It is heartening to see so many working on amendment-based remedies. Like many addicts faced with withdrawals, the status quo will fight with everything it has to keep the substance of wealth accessible and flowing from the public to the powerful. Any amendment that truly gets at the root illness by abolishing corporate personhood and granting an inalienable Civic Right to an only publicly-owned political process will meet severe opposition. Corporate power may sit idly while civic activists reclaim constitutional rights and democracy for human beings only, but there is no reason to believe they will. Over 150 years, a determined corporate agenda has worked relentlessly to make corporations legal “persons” for private gain instead of legal “property” for the public good. Getting a good amendment ratified in time will be extraordinarily difficult; unprecedented opposition can be expected, if not predicted, from those whose institutions have been blindly addicted to power for centuries.
Ratification Likely to Take More Time Than We Have… or Never
Amendments that make deep change threaten the existing power structure by definition. Those kinds of amendments take a very long time for mass social struggle to succeed in driving that change into the fabric of our Constitution. (The Equal Rights Amendment, for example, guaranteeing equal rights for women under the law in the United States was never ratified). If a viable amendment ever were to actually see the light of day, it is likely to be whittled-down to slim wording that only reverses a symptom like the Citizens United ruling, leaving moneyed interests engraved by the billions in our “elections” and corporate personhood “rights” still at the very core of our “democratic” process.
The evidence suggests that there is simply not a lot of time left to get the right amendment language ratified federally and/or in all the minimum required states before it is simply too late to make a big enough difference in our society and world.
Ratification of an Amendment Only Begins the Work
Moreover, even the strongest, most powerful amendment only opens up our democracy to a level playing field and allows us to pass critical economic and environmental legislation while we still have time. First, it would have to be ratified, and in tact, as a fully viable remedy that strikes at the root of the illness without successful opposition from the most powerful institutions of power in human history. After surmounting those remarkable hurdles unscathed, we would have a democratic republic in which to begin our work for a just, sustainable economy, society and planet worth inheriting. Historically, that work takes a generation.
The Deadline: The Amendment as as “Sobriety Checkpoint”
For these reasons, National Intervention considers the right amendment to be a strong “sobriety test” for our elected officials. If a simple amendment stating that corporations are not persons and that our political process must be only publicly financed cannot be easily ratified at the federal level by our elected officials, then we know they are either too addicted to corporate power & money in politics to quit using and abusing, or as, enablers, they know better, but cannot stop themselves. Our Official Sobriety Test checkpoint for candidates and elected officials uses the strongest confirmations in assuring that, once in office, elected officials will us the next available opportunity to support the Civic Rights Amendment language, in every way legally possible, for getting our system to "quit cold turkey".
The next step in a viable intervention, then, is drawing strong boundaries for our own role in recovery with the the following:
1. Send Sobriety Tests and interventions in every US congressional district. If elected officials or candidates are not "under the influence," they will have no trouble passing.
2. We are certainly subject to the abuse that comes from those who demand we give more and more to feed the addiction to wealth and power. Yet, we are also the manufacturers of the ingredients in these substances. We create the wealth as consumers and workers. With our vote, we generate all political power. We will need to reconsider our pattern of simply handing over more and more of our wealth and power. People often prefer avoiding the pain caused by policies passed within the addiction system. Nonetheless, our power is ours, and our withholding of it until we are no longer going to be abused by it will make any new interventions that much more likely to succeed.
3. A National 12-Step Recovery Platform. National Intervention would and always will support any amendment that addresses the root illness — but, we understand the urgency of moving forward with or without those controlled by wealth and power addiction while we still have time to co-create a future worth inheriting. If those addicted to corporate power & money in politics cannot ratify a truly viable “cold turkey” civic rights amendment, then National Intervention will work door-to-door, block-by-block and precinct-by-precinct for the National Recovery Platform, informing voters not only who has passed and failed the Sobriety Test, but also whether their representatives have also rejected any of the 12 most critically urgent steps forward we would have already established if we had control over our own democracy.
We must support either:
- a deadline for an amendment that levels the playing field in time for us to use our own democracy to rescue the next generation
- a new social contract, a National 12-Step Recovery Platform, regardless of candidate, party or ballot measure, that brings together our society’s support group in a national intervention while we still have time.
Tell your elected officials: Either will do. Neither, however, is not an option.