Mon. May 20th, 2024

28th Amendment – A AMENDMENT TO AUTHORITARIANISM / SOCIALISM

Article V of the Constitution outlines two ways to propose amendments to the Constitution. The two ways are: 
  • Two-thirds of both houses of Congress can vote to propose an amendment.
  • Two-thirds of the state legislatures can ask Congress to call a national convention to propose amendments.
Amendments proposed by Congress or convention become valid only when ratified by the legislatures of, or conventions in, three-fourths of the states.

28th Amendment

On October 17, BPL released our 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on behalf of the people of Brooklyn. Over the spring and summer, BPL gathered participants in online town halls to deliberate and exchange ideas on how to strengthen our country and its founding document.

At every town hall, moderators posed the same three questions to spark conversation:

  • I. What protections, ideas, or language would you like to see included in the Constitution?
  • II. In this present moment of the coronavirus, when so much has been so swiftly and fundamentally changed, what new protections would you like to see included in the Constitution?
  • III. Whoever wins the upcoming presidential election will face a United States that is charged, challenged, and changed in ways it has not been before. What new Constitutional amendment would you want that president to heed?

 

Notetakers captured ideas from those conversations, and from their notes the town hall moderators and our Constitutional Framers created a two-part document of radical proportion that sets forth the People’s response to the pressing needs of our time.

Part One is a legal proposal for a 28th Amendment drafted by the Framers: Anand Giridharadas, Susan Herman, Kimberly Peeler-Allen and Nathaniel Rich. Part Two is a narrative summary that seeks to capture the voices of the People who participated in this project. It was crafted by moderators Brian Tate and Craig Manbauman.

BPL invites you to read our 28th amendment, then review the consolidated notes and write your own 28th Amendment and send it back to us so we can keep the conversation going.

THE 28TH AMENDMENT

 

Whereas the government of the United States should represent all of the people of the United States equally,

Section 1. The Electoral College shall be abolished and the President selected by popular vote; Senate membership shall be reallocated to reflect more accurately the distribution of the national population, with a minimum of one seat per state; Election Day shall be a national holiday; elections shall be publicly financed. All citizens of the United States, including those living in its territories and the District of Columbia, shall have the same electoral rights and representation as residents of a State; all citizens of voting age shall have the unencumbered right to vote in federal, state, and local elections. Congress shall have the power and obligation to enforce these provisions by appropriate legislation.

Section 2. In recognition of the inherent dignity of all persons, Congress shall have the power and obligation to enact appropriate legislation to secure all rights guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the right to education, healthcare, housing, employment, food security, and a clean and healthy environment.

NARRATIVE TEXT OF THE 28TH AMENDMENT

 

BPL kept detailed notes of participants’ ideas at each 28th Amendment town hall. The following is the edited, narrative text using verbatim quotes from the participants. This text and the notes are the sole sources of the suggested 28th amendment.

 

Section 1. POLITICAL AND PRESIDENTIAL REFORM

 

We must protect our Constitution from itself. So, when parts of it are failing, we scrap it and try again. Our Constitution needs to be reviewed every five years. Everything we amend must be clear so that it works the way it is supposed to.

The Electoral College no longer reflects the will of the People: institute a popular vote and allow ranked-choice voting. We need an immediate end to all forms of voter suppression. Implement automatic voter registration at birth, legalize mail-in and electronic voting, restore the voting rights of incarcerated and previously incarcerated People convicted of felonies, and lower the voting age to 16. Link voter turn-out by state to federal aid, so that states with lower voter turn-out receive less aid. Decree election day to be a federal holiday to incentivize voter turnout.

Private interests purchase campaigns: this corrupts representation. We need campaign finance reform. The Citizens United ruling must be overturned; we reclaim the idea that only People are capable of speech. Establish a citizen’s allowance for political contributions, where we allocate our shares to candidates of our choice.

Our citizens of U.S. territories and D.C. are entitled to representation. Make all representation proportional to population. Young People need political outlets: we too, are citizens. We deserve to be included in governmental decision-making that will impact us. Our insights can offer clarity where there is controversy. Too many of our representatives are too old to represent us. We need diversity of age in our electorate and elected officials. Lower the minimum age to run for Congress and for President.

We must close the revolving door between politics and the lobby industry. Gerrymandering must be abolished. Ban elected officials from investing to prevent conflicts of interest. We need congressional term limits. Every Senator must publicly present their reasoning for voting on a bill to the People who are directly impacted by it.

Establish a 4th branch of government–a Citizens’ Assembly–with the power to make law. We need a 3rd party that can truly represent the middle class. Instead of speaking for their parties, elected officials must speak for the People first.

The president is the People’s employee, not some rarified deity. A president shouldn’t be above us, but someone who stands beside us. We deserve a president who is competent and who will follow through on their promises. They must be a teacher, a leader, and role model for the world. Americans need a president that represents all of us. We need a president who sees the humanity in People and shall always place the People over profit. We want a president who thinks about everyone in the country as family, because if you are our president, America is your family.

 

Section 2. THE INSTITUTION OF EQUAL RIGHTS

 

Violence based on identity is a hate-crime. Federal laws must protect us from discrimination based on race, gender, or sexual orientation, in all aspects of life. We pronounce our right to body sanctity: our right to be safe in our own skin.

Our natural rights must be guaranteed by our Constitution. Every state must establish protections against hate crimes. There are LGBTQ children who are abandoned by their parents because of their sexual identities: we must support and defend them. People need opportunities to learn about each other – and understand that different does not mean deficient.

The idea that men are making decisions about what women can do with their bodies needs to stop. Women have the authority to decide what to do with their bodies. Our Constitution must explicitly accord equal recognition and protections for women. America can start by removing taxes on feminine hygiene products and reversing all the revocations of women’s rights to abortions.

White supremacy must be outlawed in all its forms, because it’s not just supremacy over People, but supremacy over morality, science, medicine, and facts. In this philosophy, there’s no need to think– only to act.

Indigenous Americans want a just return of the land, not an apology. The U.S. government’s treaties have not been updated for more than a century. We must hold the United States accountable for the promises made over our history. America owes reparations to Indigenous People and the descendants of enslaved Africans. Until that debt is paid, taxes on Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color should be a hate crime. We need an Amendment that will rebuild Black communities. America needs a revolution of truth and reconciliation about our nation’s history.

 

Section 3. SOCIAL WELFARE AND FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY

 

America must abolish the exploitation of poor and working-class communities. We are being displaced: stop gentrifying our neighborhoods. Invest in public housing instead of condos; tax the rich instead of the poor; bailout small businesses instead of mega corporations.

No one should be forced to sleep outside when we have thousands of empty hotel rooms. America must be the country that nurtures a culture of giving. We need to commit to caring for one another. This pandemic has shown that we have the capacity to feed everyone but previously lacked the will. Citizens must have a guarantee that our basic needs will be met. Secure our permanent right to housing, fresh water, and healthy food. Institute universal basic income and establish our right to thrive.

We need a cap on income and a limit on lifetime acquisitions by a single person or family: we must contain greed. Limit the amount of debt citizens can accumulate. Mandate a minimum income and a living wage. Let’s close this income gap. No one wants to fund endless wars. We want arts, infrastructure, and education. Let us decide how our tax dollars are spent. We need opportunities to participate in a more meaningful life. Instead of GDP, we must measure our Gross National Happiness Index.

 

Section 4. LABOR REFORM

 

We need to protect the idea of living. To create real democracy in our country, democratize the workplace. Put workers on the boards of corporations and strengthen unions to protect their rights.

Bring back American self-sufficiency: we need jobs and manufacturing. Pay living wages, and tie the salary of the highest paid employee to the lowest paid employee. Essential workers deserve bonuses for their service during the pandemic.

Entrepreneurs need greater support in starting up small businesses: make loans more accessible to them. We must enable small businesses to thrive; let them take the lead in our economy.

 

Section 5. UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE

 

Healthcare is part of the pursuit of happiness. We have the right to be healthy, regardless of employment. When health insurance is tied to our jobs, it isn’t sufficient. Waiving all medical debt is sufficient. Universal healthcare is sufficient.

Preventative medicine needs to be included in this concept. Put a cap on fast foods outlets and make healthy foods accessible and cheap. Vaccines should be free.

We want more than illness intervention, it’s time for a wellness infrastructure. Shift to community-based healthcare for citizens and noncitizens alike. Build up neighborhood hospitals and wellness centers. Create checks and balances so that everyone, regardless of age, is given the same right to live. We can’t allow older people to die simply because they are older. We need healthcare advocates for the elderly and everyone else.

We have awakened to an age of worldwide medical crises. When there is a pandemic, the president must empower a leader to marshal forces to get to work solving that pandemic. The laws of survival must become our permanent compass: follow the science, counter the spread of misinformation, help people without discrimination.

 

Section 6. LEGAL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM REFORM

 

Our People go to prisons to become better prisoners. This must end. We need restorative justice. Eliminate prison pipelines and the prison-industrial complex. Prisons must rehabilitate, not carry out revenge. Cancel pretrial detention. End cruel and unusual punishments in prison. Abolish the death penalty; something so irreversible shouldn’t be legal: taking a life is never the solution. We must dismantle these static slave ships and revise the 13th Amendment to uphold prisoner rights, safety, and human dignity.

Policing is ass backwards. America must rebuild its entire police force so that it is no longer the enemy. We demand an immediate end to police brutality and the murdering of black people. Qualified immunity is entirely unconstitutional. The law must hold police officers accountable when they inflict harm. America cannot continue to tolerate a society that still resorts to violence as a first course of action to solve a problem. We must draft rules of engagement for all police, wherein violence is the last option. People deserve a police force that will actually protect and serve.

Americans are tired of rich people buying their way out of jail. We must eliminate the inequalities between rich and poor in our legal system. Stop putting kids in cages for doing graffiti and smoking weed. Reaffirm the 8th Amendment’s protection against excessive fines so that it accounts for income inequality. We shall establish a national popular referendum to adopt amendments to our Constitution. It is time we change the number of Justices in the Supreme Court. We must terminate civil asset forfeiture. The People need access to free legal services not only to defend themselves but also to inform the revolution.

 

Section 7. REGULATORY REFORM

 

The economy… is tilted against the vulnerable. Private interests should be removed from public policy, around firearms and fraud and everything else.

The prohibition against search and seizure should be broadened to prevent the seizure of people’s labor and environmental health. That is where we need regulation, that is where we need reform: not for nonessential trades like braiding hair or arranging cut flowers, but for corporate plunder that puts our lives at risk. We must create new systems that will protect our most valuable resource: each other.

We must stop the insane amount of gun violence in the United States. No more school shootings. No more AR-15s in cities and towns. Military weapons should not be in the hands of people who are not military. Civilians should have only limited access to semiautomatic weapons, for self-defense and home defense, that’s it. We need tighter restrictions around gun ownership and more training for gun buyers. We need a better understanding of how and why people are getting guns.

 

Section 8: EDUCATION REFORM

 

A college degree should be as accessible as a gun permit. Equal protection is good but we need equal access to a quality education. Everyone has a right to literacy. The rage of the protesters comes from a lifetime of struggle for adequate resources and education withheld because of the color of their skin.

We are cherry picking people to succeed and that’s not right. Suppose everyone had education at their fingertips. A first-rate public education, without the price tags and massive debt. Make college affordable or free. Put an expiration date on student loan debt or wipe it out. Bring back vocational training for anyone who wants to learn a trade.

What if the government met its obligation to educate all its people? What if we offered civics classes in public schools to normalize the idea of participating in government? Could we form the perfect feedback loop? Could we make it easier for citizens to learn the system and then take it into their hands? What if we institutionalized multilingualism and cross-cultural knowledge? Could we create a society that embraces difference, that doesn’t turn to violence as the first course of action? A country that looks instead to education to solve its problems?

 

Section 9. IMMIGRATION REFORM

 

Grant immigrants the right to run for President. We are each of us human beings, not aliens.

The government must guarantee constitutional protections for everyone, because protecting humanity matters. America should be more considerate. We must be a more welcoming country and make it easier to get in legally. Much of what is great about the United States comes from immigrants. Make America the country it ought to be.

 

Section 10. GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP & EARTH STEWARDSHIP

 

We must meet global crises with international cooperation. Not isolationism. Not war. When we wage war under false pretenses, the people responsible should be prosecuted.

We demand nuclear disarmament. We renounce weapons of war. We propose a foreign policy that enshrines the principle, First Do No Harm. Given America’s history of interference around the world, international citizens should be protected by the U.S. Constitution. We must evaluate events on the world stage in terms of global humanity. No one should be allowed to take positions that harm humanity.

We are disinterested in the cycle of delay. America is one of only three nations that have not signed the Universal Rights of the Child: we are past due to sign it. The Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organization have moved on without us: we must rejoin them. We reject this insistence on America first and last and alone at all times. That is the calculus of suffocation and we intend to breathe. We are wed to a simpler equation: if a policy creates a barrier to clean air, clean water, or healthy food, it must be eliminated. If it does harm to the environment, it can’t be allowed to exist. Our vow is to enrich the people and protect the earth, in perpetuity. source


It Is Only Going to Get a Lot Worse: Why Authoritarian Socialism Has Already Failed in the United States

Their ever elastic definition of socialism or its many variants will now be trotted out by the anti-liberty authoritarians of the fascist far left to avoid taking responsibility for the current Charlie Foxtrot.

It is more than disturbing that we’re seeing the same parallel events in the US that have taken place in the USSR and socialist Venezuela. Not just ‘supply chain disruptions’ and the suppression of basic civil rights but almost imperceptible but momentous shifts in the relationship between the governed and the government.

If the anti-liberty left is consistent in anything, it’s that they will persist in the same tired talking points, namely the ‘that wasn’t really socialism lie’. This always begins their ever-elastic definition of the word that conveniently excludes failures of their socialist national agenda in the past. The problem for them is that the parallels are too strong. The repetition of history is too consistent.

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Ronald Reagan, one of our greatest Presidents had a hobby of collecting jokes told amongst the people of the failed socialist Utopia of the USSR. One was about a Russian asking another if they had really achieved full communism, is this now full communism and the other one said: ‘oh no things are going to get a lot worse’.

We’re referencing this because anti-liberty leftists love to play Orwellian games with words, creating newspeak with definitions that can be changed at the drop of a swastika. The concept of collectivism and their made-up term socialism are one of their first creations. They do this primarily to deny past failures with the perennial lie that ‘socialism has never really been tried before’.

While they have as many elastic definitions of the term socialism as they have excuses for its abject and continual failures, the best definition was developed by Daniel J. Mitchell is as follows;

“Socialism isn’t about free choice, it’s about concentrating power into the hands of government elites—ultimately through force. Socialism is the concentration of power into the hands of government elites to achieve the following purposes: central planning of the economy and the radical redistribution of wealth.”

It’s not their roses and rainbows version that talks about equality and redistributing the wealth to the proletariat because that’s never in the cards. Sadly, rank and file leftists never figure this out, they just accept the propaganda hook, line, and sinker until it’s too late. By that time, big government authoritarianism has become too powerful, and basic civil rights swept away, leaving a socialist oligarchy in business partnerships and government in total fascistic control.

This is called but the anti-liberty left has an even bigger lie than the ‘socialism has never really been tried before’. That is the big lie that somehow a collectivist oligarchy is ‘right-wing’. Anti-liberty leftists never get beyond filling in the blanks of making that false allegation and goodness knows they should have by now, given that they have been parroting the same lie for decades.

At present, we are in the throes of an illegal invasion, rampant inflation, a labor shortage, and a supply chain crisis. All but one is extremely familiar to any economy under the big government central planning of socialism. Even worse is that this is akin to walking into the ocean surf where one only encounters a few small waves that grow larger and larger. Just as it was in the old Soviet Union, things are going to get a lot worse.

Anti-liberty leftists want to waste more of other people’s money that we don’t have buying votes and driving inflation. Winter is coming and despite the prospects of global cooling, global warming, and climate change, heating fuel prices are expected to double. The authoritarians will still want to buy votes and pay people to not work, making the supply crisis even deeper. Then we have them wanting to force vaccine mandates and Nazi passes down our throats. Rest assured, ‘Brandon’ and his merry band of Bolsheviks will find something else to screw up.

We’re just now seeing the empty shelves and skyrocketing prices familiar to anyone in a “worker’s paradise”. We’re also witnessing an imperceptible but momentous shift in the relationship between the governed and the government. All over the nation, socialists of the anti-liberty left are shifting into a dictatorial frame of mind.


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It was more than outrageous that the Harris/Biden/Obama regime wants to give $450.000 to illegal invaders for breaking the law. That they would even consider such a move should be stunning to everyone. That signals to everyone is that the regime doesn’t care what we think, they don’t care to get our consent for such a move, and they are likely to do it anyway. This means they have gone beyond the bounds of a rational, republican form of government. They no longer have the consent of the governed.

We’re also seeing what is all too familiar to those living under the boot of authoritarian socialism: A national media all too willing to be the propaganda organ of the anti-liberty left. It’s epitomized by none other than the American Pravda and a piece of propaganda that would have made Kim Jong Un proud just from the headline alone: How ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ became code for insulting Joe Biden

Apparently, in the past few months, our dear leader has been elevated to people beyond criticism. These days that is now ‘insulting’, how long before that is deemed ‘hate speech’ and consequently verboten? Some of the expressions in the piece such as: ‘Americans are accustomed to their leaders being publicly jeered’ are transitory to a style of authoritarian socialist propaganda only seen in banana republics in which a nation’s leadership is exalted above the people.

Later in the piece, they refer to the 2020 presidential election and a hefty shove to the Overton window on the propaganda surrounding the steal:

A portion of the U.S. was already angry before the Brandon moment, believing the 2020 presidential election was rigged despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, which has stood the test of recounts and court cases.

[Emphasis added]

A ‘mountain of evidence’? That is certainly a new development. The national socialist propaganda organs used to parrot the ‘no widespread voter fraud’ talking point or similar useless and irrelevant pablum. Now that switched to a ‘mountain of evidence’. Somehow the scene of a big pile of Dinosaur scat from the movie ‘Jurassic Park’ comes to mind, but that’s only the ‘mountain of evidence’ that is relevant. There is a mountain of evidence that points to massive amounts of cheating and fraud by the anti-liberty left in the election, but that probably isn’t what they are referring to. That evidence came from the recounts they referenced in the piece and most of the court cases weren’t decided on the merits.

Anti-liberty leftists have more excuses for the abject failure of their base ideology than they have definitions. But these go hand in hand in their attempts at replicating failure, all for their goal of gaining absolute power. We’re just at the outer bands of the approaching hurricane. The wind and the rain are just starting and it will get much worse from here.

Back when the economy they inherited from President Trump had put the nation on the road to recovery, the authoritarians were quick to take credit for any good economic news. Now, with the beginning effects of authoritarian socialism negatively impacting the system, they are contradicting themselves with claims that it was the COVID crisis all along.

“Nations, states, and central banks are quietly but rapidly shifting their money to precious metals. With bank runs, recession, CBDCs, and worse on the horizon, it’s easy to see why. NOW is the time to learn more about moving portions of your retirement or wealth to a self-directed gold and silver IRA through an America-First, Christian precious metals company.” – JD Rucker (not a financial advisor, just a guy who’s paying attention)

Again, socialism isn’t about free choice, it’s about concentrating power into the hands of government elites—ultimately through force. Socialism is the concentration of power into the hands of government elites to achieve the following purposes: central planning of the economy and the radical redistribution of wealth. The authoritarian left is trying to centrally plan the economy while raising taxes and increase spending – redistributing other people’s money. All of that is gumming up the works and demonstrating once again that socialism doesn’t work… as though 400 years of failure and a mass murder death toll, exceeding 100 million dead should have been enough factual evidence already.

Authoritarian socialism has already failed in the United States as it has everywhere else. Maybe this was how it was supposed to end all along. After all, the first explorations in collectivism were in the Jamestown and Plymouth colonies. While much later an experiment in what was called socialism for the first time took place in New Harmony Indiana in 1825 and ended shortly after as it inevitably failed.

Perhaps it was only fitting that its last failure was the place where it all began. History teaches us that it’s only going to get worse from here, so there is no point in continuing down this dead-end road. The time has come for liberty-minded people everywhere to make that clearsource