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Forum Post: Romney, Obama and the New Culture War over Fairness and REAL DIRECT DEMOCRACY FOR AMEIRCANS

Posted 6 years ago on Oct. 15, 2012, 8:05 p.m. EST by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Romney and Obama extol profoundly different conceptions of what is just. No wonder they both think they're right By Jonathan Haidt

Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2012/10/08/the-new-culture-war-ove-fairness/#ixzz29PnlgSxP


Iceland''s people decided what was fair, and make a new constitution, and send home their politicians.




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[-] 2 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

ok people

we have a proposal

should the us citizens undertake direct democratic actions aided with use of technology, to participate actively in their government, and influence the ineffective and hugely non-popular system, that has become seperatted from the will of the people, and non-responsive, non-representative, due to influences of money, incumbancy advantage, the splintering of society into "red and blue" units, etc.

that shall be approved by state's government and the will of the people.

somebody wish to wordsmith this. Start a non-partisan "peoples' chamber" movement

vet this and start a non-partisan pro progress for Ameirca web site. it should look real nice, with real ways for people to vote and vet issues.

[-] 1 points by mideast (506) 6 years ago

how to get it done:
write your ideas on a piece of paper and throw it in a wishing well
or a web site

[-] 1 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

What is fair?

Should people be allowed to have direct democracy powers through technology, as Iceland does.

Do people care enough to govern themseleves, or do they need rulers to compell them to work, obey, and how the world looks.

Have they become comfortable not thinking, relying on their drugs of choice , their Paxil and the rest.

Fair would be for the people's voice to be heard once again, as now the corrupt have stifled the productivity of Americans.

[-] 1 points by freakyfriday (179) 6 years ago

"fairness". Such a warm and fuzzy word. No wonder Obama overuses the word. A group hears "fair share" or "fair shot" and they all say yeah, but they all have a different idea of what it means,

FAIR is the ultimate politician's wordtool.


[-] 0 points by freakyfriday (179) 6 years ago

Zen, nothing in your post addresses my remarks about the fluidity of the word or Obama's passion for it. Did you really mean for your post to be a reply to mine?


[-] 0 points by freakyfriday (179) 6 years ago

Can you cite a couple studies, doofus? BTW, there is nothing wrong with MY reading comp......



[-] 2 points by freakyfriday (179) 6 years ago

Kids usually complain about something being UNfair when it doesn't go their way. That's what makes fairness so elusive...it is usually attained by compromise which means there were differing definitions to begin with between said parties.

[-] 1 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

great point. thank you for mentioning this.

the congress is acting like everything is unfair (well at least with "the other side"), and so are our elites, complaining we aren't giving them enough breaks.

thanks leaders of the free world, for being our examples too, in how life's unfair. some party's have been really good at this.

We can all help them out of this mess they've built up around themselves, including us.

One person I think Sparky, gave "people's party" a veto power over legislative branch. That's a good start imo.

[-] 2 points by freakyfriday (179) 6 years ago

A people's party should also have veto power over the executive branch.

I think I saw a Congressman's website where he actually ran polls on pending legislation. They should ALL do that AND take the results into consideration. Ndaa, patriot act and obamacare may have turned out differently.

[-] 1 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

i think Americans would like that and vote for that.

Issues of imminent national security could be problematic, but to seek the acceptance of people ASAP. within 24 hours. etc.

some of these might need a constitutional convention, or ammendments to the Constitution of the United States of America.

[-] 1 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

maybe to be a politician, you have to be a grandparent

[-] 1 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

Romney likes fair, too, (well at least theoretically, according to the social psychologist, if he has a moral compass) but in a different way. For those who have paid into the system ahead of time.

That they get there exact amount back. ...Hey , there's no profit in that.

we need politicians who serve "the people" like judges, and take self, and party, and "friends" out of the equation, if possible. If there can exist such a system.

maybe with stricter term limits, and more turnover, so they are citizen politicians, like they are supposed to be in state legislator positions.

[-] 1 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

we need a new breed of "uber politician"

one who is not partisan of past,

but if forward leaning for real

[-] 3 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

Direct democracy seemed to not work efficiently

as demonstrated through mini experiments of ows

spread throughout the country

but maybe something where, with technology, people could easily make their inclinations know to the representative,

who would converse with the populace, via technology

something like, technology that is used for online classes,

where "constituents" log in

and can dialog with the group.

[-] 3 points by Builder (4202) 6 years ago

Mic Check screwed up ga's.

Brought in because of the ban on using megaphones, and should have been dropped as soon as possible.

[-] 2 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

sure, but even if you get a bunch of like-minded persons in one location, say the dem or repub. conventions, it was near impossible to conduct business as a whole group.

wouldnt' there need to be "committees" of some sort?, of which the common people would have a clear voice and influence?

[-] 3 points by Builder (4202) 6 years ago

Participatory democracy through social media. The infrastructure is already in place.


Now, in an historically unprecedented move, the government has decided to draft a new constitution with the online input of its citizens — essentially crowdsourcing the creation of Iceland’s real democracy. Rather than just involving voters at the end of the process through a referendum, the Icelanders have an opportunity, through social media, to be directly involved in the writing process. It’s the ultimate affirmation of participatory democracy. It’s Democracy 2.0.

[-] 6 points by Renneye (3874) 6 years ago

Beautiful!! And its unfolding right before our eyes! Thanks Builder!

Participatory democracy is a practice I would love to see in a 'people's society'! Each 'sovereign' nation should do this.

This 'people empowering' system allows a way to ensure their self-determination...keeping unique cultures alive while simultaneously keeping the oligarch globalists from the spread of the dark creeping cloud that would control and enslave the whole planet.

Of particular interest is the direct involvement through social media. In a "people's society" this method could be utilized to create policy and vote on any number of issues.

How very positive...and very inspiring!

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 6 years ago

No worries. Seems like Iceland is totally blanked out of the MSM at the moment.

Would that I could jump a ship and go and shoot some footage over there. Talk to some people. See how its working out for them all.

[-] 1 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

I especially like the first paragraph.

this is a great idea.

would "the peoples' chamber" need to be "officially sanctioned." if there was enough buy-in and participation, say a majority of the people were participating..

that would throw a loop "the politicians" ...the elite

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 6 years ago

It would be a state-by-state action simply because nobody would agree on a national action.

As for "official sanction", surely if you get enough signatures on a petition (online of otherwise) then your state reps have to do something about it. Don't they? I'm Australian. This method does (and has) worked for us here.

[-] 1 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

sounds reasonable.

some states here don't allow people's initiated initiatives, go figure.

but if the other states were doing it, they'd probably want to go along.

What has Iceland found to be drawbacks?

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 6 years ago

I don't know, really, but here's what I could find.

The bankers are fleeing in fear

Returning to the tense situation in 2010, while the Icelanders were refusing to pay a debt incurred by financial sharks without consultation, the coalition government had launched an investigation to determine legal responsibilities for the fatal economic crisis and had already arrested several bankers and top executives closely linked to high risk operations.

Interpol, meanwhile, had issued an international arrest warrant against Sigurdur Einarsson, former president of one of the banks. This situation led scared bankers and executives to leave the country en masse.

In this context of crisis, an assembly was elected to draft a new constitution that would reflect the lessons learned and replace the current one, inspired by the Danish constitution.

To do this, instead of calling experts and politicians, Iceland decided to appeal directly to the people, after all they have sovereign power over the law. More than 500 Icelanders presented themselves as candidates to participate in this exercise in direct democracy and write a new constitution. 25 of them, without party affiliations, including lawyers, students, journalists, farmers and trade union representatives were elected.

Among other developments, this constitution will call for the protection, like no other, of freedom of information and expression in the so-called Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, in a bill that aims to make the country a safe haven for investigative journalism and freedom of information, where sources, journalists and Internet providers that host news reporting are protected.

The people, for once, will decide the future of the country while bankers and politicians witness the transformation of a nation from the sidelines.


[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 6 years ago

And further to that, there seems to be a media blackout, for the obvious reasons that we are all being told that "austerity" measures have to be put in place.

Why have the media blanked out Iceland when it should be Prime News? Fri, 11/05/2012 - 06:00 Share this

By Geoffrey Bulmer-The on-going revolution taking place in Iceland is a stunning example of the bias shown by our media for its total absence of Icelandic news. Since the financial crisis of 2008, when Iceland literally went bankrupt, little or no mention of Iceland ever occurs anymore.

As one European country after another fails or risks failing or endangering the Euro, with repercussions for the entire world, the last thing the “powers that be” want is for Iceland to become a success story.


[-] 0 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

well, I don't think the world would look favorably if we didn't pay back international debts

I don't think we are at the point where Iceland was. But the people have lost their wealth, and the upper class has managed to keep theirs, and they are being better whiners about how unfair we are to them, and undertaking class warefare. What about their subtle actions against the the common good.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 6 years ago

The question is, who's "international debts" would you be paying back?

The military industrial complex is profitting hugely off American's future earnings, and congress is getting rich by insider trading. Meanwhile, the wage and salary earners get to foot the bill. And your children's children too.

While those who made a killing, in more ways than one, get to write new tax laws, so they don't have to pay for their wealth. Icelanders are onto this.

[-] 0 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

I think debt can get paid back over time. If we decide to pay it back, get serious and do it.


Send a big bill to the Bushes.

Send a big bill to the Cheney's.

Send bill to all politicians who voted for tax breaks, and unfounded wars.

Then, retire all current culpable politicians.

They haven't been doing their job, well enough.

They are supposed to watch out for the people and country. Haven't done there job.

Return tax rates to the rich to where they were before bush tax cuts.

Why can't we declare 0 percent interst on it. Why not?

Middle class income has only gone up 300 dollars in 30 years.

They didn't vote for all the money to go to tax cuts for millionaires, they didn't authorize wars on drugs, wars on terror forever.

Send bill to corrupt politicians, and cronies who pushed for these things.

Get all money from all politicians, and make them live at poverty level. Seize their assets and jail them for treason, for any who have done so, including bankers who cheated and stole.

Apparently, grand kids and children have been stolen from. Us too. Crime doesn't pay.

We should follow iceland''s lead, and send all politicians to retirement.


[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 6 years ago

A system based on lies will twist the language to suit their agenda.

The "national" debt is as much to do with the nation as "citizens' united" is to do with citizens.

Resistance is fertile. Refuse to listen to lies. Return the power to the people.

[-] 2 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

I like how you say it much better.

Also I am not stuck on my way or no way. I need to stop talking here, I've done way too much, and let others give there ideas on initiating and implementing some sort of people's chamber.

Would Americans be up for this? Iceland was. They may have something we are lacking. Like respect for individuals as humans with innate worth. Real faith and respect for democracy.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 6 years ago

The "excuse" is that Iceland has a tiny population.

The reality is, the more people you have, the higher the possibility of getting enough people to field a candidate, or topple the existing system.

The time for excuses is long gone.

[-] 2 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 6 years ago

At the very least, the people should have veto power over all branches, in order to keep the government in check (along with getting the money out).

"Unless the mass retains sufficient control over those entrusted with the powers of their government, these will be perverted to their own oppression, and to the perpetuation of wealth and power in the individuals and their families selected for the trust.
Whether our Constitution has hit on the exact degree of control necessary, is yet under experiment." --Thomas Jefferson to M. van der Kemp, 1812.

[-] 2 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

this is an excellent point. Let the people have veto. that's conservative.

[-] 2 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 6 years ago

It's at least another option. Anything to allow the people to have more control of their own destiny. It may not help with existing laws, but could prevent the passage of future tyrannous laws or entering new wars, etc.

“The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history - whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by the small elite." ~ Thomas Jefferson ~

I like quotes so bear with me. I slide them in where I can :)

[-] 1 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

we need better means to accelerating the education of the populace to the Ideas we see on this site as common-sense, for instance

--universal health care for all as a civil right.

--$5000.00 per US citizen per year tax credit. --more equitable taxation.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (12675) from South Burlington, VT 1 hour ago

to me that sounds like a bare bones beginning. Somehow we have to address

the practice of disinformation which has become rampant

the extraction of wealth from the economy - which is the source of the pressure to privatize social security

our economic theories themselves

we can't get anywhere near any of this without a radical reorganization of Congress ↥

[-] 1 points by gsw (719) from Auburn, WA 59 minutes ago

I agree with what you say:

this is cultural values, education.

we need a way as a society to explore these issues.

There is not a means in which to do that in our current system.

[-] 2 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

We need a way forward, as a people with different backgrounds and worldviews, and dispositions

to look at issues of fairness as a country and society.

and other issues which ZenDog and everyone on the site wish to discuss, and solve.

We need to involve all people in a discussion, such as we enjoy here on the OWS forums.

Without somehow relying on our past habits of blaming one side or party, but bringing them up to speed with where we are, educating them, somehow, so they can agree to nature of our problems, and fair solutions.

[-] 2 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

we need to by-pass the traditional political arguments and party bickering

and label those in politics who have allowed the system we are enjoying as " "?

"pre-recession party pols"?

or something more neutral that is in the past

so the country as a whole can move forward

by-passing the old pols

and traditional "Us vs. Them" 2 ways of seeing world

that allows for a new, more forward solutions seeking

...dialog of the populace ...peace and prosperity for all

I am sure the the founders of the country

would not be happy

to see how we are not

able to converse and talk

about issues of the day

without a particular partisan lense,

that is narrower than that of "American"

What are modern "American" values

that we all can agree on

that are above party,

because parties,

prevent solving of any problems,

due to past history.

because the current system

is the definition of crazy.

[-] 0 points by Barfnow (-16) 6 years ago

So what is fair?

[-] 2 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

the country's citizens need to have a a discussion on this.

leave the politicians out, if possible.

They already have their prejudices and past to deal with.

Have a massive discussion online, like an online seminar.

maybe with different "position papers" or topics that are investigated, vetted and fact checked.

[-] 1 points by Barfnow (-16) 6 years ago

I must agree with you. But how to accomplish that?

[-] 1 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

establish a new, post-partisan, direct democracy website, where common citizens can be involved, and have direct voice. (1 voter per social security number or something)

the people, citizens, would have a new "branch" of government, called "people's branch" or whatever.

that could be in addition to the Congress and Senate

It would be populated like the Senate ..2 per state. "people's representatives"

might not even need to be physically in D.C.

they could establish law, as well, one more hoop, branch of government, to go through.

it would need to get approval of 1 other branch, or possibly both.

I don't see how it would slow things down any more than they are now.

they would be publicly funded, could not accept bribes, but get a just slightly above poverty salary, like state legislators get, so they would be not "full time"

term limit of 2 years would be good.

have them be from "the average people" not full-time polls. Although they could be from state government, I suppose.

actually, since it would be "direct democracy" there would not necessarily involve real persons, but it would be nice for the "people's chamber" to send their rep to the other branches if need be to advocate the people's ideas and proposals.

[-] 2 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 6 years ago
[-] 1 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

I wonder how Iceland dealt with partisanship?

Probably a non issue. I have no knowledge of that issue yet.

Oh here's a site. The news was missing in our media too. How weird is that?


this quote is pretty inspiring "To write the new constitution, the people of Iceland elected twenty-five citizens from among 522 adults not belonging to any political party but recommended by at least thirty citizens. This document was not the work of a handful of politicians, but was written on the internet. The constituent’s meetings are streamed on-line, and citizens can send their comments and suggestions, witnessing the document as it takes shape. The constitution that eventually emerges from this participatory democratic process will be submitted to parliament for approval after the next elections."

[-] 2 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 6 years ago

I've been following this too. It's no surprise that the media doesn't report on this story; them being a propagandist arm of the government. I really believe that in the end we will end up with some form of participatory government; because the current one is proving to more and more people, that it cannot be trusted, but can be bought. Thanx for the link !!

[-] 1 points by Barfnow (-16) 6 years ago

What would enforce the voice of those people? I've seen many ideas along this line but no one seems to know how to enforce that way.

[-] 1 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

it would be a new "branch" of government.

It would have an influence on the other branches to stay in line with the will of the people, as there would be more often people's votes. Maybe once a month.

So the whole country would have a say.

Enforcement would be by public shame and scrutiny, and people would have more by-in to what the other branches of government are doing.

[-] 2 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 6 years ago

The new branch should be the executive branch - "The Peoples' Branch" who would have oversight powers over ALL other branches. The president's office would become the administrative branch. There would continue to be the legislative and judicial branches .... but all overseen by the executive branch - us.

This site - http://osixs.org/Rev2_menu_commonsense.aspx - also suggests adding a technology branch. This branch would install and maintain the V2 ( internet version 2 http://osixs.org/V2_Menu_V2.aspx ) that we vote on, and assist with the streamlining and implementing of other technologies. You can see a diagram of their proposed structure under "Government 2.0" on this page.

I've been plugging this idea for quite a while now, and I'm encouraged to see others discussing the possibilities. Our input in our government is sorely needed.

[-] 0 points by Barfnow (-16) 6 years ago

I doubt that public shame and scrutiny would work with today's jaded citizens. Getting most people to even care about government actions would be a major undertaking.

[-] 2 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

yes there is a lot of minutia and tedium

but if it started on big issues,

like should the people have a more direct, participatory voice.

maybe there could be a lottery. Once a month, a random person gets a surprise. Everyone puts in a buck. People like lotteries.

[-] 1 points by gsw (3224) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 6 years ago

Well, a majority think the country is going in the wrong direction, and congress' approval is about 9 percent, or something.

Facebook took off. How about "the People's Book"

so how to get this going?

I see it as "evolution" by ballot.

well, lead by example and hope it takes off, if it is done in a positive and hopeful spirit to get country going again.

[-] 0 points by freakyfriday (179) 6 years ago

You'll get as many answers as the number of people you ask.

That's what makes it one of Obama's favorite words