Isn’t it an impossible task and a waste of time and money to get a Constitutional Amendment when there will be massive resistance from the money powers and the lawmakers themselves? Isn’t it hopeless?
We think a huge problem – the decline of America into a plutocracy and the true diminishment of our rights and power as a people – is so serious and so vast and forebodes such a bleak future that there is no alternative to a mass people’s movement to overwhelm the resistance. To NOT ACT is absolutely the most uncreative and faithless response possible. Every entrenched power structure in history that needed to be overthrown has been undone by a mass people’s movement. It won’t be different in this case.
On our side is the fact that mass mobilizations are so much easier in the Internet era. Look what happened in March with the SOPA bill to control the Internet – instant organizing via the web and defeat via mass emails to Congress. It took the Suffragettes 80 years to get their Amendment. We doubt it will take even eight years to get ours. Even before the Internet, Prohibition was removed in a few years once the populace mobilized against it.
By explaining the problems clearly and presenting some simple and easily executed steps to remedy them, we can speed up the process by increasing the size of the demand to get this task done. Make no mistake: no office-holders will be willing to give up private campaign funding voluntarily, unless they’re assured it will happen for everyone at the same time and that some kind of approximately level playing field will result. But the majority of public officials truly dislike the extent to which the constant pursuit of campaign funds has taken over their lives and their politics; they recognize the distortions caused by what has become very nearly an addiction, and we think will ultimately welcome an intervention from an outside source, especially if we make it clear their jobs are at stake.
But why try to do this with a Constitutional Amendment? There must be an easier path...
Not with any foreseeable Supreme Court. Campaign finance legislation of all kinds with any real bite has repeatedly been overturned by the Court, which has created new precedents in the process. Beyond this, the system was broken even before the Court went radically right, and well before the 2010 Citizens United decision giving corporations and billionaires unlimited election spending power. The system has simply gotten increasingly undemocratic and corrupt since the inception of radio and TV advertising and the ever-mounting and staggering costs of election campaigns.
The only real solution is not to play around the edge anymore. We need a fundamental change that will liberate lawmakers to work for the public good. And that reform is called a Constitutional Amendment leading to public financing of campaigns and lots of free air time for election debates on the public airwaves.
People will always seek influence and be susceptible to it...obviously we’re not going to remake the entire system. But we believe that it’s possible only through a Constitutional Amendment to drag our democracy back from its current precarious situation: its overwhelming, absolute, total and dangerous domination by money. And we know we can do it.
What about all the other groups doing this work? Why should we support Fix Our America?
We live in a complex society with many subcultures, niches and sectors. No single group reaches everyone or has the resources to do so. This is a big job and it takes a big cooperation and lots of players to get it done. It is simply not the case where any one group has it all together and every other organization becomes a “But.” Use the word “And” instead. United Republic is doing its piece, and Move to Amend is doing its piece, and Common Cause is doing its piece and Fix Our America is doing its piece. We each bring different strategies tactics, talents and resources to the table. Our specific agenda is targeting Americans who are not normally politically active and focusing solely on a mass advertising and social media campaign to brand the issue on behalf of all the reform organizations and using ads and social media to mobilize average people to let their lawmakers know how crucial this issue is to them.
Do you see Fix Our America as competitive with any of these groups?
No, only cooperative. We have joint venture discussions going with several organizations where we will bring our strengths to bear to help their tactical efforts that we don’t undertake ourselves. We actually function from the principle that it takes a Great Cooperation to get a rapid change in the Constitution without which we believe America will continue to decline, and seriously so, with greater numbers of people suffering and finding their opportunities drastically limited.
For example, just one important way we are bent on cooperation is that any TV spots or commercials we make will be made available to other reform organizations to tag with their logos if they want to buy the airtime or media space to get them before the public. Meanwhile, we expect to be purchasing a lot of airtime ourselves.
If I have limited funds to give, what would be your argument for providing it to Fix Our America rather than a better-known organization?
We are smart, creative guerillas in the field. We are the opposite of top-heavy with organization and staff. At most, we will end up with two or three employees; right now we have one. Almost all our funds, therefore, go to direct impact media. In other words, we are sharply focused on the one methodology that is absolutely crucial for success – and that is branding and advertising via mass media and social media in order to make the corruption of the election process untenable in people’s minds and drive a very simple citizen response: an email click once a month until the lawmakers are overwhelmed and in fear of losing their jobs.