So If I Was To Design A 21st Century Political Movement/Counterbalance…

Essay first published on Medium.

My goal would be to create something self contained, politically impenetrable, and separate from the current edifice rather than restructuring it. Speeding up reform is near impossible if we only use the political set up we have now. And, human-caused climate change is an existentially urgent pusher of the need for speed.

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Holding down the high temperature average on our planet to “only” a 1.5 degree celsius rise, requires a worldwide 98% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2040. To get anywhere near that is impossible with the political and corporate powered process we currently have.

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Yes, a 2.0 degree average rise is much worse: 37% of the world’s population is subject to severe heatwaves, about every five years; with a 1.5 degree rise, about a third less, or 14% are subject to those severe heatwaves. *And multiple other global warming influenced calamities throughout those years.

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For citizens of the world to push back enough to make a substantial difference, a huge green energy drive forward must be fully underway in the next 3 to 5 years. In the 21st century that kind of dramatic change would likely occur for just two reasons: violent revolution, or a series of extreme climatic stress events. The other option, is a swift and “severe”, yet peaceful restructuring of our current politically and financially powered system. Something Americans have done just once, from 1787–1788, transitioning from the Articles of Confederation to our current constitutional government.

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And the United States is the key part of this worldwide endeavor. That is because we have held, and turned the keys that have driven the world down this road towards climatic disaster. While China and India are raising the bar more rapidly than we did, their recent entry as great polluters will be barely a pinprick of what we have already done, still for many years into the future. Since America led everyone into this CO2 pile up, we are obligated to lead everyone out of it, if at all possible.

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The inability for the U.S. to come to grips with the damage we have done is likely to wear off on other nations. Our excuses are already legion, and our excesses, a lesion on this planet. Therefore, we must reform drastically to expect any serious reform from nations with a lower average of per person wealth. We must also help the poorer and smaller nations, where our negligent polluting has put them in harm’s way. While much easier said than done, all of this can be done.

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What Past Perspectives Offer The Future.

For the first 15 or 25 years of life, I perceived American Ingenuity as a real and tangible thing. As the years sped away, I may have thought of it fleetingly. At least 20 years ago, I saw and understood more viscerally how it was a puffed up chest, and stuffed shirt myth. Such myths are used to cover up the sloppiness, and arrogance of a people talking out of all sides of their mouths. We The People can do much better, but only if we unite effectively, and gain better control of the steering wheel.

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Today, the wink-and-nod bloviating that proliferates in talk about American Exceptionalism is suffocating. My father, RJC, had already seen it up close, and ugly when he worked with the Big 3 auto companies as a top engineer at Bendix in the 1950s and 1960s. One of the geniuses he collaborated with was a stubborn Australian who brought his ideas to America, which were promptly dissed and grifted by the Big 3 Bullies.

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Arthur Bishop’s Varamatic, or variable ratio, power steering concept was first used in the late 1950s, then a major advancement. RJC was heavily invested, in the U.S. as Chief of Power Steering, and consulting on the Jaguar team in England, as part of Bendix’s and Bishop’s steering project. At one point 20% of autos worldwide used a part Arthur had developed.

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Much of the money Arthur made came from suing over his patents, not by selling his engineering ideas. This is due to a prevalent nurtured, seemingly inherited, trait. When American corporations develop Exceptionalism arrogance a sense of superiority, and a lack of ethical competence, breeds selfishness, idea embezzlement, and other white collar theft.

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No company is perfect, and not every business treated foreigners and most Americans like shit in 1960, but enough did that tarnished and trashed the value of our integrity, ingenuity and exceptionalism. Before it was also white male foreigners, now non-white men, and all women must build their own company to rise in America because they are still kept from rising in most American corporations. Our totality of ingenuity was and is significantly undermined in both those previous and current scenarios.

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I promise you that my societal diatribe is getting to the point… There is more to America and Americans than the money that is greedily piled up under a few big white male asses, arrogant jerks, and blind-to-poverty pinheads. It is our combined effort, by every gender, and color of American at any current income or skill level that will make our Ingenuity and Exceptionalism real, and truly powerful. That calls for an advanced system that will more successfully accentuate our contributions.

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You know the idea that we only use 10% of our brains? Well, that is actually a myth. On the other hand, that percentage does fit with our lack of consistent citizen involvement, and how workers are not given the opportunity to truly thrive. But why are we generally unable to accentuate the civic, and worker brain elements in many instances little higher than the 10% range?

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Purposely built structural impediments that benefit the few create physical and mental obstacles for the many. By removing the main cause — oppositional, politicized, corporate person-hoodwink power — we can crank up the dial on participation in our work, and our local, state, national, and international community.

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An effective and long term successful movement and power counterbalance must include the 90+% of our civic, and worker brains. The 1% to 10% have always gotten nearly 90% of the benefits. They need us, and we must be able to explicitly show them why, in a consistently powerful manner! Otherwise, the trickling down from their narrow-sighted economics will dry up along with the brittle crumbs they leave us.

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None of us want to be favored by our government for things we do not deserve, or given what others never get. (Unless they are a “corporate personed” crony. Why do those persons get extra benefits?) On the flip side, the real personhood person is often pushed down by our government merely because of how others in the political power scheme perceive us, for what we look like, where we come from, etc. On the human condition side of things, in general we do not, and cannot really see each other’s pain. So a lot about us, and our nation is being missed, misconstrued, misapplied, and mishandled. The only way to correct these miss-ups is for us to step forward in a powerfully coordinated manner.

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With these perceptual challenges along with ages of stereotyping or worse, it is no wonder we can have two (or more) such polar opposite belief, and knowledge systems. Therefore, we need a system that recognizes all of us, and our contributions in much more uniform and reliable ways. Furthermore, the ground must be made more even under every person’s feet as we start out on our journey. Equal pay for equal work, with a livable wage floor for every worker in America.

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Favoring some people greatly, and others not so much, in the areas of health, and education, is anathema to achieving universal Ingenuity and Exceptionalism. That future will leave a nation with a half assed education funding system, and a sickly populous in the dust. Instead universal health insurance, better school funding, decent housing for all, and reduced crime and imprisonment will open up an immense valve of advancements.

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Finally, enhanced civic engagement is required to create and focus our new energy. Merely reducing the costs of our exaggerated law enforcement activities, and all of its negative ramifications, will generate considerable human resource energy, and funds for this new direction.

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High Hurdles Demand Greater Leaps.

How is this all achieved as well as fighting human-caused climate change? Creating a positive, nonviolent movement requires a positive foundation that many can latch onto. The U.S. is a Rorschach test of current, and potential coalitions, which make us better, but also stretch us too thin overall. The widest potential coalition are workers in the bottom 90%, give or take a few percent. Most of their concerns, hopes, fears, and dreams coincide. Remove all their employment worries and add to their future security, and you have a powerful movement foundation. Then other coalitions radiate from this We The People coalition, as each one is strengthened by it.

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The same system that guarantees their work and financial future is developed simultaneously to rapidly facilitate the greening of America and the world. The efficiency of this combination is its compactness, and “self” contained structure, which prevents “outside” micromanagement, and most other political interference. The system is developed, and run by We The People. This quasi-governmental construct is a non-partisan, parallel, solution structure, countervailing force, check and balance to political influence and corporate corruption. It is a citizen/worker partnership.

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Imagine a complete reversal of the construct of nearly every bureaucratic governmental structure into the WTP system. The only areas absorbed are those not directly connected to the Constitution, so no constitutional convention required, and likely no amendment ratification needed. The reversal of responsibilities is done over stages, and approved by We The People, and Congress. Since the WTP system acts in parallel, it can absorb, or not absorb, certain strategic portions of local, state, and federal agencies that fit its mandate like the EPA, FTC, and HUD, or when each fits our capability to absorb them.

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The system would have a parallel advanced internet that connects every home to a structure of civic outlets that look and work like current private, online communication. It would facilitate advancements to combat the negative forces in the lives of citizens, and health of the planet, and its inhabitants. The database would be massive, not with personal information, but streaming every byte of data possible to improve jobs, lives, and the environment.

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Jobs found or developed for every worker in seconds; hiring discrimination ends. Revamping the legal system from the outside in, and inside out. Never would a cause, approved by We The People, not have the power to topple the wrong side on an issue. The system, with We The People brainpower, would engineer, down to the smallest element, how to get to 0% emissions, quickly end pandemics, effectively wrestle with disasters, stop water pollution, greatly reduce waste, and implement the strategies for each. Even a massive fleet of zero emission drones, and vehicles ready to flood the zone with protective equipment, and disaster resources, directed by a logistical structure like the military and Amazon combined.

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When the movement begins, millions of volunteer coders start framing up the system. As the WTP movement gains full steam, Congress is pressured to provide the funds for actual development of the nationwide system. Once the movement approaches 55% to 60% participation, Congress will fold, and provide the necessary funding. At that point, coders have already done much work on the main elements of the jobs creator, and global warming fighting capabilities. That stage of work makes it possible to move on the climate healing elements before Congressional approval, deploying the first phalanx of system organized clean energy firms, and installers within one or two years after beginning the movement.

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Within three to five years, with the help of thousands of paid American coders and installers, and millions more civic area volunteers, the system is made fully operational in its jobs and climate functions. Current local, state, and federal government agencies, and other elements noted above are built, or absorbed when appropriate.

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Why Is This System Required Rather Than Another?

Consider the acrimony, gridlock, and norm flipping that has increased in just the last five years. You can start with holding back of Supreme Court justice nominee Merrick Garland, which happened in the last year of Obama’s tenure. That action, and many others afterwards, yield merely a snapshot of the dilemma in Congress alone. While Biden will try to do much more than Trump, will he be able to do more than recapture what Trump did not do to reduce CO2? Getting much further is unlikely with all the restrictions in the current system.

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To do more, so Biden breaks even with what a Hillary Clinton administration would have done instead of Trump, up to this point, is hard to quantify or qualify. Basically that means doubling what Obama did. Just that would be a Herculean effort, no matter who is president, especially without a 65 Senator cushion, and 250 House member representation for at least two terms. Challenged by a constant stripping away like the Republicans did with the A.C.A., and attempts to end it outright, would not do. The power play must be overwhelming to give the programs, and laws passed time to bear fruit.

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Tweaking a few senate rules, environmental laws, tax cuts for green energy investment, and renewable energy jobs programs is not sufficient to overcome the challenges CO2 emissions have already put up against us. There must be an aggressive response, or else, we will soon feel a worldwide backlash, and diaspora explosion, at the same time our nation gets another tidal wave of global warming reminders. Tweaking is better than not tweaking, but it only somewhat delays the worst.

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Reasoning Behind The Practical System.

A new system requires a movement to build and implement it. A successful movement requires an effective mixture of desired changes, dream fulfillment, must haves, options, and a positive narrative about the future. We must create a better system now to solve our complex problems with a movement that is motivated to rise above current realities, and status quo opposition. Otherwise, we will wait for a time when only two choices remain: “anything would be better than this”, or worse, the end of modern society.

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If we ever get to the first choice of the previous two, authoritarian rule is guaranteed. The end of modern society is where martial law is a constant, or anarchy reigns. Both are fantastical themes we have read in books, or seen them in movies. The problem with putting those “supposedly, will never happen” scenarios too far back in our minds, means solving the problems that lead up to them are ignored. “If it ever gets that bad, I will do something… But hey, I am bingeing Netflix now!”

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Unless you are a denier of everything, you know that great societies also collapse. Being where America is right now in our greatness, and you personally are, may give us more comfort than other people in other places and countries. Unfortunately, COVID-19 graphically shows us that America is not immune merely because we are Americans. If we can screw up something like a pandemic, when other nations seem to have completely licked it, we could also be screwing up the big picture.

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Neither arrogance or ignorance provide true bliss, not even to Americans. An inability to see the distant future — caused by our actions — is inherent in our length of life, and awareness quotient. From the age of 35 to 65 are the prime years for full awareness. Before that we are blazing through life, enjoying it or not, and after 65, we are winding down. Of course, there are people who are aware in this way much earlier, or into their last years, at 100 and beyond. Yet, many people are never really aware, die prematurely, and the remainder have years, or decades where they miss a lot outside of their attempts to just survive.

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That means in 30 years on average, maybe less if we add in all of life’s distractions, we get a glimpse of what is really going on. More importantly, those who are aware must all act in that short span of time, and attract vast number of “less aware” others to the cause. Few events or occurrences generate enough power to bring the correct quantity and kind of people together. Creating that combination is paramount, and very difficult.

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That is why the Vietnam War is remembered as such a shake up, because there was a specific aggressive action against most every family, the draft. Along with a crescendo the civil rights activities and protests, Americans made huge changes.

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Yet, there was a dilemma that was hard to see at the same time by most. That a reduction in activity meant a reduction in consistent energy, and awareness to finalize the results the crescendo seemed to achieve. The war protests and associated revolutions made some immediate changes, but the consciousness of the movement became sluggish, or non existent, shortly after the war ended. The problem of white people fatigue in the civil rights movement, and anti-war agitators not coalescing into a lasting and cohesive political force, gave us over forty years of stagnation, decline, and reversal, as to those under the top 1% to 10% in wealth or income, or thereabouts.

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The same wasting away of support happened only 12 years into Reconstruction. Northern white legislators gave up on civil rights in the South, and everywhere else. Once again America allowed black Americans to fall under the oppression of white supremacists with their slavery-by-another-name, Jim Crow laws. Then shortly after WWII, we put labor unions on cruise, and slowly forgot about the worker populist focus of FDR, and its predecessor movement. The good times came to enough whites that we thought they would last forever. We consumed, engorged, and fully fired up the CO2 doomsday device.

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Few of us will join a movement that may keep our way of life from being destroyed, until our way of life is nearly destroyed. This paradoxical problem is what we are again struggling with today. Without something like the climate crisis, humanity would be more loath to slow, even a tad, the gravy train to make a needed full reworking. We will get angry when it crashes or comes to a screeching halt, but hardly ever before that do we do what is needed. A historic example: Why agitate for freed slaves to get their due, when I cannot see how it will benefit me, and they might take my job?

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Just ask the Brits about this paradox of comfort and inertia, which they were immersed in at the close of the 19th century. Few saw an abrupt end to their international dominance. Then their doomsday came. He wore a tiny mustache, foam on his lips, and a big, evil racist ego. Yet, Germany’s loss in WWII was bittersweet for the British Empire, but a joyous free-for-all of freedom throughout their crumbling domain. Ironic how things fall apart, never how we expect.

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Our excuses for delay in any situation are always enough to dampen our resolve, and skew our ethical responsibilities, and fog up our awareness of the problem. Let us say CO2 was not a problem. The pollution created without it, kills thousands in our own nation every year, 13,000 die from coal burning, particulate pollution alone. So clearly, we need a movement to push the excuses away. Yes, it would be super cool if we could do it all individually on our own time, but that is not how things work. Systemic racism, our caste system, was not chipped away at solely by individual actions, nor will it be eradicated, or the climate crisis tackled, by millions of individuals becoming woke to either problems by the by

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Solving a myriad of problems that have been nibbled at, or ignored for years and decades requires structural reform. Incrementalism is the whining wolf cry of the satisfied. Change is persecution to the comfortable and powerful. Disruption is always a problem when the problems are not yours. What is different about the climate crisis, and other societal dilemmas, is it will take us all down. And with the inertia-train brake’s disabled, and over 100 million Americans are required to simultaneously fix it, the odds are long anything substantive will be done earlier enough to make a difference without a major disruptive event.

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Thankfully, the system I am proposing can improve our lives in many ways. Though some areas of life may change drastically, they should be offset by new benefits. We may not be able to spew and waste a ton of excess shit per person every year. Other than that, the We The People system is a positive, future-oriented development structure. The main disruption will be your required participation in the movement, and performing tasks appropriate to your time, skills, and abilities. Changes in how you route your life will occur, yet these changes will quickly improve your life in other ways.

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What you will give up is less about a loss of something. It will be more about gaining some other benefit. Your poorer neighbor and their family will be better off, which benefits your family in the future from lower taxes because the new opportunities provided by the WTP system will greatly improve their self sufficiency, and that of every American. Pollution will disappear, and you and your children will live longer. There will be a shift in higher taxes initially toward the wealthiest. However, in a couple decades a decent portion of those taxes will start moving back toward the center, since all households in the bottom 90+% will have higher incomes, and more wealth, like it should be.

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This may sound like a utopian system; well, in a way it will is. However it avoids the traditional utopian tropes of everyone singing the same Kumbaya lyrics, let alone living in a lollipop love and free, yet safe, sex commune forever. The movement must be coordinated more cohesively, but once the overall and actual concept is worked out, people can in general go back to their corners, and fight their fights. Similar to how the Constitution was delivered in its initial form.

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That being said, with the WTP system, the climate will avoid the worst case scenarios. Much more science and technology will be focused on solving the big problems. Within a quarter century, nature will be recovering from our current onslaught of pollution and global warming. Outdoor and indoor breathing problems will end. Virgin plastic will be a thing of the past. Our waterways will be cleaner than before the 20th century began. Our communities and schools will be integrated; health and education outcomes for all races, and family income levels, will have negligible differentials by the time the class of 2050 graduates from high school. Jobs will fit us better, and being worked to death in any form will be eliminated.

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Finally, this will not require socialism or capitalism. A competitive, not a grinding maw “free” market will be present, few will notice any difference except the quashing of the downside problems. That means no room for monopoly, crony public/private partnerships, tax shelters or scams, and other financial or economic Ponzi schemes. Many regulations will give way to constant, real time oversight. The We The People system is also a comprehensive, and ever watchful, watchdog that never tires, never sleeps, and never lets down workers or citizens.

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Conclusion.

I could explain a lot more features and benefits of the WTP system. Though I have the feeling the idea will just seem more fantastical than maybe it already does. What you must understand is that when I was first thinking of a Jobs Development Platform, an expanded ecosystem idea rose up that I could not submerge again. The climate crisis fit with the jobs element, so did ending our discriminatory practices, police reform, and more recently the pandemic.

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Our problems today are reminiscent of the time after the Declaration of Independence, and before the constitutional convention in Philadelphia, circa 1787. Some founders thought we could tweak the Articles of Confederation, but James Madison, John Adams, and others saw tweaking as dangerous. It would be a stopgap measure that just put off, for a short time, the collapse of the confederation of 13 sovereign states. Letting the big problems fester any longer would be impossible to claw back.

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Our nation was not on solid ground. Many farmers were put in debtor’s prisons, which fomented rebellion. States were printing their own money, levying tariffs on other states’ goods, and putting up other economic walls between neighboring states. Interior states were essentially trapped. Maybe they could have waited until a better time, or stalling for another year could have ripped them apart forever, getting reabsorbed into the French, Spanish and British empires. A bandaid was a fossil fool’s errand.

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That is why the idea grew into a We The People system. Realize that it functions as an equal and opposite reaction to the forces continuing to stall for time. Of course the fossil fuel industry wants to keep doing what they are doing. The problem is it only benefits them now, and when they are finished extracting and burning it, we will all be done, and overdone.

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If we were without any good options, I guess we could prepare to live underground, and the wealthiest could rocket off to Mars. However, the main dilemma is that they would get less money while many, many others would get more money, cleaner water and skies, live healthier long lives, and all of this just by switching to clean, renewable fuel sources.

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The benefits above could have happened without creating the WTP system. But we know the corporate grip is tight, and little has been done in the five plus decades they have known about the dangers. And, little more will be done by the selfish coffer fillers, and dirty fuel spewers, except waiting and stalling to bake us overdone. Therefore, we must create a competing entity to steer and power us forward out of any decline, over our entrenched societal obstacles, as well as put climate change in a hard reverse.

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by Richard The Chwalek

This article is dedicated to my father, Richard. J. Chwalek, the smartest and most ethical person in the corporate world I have ever known personally, or known about. RJC’s auto engineer career was cut 15`+ years short, in the early 1970s, after whistleblowing against unethical corporate activities. He acted similarly throughout his life, even during WWII at only 17.

To learn more about the WTP system, get my ebook, Our Democracy Requires An Update: A Transformational We The People System.


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