Direct Democracy Rights
© by Stephen Neitzke, 2006 I've frequently laid out these eight direct democracy rights in earlier writings. Most recently, they were included in the piece, "Extraordinary Rights Of Americans".
Collectively, the DD rights give the people the power to minimize corruption. Those who depend on corruption to make their excessive profits don't like the DD rights. To them, any direct democracy is excessive democracy -- and that includes fair elections.
Pre-revolution Americans, adults in the 1760s and 1770s, demanded "the tradtional rights of Englishmen" from the abusive British govt. That demand was the ordinary people's driving force of the gathering revolution.
When Jefferson wrote our founding principles into the Declaration of Independence (DOI), he held up a mirror to the rights that Americans had really wanted for decades. Those were rights far beyond the traditional rights of Englishmen. They were, in fact, the extraordinary rights of Americans -- and they were, by God, worth fighting for.
Vox populi, vox dei, echos out of the ancient Roman Republic. The voice of the people is the voice of God. God's voice is not the voice of deceit, not the voice those most likely to vote, not the voice of charlatans or demagogues -- but the full voice of all the citizens, sometimes measured in consensus, somethimes measured in ballots. It was a key part of Roman gravitas, and it was a widely known concept to ordinary Americans in the pre-Revolution years.
Seven extraordinary governance principles can be derived from Jefferson's Declaration of Independence. The eight DD governance rights that give voice and process to those extraordinary governance principles stand legitimized in many state constitutions.
None of those DD rights are written into our national constitution. None of the eight DD rights is peacefully available to the people at the national level. The political dynamic that springs from our Constitution even limits the DD right of electing representatives. The rabble are not to be trusted. Only the right people must be allowed to elect presidents and vice presidents. The Electoral College is made of the right people. By definition, whatever corruption they perpetrate is right.
The pure representative government that springs from the Constitution was, and is, counter-revolutionary.
One of the breathtakingly powerful argument-sets supporting the necessity of our having all eight DD governance rights at every jurisdictional level in the nation is the 1863 emancipation of slaves -- and its murderous aftermath.
The emancipation's underpinning was the DOI's statement, "all men are created equal", leveraged against the Constitution's freedom of and from religion -- which negated the Bible's unexamined condoning of slavery in its historically pre-modern societies. In the early 1860s, Jefferson's 1776 extraordinary rights of Americans reached out of the Declaration of Independence and into the Constitution -- and drove the emancipation.
However, the mega-corrupt, pure rep govts, state and national, would not begin to protect African-American rights. Few made any effort at all. And without the eight direct democracy governance rights promised in the DOI, African-Americans were politically helpless.
Grant, as president, gave up trying to protect African-American rights in the early 1870s. The KKK ran freely above the law and murderously out of control. African-Americans paid with their lives -- living while black, tortured while black, dead while black.
Then, the mega-corrupt major political parties staged their ballot-count and Electoral College fraud in Election 1876. To break the political party gridlock, major players of both parties got together and made an evil deal. They mutually promised no enforcement of the recently passed 15th Amendment (the right of blacks to vote) in return for ending Reconstuction in the south, and in return for putting Republican Rutherford Hayes into the White House. It was the much-ballyhooed, falsely bi-partisan, "Compromise of 1876".
It was no "compromise" at all. It was a business deal paid for with African-American lives.
Of course, the promise of no 15th Amendment enforcement remained secret for a long time. Publicly, the great "Compromise" resulted in the re-uniting of elites North and South -- to make tons of money together. Publicly, it ended the hardships of Reconstruction. Privately, it gave the KKK unlimited freedom to do whatever they wanted to African-Americans.
It was another murderous treason against the nation -- brokered by the major political parties and maintained by pure representative government -- for the benefit of the superrich, their corporate sleaze, and the predator politicians.
Is this starting to sound familiar?
Presidential administrations of both parties were true to their no-15th-Amendment promise for over 60 years, until well into the FDR presidency. African-Americans were denied the right to vote with all sorts of restrictions. They were left politically helpless throughout the South. This, while white supremacists of the KKK shot, lynched, burned-out, and tortured to death any African-American who annoyed them. This, while the white supremacists of the KKK shot, lynched, and burned-out hundreds of African-Americans in each of their phony, "race riots", staged in many US cities into the 1920s and 1930s.
The Civil Rights Act of 1965 marks a tremendous change in the nation's legal climate regarding African-Americans. But, in 2006, we're still not done with bigoted hate crimes. The über-bigots of the white supremacy groups still have hatred enough to represent lethal threat.
The superrich still have contempt enough for all the rabble. Their PNAC-driven and unconstitutional invasion of Iraq, their war crimes and crimes against humanity, and their torture/murder gulag, fueled by "rendention" and secret CIA prison camps are blatant, lethal contempt. Less blatant, but just as lethal are the 400,000 American lives lost every year to nicotene poisoning; the million-plus American lives lost every year to untreated atherosclerosis, while EDTA chelation, the safe preventative and cure, is actively suppressed by the medicrat sleaze and pure rep govt predators, while doctors rush the public into unnecessary $100,000 open-heart surgeries and other unnecessary procedures: and the millions of poor children who lose their minds' potential to malnutrition every year.
The societal losses, so that predators can have more profits and more power, are immeasurable and unconscionable. This is species-juvenile governance.
Without fully independent, sovereign citizen lawmaking melded to a properly regulated representative government, all ordinary people are politically helpless.
The bigots have shifted from lynching's political intimidation to more subtle denials of voting rights -- read, Diebold hack-o-matics and Rove-style orchestrations of dirty tricks -- but, subtle or not, the major political parties are still keeping the rabble down and keeping the right people up. We have more than enough reasons to ban political parties from any governmental activity. We have more than enough reasons to create a completely nonpartisan representative government.
The corruptions and fraud grow with every technology. Black, red, white, latino, whatever, are cross-pressured out of politics by unkept promises and blatant corruption. Those who remain -- the servile to this massively failed system of governance -- are voting-manipulated until there is no truth, no certainty, nothing even approaching a fair election of representatives.
Had all eight DD governance components been a part of our Constitution in 1787 -- as they should have been, given that American patriots had just fought a Revolution for them -- our own Aftrican-Americans might have been emancipated long before 1863. There might not have been a Civil War.
There sure-as-hell would NOT have been the murderous, hundred-year aftermath of the 1863 emancipation -- while elites South and North got together to make obscenely excessive profits.
So here they are. These eight DD governance rights are already standing legal facts of constitutional law in many US states, thanks to the citizen action groups of the early 1900s. The DD rights are a legacy from the Reform Era, hands down the greatest democracy movement of recorded history. Their mix with representative government is a republican form of government intrinsic to the Constitution, according to many of our highest courts in Reform Era rulings, and later. They need to be cleaned up in the I&R states, where they are unconstitutionally controlled for the benefit of the predators. They need to be made fully independent of state govt interference. But they are sitting there, safely locked away in constitutional law, ready for our use against today's mega-corruption.
The eight DD governance rights are the greatest anti-corruption package ever constructed by humankind. We shouldn't squander the legacy.
We shouldn't wonder that the predators will tell any lie, break any law, spend any amount of money, or divide any civil society against itself with the vilest depravities to prevent even one nation more than Switzerland from gaining the DD rights.
The American DD governance rights self-organize into three categories.
(1) The people's direct election of all representatives; done in open, fair, and peer-reviewed referendums called 'elections', and
- Administrative functions:
(2) the people's recall of a public official's election who has violated the public trust or simply offended too many citizens; done by petition process.
(3) The people's constitutional amendment initiative, to propose amendments to our consitutions without government interference; done by petition process;
(4) the people's statute law initiative, to propose statute law without government interference; done by petition process;
(5) the people's statute law veto, now known as the "referendum" (should be changed to the "remand" to minimize confusion with referendum-the-vote), to reject statute law made by representative government; done by petition process; and
(6) the people's statute law affirmation to bar government from amending a law that the people do not want changed; done by petition process.
(7) The legislature's statute law referral to the people's referendum, and
(8) the legislature's constitutional amendment referral to the people's referendum.
First, get over the anti-DD propaganda that the Constitution's authors are our "founding fathers". Our founding fathers are the war-hallowed patriots who put their lives and meager family fortunes at risk, 1775-1783, so that they and their progeny would have the direct democracy rights promised in the Declaration of Independence.
We are a nation of dual foundings. The 1787 Constitution's authors are the founding elitists of the unconstitutionally ratified political dynamic that buried the DOI's direct democracy rights in Machiavellian deceits and over-vague provisions to be adjudicated by class-driven judges. They nailed us with an elites-favoring governance that strips us of five of the eight DD governance rights for which our patriots fought and died in the cause of Independence. Using the Roman Republic's 400 years as the eternal model for 'republic' -- with its sovereign citizen lawmaking mixed with rep govt -- the Constitution's authors gave us an elitist half-republic, when a full republic had been promised and fought for.
The Constitution's authors usurped the extraordinary rights of Americans given to us in the Declaration of Independence and hallowed on our battlefields. The Constitution's authors were elitist bigots keeping the rabble down -- true to their class, not to their nation. They were counter-revolutionaries in service to the class-race elite and the opportunity of all elites to get obscenely excessive social, economic, and political power at the expense of the ordinary people.
The slavery that the Constitution's authors re-instituted had only one face for them -- immense profits for elites, South and North.
Second, the last two DD components, the legislature's referrals to the people, are badly abused. State legislatures frequently stage theatre to playact how they're unable to pass a bill that has great pro-people provisions in it. Then they pawn it off on the people to pass in a referendum. When someone outside the good ol' boys corruption club gets around to reading the fine print, the pro-people provisions pale in comparison to the anti-people, pro-predators provisions that again rape and butcher ordinary people for profits. The people have cut their own throats, making constitutional law for the corrupt psychopaths who use that law to butcher the people. Treasonous deceit by another mega-corrupt state govt widens and deepens the multi-branch abyss between rich and poor -- again.
But don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Those same now-abused referrals are worth their weight in gold if we can turn the legislatures into pro-people institutions. Then the referrals become a part of top-down lawmaking that can truly benefit the people. Contrary to popular opinion, professional lawmakers can be good for the people. We see the phenom in Swiss lawmaking routinely. The 1999 Swiss constitution, probably the best on the planet, was done after a two-year deliberation by the people on provisions written by their pro-people Parliament.
See my States DD Chart for which US states have the leguslature's statute law referral. Not all do.
Forty-nine of the fifty states have the legislature's constitutional amendment referral. Delaware is the only state in which the sovereign people are prohibited from voting their consent on a constitutional amendment. In Delaware, only the predator politicians are allowed to alter the state's constitution. How freaking insane is that? How much does that contradict the DOI's promise of "consent of the governed"?
Third, the statute law affirmation is constitutional law in only one state -- Nevada. But it's track record shows that it is a valuable adjunct to the sovereign people's ultimate authority.
The provision has only been used by Nevada citizens five times since its inception in 1908. Its last use, in 1990, put the society's predators on notice that Nevada citizens will not tolerate the violation of human rights.
In 1990, after about two years of gathering noise in Nevada's corrupt legislature, the predator politicians moved on a bill to outlaw abortion in violation of Roe v. Wade. A few small women's organizations, aided by Republican legislator Sue Wagner, filed a petition for a statute law affirmation, what Nevada calls a "referendum on existing state law". If approved, the petition would freeze in place the then-current Nevada laws on abortion -- which were a balancing act between permitting abortion and counseling to avoid abortion, and widely approved of in Nevada civil society.
Most importantly, approval of the petition would mean that Nevada's abortion laws were put permanently off-limits to the legislature. Only a referendum by the all the voters could amend the abortion laws. It's called a "see us first" provision. The legislature could write amendment language and refer it to the people for approval, but they could do no amending or repealing on their own.
The petition quickly gained more than enough signatures to qualify it for the Election 1990 ballot.
As the election neared, the CSM (corporate sleaze media) trumpeted all sorts of deceits and anti-DD propaganda about how the people would reject this attempt to violate the political system given to them by the magnificient and omniscent "founding fathers". The CSM scum pond sloshed every day with new anti-abortion statements by pillars of the community and polls of galactic importance, showing overwhelming support for the anti-abortion cause.
In the coffee shops, bars, sports clubs, hair dressing salons, church basement "socials", and wherever else citizens gathered informally, the CSM became a huge source of entertainment and laughs. I was a Reno resident at the time. As the election neared, the people's sense of who and what they believed became more focused and sharper. Clearly, the majority sided with women's rights.
The "referendum on existing state law" was approved by 63.5 percent of those voting. 201,004 voted yea. 115,707 voted nay.
For weeks after the election, the CSM just vibrated with disbelief and predictions that representative government would collapse. The anti-DD propaganda became more intense in the post-mortem than it had been before the election.
What actually happened, however, was that the overheated emotions of extremists on both sides of the abortion issue simply evaportated. The legislature's predators moved on to other, quieter corruptions. And, suddenly, the civil society was ticking along again, taking care of its families and rightful business as usual. The peacefulness, the lack of hourly stress and strife, was palpable.
The sovereign people and their DD governance right of the statute law affirmation had settled the issue. Women's rights under Roe v. Wade were not violated. The Nevada balancing-act abortion laws, still one of the best compromises known for all concerned, stood unmolested by ideology and corruption.
Fourth, the CAI -- the constitutional amendment initiative -- is the most powerful of the DD governance components. It is held by the citizens of 18 states. It rightfully puts the sovereign people's law straight into the constitution, where predator politicians cannot alter it. It is the hallmark of the people's sovereignty.
It says, We are the sovereign people and this is our law. Those of you whom we elect or appoint to office are public servants, not public masters, because you cannot formulate law and put it directly into the constitution. All you do legally is done with powers that we delegate to you, none of which gives you sovereignty, regardless of your deceitful claims to "representative sovereignty".
It's not just a reality for the 18 states having the CAI. The people's sovereignty, our power to put law directly into the constitution, based on binding referendums, is legal reality in every state constitution except Delaware's. In Delaware, the sovereign people are buried by representative usurpation. Citizens are barred from giving their rightful, direct consent to constitutional amendments.
The sovereign people are also barred from directly consenting to constitutional amendments to the national Constitution. How freaking insane is that? How much does that contradict the Declaration of Independence's "consent of the governed"?
(Modified Tue 20 Jun 2006, 9:15am)