More than half of Americans feel that our country is on the wrong track.
That’s a lot of people. It’s most of us. And we’ve felt that way for a long time.1
We, the People of the United States, created this country. And it’s going to take US to make America better — for the sake of ourselves, our kids, and our grandkids.
In spite of all the promises made, it’s not likely that our elected leaders are going to fix this for us.
Why? Because the system as it is now lends itself to corruption and political games.
Any elected leaders who aren’t already corrupt by the time they get to Washington, almost always either fall into corruption themselves, very quickly, or are powerless to change anything.
As a result, instead of providing us with real leadership and the actual solutions we need, both of our major political parties have become something like football teams. We either cheer for the “Washington Elephants,” or the “DC Donkeys.”
When our team wins, we celebrate — and then believe, at least briefly, that things will be better. When our team loses, we go home and feel sad.
But a growing number of us are dissatisfied with this way of life. 42% of Americans now say they are “independent” rather than affiliated with either party.
And while it’s true that the vast majority of such independents still vote reliably for one party or the other, the fact that so many of us call ourselves “independents” surely says that we’re not entirely happy about doing it.
Meanwhile, we face two major problems.
One problem is the corruption of our system. It’s a documented fact that your elected officials — of both parties — don’t actually care what you think or what you want.
They care far more about the opinions of the special interests who give them large amounts of money for their next reelection campaign.
A second problem is a lack of clarity about what we should be doing. This is also due, partly, to special interests promoting and propagandizing a particular course of action for their own benefit.
Here in Missouri, where I live, we had a proposal some years ago to raise taxes on the big, money-grubbing gambling casinos, and send the money to our schools. Roughly speaking, this is how the proposal was promoted.
What they didn’t tell you was exactly who sponsoring and promoting this bill.
You guessed it: The big, money-grubbing gambling casinos, who spent at least $15 million advertising the proposal.
You see, the bill did increase the casino gambling tax — but only from 20% to 21%.
Meanwhile, it also prohibited the introduction of any new casinos — limiting the existing casinos’ competition — and most importantly, eliminated Missouri’s law limiting gamblers’ losses to $500 every 2 hours. And it also barred the reintroduction of any future loss limit.
The bill passed, and the casinos’ revenues and profits skyrocketed by literally hundreds of millions of dollars.
Two similar measures to “raise taxes on cigarettes,” sponsored and promoted by the tobacco industry, were defeated in 2016 — but only because nonprofit organizations, concerned with the best interest of the People, were strong enough to mobilize the opposition to defeat them.
Meanwhile, such industries make big campaign contributions to politicians, who then do their will — not what’s in the interest of the People.
This is a mini-snapshot of how our country is actually being run.
There are two problems here. One is that our elected leaders — of both parties — are being bought off by special interests, to do what benefits the special interests rather than what benefits the People.
And the second is that it’s difficult even to tell what we should be doing, because the entire discussion is polluted by the special interests’ propaganda.
If you had only heard the promotions put out by either of these industries, you would’ve sincerely believed you were acting in the best interest of the People, and sticking it to the casino industry, or the tobacco industry, by voting for these bills. In reality, you were doing their will.
And such special interests have paid lobbyists working full time to tell your legislators how to vote.
Meanwhile, who’s working on behalf of the best interest of the People? Who can even tell us what the best interest of the People is?
What should we do regarding our Social Security in the coming years? Are there ways that we could realistically improve our tax system for all of us? How can we realistically provide for our healthcare needs?
Are we fine with having a national debt that amounts to $43,000 for every single man, woman and child in the country (whether they pay any taxes or not), or do we need to pay more attention to that issue?
These are all really important issues that are going to affect your life and mine, and the lives of our children and grandchildren. As history has shown us, when nations do well, their people do well. When nations make poor decisions, almost everybody in the nation suffers.
We need people and organizations working on behalf of the People — on behalf of you, me, and our children and grandchildren.
I propose that one of the best ways to do this is to have one or more actual organizations that will first ask, and try to answer, many of the most important questions facing us, in a truly independent way. Some of these questions are:
- Of all the issues facing us, which are the most important? Which are going to have the greatest impact on most Americans?
- What are the best solutions to these issues?
- It’s not hard to uncover disagreements. But what are some of the things most of us can actually agree on?
- How can we actually implement good solutions that serve all of us?
Such an organization should do something radical: Actually listen to all sides, and evaluate ideas and their potential impact.
In a nutshell, this is what we want to do. We want to:
- Evaluate what’s in the best interest of most Americans, with a view toward having a sustainable future;
- Educate people on what our best options are;
- Stimulate: Empower our members with ways to make a positive difference both in their own lives and in our communities and our country; and
- Legislate: Eventually, to be able to lobby for what’s in the best interest of the American people, giving a combined voice to our members.
But we can only do this with an actual organization, with many members who will each bring a little bit of strength to our combined efforts.
That’s why I’m inviting you to join us. And it’s free to do so. While we anticipate having members who contribute financially, you don’t have to give money to be a member of ABetterAmerica.org.
If you care about the future of our country, please join us, and lend your voice to the cause.
1Americans’ opinion of whether the country is on the right or wrong tracK: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/direction_of_country-902.html