America's social contract can be reborn like a phoenix
Phoenix Congress 2020 PAC seeks swing voters to support proposed legislation to address MLK's triple evils of poverty, racism, and militarismIn the 21st century, we don't need to elect champions to sit a single room in D.C. and negotiate. The American people can collaborate across the internet and produce better results.”— Brian WintersCONCORD, NH, USA, August 2, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Nearly 40 million Americans, a third of them children, would be lifted above the poverty line with legislation proposed by a new Super PAC. The legislative package, known as the Blueprint for a Better America, seeks to implement universal basic income of $300 per week, reform the criminal justice system, and reduce military spending.
Phoenix Congress 2020 PAC, founded by Brian Winters, a former New Hampshire state legislator, looks to bypass the gridlock of Washington D.C. by reversing the traditional model for enacting legislative reforms. By writing legislation and publicizing it prior to the election, voters could know exactly what to expect from elected officials when they cast their ballot. Typically, candidates for office make promises that go unfulfilled, in part due to a legislative process often described as “herding cats.”
“In the 21st century, we don't need to elect champions to sit a single room in D.C. and negotiate,” Winters said. “The American people can collaborate across the internet and produce better results.” He noted that unfortunately, one of the easiest promises for candidates to keep was one of non-cooperation. “The ideology of both parties has largely devolved into opposing what the other proposes.”
There is some irony in the fact that the inspiration for this political framework comes from the non-cooperation movement launched in British India by Mohandas Gandhi on August 1, 1920. Gandhi utilized national days of fasting to unite his countrymen around a common goal, telling them “it ennobles individuals and nations,” when hundreds of thousands of people voluntarily abstain from food. Phoenix Congress 2020 PAC uses a similar opt-in model, inviting Americans to show support for ending poverty, ending mass incarceration, and ending the endless wars by participating in a 24-hour group fast on the 15th of each month, culminating October 15, 2020.
According to The New York Weekly, “To them [Phoenix Congress 2020 PAC], fasting shows a willingness to give something up, a required component in compromise. Gene Sharp, a Gandhian scholar who enumerated 198 nonviolent actions, described this tactic as “fasts of moral pressure.” It is also a rejection of the constant consumption in our cultural conditioning, which has been poisonous in American society.”
The legislative package seeks to eliminate poverty through universal basic income, styled as a jobs program. The creation of 300 million American Union Jobs would provide adults with an unconditional $300 per week, plus $100 per week for children. In 2019, the poverty line for an individual was $13,300, and $25,926 for a family of four, according to the US Census Bureau. The voluntary job duties, explained Winters, come from the opening words of the Constitution. “Establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity. In short, your American Union Job will be a regular reminder to be a better American.” Americans will also be able to buy health insurance through their American Union Job, creating a public option.
The first of these duties, to establish justice, drives the second part of the legislative proposal. The United States has the world's highest incarceration rates, with more than 2 million Americans currently in jails and prisons around the country. Utilizing sentencing reforms and sentence reviews, and building on the First Step Act signed by President Trump in 2018, the Phoenix Congress 2020 PAC hopes to draw support from the millions of families with a loved one trapped by the prison industrial complex.
America has exceeded its mandate, Winters explained about the duty to provide for the common defense. According to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the US spends more on defense than the next 10 countries budgets combined. Phoenix Congress 2020 PAC proposes spending cuts, as well as policy changes such as closing Guantanamo Bay Military Prison and ending the use of sanctions against civilian populations.
To achieve these goals, Phoenix Congress 2020 PAC invites Americans to join a block of swing voters, the American Union. Members of the Union agree to accept the five duties from the Preamble to the Constitution, donate $5 to the super PAC, and take a vow of self-improvement. “We make America better by starting with ourselves,” Winters said.
Similar to the 1994 Contract with America, the Blueprint for a Better America is a single legislative package offered to all federal candidates for office in the 435 Congressional districts, 35 Senate races, and for President of the United States. On October 15, 2020, all Americans are invited to participate in a national day of fasting to signal to accept the entire legislative package. When 3% of Americans pledge their votes, the group projects, they will be able to decide the balance of power between Republicans and Democrats. Candidates for federal office who want this support must participate in the fast as a pledge to enact the legislative package.
Based on candidate participation, a slate of endorsements covering all 471 races will be released. Incumbents who indicate their support will be expected to act prior to the election. “No credit or promises from politicians,” Winters said. “If Donald Trumps signs this legislative package on October 30, 2020, he will go down in history as the President who ended poverty, ended mass incarceration, and ended the endless wars. What a legacy that would be.”
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