This is an updated version of the 2002 original, “Citizen in Search of a Leader.” We are now in Epoch B. Instead of leaders, we need facilitators, and the leadership comes from within the larger collective as it achieves ethical transparent consensus.
Summary of Qualifications
America needs a facilitator that is balanced, thoughtful, integrative, supportive of dissent and debate, and above all, educated enough to craft a national strategy for security and prosperity that will stand the test of time. I want a facilitator who is at least as committed to the future of my children as to the passing security and prosperity of the moment. Individuals obsessing on being elected or re-elected need not apply.
In my view as a citizen, there are four areas where the right individual, as a team builder rather than a personal icon, could help America restore its balance. These four areas are: 1) electoral reform, 2) intelligence reform, 3) global issues & national security reform, and 4) governance reform inclusive of corporate ethics and accountability.
I would sum up the objective of all four reform initiatives with the phrase: “Creating a Smart Nation, Of, By, and For the People.”
I take it as a given that no election that limits itself to Republican and Democratic candidates, and their die-hard voters, will achieve the outcome I seek. We must engage the vast majority of Americans who are Independent, Green, Reform, Libertarian, or dropped out, and we must help the people take back the power while creating a new form of participatory democracy that cannot be hijacked by elitist power brokers who manipulate government to serve their own ends.
In a nutshell, those we look to as facilitators must have one core value: integrity. My Reflections on Integrity expands on this term.
Common Sense Guide to Big Issues
- Voting on week-ends
- League of Women Voters
- Cabinet choices join debates
- Instant Run-Off
- End gerrymandering
- End corporate funding
- Restructure Presidential staff
- Consolidate Program
- Elevate NIC to EOP
- Global Knowledge.org
- Redirect agencies
- State & local intelligence
National Security Reform
- Educate the Nation on reality
- Have a coherent strategy
- Big War force for $250B
- Small War force up to $75B
- Peace force up to $100B
- Home force up to $75B
- Coalition Cabinet
- Quality education for all
- Health care & public health
- Ethics is cost-effective
- Focus on 7th Generation issues
The end result of these four reforms in tandem and in sequence is nothing less than
Creating a Smart Nation, Of, By, and For We the People.
Electoral Reform—Restoring the People as Owners of Democracy
We own this country, but unless we manage it directly, we will lose it to bureaucratic “squatters and financial terrorists.”.
Electoral reform has not been articulated in a broad enough manner. Ralph Nader has correctly identified many of its elements, but is not willing to build the non-partisan coalition to make it happen. This is what I want as soon as possible, beginning with a candidate and team committed to these objectives:
1) Change law to do voting on week-ends (with Sundays for Orthodox Jews);
2) Restore League of Women Voters as the presidential debate manager, and open the debates to third, fourth, and fifth parties.
3) Announce non-partisan Cabinet in advance of election and in time to enable the League of Women voters to change the voter evaluation paradigm by interspersing Cabinet candidate debates with Presidential and Vice Presidential debates.
4) Implement the “instant run-off” concept, where the first choice counts toward future Federal funding for minority or losing parties, but the second choice, if first choice does not win, counts toward the election of a winner elected by a majority.
5) End physical gerrymandering, and move instead toward virtual representation in which citizens can self-identify as belonging to a specific party, and then vote for Governors, Congress, and other key positions as a member of that virtual community within each state—this will achieve true representation; and
6) End corporate and association contributions to political candidates—simply make them illegal, while doubling salaries of elected officials over ten years, coincident with a push for major increases in salaries for those engaged in homeland nation-building—teachers, cops, firemen, and public health professionals.
Intelligence Reform—Global Understanding, State & Local Security
“Nothing in the existing or planned Federal budget makes America any safer!
Our government has gotten out of touch with global realities, at the same time that we have failed to develop new forms of state & local security. Below are some general intelligence reforms I want to see championed by a candidate and team of substance:
1) Restructuring of the Presidential staff to create four Director-Generals for Policy, Strategy, Intelligence, and Research. America has no serious strategy for its future, intelligence is not impacting on policy or strategy, and government research (as well as taxation policies) are retarding rather than advancing the private sector’s ability to be innovative.
2) Creation of a consolidated National Foreign Intelligence Program that gives the Director-General for Intelligence control over the three technical intelligence agencies now within the defense department, while earmarking 50% of the program in peace, 85% in war, for defense.
3) Elevation of the National Intelligence Council to the Office of the President, where it can do a better job of harnessing the distributed intelligence of the entire Nation, while also working more closely with the Cabinet departments.
4) Establishment of the Global Knowledge Foundation, a $1.5 billion a year “.org” dedicated to helping all elements of the government as well as the private sector gain better access to open sources of information in all languages of the world—80% of what we need for 5% of the cost of secrets. Includes creation of a “virtual national intelligence community” of leading experts on everything who do not want top secret clearances, and a Digital Marshall Plan for Third World—the sooner they are “wired” the sooner we can more ably understand them.
5) General redirection of the major intelligence agencies, to include conversion of the NRO into the National Collection Agency, CIA into the National Analysis Agency, and NSA into the National Processing Agency, while creating a new Clandestine Service Agency that is truly clandestine, and a Homeland Security Intelligence Program that enables Governors and Mayors to establish professional intelligence and counterintelligence programs under their sovereignty rather than as federal initiatives.
Global Issues & National Security Reform—Revitalizing Soft Power
“The world is on fire, but we can put this fire out while also preventing future fires!
America leans toward isolationist and what I call “false neutral” positions. In a world at war with itself there are no neutral positions—only victims, if not today, then tomorrow. We need a candidate and team that can help America to properly interpret 9-11 as the early warning of global chaos, and terrorism as the least of our problems. There are 102 conflicts between different nation-states today, and 175 violent internal political conflicts within individual nation-states. At the same time there are 32 complex emergencies—failed states—today; 66 countries with millions of displaced persons and refugees; 33 countries suffering famine and starvation; and 59 countries and rising with plagues and epidemics. There are 18 genocide campaigns going on, today; child soldiers are killing and being killed in 41 countries; corruption is common in 80 countries, and censorship in 62 countries. Water scarcity looms large.
Against this real world complexity, America spends almost its entire national security budget of $500B a year on a “heavy metal” military that is useless 90% of the time, meaning that we underfund special operations and low intensity conflict forces, underfund diplomacy, overt intelligence, and economic assistance, underfund education at home and abroad, ignore public health, and ignore public safety around the world, allowing warlords and crime kingpins a free run. This has to stop but it will not stop unless America finds a leader of gravitas who is truly representative of both our values, and the power of our budget if spent wisely. This new national security strategy could be called “1+iii” and could, within the $500 billion a year now being spent (greater than what the next 20 nations, including Russia and China, spend together), redirect funds as follows:
1) Big War. Fence at $250 billion a year, fully 50% of the national security budget. Designed to be able to take on the Russians and the Chinese simultaneously, inclusive of strategic nuclear forces, a 12 division-wing-carrier battle group team, and reserve-reinforcement bridges to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces or Asian allies.
2) Small War. Increase from $20 billion to $75 billion a year, 15% of the national security budget. Empowers U.S. Special Operations Command as a global operational force, but introduces constabulary-gendarme forces that can impose order within failed states while providing police, medical, and other critical public services needed in the transition back to local control and security. Creates a new “ground truth” foreign area observer force.
3) Peace Force. Increase from $20 billion to $100 billion a year, 20% of the national security budget. Dramatically restores the competency and global presence of the Department of State; reinstates the independence of the U.S. Information Agency, doubling the latter to manage global educational program. Increases Peace Corps and the Agency for International Development, with a special emphasis on public health as well as water and food security.
4) Home Force. Increase from $38 billion (was $16 billion) to $75 billion a year, 15% of the national security budget. This investment helps state & local authorities, under their own sovereignty rather than as part of a federalized system, devise effective measures for detecting and responding to all threats including terrorism, crime, disease, and natural disasters.
Governance Reform—Coalition Approach, State Power, More Ethics
“America cannot be governed by one man and his buddies—it takes a coalition team.
The world, and America, have gotten too complex to rely on a single President being elected, and then leaving the rest of the team up to his preferences. America needs to see a candidate for President that has both the courage and the “big tent” philosophy of non-partisan teamwork to pre-select and offer for inspection as part of their two-year campaign, a complete Cabinet. The process of devising a Coalition Cabinet should start now. A leader of a multi-party team, with a landslide popular and electoral vote behind them, should be able to carry out this comprehensive reform agenda that puts the power back in the people, and common sense back into a down-sized government.
Emphasizing the need to use federal funding to empower state & local governments with respect to intelligence & counterintelligence could also set the stage for proposing new national initiatives for elementary and secondary education as well as public health across America. Thomas Jefferson said “A Nation’s best defense is an educated citizenry.” The people of this Nation are its seed corn, and we must tend these fields. Every American should receive the same high-quality education, regardless of the prevailing real estate values that now fund vastly disparate levels of education. At the same time, some form of universal health insurance is needed, not only to cover the uninsured, but also to liberate America’s workers from their dependence on corporate health plans that constrain job mobility and innovation. Finally, we must dramatically re-invigorate our preventive medicine and public health programs to lower the costs to the taxpayer and our families of disease—including animal-borne and terrorist-spawned epidemics—that could have been prevented in the first place.
At the same time, we need a candidate who is very strong on ethics—America suffers when their leadership is perceived by both the people and the international public as being “in the pockets of” big oil or big pharmaceutical companies, or other special interests. The right candidate, with a proven mind of their own, can make the economic case for ethics. A Nobel Prize was awarded for a demonstration that trust lowers the cost of doing business. Ethics is pro-business and pro-consumer at the same time.
Finally, we need a candidate and a team that can change the paradigm of the Presidency—our new President should plan to spend more time on “Seventh Generation” challenges that bear directly on the future of the entire world as well as the future security and prosperity of America seven generations out, and less time on top-level day to day Executive matters. The new Vice President should spend two thirds of their time actually managing the government, and one third training to be President in the future.
All this puts power back in the hands of the people, while tackling the tough issues head on.
Electoral Reform: restoring the power of the people to self-govern through informed leadership selection by true majorities.
Intelligence Reform: creating a Smart Nation in touch with global realities and using the taxpayer dollar more effectively.
National Security Reform: balancing hard and soft power to stabilize the world for the specific purpose of protecting the home front.
Governance Reform: “big tent” team governance, with education, health, and ethics, focusing on Seventh Generation issues.
We can do this. OccupyWallStreet and the kinship elements across the country are the catalytic awakening we needed. If Big Labor breaks away from the Establishment that has been feeding its leaders but not its members, this is a revolution that neither money nor force can repress.
Core Proposed Program for Occupy Wall Street (Across the Nation):
CORRUPTION is the common enemy, both in government and in the private sector.
ELECTORAL REFORM is the singular demand.
SUNSHINE CABINET is the method.
INTEGRITY is the core value.
COMMONWEALTH RESTORED is the outcome.