Danial B. Jeffs, founder
The Direct Democracy Center

Dan Jeffs has worked in the criminal justice system for many years. He is a fiercely independent voter, and the author of America's Crisis: Democracy and Education and three novels. Dan's passion for real democracy grew out of running for public office and writing his first novel, Black Robes on White Horses, which is disturbing account of the Supreme Court gaining absolute power in the country. His search for a solution for too much government and not enough democracy resulted in founding the Direct Democracy Center.


FOUNDER'S FILE Continued on- PAGE 3

Commentary by Daniel B. Jeffs,
founder of The Direct Democracy Center



Our Democratic Republic is steeped in Crisis


EYE ON THE PRIZE - October 14, 2002

Dan Rather Ought to be Ashamed - October 5, 2002




2002 ELECTION RESULTS - November 6, 2002



Our Democratic Republic is steeped in Crisis
by Daniel B. Jeffs, founder
The Direct Democracy Center

Whether our form of government is referred to as a democracy or a republic, by any definition, the democratic republic of the United States of America is steeped in crisis, fear and uncertainty. The questionable results of our evolution is not what the Founders, nor what all those who participated in the founding and ratification of our Constitution, intended by any stretch of the imagination. Indeed, the Constitution was never meant to be a document of social, economic or political convenience.

Our unique constitutional government with power balanced between the legislative, executive and judicial branches was established in the sovereignty of the people with elected representatives responsible to them. The intention, as was aptly pointed out by Thomas Jefferson, was for state representatives, senators and the president to hold the common good above their own personal power.

After the Americans won the Revolutionary War, George Washington could have easily become king of America, but he refused. Even as the first president, Washington repeatedly warned that the presidency should not become too powerful, nor held too long by anyone. Jefferson worried that the federal judiciary would consolidate all power at the seat of government. And he said that the people should be educated to serve their responsibility as citizens.

Unfortunately, most of our elected representatives have become more concerned about their personal power, or the power of their party in a ridged two-party system, than they are about the common good of the people. The presidency has assumed far too much power and self-importance in the office holder over the good of the people. The federal judiciary has elevated its power from what was intended to be the weakest branch of government to the strongest, undermining the Constitution and legislating from the bench. And public education has failed in its responsibility to educate students to become productive members of society, and to fulfill their responsibilities as citizens.

Our government has been going through a metamorphosis that has usurped power from the states and from the people as the result of powerful selfish interests who transformed government into a giant monolith that continues to grow. What is most disturbing is that it could turn into what the Founders feared most: a government that would become as venal and oppressive as the one from which we separated in 1776. America was never meant to become an empire that will surely fail, just as every empire in history has fallen.

The only way to change the self-destructive course of our country -- a nation replete with the failures of good intentions, repeatedly wounded by social aggression, legal anarchy, contentious partisan politics and the power-mongering of the few -- is to educate ourselves, apply the political brakes, solve our problems with mutual understanding and cooperation, and to resolve the deeply-seeded problems of our society and our government with a constitutional amendment requiring nonpartisan elections, limited government and more democracy.

Return to top

Published in the New York Times - October 16, 2002

As a former criminal investigator, I know that forensic science is often vital to, but not the cure-all for, criminal investigations. When it comes to investigating this sniper, an arbitrary killer of innocent people going about their daily lives, law enforcement faces enormous odds against catching what can surely be called a clandestine terrorist.

The investigative imagination, law enforcement synergy, dogged police work and public vigilance that are present in the sniper case will most likely stop and solve these crimes and bring the person or persons responsible to justice -- not unreasonable super-sleuth expectations or saturation coverage by the news media.

Return to top

EYE ON THE PRIZE - October 14, 2002

Former president Clinton must be tight-jawed and biting his lip over Jimmy Carter beating him out for the Nobel Peace Prize. But he shouldn't feel bad because the sanctimonious Nobel Committee only awarded Carter the prize to spite President Bush's saber-rattling over Iraq.

That aside, Clinton still has a chance at a legacy because he's in the running to win the distinction of being the worst president of the 20th century. And if he keeps up what he's doing, he might even overcome Carter as the worst former president.

The point is, our government was established with the intention that neither the president, nor any other elected official should put their personal power or ambitions above the common good of the people. Among other things, Carter's meddling and Clinton's dishonesty serve as glaring examples of what has seriously infected government in America.

Return to top

Dan Rather Ought to be Ashamed - October 5, 2002

CBS News 60 Minutes II anchor, Dan Rather ought to be ashamed for unjournalistically assuming the role of another excuse master for Bill Clinton's misadministration by using two former Clinton terrorism advisors and their opportunistic book, The Age of Sacred Terror (aired October 2nd), to demonize former FBI Director Louis Freeh as the scapegoat responsible for failing to prevent the attack on America.

At a time when September 11th finger pointers and excuse makers are running rampant, we should remember that it was Clinton's self-obsession and his administration of inept appointees, shallow politicos and immature zealots -- including most of his Cabinet and department heads -- who were responsible for erosion within government security agencies and bureaus, and for terrorism against the United States getting completely out of hand.

And lest we forget, Clinton failed visit the 1993 World Trade Center bombing site and he would not meet face to face with CIA Director James Woolsey. Nor should we forget that he and his attorney general, Janet Reno had the overall responsibility for the FBI, but she was committed to Clinton's timely puppetry, untimely arrogance, defensive inaction and lack of communications.

Regardless of Clinton's self-imposed personal problems, or what his people did or failed to do, when it comes to the security of the American people, no president has an excuse for failing to provide it.

Return to top

Letter published in the Los Angeles Times - October 2, 2002

Even though America is steeped in uncertainty about terrorism and the economy, and the majority of our people favor action against Iraq, we are bound in limbo by powerful minority forces, to wit: meddling news media opposing an attack on Iraq, yet scrambling for war scenarios they might cover; an indecisive, cowardly Congress with rogue members playing footsie with Saddam Hussein; posturing politicians throwing national security to the wind for political gain; unconscionable countries such as France, Germany and Russia posing as allies while turning their backs on us in favor of their selfish interests with Iraq; and, of course, that impotent fraud called the United Nations. Meanwhile, we seem to be stalemated, waiting for that infamous other shoe -- loaded with who knows what? -- to drop.

Return to top

October 1, 2002

Frankly, I am appalled by the posturing politics of the Democratic congressmen who visited Iraq with what could be considered a "giving aid and comfort to the enemy" agenda bordering on treasonous conduct. Rep. David Bonior and Rep. Jim McDermott, aka, the "Baghdad Boys" are treading on dangerous ground and playing fast and loose with the security of the United States and the American people. Certainly, they have the right to be active and express their opinions about taking action against Iraq but they should do it from home, not from Baghdad. Indeed, they should know better than to play the game with a proven deceiver and manipulator like Saddam Hussein. But they don't when it comes to damaging Bush and gaining seats in Congress at any cost. In this new era of treachery and terrorism, we need wisdom, not politcal wise guys. This isn't as simple as taking down Newt Gingrich. It's real and many lives are at stake. Shame on them.


As opposing sides immerse themselves in the debate over whether or not to attack Iraq, we should consider the ugly reality of being alone, along with Israel, as the long term target of terrorist attacks with few options other than launching measured counterattacks for at least as long as our dependency on Middle East oil exists.

Alas, the quagmire is frighteningly immeasurable and, regardless of the 2002 elections, it's no time for selfish interests, partisan politics and shallow agendas to affect our national security. Indeed, it's time for us to hold those who fail to do the right thing, accountable -- in no uncertain terms.

Return to top

September 25, 2002

The way the debate over invading Iraq is shaping up, there seems to be little difference between those who want proof that Saddam Hussein is a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States and those who still want proof that Osama bin Laden is responsible for the September 11th attack on America.

Remembering September 11th a year later did little to change partisan politics and selfish interests in the United States and around the world. Instead, it has made things worse as evidenced by Canada and Mexico being the latest to express their opposition to action against Iraq.

What's going on here? Why are Russia and France signing contracts with Iraq to explore the world's largest oil field? Is former Iraq weapons inspector Scott Ritter playing with treason? Why are so many in the news media openly opposed to removing the threat? Why has the United Nations never been effective? Why is the Congress so hesitant to make a decision? Is President Bush right or wrong about Iraq? He's right, of course.

But it seems as though whenever we try to protect ourselves and others around the world, we're demonized for we do and condemned for what we don't do. If we don't deal with Saddam Hussein and Iraq now, we will certainly have to deal with him later, with substantially more to lose. Clearly, he will not hesitate to use weapons of mass murder any way he can. We didn't deal with Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda when we could have, and it resulted in attacks on America leading to and including September 11th.

Lest we forget, the Iraq's military was easily defeated in the Gulf War. They surrendered in mass and were happy not to fight. Saddam's army and his people really don't want to fight it out. Clearly, the people would rather be liberated.

Meanwhile, it's highly disturbing to know that our neighbors so easily abandon us, and that Europe and Asia have shamefully short memories, especially when it was America who saved the freedom of both in World War II and beyond.

Indeed, while we remember the horrific events of September 11th, we should never forget those who were with us and those who were against us during these terrible times. And that includes anti-American Americans who should know better.

Return to top

2002 ELECTION RESULTS - November 6, 2002

The results of the 2002 elections is clear and convincing, but ugly, evidence of how our government has been bought and paid for by hardliners of the liberal and conservative two-party system who have squeezed out most, if not all moderate and independent candidates and thinkers from the political arena.

Partisan manipulators who target moderate candidates with contempt, so do at their own peril. Independent voters comprise not only a majority, as compared to voters who identify with Democrats or Republicans, they also decide most elections. Indeed, the further moderate candidates for election or re-election stray from the center and join liberal or conservative party-line polarization, even more voters will either leave the two-party system and register as independent voters, or register as independent first time voters, simply out of disgust for attack politics in what is clearly being perceived as uncompromising government, stagnated and disabled by irreconcilable bickering.

As a former Republican, and independent voter since 1992, I am deeply concerned by the how increasingly casual and polarizing "politics as usual" has become, particularly when America is steeped in social and economic uncertainty, and under the gun of all sorts of terrorism.

Those who naively and stupidly profess that moderates believe in nothing and turn voters off, that polarization leads to healthy debates, and that more ideologues are needed in government should think again, if that's possible. Most independent voters are passionately opposed to demagogues, rudely irresponsible politics and grossly inept government that costs much more than we should have to pay in lives, security, economics, taxes and freedom.

Regardless of the results of the 2002 mid-term elections, or the results of the 2004 presidential elections, partisans should not get too comfortable with the power and arrogance of the two-party system. Instead, they should be forewarned that there will surely come a time when independent voters rise up from the trenches of democracy and claim the sovereignty of the American people. It's simply a matter of survival.

Return to top


According to a recent article by Ayn Rand Institute writer, Alex Epstein, democracy, voting and majority rule are dirty words, especially when it comes to protecting our individual rights. Mr. Epstein is wrong, particularly when he infers that majority rule is responsible for restricting our individual freedoms. In fact, it has been the tyranny of minority rule that has impacted everything and everyone, simply because our unique constitutional republic that was supposed to protect our rights has been compromised by the courts and all but ignored by our elected representatives. The real problem is that we do not have enough representation, democracy or majority rule.

Mr. Epstein is reaching when he says that "because a free society requires a certain type of government, it is a means of installing the officials who will safeguard the individual rights of each citizen," then concludes that "This Election Day, therefore, we should reject those who wish to reduce our republic to mob rule. Instead, we should vote for those, to whatever extent they can be found, who are defenders of the essence of America: individual freedom."

That would be ideal if the Libertarian Party, known defenders of individual rights and property rights, had enough members and independent voters to challenge the two-party system. But the system is too firmly entrenched for any third party to mount such an effort. Though the two-party system is not part of the Constitution, the Republican and Democratic parties evolved from the old English Whig and Tory parties, as did the basics of our constitutional government. The only difference is that we have an elected president instead of a king (some would argue that point). We have a senate that closely resembles the aristocracy of the House of Lords. We have a House of Representatives that resembles the House of Commons. We both have national court systems. And we now have a constitution that has become almost as complicated (by the Supreme Court) as the constitution of England at the time we separated.

What is most troubling about our representative democracy system of government evolved is, rather than having the best of us representing the rest of us, it seems as though most people who seek election or re-election to public office are doing it for all the wrong reasons: Personal power, influence and fame. Why else would anyone want a modest paying job, with great responsibility and little security, wherein they must constantly seek and satisfy campaign contributors, tow the line of their political party, and who find it difficult, if not impossible, to adequately represent those to whom they are responsible. The people.

Even those who get elected with the best of intentions and sense of civic duty in mind soon find themselves seduced by the power and influence of what has become a self-corrupting system. Unfortunately, what the "system" has become too often betrays the people, who are what this democratic republic is supposed to be all about.

So, we as voters find ourselves in the perpetual dilemma of a small "d" democracy where we are left with few choices, other than choosing the lesser of evils, in a two-party system that heavily favors incumbents, with little or no evidence of whether candidates are seeking public service or public power.

What is even more disturbing is that in these times of increasing fear, anxiety, uncertainty and voter cynicism, people are rapidly losing faith, trust and confidence in representatives who are elected by little more than half of eligible voters and often less than half of registered voters who vote. Indeed, the reason people don't vote is not apathy. Rather, it is because they feel disenfranchised and helpless in the face powers beyond their control, along with a sense that their votes really don't matter.

Surely, it's time for the people to seek the big "D" of more participation in democracy. In this age of vastly improved communications and information technology, we should have computer voting networks connected to voter's homes. Networks wherein voters could become better informed and participate in the democratic election process, in much greater numbers, with informed decisions.

Of course, the thought of real democracy frightens those in power, and that is why they have increasingly miseducated people about democracy. Anti-democracy advocates have been hanging on to their views since the inception of the Constitution when Madison argued against democracy in Federalist 10, which over time escalated into the worn-out notion of the tyranny of the majority, often called a "mobaucracy" in political circles and institutions of education. And that's why people argue that we are a republic, not a democracy.

The problem with that argument is a matter of political convenience. Even though people say that we are a republic rather than a democracy, by any definition, we are a democratic republic of representative democracy. And the problem with that is, politicians and others in power say that this is a democracy when they want the approval or support of the people, but say this is a republic when they don't, or they decide to do what they want, regardless of the common good or what the people want.

Tyranny of the majority is nonsense. However, the tyranny of the minority is real and going on every day in America. It's practiced by powerful special interest groups of every description, and by the two-party system, wherein neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party represent the majority of the people, yet they control elections and government, and they use majority rule in the Congress as outlined by the Constitution to get what they want, even though there is seldom, if ever, a real majority involved.

Finally, Mr. Epstein went beyond the pale with the outrageous statement about majority rule that reduced the democracy of Ancient Athens to the populous electing "to kill Socrates for voicing unpopular ideas" and then went on to compare it with "...Germany in 1932, when the people democratically elected the Nazi Party, including future Chancellor Adolph Hitler.

If anything, we and Mr. Epstein could learn valuable lessons from the origin of democracy and the first democratic constitution in Athens over 2500 years ago. The Athenian concept of democracy was based on the premise that nobody is as capable of making decisions in a person's interest as that person himself, and that members of a community are in the best position to understand and act upon their common interests. Citizens participated in every major decision of the state because the first democracy was a direct democracy, and it built one of the greatest civilizations in history.

Certainly, with America's long and ongoing history of government empire building, freedom and voting are both at stake. Therefore, if we hope to hang on to liberty, the meaning of individual freedom and the will to make them better, we must realize that it cannot done without the people participating freely in democracy.

Rather than staking our hopes on a third party, we should encourage the type of spontaneous democracy that occurred in 1992 as the result of Ross Perot's candidacy for president. Though Perot was a thorough disappointment who only wanted to become king of America, the idea millions of people latched on to it when it happened, was that we, not special interests or government, were the owners of the country. The question now is, are we? And are we willing to take it back with more democracy?

When Perot ran for president, millions of people registered and re-registered as independent voters, and the numbers of independent voters have been growing ever since. We simply need quality independent candidates to vote for. That is the way to break the back of the two-party system, bring government under control and protect our individual liberty from the tyranny of the minority.

To those who think that the powers of the system will never let that happen, consider this: It could be accomplished in several ways: Encourage sincere nonpartisan independent candidates with the means to qualify for ballots to run for office and get elected. Pursue the right of voter initiatives in all the states that don't already have the process (about half the states do). Propose state constitutional amendment voter initiatives to establish voting networks with more democracy. And then push for an amendment to the United States Constitution.

What we need to protect our security, our individual rights and the common good is a constitutional amendment establishing a form of direct representative democracy, with voting networks to elect highly qualified, well compensated professional nonpartisan government managers, instead of professional, power hungry politicians, wherein truthfully informed voters would decide matters of taxation and major public policy. The voters would not micro-manage government. That would be left to the elected government managers, who would have to be confirmed by the voters every two or three years to remain in office. That's big "D" democracy and big "L" liberty, with big "V" voting.

Return to top