By Jim Heffernan
Shortly after the 2020 election I began a reading binge. It was a strange compulsion I did not truly understand. I understand now that I was seeking to “bridge the divide” between myself and fully half of our country.
I’ve not succeeded, but I no longer feel tormented by the differences. My hard-edged black-and-white views have been “nuanced” into comfortable shades of grey and I’ve given up trying to resolve every difference in an effort to reach the future through the past.
I’m willing to accept the differences and I’m worried about our future. Our new national sport seems to be Trump-this and Biden-that. We bicker and bicker while sacrificing our children’s future in a continual bout of metaphorical mud-wrestling.
This book presents 10 concrete proposals to “reclaim our Republic”, namely
1.Open Primaries Act-no more excluding so many people from primaries.
2. Educated Electorate Act-fair and inclusive political debates.
3. Term Limits Constitutional Amendment-three terms in House of Representatives and 2 terms in the Senate.
4. Election Transparency Act-all contributions of more than $100 must be identified by donor, no more dark money.
5. Campaign Finance Constitutional Amendment-no more corporations as people
6. Ballot Access Act-all candidates have equal access to ballot
7. Fair Districts Act-independent commissions in each state to end gerrymandering.
8. Fair Representation Act-ranked-choice voting, multi-member districts.
9. Congressional Rules-change procedures in Congress to reduce power of ideological fringes and encourage bipartisan cooperation.
10.Create a Culture of Unity-return to bipartisan principles, bring back civility, civics, and national service.
The author devotes a 10-30 page chapter on each of the topics and really makes a pretty good case for each. He concedes none of it will be easy. He warns, without action, things will get worse.
I truly believe our future and our children’s future will depend on actions we pursue together, regardless of differences in politics and ideology. We’ve lost just too much time and energy in the fruitless and empty pursuit of “winning”.
Available at Cloud and Leaf Bookstore, Manzanita and most other book sellers
246 Pages, Published February 16, 2020
4.36 out of 5, 28 ratings