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Forum Post: We want change. That's great; now how do we implement it?

Posted 12 years ago on Oct. 25, 2011, 3:39 p.m. EST by ARod1993 (2420)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I've spoken on this many times; I feel like organization is chronically underrated by people who love ideological purity but aren't willing to understand the complexities of implementation. It's quite easy to declare that a system is severely damaged and/or corrupt; what I want to know is what people would propose to do about it and how they would go about implementing it. Simply refusing to participate and/or backing Ron Paul is out of the question; all that does is fully cede power to people who disagree with us. Violent revolution and complete disposal of the existing infrastructure is likewise a fool's remedy; even if you succeed (which is doubtful) what will you put in place as the new system and what kind of infrastructure do you plan to put in place to make sure that it too doesn't come apart?

There are a number of decent progressives in DC; Barney Frank is when you let him be, and Al Franken would definitely fall under that banner (and that's just in the Senate). They'd be harder to find in the House because of the 2010 elections, but they exist. Even if there aren't that many right now 2012 is the perfect opportunity to put them there. There are a number of seats in both the Senate and the House occupied by fairly crusty incumbents that we might have a good shot at beating in the primaries if we as an organization make an effort to do so. Honestly speaking, we need to do something in the political arena, and we pretty much have our work cut out for us. Take the case of Charlie Rangel:

Despite voicing public support for OWS, Charlie Rangel turned around and voted for a free trade agreement which is most likely going to ship even more jobs overseas and runs contrary to the founding principles of the movement. This is despicable, and a fair number of people on here ought to be pretty pissed. Here's my question to those of you who don't want to see this sort of behavior continue: When's the next round of Democratic primaries, then? And which OWS organizers are in Harlem and willing to locate and get behind a challenger for Rangel's seat? This is why we need our own slate of people running for office. If we want to get real change then we're going to need to offer real people willing to run for office and able to win; we can't trust people like Rangel to vote with their constituents and the general election offers us a choice between lip service and outright hostility. If, however, we unseat Rangel in the primaries, then we can probably put our man through the general election with little opposition and we'll have our very first OWS'er in DC. Rangel's also the perfect one to start with; there's little or no danger of a GOP candidate taking the district, but Rangel himself has been publicly called out on the House floor for corruption and I don't think people are going to forget that any time soon.

The thing is, if we try this for Rangel and succeed then it sends a message to the rest of DC that they have to start taking us into account if they want to keep their jobs. The Tea Party did it, the Populists did it, the Green Party does it on occasion, and generally speaking it works. Citizens United allows us to build and fund an OWS superPAC, partially from all that donation money nobody can seem to figure out what to do with, and use it as a war chest that we can spend on our candidates across the country. Now, we'd obviously not start soliciting corporate funding for it because that goes against everything we stand for, but imagine the power that an independently aligned national coalition of small donors would have to influence this country during elections season. We could throw our people (actual OWS'ers with community organization/activism/legal backgrounds or OWS sympathizers in that category) into Democratic and Republican primaries across the country, and even if we only take one or two seats most legislators will think of what happened to the Republican establishment post-Tea Party and will be willing to listen.

Incidentally, this is not about letting ourselves get co-opted by different political parties; in fact, it's quite the opposite. By injecting our people into their primaries (especially if you have a historically uncontested seat that you can generally keep until you decide to retire) we force the incumbents to take positions on the issues that we consider important, particularly corruption and campaign finance/lobbying reforms. It's a win-win for us. If we win we get to call the shots instead of partisan hacks, and even if we lose we will have co-opted the national debate. Who's with me?



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[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 12 years ago

creating a publicly verifiable voting system is practical

simple if everyone votes by name

[-] 0 points by gr57 (457) 12 years ago

Voteing should be a secret. You have no right to know who I voted for any more then I do for you.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 12 years ago

maybe not

but if people agree to vote publicly the results would be transparent and verifiable

[-] 0 points by gr57 (457) 12 years ago

Sure, but say they Black Panther Party runs. Ok if you now everone who who votes and who they voted for, what's to stop violent racial groups like the KKK from finding and attacking them. Or, say we elect a president on par with say Hitler, starts sending people to death camps and the like. If I know you voted for him, my rage can and will be directed at you.

I understand what you are trying to say, but the states already do this. You vote using a number that is specific to your name. When they tally the votes, eveyones number and vot is lists. They have a seperate list that the ballot counter are by law never allowed to see that contains every registered voter in the state and their voter ID.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 12 years ago

the trust of the vote can be transferred to the people

publicly verifiable vote has not been previous possible without national and global communication


the fears of a public voting system are legitimate

though violent actions against voters will be transparent

people will see how these actions are based on voting record;

and if they want to maintain a democracy,

the people will protect and respect the votes of the minority.

[-] 0 points by gr57 (457) 12 years ago

Public votes use to happen in England and the government would use peoples votes to recognize and eliminate vieing parties. That why we don't do it.

Just becasue the vote passes through two filters doesn't mean the outcome changes. If the system was tinkered with, we wouldn't have the party in power change ever.

People don't though. It's why we have many caviots i our Consitution to protect the minoirty becuase our Founding Fathers realized that the majoritys will always try and rule over the minority instead of with them. I'm not saying that I don't wish people wouldn't protect and respect the minorty, but I think it's a utopian fantisy to think that will happen.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 12 years ago

"Just becasue the vote passes through two filters doesn't mean the outcome changes. If the system was tinkered with, we wouldn't have the party in power change ever."

tinkering is countered by vigilance

"but I think it's a utopian fantisy to think that will happen."


[-] 1 points by Adversus (83) 12 years ago

Read my post regarding Sozialize pensions. I think it would be something everyone could get behind.

The problem though is that they want the occupy movement to split into factions so they can divide and conquer so any proposals should only be things 99% of the people can get behind.

[-] 1 points by Falcus (81) 12 years ago

I like the suggestions by the OP (Arod1993). They're long term though.... The question is really going to boil down to what are your goals? We change, yay! now what? Do we want change tomorrow? or are we willing to go the peacable way and practice the art of politics in an already corrupt system that is responsible for our unhappiness to begin with? There are pros and cons to both sides. Chamge tomorrow = Something seriously drastic. Either we start talking to National Gaurd units about organizing a Coup (Yes, I said it, to the probably no less then 2 FBI agents that will read this, no Im not serious, and yes, Im sure you can track my IP), Or we litterally convince 200 Million americans (Plus god knows how many illeagals) to get off our fat lazy electronic Media and Twinkie filled asses and into the street....... Ok, we could probably accomplish something with just 50 Million, but chances of this happening are pretty low atm. Demonstrations continuing will energize, but unless something drastic is comtemplated (24/7 sit-ins in Washington with #s big enough to defy armed police, cops, and water cannons), they might lose steam. The fix for that is to keep organizing. Keep moving forward. Dr King didn't do his Million Man March 3 days after he decided to speak out against Civil inequality....

Meanwhile, working to get some representation is probably a good idea. It won't hurt to try to change the system from the inside. Itd be better if it could be done that way, but itd take longer ^^;. Were talking like, decades here. Does OSW want to become a Fund Raising Organization for Candidates? If thats the case, how far down that path do you go? How do you keep from becoming "Just another Campaign/lobby organization"?

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

It's not an easy line to walk, but quite frankly someone's going to have to do it one way or the other. At the end of the day the change we seek is going to have to go through DC; hell, even after all of Dr. King's great work it took DC getting its act together under LBJ to force integration and voting rights via the Civil Rights act. Being seen on national TV and the Internet braving cold and police abuse definitely counts for something, but by itself it's not enough to accomplish change.

I do believe in the American system of government, not that it always works, but that when it strays it can be corrected from inside the system. We've been on a hell of a bender these past thirty years and we've done a hell of a lot of damage, and it's not all going to be that simple to undo or fix. However, political activism is the most likely way to start seeing change happen now. As far as the moral hazard is concerned, as long as our political aims remain simply an arm of the movement rather than a party or lobbying organization in their own right I think we'll be fine.

[-] 1 points by Falcus (81) 12 years ago

The long slow path of resisting temptation is a dangerous one my friend. But its been travelled successfully before....

But yea, I agree televised police brutality will get things going (Even if by saying this they decide to be smart and not-violent because some one predicted it, Ill be happy). The problem though is that the energy gained from protestes will only go so far. The US isn't like the arab nations that went through the Arab Spring..... We don't have a few entire generations worth of college grads and workers sitting around feeling victimized by an uncaring Dictator. Instead we have masses of Gratification Seeking slobs that just can't be bothered to care because they figure its none of their concern or they can't do anything about it anyway..... yay for civics classes....

So with the short term routes, continuing to proceed with Protests seems like a good idea, but is there some sort of plan to be made if it zeniths?

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

Continue to protest, start raising as much as we can, and pick a few likely races in the House that we think we can throw to one of our people. Charlie Rangel would probably make a prime target; he's been around for God only knows how long, his district is Democratic enough that if we do this right we shouldn't have to worry about the GOP screwing things up, and his district is both within a few miles of the main OWS protest and home to Occupy the Hood, meaning there are strong neighborhood ties to OWS in his district, and probably a few good candidates to pick from. Go all out after him and try to take the primary away, and we could well take the district. Do the same thing in a few other Congressional districts belonging to both parties; register for the Republican primaries in red states and the Democratic primaries in blue states, and let's see what we can do. If the protests really do come to a head, we're going to need an orator to speak for us all at once, and we should probably start working on locating and training possible candidates for that position.

[-] 1 points by EdmondSeymore (101) 12 years ago

OWS: The conversation is great. Now, put together a set of objectives and a plan to meet those objectives on the OWS web site.

[-] 1 points by RantCasey (782) from Saginaw, MI 12 years ago

The people can't do anything until they vote people into office who are not payed of by corporate mOney. Then when we do that we will have people who rep us that can argue about raising or lowering taxes and who to do it too. Step one flush out corruption. Step 2 vote in people who rep us. Step 3 fix stuff step 4 repeat step 2 with opposite political party if didn't work out

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

That's what this is about; it's a prescription for how to get people who aren't corrupt and who believe in the same things we believe in into power, so that then they can write new corruption controls into the legal code (and if necessary amend the Constitution to overturn Citizens United).

[-] 1 points by charrob (22) 12 years ago

1) End Free Trade: tariffs on imports from those countries involved in slave labor, child labor, environmental degradation, unsafe working conditions, currency manipulation, and/or governments who subsidize their industries. How much in tariffs? Enough to zero-out the trade deficit with that country.

2) End Patriot Act.

3) No money from anywhere allowed in politics; politicians accepting money from anyone for their campaigns charged with felonies/jail time. Future elections totally financed publicly. Cable/network providers must allow free air time for politicians to debate/air their commercials.

4) No more collusion between government and private industry; anyone employed by the federal government is not allowed to get a job in a private industry that he/she worked with as a government employee for at least 10 years. Anyone employed in private industry is not allowed to get a job in the federal agency(s) that he/she worked with while employed in private industry for at least 10 years.

5) Put credit rating agencies such as Standard & Poors and Moodies, as well as the Federal Reserve, under the Department of the Treasury.

6) End all wars, including the drug war; close down all 1000+ military bases around the world; bring all the troops home. No more training other countries militaries; no more supplying weapons or money to other countries militaries; no more CIA military coups like the 2009 coup in Honduras. Enough!

7) End all tax loopholes.

8) Media/cable providers like Comcast/Verizon need to only provide services to access said media; end the monopolies that currently allow these providers to broadcast content. Providers should not be allowed to also broadcast content.

9) Reinstantiate Glass Steagal. There should also be no gambling with funds insured by FDIC.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

1) That would actually be a great idea, especially given just how nasty our trade deficit with China is right now. Tariffs are a great way to bring jobs back to America, especially if you combine them with a separate, highly punitive tax code for corporations that outsource their labor.

2) Agreed.

3) Pretty much agreed; I have some ideas about how to handle campaign finance and lobbying reform that I've been hashing out with a couple of other people to see if it was going anywhere. You can see it here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gytiI1qwPDpnLQ8cRmNXoJFmiy4ob3n6yjqfBHpBH8M/edit?hl=en_US I'm curious to hear your thoughts on what we have so far.

4) See my reply to 3

5) The Fed absolutely needs to be tied to the Treasury, as far as the ratings agencies I'd rather not move them under the government; I would, however, create a public rating agency that securities would have to go through in addition to the existing private ones.

6) On this and this only I disagree. I feel like our defense budget does need to come under a great deal of review, as does our intelligence budget. I would also like to see much of the R&D done by DoD done in-house through government labs instead of handed out to private contractors who do everything way late and way over budget. I also want to see far greater oversight of any arms trading we decide to engage in and the School of the Americs should not be used to train troops associated with dictatorships. However, pulling out of other countries and closing of military bases should only be done if we are specifically asked to do so.

7) Agreed, and clean up the income tax rates so that they're fairer and provide a larger and more reliable revenue stream. See here for more: http://www.themultitude.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=184

8) Agreed.

9) Agreed.

[-] 1 points by ohhhhdede4 (22) 12 years ago

I think this is an excellent idea. My only concern is what issues are most important? Who can we find with there being so many involved? We know who we need to take out, but who do we put in. What is most important to the OWS movement? We need leaders...but where do we start? These protests need to stop being fun and games...the money going to free food and cigarette tents, and toward getting our point across. I guess to start we must figure out what that point is to begin with. The people who are at the protests to play around need to be educated on why this is so important, because they are the ones making this could-be movement look like a joke.

[-] 0 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 12 years ago

Educate into the legal authority to meet demands. Agreement in democratic action using the law of the land. All power must respect it OR, they support treason, PARTICULARLY when citizens are in agreement under the principles and suthority of the constitution.-------

Article 5 of the US constitution.

Congress is very afraid of an Article V.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_to_propose_amendments_to_the_United_States_Constitution "Congress acted preemptively to propose the amendments instead. At least four amendments (the Seventeenth, Twenty-First, Twenty-Second, and Twenty-Fifth Amendments) have been identified as being proposed by Congress at least partly in response to the threat of an Article V convention."

Our first right in our contract is Article V, the right to have congress convene delgates when 2/3 of the states have applied for an amendatory convention.

Article. V.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.-------

[-] 1 points by foid (1) 12 years ago

How about creating a 'report card' of the ten worst corps, grading on outsourcing, cheating people, ruining the environment, buying polilticians, etc. appropriately weighted and graded on the biggest negative impact with the purpose of publicizing this so that people can not buy their products, not have those corps in their 401ks, with the purpose of trying to influence those corps and others to make postive changes.

[-] 1 points by ShowRealHist (60) 12 years ago

Fooling the people is the base of the status quo, so UNfool the people! Expose the following. Roaring truth: Condemn venal journalism for severely fooling the people http://occupywallst.org/forum/condemn-venal-journalism-for-severely-fooling-the-/

[-] 1 points by JobCreatorsMyAss (2) from Los Angeles, CA 12 years ago

We need to get those other 99%ers that don't quite understand why the rest of us are so pissed. If everyone really knew why the rich, sorry Job Creators, need to be taxed fairly (not more just fair), many more wouldn't blindly follow the politicians who have both hands in someone's pockets......JobCreatorsMyAss.com

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 12 years ago

Thank you for your input and thoughts. This whole movement depends on each-others input, incite and support. Please take the time and also communicate your thoughts to our government. We all need to express our thoughts and insights to those who represent us and let them know how we feel about what they are doing and what they need to do better. Spread the word.

Contact the White house: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

Contact the senate: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Contact Congress: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

Contact the house of representatives: http://www.house.gov/htbin/findrep?ZIP=55433

Contact the Supreme Court: http://www.supremecourt.gov/

[-] 1 points by Fresh2Death13 (207) from Windsor, ON 12 years ago

Very well written and what a grand idea

[-] 1 points by Shalimar (167) from Martinsville, IN 12 years ago

Send this e-mail to everyone you know and do it yourself:

Let's get our jobs back.

Buy American. If you aren't sure - ask. Also look all over the packaging for "Made in __" Packaging may say "Made in America" but also have another tag that indicate that it was also made in another country.

Here is a list of the top outsourcing companies: http://www.iaop.org/content/23/152/1197/ If you deal with the American companies - stop and find another vendor.


Write one e-mail to your elected officials telling them you are unhappy with the job they are doing. You can find their addresses here: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

Send one e-mail to the mayor of your town stating you do not want your taxpayer dollars to be given companies, pro-sporting facilities, etc. while classrooms are underfunded and overcrowded.

Send one e-mail to the "Letter to the Editor" telling how fed up you are with they way politics and your taxpayer dollars are being handled.

When you contact customer service and someone with an accent answers ask if they are in America. If not, this person is working while some unemployed American is out of work Also, do you really want to give personal information to someone living in another country?

Take this entire post and e-mail it to friends and ask them to help and to e-mail it to their friends.

Thank you,

You have just helped change America