THIS COULD BE THE SECOND BEST SELF-HELP BOOK EVER WRITTEN
THE FIRST WAS COMMON SENSE BY THOMAS PAINE
AMERICA'S CRISIS: The Direct Democracy and Direct Education Solution Author: Daniel B. Jeffs, founder The Direct Democracy Center Publisher: Hard Shell Word Factory October 2000 CONTENTS Introduction: Solution to America's Crisis: A Simple Amendment Chapter 1. State of the Union The 2000 elections and the two-party system The people are kept ignorant and insignificant The injustice system Chapter 2. Declaration of Independence Thomas Paine's American dream Civics lesson on government Are we a democracy or a republic? Crushing history and free speech Chapter 3. Enlightening Experiences Stomping on democracy Direct Democracy in our Town Crushing history and free speech Chapter 4. Change of the Political Guard 1994 Partisan terrorism, 1996 style The Direct Democracy Center Debate with an educator? Constitutional crisis, 1998-1999 style Partisan politics and the two-party system Author's petitions to the Supreme Court End the two-party system Chapter 5. Comparisons of the way America was and the way we are The debate begins with a gagged public Real democracy from C-Span Our Titanic dilemma. Common sense tells us we must complete the American Revolution. Chapter 6. The First Democracy Why representative democracy failed Aristotle's Types of States Chapter 7. What's so bad about the way things are? Economic euphoria and political irresponsibility History could repeat itself Corporate America and the monopoly factor Economic Dilemma The Internet and the revolution Free speech abuses Chapter 8. Big government and the two-party system is bad government Paine would say finish the revolution Elements of direct democracy Voter initiatives and referendums Uninformed polling fraud No more campaign finance corruption Chapter 9. The tyranny of the majority is nonsense Voter apathy is another myth Tyranny of the minority is real Society gaps The Kennedy legacy The next generation Generation of people power Chapter 10. Superficial society of selfish interests and extremes Who do you trust? The direct democracy of citizen home rule Liberals, moderates and conservatives Citizen coalition of the vote What worries us and what we can do about it Chapter 11. The political trail of the 1992 elections leads to direct democracy Beating up on Clinton And Hillary too The China syndrome The John McCain factor Judgement Year 2000 The legacy of Thomas Paine The Pericles connection Chapter 12. Who will our leaders and heroes be? The media decides elections and influences public policy The Elian Gonzales factor We're up against the new elite establishment Super citizens on the information highway The Ventura-Perot factor Chapter 13. An amendment for all the people Public airways and the news media Wake the sleeping giant of democracy Direct democracy is inevitable Speak the language and get results Turn the media and government around Repeal the income tax amendment Establish a fair sales tax Chapter 14. Break government's destructive monopoly on education It's time for school choice and privatization of education It's the curriculum stupid! Chapter 15 Direct education is inevitable - Do it now! Direct education books Relief from property taxes Chapter 16 The fraud of higher education Our experiences with education Imagination and common sense Bibliography Appendix A. The proposed 28th Amendment B. Petition for the proposed 28th Amendment C. State model ballot initiative amendment D. Supreme Court petitions for nonpartisan government E. Author's letters to the editor published in major newspapersINTRODUCTION (excerpt)
SOLUTION TO AMERICA'S CRISIS: A Simple Amendment
DIRECT DEMOCRACY AND DIRECT EDUCATION
THE GREAT EQUALIZERS
Crisis in America runs so deep and wide that it simply cannot be entirely explained in one book. But I'll do the best I can, including what I'm convinced is the solution.
America is steeped in uncertainty, enveloped in a fading democracy and weakened by the lack of education. Through the last half of this century our society has been assaulted by selfish interests and battered by the failures of good intentions. We have been subjected to political terrorism, social aggression, legal anarchy and media-driven chaos. Our public schools have become factories of ignorance and warehouses of violence. Yet through it all the vast majority of us have remained silent.
We are now in a crisis and in danger of losing democracy. We've lost our voice in government, education and almost everything else in society. But we have now entered the age of communications and information technology. We have the Internet, and with it, we are discovering democracy all over again.
Unless the power of electronic democracy is taken away from us, the Internet can make direct democracy and direct education possible, even inevitable. Rapid advances in network technology means that voting networks and education networks could be connected to all of our homes. But unless we make it happen sooner than later we run the risk of losing democracy entirely.
Our democratic republic is supposed to be based on maintaining a balance between order and freedom. The Constitution intended government to be strong enough to preserve order, but to leave society free enough to prevent tyranny. Over the last half of the 20th century a silent crisis has developed in America that has seriously upset that balance. Too many people and factions have abused their freedoms at the expense of the tolerant majority. As a result, government has become too reactionary, too tyrannical and too large. The causes and effects are obvious, yet clouded by the growing intensity of the problems we face.
Most of what the people know about the conditions in America is what they are exposed to through the news media and entertainment. Most of what people really know about is through their personal experiences. Things may or may not appear to be all that bad, but when it comes to the real condition of our society, it's much worse.
The news media and entertainment industries show us little more than endless dramas of tragedies, victims and survivors to play upon our compassion. They feed on our passion with sex, our anger with outrage and our fears with violence. And they create and exploit instant celebrities with highly competitive mass marketing. The corporate news media and entertainment industries combined are, indeed, a vast wasteland. It doesn't matter what they tell us. It only matters what they can sell us.
The media fills television and radio with talking heads speaking volumes and saying nothing. Even worse, they punch the hot buttons of controversy at every opportunity, inciting public outrage and encouraging reactionary government responses with bad politics and bad laws...