harnessing it, not even Sanders or Trump, quasi anti-establishment candidates who focused to varying degrees on a rigged political and economic system but whose voters differed in their concerns on such key issues as climate, wealth, and immigration.

Voters are divided, pessimistic, increasingly desperate– and disenfranchised by a two-party monopoly.  Voters want change but can’t define it and Democrats and Republicans who are committed to preserving big government liberalism and big government conservatism lack the political will to do so.

Given Trump’s general unfitness for the presidency, suspicious admiration for Putin, emergence as Reagan 2.0 with an economic nationalism twist, and ludicrous belief in 6% economic growth, he will prove that a faux political outsider with a lot of empty promises is no better than any establishment candidate and can be infinitely worse.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

 

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Joe Mokler, Project Manager

FOR AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO MEDIA INQUIRIES, EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS, COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, QUESTIONS, OR TECHNICAL ISSUES, CONTACT US AT:

SmartVoters.org@gmail.com

SmartVoters.org is an advocate of changing HOW TO DEFINE America’s problems and HOW TO ORGANIZE 

An outgrowth of a 1968 VISTA experience that confirmed statistical evidence of a poorly informed electorate, SmartVoters and its four predecessors* have remained firmly committed to the proposition that solving the nation’s problems is inseparably linked to developing alternative syntheses and strategies that significantly improve voter competence.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

WASHINGTON HAS A HISTORY OF PROMISING CHANGE BUT REMAINING STEADFASTLY COMMITTED TO CONTINUITY; IT HASN’T SOLVED A SINGLE MAJOR PROBLEM IN ALMOST FIFTY YEARS; AND IT REMAINS LOCKED IN A DEATH SPIRAL OF UNSUSTAINABLE TRILLION DOLLAR DEBT, DEFICITS, AND STAGGERING INTEREST PAYMENTS.

So what happened to the post World War II utopia in which the U.S. was the world’s undisputed economic superpower and every political decision seemed like a winner?

The bubble burst, in general, from arrogance and self-satisfaction and, specifically, from a lack of innovation and bad trade agreements that decimated entire U.S. industries, gutted U.S. manufacturing, turned our balance of trade on its head, and accelerated the growth of the global economy.

These negative trends made our tax base smaller at the same time Washington’s love affair with big government liberalism and big government conservatism was increasing rather than decreasing spending.  Worse, the combination of such big ticket items as Medicare, the Iraq Wars, and the 2008 financial crisis created dependence on unsustainable debt and deficits.

With the nation clearly in decline, Washington has not only failed to agree on an agenda to reform and revitalize America but to even seriously address voter concern that the country is heading in the wrong direction.  In fact, as the situation deteriorates further, the “competition” between Democrats and Republicans looks like the political equivalent of professional wrestling, this political theatre creating a nation that is becoming increasingly divided, polarized, and desperate.

ManIpulated and exploited by a rigged political and economic system, voters need to redefine their relationship with each other and with Washington, transforming themselves from a poorly informed, unfocused, divided, and powerless observer to catalyst for change.

TO CHANGE AMERICA’S DIRECTION AND REVERSE THE CONCENTRATION OF WEALTH AND POWER, VOTERS NEED TO DEFINE CHANGE BY COMBINING LIBERAL, CONSERVATIVE, POPULIST, AND LIBERTARIAN IDEAS INTO A NATIONAL UNITY AGENDA that would…

  • End big government liberalism and big government conservatism
  • Break-up the biggest banks and end crony capitalism
  • Radically simplify the IRS and create tax fairness
  • Limit corporate mergers
  • Promote free but fair trade
  • Secure the borders
  • Implement tough consumer, worker, and environmental protection
  • Adopt common sense business regulation, health care, entitlement, and campaign finance reform
  • ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

 

                                                                                                                        — H.L. Mencken

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

BIG GOVERNMENT CAN’T BE MADE LESS CORRUPT, BUT WASHINGTON

CAN BE MADE SMALLER, MORE ACCOUNTABLE, AND LESS DANGEROUS.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Joe Mokler, Project Manager

FOR AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO MEDIA INQUIRIES, EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS, COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, QUESTIONS, OR TECHNICAL ISSUES, CONTACT US AT:

SmartVoters.org@gmail.com

SmartVoters.org is an advocate of changing HOW TO DEFINE America’s problems and HOW TO ORGANIZE 

An outgrowth of a 1968 VISTA experience that confirmed statistical evidence of a poorly informed electorate, SmartVoters and its four predecessors* have remained firmly committed to the proposition that solving the nation’s problems is inseparably linked to developing alternative syntheses and strategies that significantly improve voter competence.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

BERNIE SANDERS was the only authentic 2016 presidential candidate supporting working families.  President-elect TRUMP was the least credible but only marginally worse than HILLARY CLINTON. 

It’s clear that, if the Democratic Party establishment had not rigged their nomination process in favor of a candidate who had no message in a change election, did not connect with voters, and was flawed by her private email server, the Clinton Foundation, and the divisiveness of the Clinton political history, SANDERS would have beaten TRUMP decisively,.

You can’t change a corrupt system by taking its money.  — Sen. Bernie Sanders

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Hillary Clinton   <>  Donald Trump (2017-)   <>  Barack Obama (2009-2017)

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

PRESIDENT TRUMP (REAGAN-PUTIN EDITION) CAN’T DRAIN THE SWAMP, REVITALIZE THE ECONOMY, AND END DEFICIT SPENDING WITH A BILLIONAIRE AND BANKER CABINET, TAX GIVEAWAYS TO THE RICH, REPEAL AND REPLACE THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, REBUILD THE MILITARY, AND GUT BUSINESS REGULATION, CONSUMER, WORKER, AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION.  TRICKLE-DOWN ECONOMICS AND CUTTING GOVERNMENT WASTE DIDN’T WORK FOR REAGAN AND IT WON’T WORK FOR TRUMP AND THE DESPERATE VOTERS HE PLAYED.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

  Trump who was elected despite losing the popular voter by almost two and a half million votes and is coming into office with the lowest approval rating of any modern president has the same ego that has caused other “strong” leaders to self-destruct but his bravado parallels ROY COHN, his early mentor and attorney for thirteen years who served as Sen. Joe McCarty’s hatchet-man.

Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-WI), Chairman of the Committee on Government Operations, (center) with Chief Legal Counsel ROY COHN (right)

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

WHAT IS TRUMP?

>  brilliant businessman?

>  shrewd manipulator?

>  shameless self-promotor?

>  serial liar?

>  reckless?

>  narcissist?  (see DSM-5 below)

>  typical empty promises politician?

>  unqualified?

>  unprepared?

>  thin skinned?

>  insecure?

>  paranoid?

>  delusional?

>  shameless?

>  divisive?

>  racist?

>  sexist?

>  sexual predator?

>  fascist

>  dangerous?

>  train wreck waiting to happen?

>  some or all of the above?

DO THESE CHARACTERISTICS SUGGEST THAT HIS VOTERS SHOULD HAVE A HIGH DEGREE OF CONFIDENCE IN DONALD TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN PROMISES?

“An exaggerated sense of self-importance. An unjustified belief in your own superiority and brilliance. A preoccupation with fantasies of your success and power. A craving for constant admiration. A consuming sense of entitlement. An expectation of special favors and unquestioning compliance.”

“A penchant for exploiting or disparaging others. An inability to tolerate criticism or critics. An unreasoning fury at people you perceive as thwarting your wishes or desires. A tendency to judge people in terms of whether they flatter you– see, e.g. Vladimir Putin. A belief that you already know all there is to know.”

“The need always to be right. A lack of empathy for others. An array of inconsistent statements and behaviors driven by your needs in the moment. A tendency to lie so frequently and routinely that objective truth loses all meaning.”

Excerpts from PRESIDENTIAL PSCYHODRAMA by author RICHARD NORTH PATTERSON,
Boston Globe, Tuesday, January 10, 2017

DSM-5 criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:

  • Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
  • Exaggerating your achievements and talents
  • Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
  • Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
  • Requiring constant admiration
  • Having a sense of entitlement
  • Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
  • Taking advantage of others to get what you want
  • Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
  • Being envious of others and believing others envy you
  • Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

 

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

WHY WOULD VOTERS WAIT ANOTHER FOUR YEARS TO CONFIRM, YET AGAIN, THAT CAMPAIGN PROMISES MEAN NOTHING AND RESULT IN NOTHING WHEN THE TWO-PARTY SYSTEM IS COMMITTED TO A CHOICE BETWEEN BIG GOVERNMENT LIBERALISM AND BIG GOVERNMENT CONSERVATISM?

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Joe Mokler, Project Manager

FOR AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO MEDIA INQUIRIES, EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS, COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, QUESTIONS, OR TECHNICAL ISSUES, CONTACT US AT:

SmartVoters.org@gmail.com

SmartVoters.org is an advocate of changing HOW TO DEFINE America’s problems and HOW TO ORGANIZE 

An outgrowth of a 1968 VISTA experience that confirmed statistical evidence of a poorly informed electorate, SmartVoters and its four predecessors* have remained firmly committed to the proposition that solving the nation’s problems is inseparably linked to developing alternative syntheses and strategies that significantly improve voter competence.

 

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

 

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

A SURVIVOR’S GUIDE TO CLINTON-TRUMP

Joe Mokler          October 31, 2016          Reprint with attribution

Two statistics define the 2016 campaign: two thirds of voters remain deeply concerned about the direction of the country and, at 58%, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have the highest recorded negative favorability ratings of any presidential nominees.

Given the severity, extent, and duration of the nation’s problems– and the will of voters, 2016 should be change election. Clearly, it isn’t.  It is a ridiculous contest between Trump, an elitist masquerading as a populist—a candidate who is uninformed, sexist, racist, and temperamentally unfit to be President, and Clinton, an inauthentic, untrustworthy, pro-establishment candidate who is out-of-touch with voters.

Like 2012, 2008, and even earlier, 2016 is another election about nothing, leading nowhere except to other meaningless presidential and congressional campaigns, guaranteeing further national decline, and increasing political unrest and economic despair.

To end this political merry-go-round, voters must stop relying on similar and equally bad Republican and Democratic agendas that fail to acknowledge the need for fundamental, structural reform, propose no bold ideas, and demonstrate no political will. Voters must reconcile their differences, recognize that they can’t rely on either party, and commit to defining and taking the lead on non-partisan systemic change.

A divided electorate must recognize that they have power in becoming a coalition of progressives, conservatives, populists, libertarians, and independents united behind an agenda capable of fundamentally changing both Washington and Wall Street and willing to force establishment pols to adopt this agenda or support reform candidates who will.

The need and urgency for such an agenda is a recognition of two key problems:

One, Washington has a history of promising change but remaining steadfastly committed to continuity; it hasn’t solved a single major problem in almost fifty years; and it remains locked in a death spiral of unsustainable trillion dollar debt, deficits, and staggering interest payments.

Two, a highly subsidized and poorly regulated economy dominated by corporate arrogance and unrestrained greed has imploded in slow motion in an increasingly competitive global economy, declining precipitously from the unchallenged economic superpower of the 1960s to the 2008 financial crisis which began the worst recession in 80 years.

In its simplest terms, a voter-driven agenda recognizes that big government liberalism and big government conservatism are unnecessary, bloated, failing, biased, dangerous, and in bed with Wall Street. It is a recognition that a rigged political system must be reformed, transformed, and made much smaller in order for it to become an effective economic policymaker to end a rigged economy, a view that expresses voters lack of confidence in both Washington and Wall Street.

Voters are stuck with Clinton and Trump but not with the choice they represent– Hillary as Obama’s de facto third term and Trump as the snake oil salesman who’s moved to a bigger audience beyond his Trump University students.

Playing the hand they’re dealt while simultaneously organizing to create a comprehensive agenda of their own, voters should lobby the candidates and the eventual winner to embrace diverse priorities which include small government, balanced budgets, secure borders, breaking up the biggest banks, free but fair trade, massive infrastructure rebuilding, expanded and lower cost health care, and public financing of political campaigns.

In a revitalized America in which democracy and capitalism have been restored, Washington would be smaller, more focused, and more prudent, fifty state governments would be competing against each other in a more meaningful way, and the economy would work fairly for the rich, the middle class, and the poor alike.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Smart Voters POSTCARD 3lg

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Joe Mokler, Project Manager

FOR AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO MEDIA INQUIRIES, EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS, COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, QUESTIONS, OR TECHNICAL ISSUES, CONTACT US AT:

SmartVoters.org@gmail.com

SmartVoters.org is an advocate of changing HOW TO DEFINE America’s problems and HOW TO ORGANIZE 

An outgrowth of a 1968 VISTA experience that confirmed statistical evidence of a poorly informed electorate, SmartVoters and its four predecessors* have remained firmly committed to the proposition that solving the nation’s problems is inseparably linked to developing alternative syntheses and strategies that significantly improve voter competence.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

 

POSTCARD 3.7.16

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

“All of the great patriots now engaged in edging and squirming their way toward the Presidency of the Republic run true to form. That is to say, they are all extremely wary, and all more or less palpable frauds. What they want, primarily, is the job; the necessary equipment of inescapable issues, immutable principles and soaring ideals can wait until it becomes more certain which way the mob will be whooping.”

–H.L. Mencken

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Joe Mokler, Project Manager

FOR AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO MEDIA INQUIRIES, EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS, COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, QUESTIONS, OR TECHNICAL ISSUES, CONTACT US AT:

SmartVoters.org@gmail.com

SmartVoters.org is an advocate of changing HOW TO DEFINE America’s problems and HOW TO ORGANIZE 

An outgrowth of a 1968 VISTA experience that confirmed statistical evidence of a poorly informed electorate, SmartVoters and its four predecessors* have remained firmly committed to the proposition that solving the nation’s problems is inseparably linked to developing alternative syntheses and strategies that significantly improve voter competence.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

IDEAL 2016 PREZ CANDIDATE BALANCES AIMS OF TEA PARTY AND OCCUPY WALL STREET

Joe Mokler       May 30, 2015       Reprint with attribution

The 2016 presidential campaign will follow a familiar and depressing pattern.  Blame, buzzwords, and cliches, vague, timid, and assumption-laden strategies, and endless negative advertising will dominate it.  Election laws may not even be enforced.

From a historically large field of Democratic and Republican candidates, two career pols like Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush will emerge as the nominees.  They’ll be portrayed as a clearly defined choice to change how Washington operates although they won’t advocate any bold ideas like Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders.

The eventual winner will describe victory as a mandate to help the middle class or make government smaller, but it will all lead to nothing.  Promise what they may, the parties have created their ultimate playground, and it’s frozen in time.

That time is the 1960s when the U.S. was the world’s only economic superpower and inflated tax revenues supported Washington’s big government expansion.  Over the next fifty years, a growing and increasingly competitive global economy created a permanent trade deficit, decimated manufacturing jobs, pushed the median income down, and shrunk the tax base.

Rather than raise taxes or cut spending, the parties have preserved big government that differs only in its defense and domestic priorities.  What the parties have created is unaffordable, unnecessary, unfair, wasteful, ineffective, and dangerous.  It usurps state power, spends lavishly, borrows endlessly, perpetuates problems, accelerates the concentration of wealth and power, and undermines democracy.  It also increases the likelihood of more financial crises and a catastrophic budget meltdown.

An arrangement in which the parties and big government have essentially morphed into an enormous special interest group exists because of voter complacency.  Fortunately, the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements are proof that a growing number of voters are recognizing systemic failure and national decline.

To accelerate the erosion of voter confidence in Washington, an anti-establishment message must be non-partisan and appeal to both liberals and conservatives.  Four converging failures support such a message, and they disprove the claim that the current paralysis in Washington is caused by divided government.

The first of these failures was the rapid decline of America’s post WW II economic monopoly because Washington and Wall Street were too self-satisfied to plan effectively for the advent of the global economy.  The second is Wall Street’s obsession for quick and short-term profits at the expense of long-term investment and innovation.

The third failure is the incestuous partnership of big business and big government.  This unholy alliance has permitted the unfettered promotion of business and wealth interests evident in regulation, taxation, and Fed policies.

The fourth and final failure is the looming fiscal implosion caused by sovereign debt that is currently $18.2 trillion, up from $5.8 trillion in 2001.  Depending on accumulating debt and when interest rates rise, the annual interest will exceed the cost of defense spending, possibly within ten years.

Given that this explains why Washington can’t solve or even define problems, the 2016 presidential campaign must be the first modern election to be something other than a choice between big government liberalism and big government conservatism.

Voters who are concerned about the need to change Washington and the direction of the country have the power to redefine the campaign by balancing rather than choosing between the aims of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements– the two most relevant messages.

The following core ideas suggest that these messages can become a single, viable framework that an Independent National Commission could expand into a comprehensive Alternative National Agenda.  For voters to effectively lobby on their own behalf and finally begin the process of national revitalization, they must challenge the candidates for their support.

TO END UNSUSTAINABLE DEFICITS AND DEBT–

Break up the bureaucracy. Cut massive waste and end programs that are duplicative, unnecessary or better left to the states.

TO END BIAS FOR BIG BUSINESS AND WEALTH–

Radically simplify the tax code, stop the Fed’s currency manipulation and 0% big bank loans, make trade agreements jobs neutral, strengthen Wall Street regulation, and send white collar criminals to jail.

TO REVITALIZE THE ECONOMY–

Heavily promote small business, mass entrepreneurship, and innovation.  Adopt real health care reform that significantly lowers cost, especially for drugs that are substantially higher than those sold in Europe.

TO SAVE SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE–

Reform entitlements.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Joe Mokler, Project Manager

FOR AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO MEDIA INQUIRIES, EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS, COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, QUESTIONS, OR TECHNICAL ISSUES, CONTACT US AT:

SmartVoters.org@gmail.com

SmartVoters.org is an advocate of changing HOW TO DEFINE America’s problems and HOW TO ORGANIZE 

An outgrowth of a 1968 VISTA experience that confirmed statistical evidence of a poorly informed electorate, SmartVoters and its four predecessors* have remained firmly committed to the proposition that solving the nation’s problems is inseparably linked to developing alternative syntheses and strategies that significantly improve voter competence.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Revitalizing America is about the right messaging, not the most electable presidential candidate.  It combines liberal, conservative, populist, and libertarian ideas into a synthesis that advocates systemic political and economic change.  It has mass appeal which can unite diverse elements of the electorate into a powerful political force.  It is the alternative of incremental change which overpromises and fuels even greater voter anger.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

 

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Big government debt and preferential treatment of mega banks, big business, and the wealthy have eroded democracy and capitalism and transformed the world’s wealthiest country into the most indebted

With a $19 trillion national debt and an economy defined by the 2008 financial crisis, contracting big government and ending the economy’s pro business and pro wealth bias should dominate the 2016 campaign.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

WASHINGTON’S PRIORITIES are…..

 mythology over reality, uncontrolled spending over a balanced budget, party loyalty over the public interest, blame over bold ideas, protecting the status quo over changing it, and a preference for campaigning over governing.  With heroes and villains using ideology and public issues to entertain, incite, and manipulate voters, the two-party monopoly is the political equivalent of professional wrestling.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Where is the diversity of opinion beyond the dovetailing interests and aspirations of the two-party system and corporate America?

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

us-federal-debt-by-president-political-party

In 10 years, the interest on this unsustainable debt will rise from the current $250 billion a year to more than $700 billion, exceeding defense spending.

US Money Supply 2

Budget Receipts and Outlays////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

“The presidency is now a cross between a popularity contest and a high school debate

with an encyclopedia of clichés the first prize.”

                                                           — Saul Bellow

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Joe Mokler, Project Manager

FOR AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO MEDIA INQUIRIES, EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS, COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, QUESTIONS, OR TECHNICAL ISSUES, CONTACT US AT:

SmartVoters.org@gmail.com

SmartVoters.org is an advocate of changing HOW TO DEFINE America’s problems and HOW TO ORGANIZE 

An outgrowth of a 1968 VISTA experience that confirmed statistical evidence of a poorly informed electorate, SmartVoters and its four predecessors* have remained firmly committed to the proposition that solving the nation’s problems is inseparably linked to developing alternative syntheses and strategies that significantly improve voter competence.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Five problems that define America’s direction and two bold ideas to change it

Joe Mokler           January 4, 2014          Reprint with attribution

A Wall Street financial collapse, an unrelenting recession, unsustainable federal spending, and a dysfunctional two-party system have created an increasingly pessimistic electorate that remains a desperate true believer in economic recovery and political renewal.

For the reasonable, there’s a disconnect between this hope and eco-political reality.  As evidenced by the following summaries that define America’s direction, voters don’t have a clear sense of where the country is or where it’s going and Washington can’t solve or even define problems.

EMPLOYMENT AND RECOVERY

The official unemployment rate is 6.7%, but the actual number is at least three times higher.  Washington doesn’t include part-timers and temporary employees, discouraged workers, and the unemployed who’ve exhausted their claims.

The state of full-time employment and retirement isn’t much better.  Benefits have been cut or lost altogether.

While the middle class is shrinking, the American dream is fading, and the social safety net is under assault by cutbacks in food stamps and long-term unemployment benefits, income inequality has been growing at an alarming rate.  Viewed politically, the power of wealth is undermining democracy, particularly since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling in 2010.

This new American economy isn’t a Democratic or Republican fix away from robust recovery.  On the contrary, there isn’t a single bold idea between the parties to revitalize the economy. What works for Washington and Wall Street is in danger of making Main Street an endless strip mall of low paid service employees.

DEBT AND DEFICITS

Deficit spending has quadrupled sovereign debt to almost $17 trillion in the past twenty years and will continue to grow at an alarming rate.

Yet, despite trillion dollar deficits, Keynesians ignore the rapidly rising annual interest cost which was $242 billion in FY 2012.   With artificially low interest rates certain to rise, this cost is projected to be the largest item in the federal budget in 2020 at $778 billion.

While some may hope that Washington’s recent budget deal and passage of a “clean” debt ceiling bill signal an end to government by deadline and the beginning of a new era of compromise, what they actually represent is a recognition by both parties that increasing debt is less politically risky that shutting down the government again.

THE FED AND WALL STREET

The Federal Reserve has made the U.S. a currency manipulator by tripling the nation’s money supply in the past four year and encouraging Wall Street to engage in increasingly risky behavior.  The result of both is a new stock market bubble.

Even without the Fed’s extreme intervention, Washington has long pursued public policies that have enabled Wall Street to prioritize short-term profitability at the expense of long-term investment and innovation.  These policies accelerated U.S. decline from being the only post WWII economic superpower to becoming the world’s most indebted nation.

POLITICAL PARALYSIS AND DYSFUNCTION

Working at the margins of problems without actually solving them is how Washington operates.  It’s evidence of what bureaucracies do best:  perpetuate problems with short-term fixes.

However, a country with trillion dollar annual deficits, even if cut in half,  can’t pay an increasingly larger slice of the federal budget on ballooning debt interest or afford massive waste, tax cuts to the middle class, uncontrolled defense and foreign aid spending, and delayed reforms in entitlements, taxes, and other areas.

With the dominance of the political parties vis-à-vis individual members, solving problems will always be a distant second to the merry-go-round of winning control of the White House and Congress.

VOTER IGNORANCE

Thomas Jefferson warned that nothing is more vital to democracy than an informed electorate.  Yet, while politicians routinely pay obligatory homage to the intelligence of voters in an era dominated by hundreds of issues and endless information, statistical evidence of a poorly informed electorate actually dates back to early scientific polling in the 1940s.

This contradiction between pacifying myth and reality is proof that politics is the art of keeping voters uninformed while insisting they are not.  This is the political vacuum in which Washington operates.

A NON-PARTISAN PLAN TO REVITALIZE AMERICA

With mathematical certainty, these problems are leading inexorably to catastrophic default and severe austerity.   They show the extent to which voter confidence is misplaced in a two-party system that substitutes blame, buzz words, and clichés for credible vision, compelling strategy, big ideas, and political will.

Far from being demoralizing, these problems should be a wake-up call for voters to demand what they desperately need– an honest, clearly defined, and comprehensive plan to revitalize America.

A bold idea to develop such a plan is for voters to lobby their elected reps to create an independent national commission to conduct televised hearings to address a variety of liberal, conservative, libertarian, populist, and other proposals to eliminate waste, cut unaffordable spending, reform entitlements, and create economic growth.

Essential to the creation of this commission, its effectiveness, and the successful implementation of its plan is voter support for a second bold idea– sustained, reliable, and unbiased media access in the form of a non-profit “news only” newspaper model duplicated across the country. 

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Joe Mokler, Project Manager

FOR AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO MEDIA INQUIRIES, EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS, COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, QUESTIONS, OR TECHNICAL ISSUES, CONTACT US AT:

SmartVoters.org@gmail.com

SmartVoters.org is an advocate of changing HOW TO DEFINE America’s problems and HOW TO ORGANIZE 

An outgrowth of a 1968 VISTA experience that confirmed statistical evidence of a poorly informed electorate, SmartVoters and its four predecessors* have remained firmly committed to the proposition that solving the nation’s problems is inseparably linked to developing alternative syntheses and strategies that significantly improve voter competence.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

 

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

“Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule–

and both commonly succeed, and are right.”

                                                                — H.L. Mencken

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

“Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich,

by promising to protect each from the other.” 

                                                            — H.L. Mencken

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

INVITATION for SUBMISSIONS  – HELP REDEFINE 2016 PREZ CAMPAIGN   

SmartVoters.org is searching for compelling, non-partisan submissions of 1,000 words on the following expanded list of topics:

(1) The real state of the union and bold ideas to change the nation’s political and economic direction (original)

(2) Do Democrats and Republicans provide voters a meaningful choice or does the system represent a two-party monopoly that rigidly promotes the status quo? (new)

(3) The nation’s problems by the numbers:  a scorecard on their count and why chronic national issue failure has been the norm (new)

(4) From boom to bust: how the U.S. went from post WW II economic monopoly to the world’s most indebted nation (new)

(5) Pols and the news media perpetuate the idea of an informed electorate but, with statistical evidence to the contrary, is the myth of an informed electorate the nation’s missing centerpiece problem? (new)

(6) Are presidential campaigns producing the kind of leadership the nation needs— and, if not, what are critical reforms to fix a broken system? (new)

We welcome suggestions to change or add to our topic list. 

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Joe Mokler, Project Manager

FOR AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO MEDIA INQUIRIES, EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS, COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, QUESTIONS, OR TECHNICAL ISSUES, CONTACT US AT:

SmartVoters.org@gmail.com

SmartVoters.org is an advocate of changing HOW TO DEFINE America’s problems and HOW TO ORGANIZE 

An outgrowth of a 1968 VISTA experience that confirmed statistical evidence of a poorly informed electorate, SmartVoters and its four predecessors* have remained firmly committed to the proposition that solving the nation’s problems is inseparably linked to developing alternative syntheses and strategies that significantly improve voter competence.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

A RELIABLE POLITICAL COMPASS

SmartVoters.org is committed to changing Washington and the nation’s direction by partnering with other concerned citizens and non-profit organizations to develop a comprehensive, clearly defined, idea-driven, and non-partisan national agenda that combines conservative, liberal, libertarian, and populist concerns about unsustainable debt and deficits, an underperforming economy, wealth inequality, and income inequality.

This blog is dedicated to independent voters, disaffected Dems and Republicans, and frustrated libertarians, populists, and others who have no confidence in the major parties to embrace coherent vision, compelling strategy, and bold ideas without voters identifying and embracing them first.

In short, with Washington unwilling to lead without voters providing the direction, SmartVoters.org seeks to empower a poorly informed electorate with a reliable political compass.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

SINGLE-ISSUE POLITICS:  focusing on public issues as separate and competing entities minimizes their number, obscures their larger meaning, and weakens citizen activism by creating a divide-and-conquer competition for limited funds, PR, and volunteers. 

PACIFYING MYTHS: meaningful political competition, American affluence and an informed electorate.

NEGATIVE NATIONAL TRENDS: concentrating political, economic, and media power, chronic national issue failure, national decline, impotent dissidence, and eroding political feasibility.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

With a $17.9 trillion national debt, high structural unemployment, and endless other crises, Washington is unable  to solve or even define problems.   Left unchallenged, this lack of vision, political will, and sense of urgency precludes any hope for systemic reform and guarantees continued national decline.

Washington’s priorities are mythology over reality, uncontrolled spending over a balanced budget, party loyalty over the public interest, blame over bold ideas, protecting the status quo over changing it, and a preference for campaigning over governing.  

With heroes and villains using ideology and public issues to entertain, incite, and manipulate voters, the two-party monopoly is the political equivalent of professional wrestling .

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Joe Mokler, Project Manager

FOR AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO MEDIA INQUIRIES, EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS, COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, QUESTIONS, OR TECHNICAL ISSUES, CONTACT US AT:

SmartVoters.org@gmail.com

SmartVoters.org is an advocate of changing HOW TO ORGANIZE and HOW TO DEFINE America’s problems. 

Created after a 1968 VISTA experience demonstrated the need to improve voter competence, SmartVoters.org  began as IC2, evolved into DISGROT and then IDAPI and, from 1991-2002, operated as Inform America, Inc., a 501(c)3 educational organization focusing on pacifying myths and negative national trends.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

 

THE PRICE GOOD PEOPLE PAY FOR VOTER IGNORANCE

1.  Washington represents a two-party monopoly that offers voters a choice between big government liberalism and big government conservatism characterized by bureaucratic overreaching and undisciplined spending

2.  To maintain the Washington bureaucracy, Democrats and Republicans perpetuate pacifying myths, ignore negative national trends, and promote single-issue politics

3.  Political campaigns, already dominated by blame, buzzwords, and clichés, are becoming progressively more costly and negative, a direct outcome of the Citizens United ruling  

4.  The parties’ passion for campaigning far exceeds their ability to govern

5.  The parties are equally responsible for their inability to solve or even define problems

6.  The severity of problems has made Washington increasingly divided and paralyzed

7.  Government by deadline and temporary fixes has replaced any pretense of solving problems

8.  Endless and progressively higher fiscal cliffs

9.  Rapidly accumulating sovereign debt

10.  Massive and unsustainable interest payments

11.  High unemployment and underemployment in excess of 20% with much of it structural

12.  The U.S. is moving inexorably closer to catastrophic default and severe austerity as voters express vague concerns about the direction of the country

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Joe Mokler, Project Manager

FOR AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO MEDIA INQUIRIES, EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS, COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, QUESTIONS, OR TECHNICAL ISSUES, CONTACT US AT:

SmartVoters.org@gmail.com

SmartVoters.org is an advocate of changing HOW TO DEFINE America’s problems and HOW TO ORGANIZE 

An outgrowth of a 1968 VISTA experience that confirmed statistical evidence of a poorly informed electorate, SmartVoters and its four predecessors* have remained firmly committed to the proposition that solving the nation’s problems is inseparably linked to developing alternative syntheses and strategies that significantly improve voter competence.

  ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

WASHINGTON REPORT CARD

White House:  F     <>     Congress:  F    <>   Supreme Court:  D  

Democrats:  F    <>    Republicans:  F

Leadership:     <>    Messaging:  F  

Elections:  F   <>    Voter Literacy:  F

Washington Press Corps & News Media Generally (except Jon Stewart, of course!) :  F

Listing & Categorizing Problems:  F

Prioritizing Problems:  F   <>  Solving Problems: : 

Social Policy :  F   <>   Economic Policy:  F   <>  Foreign Policy:  F

What Washington does extremely well:

Promote Single-Issue Politics and Pacifying Myths:  A  

Ignore Negative National Trends:  A

Protect the Status Quo and Reject Every Reform:  A

Make Big Government Bigger:  A

Make Bad Government Worse:  A

Embrace Unsustainable Debt & Deficits:  A

Embrace Gridlock and Shutdowns as Partisan Political Tools:  A

Fund Political Campaigns with big donors and other special Interests:  A

Perpetuate the Industry-Agency-Industry Merry-go-Round:  A

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

TRUTH IS THE ART OF PERSUASION

Everything other than what is purely technological is mostly a matter of social politics. 

                             — Unknown

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Donald Trump (2017-)  & Barack Obama (2009-2017)

President-Barack-Obama-and-President-George-W-Bush

Barack Obama (2009-) & George W. Bush (2001-2009)

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Joe Mokler, Project Manager

FOR AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO MEDIA INQUIRIES, EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS, COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, QUESTIONS, OR TECHNICAL ISSUES, CONTACT US AT:

SmartVoters.org@gmail.com

SmartVoters.org is an advocate of changing HOW TO DEFINE America’s problems and HOW TO ORGANIZE 

An outgrowth of a 1968 VISTA experience that confirmed statistical evidence of a poorly informed electorate, SmartVoters and its four predecessors* have remained firmly committed to the proposition that solving the nation’s problems is inseparably linked to developing alternative syntheses and strategies that significantly improve voter competence.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Bill Clinton and George Bush

Bill Clinton (1993-2001) & George H.W. Bush (1989-2003)

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Reagan and Carter

Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) & Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Effective public policy isn’t a single political ideology, doesn’t require one party to control the White House and Congress, and isn’t even dependent on the two-party system.  It has little to do with the politician or the party or the purity of the ideology.  

Effective public policy is about vision that objectively describes the real state of the union, including pacifying myths and negative national trends.  It is non-partisan and inclusive, a synthesis of liberal, conservative, libertarian, and populist ideas expressed in an honest, clearly defined, and comprehensive plan.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Joe Mokler, Project Manager

FOR AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO MEDIA INQUIRIES, EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS, COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, QUESTIONS, OR TECHNICAL ISSUES, CONTACT US AT:

SmartVoters.org@gmail.com

SmartVoters.org is an advocate of changing HOW TO DEFINE America’s problems and HOW TO ORGANIZE 

An outgrowth of a 1968 VISTA experience that confirmed statistical evidence of a poorly informed electorate, SmartVoters and its four predecessors* have remained firmly committed to the proposition that solving the nation’s problems is inseparably linked to developing alternative syntheses and strategies that significantly improve voter competence.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Nixon and Ford

Gerald Ford (1974-1977) & Richard M. Nixon (1969-1974)

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Kennedy and Johnson

John F. Kennedy (1961-1963) & Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

SMARTVOTERS.ORG is not affiliated with SmartVoter.org, a project of the League of Women Voters, that provides non-partisan information on elections and voting.

SMARTVOTERS.ORG regards elections as meaningless in a political environment in which both parties can’t solve or even define problems and are more interested in protecting the status quo than changing it.  The organization is committed to: (1) developing, soliciting, and promoting non-partisan vision and bold ideas to revitalize America;  (2) creating a non-profit, grassroots, news-only newspaper model and duplicating it across the country; and (3) establishing a foundation committed exclusively to improving low voter competence.

 

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

 

Which is more important: the politician or the message?  Pols are rarely exceptional but a good message is priceless. 

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Truman Eisenhower 2

Harry Truman (1945-1953) & Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

 

hoover roosevelt

Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) & Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Joe Mokler, Project Manager

FOR AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO MEDIA INQUIRIES, EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS, COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, QUESTIONS, OR TECHNICAL ISSUES, CONTACT US AT:

SmartVoters.org@gmail.com

SmartVoters.org is an advocate of changing HOW TO DEFINE America’s problems and HOW TO ORGANIZE 

An outgrowth of a 1968 VISTA experience that confirmed statistical evidence of a poorly informed electorate, SmartVoters and its four predecessors* have remained firmly committed to the proposition that solving the nation’s problems is inseparably linked to developing alternative syntheses and strategies that significantly improve voter competence.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

CLICK ON  THE *** A-B-O-U-T *** BUTTON FOR THE FOLLOWING:

<>  An election about nothing

<>  The elusive search for national direction

<>  In politics, truth is the art of persuasion

<>  The political vacuum created by voter ignorance and Washington’s candy store mentality

<>  SmartVoters.org – PURPOSE

<>   SmartVoters.org – EVOLUTION

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

 The Capitol Building////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

support-our-troops-freedom-isnt-free

AIR FORCE * ARMY * COAST GUARD * MARINE CORPS * NAVY

Thank you for your service!

                                                                        — Joe Mokler, a fellow disabled vet

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Presidents Lincoln and Washington

Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865) & George Washington (1789-1797)

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Joe Mokler, Project Manager

FOR AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO MEDIA INQUIRIES, EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS, COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, QUESTIONS, OR TECHNICAL ISSUES, CONTACT US AT:

SmartVoters.org@gmail.com

SmartVoters.org is an advocate of changing HOW TO DEFINE America’s problems and HOW TO ORGANIZE 

An outgrowth of a 1968 VISTA experience that confirmed statistical evidence of a poorly informed electorate, SmartVoters and its four predecessors* have remained firmly committed to the proposition that solving the nation’s problems is inseparably linked to developing alternative syntheses and strategies that significantly improve voter competence.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////