Note: The Preface and Chapters One through Seven can be found here: The 15% Solution
This is the ninth installment of a project that is likely to extend over a two-year-period from January, 2010. It is the serialization of a book entitled The 15% Solution: A Political History of American Fascism, 2001-2022. Under the pseudonym Jonathan Westminster, it is purportedly published in the year 2048 on the 25th Anniversary of the Restoration of Constitutional Democracy in the Re-United States. It was actually published in 1996 by the Thomas Jefferson Press, located in Port Jefferson, NY. The copyright is held by the Press. Herein you will find Chapter 8. You can find a complete archive of the chapters published to date on TPJmagazine.us (lower right hand corner of the home page) as well as the Disclaimer, the cast of characters, the author’s bio, cover copy, and several (favorable) reviews.
A fairly recent commentator had this to say about the book: “I am in the middle of reading The 15% Solution. For some reason I assumed it was a recent publication. About 100 pages in I looked to see when it was published. It was published in 1996. That absolutely shocked me. What it was saying then is exactly what is happening now. The race-baiting, anti-homosexual crap that takes one’s attention away from what is actually happening, and it was written about 15 years ago. Even the 14th amendment controversy is discussed in this book, as well as so much more – ownership of the media, talk radio, etc. This is truly frightening, and if the Dems do not wake up and fight, I fear there is much worse to come.” Indeed!
2006: The Balancing Amendment (32nd)
The 32nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States (2006):
Section 1. Commencing on the first day of the next fiscal year following the date of ratification of this Amendment, separate Federal budget accounts shall be established for the maintenance of the national defense, for the payment of interest on the national debt, and for the general operations of the Federal government.
Section 2. The 28th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
Section 3. Commencing on the first day of the next fiscal year following the date of ratification of this Amendment, any budget adopted by the Congress under which funds are appropriated for the support of any general operations, activity, or functions of the Federal government must show a surplus of income over expenditures of at least one dollar.
Section 4. No tax, fee, or other charge levied for the purpose of supporting any general operations, activities, or functions of the Federal government may be increased without the approval of two thirds of the members of each House of Congress.
Section 5. Every item in the Federal budget for the support of general operations shall be considered to have been presented separately to the President and be subject to the procedural provisions of Article 1, Section 7, of this Constitution.
Section 6. In addition to the powers enumerated in Article 2, Sections 2 and 3 of this Constitution, the President shall have the authority to declare a “special national emergency.” To take effect, any such declaration must be approved by a simple majority of the members voting of each House of Congress. During any such special national emergency, the President shall have the authority to rule by decree for a period of sixty days. This authority may be renewed by the President unless it is rescinded by a vote of two thirds of the membership of each House of Congress. Any Presidential decree made under the provisions of this Amendment may be nullified by a vote of two thirds of the membership of each House of Congress.
Section 7. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed. (1)
1. Author’s Note: The Fourth Amendment to the old U.S. Constitution read: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
A Curley Oakwood Radio Broadcast Transcript, October 13, 2006
Well my friends, ladies and gentlemen, now we’ve really got the liberalniggerlovers where we want them. No more excuses. Just a lot of sobbing. That imperious congress is finally going to have to toe the line. We’ve got a balanced budget amendment that’s going to work this time, not like that old, wimpy, good-for-nothing liberal monstrosity, the 28th. We’ve got the line item veto in the Constitution, where it belongs. Congress is just going to have to stop, stop, stop spending your money on things you don’t want it spent on and let you start spending it the way you know best. Yes, you do know best how to spend your money and Congress doesn’t.
You know my friends, they just don’t get it, do they? But now they’re going to have to get it, because now it’s right there in the Constitution, large as life, for everyone to see. Just think. No more government handouts. No more anybody who feels the urge taking your money out of your pocket, no more Democrats lining up the votes of the lazy-good-for-nothing-bums by giving them something for nothing. Yes, this is a great, great day for the American people.
This was classic Oakwood, echoing his Transition Era Right-Wing talk radio mentors, using distortion and outright lies to paint a mythical picture of a political reality that was almost the complete opposite of that which he was describing:
- Bashing Congress as an institution when it was thoroughly under the control of his own party (and had been for quite some time).
- Bashing by implication a welfare system that even in its heyday had never taken up any significant percentage of Federal spending, but under the 31st Amendment to the Constitution adopted the previous year did not even exist.
- Putting responsibility for the first “balanced budget” amendment on the “liberals,” when the liberal forces at the time, within and outside the Congress, had strongly opposed it.
- Claiming that the Democrats offered to provide handouts in return for votes and had always done so, when for the most part people on welfare didn’t vote anyway and never had done, official Democratic Party support for welfare had been virtually non-existent for 15 years, and now, with no welfare system would not have had that reason to vote Democratic even if the latter had supported it.
On this last point, at best the old welfare system had provided support for only the most meager of living standards. Perhaps if during the Transition Era the Democrats had been able to do something significant for the poor, like establishing and implementing a broad, comprehensive plan to eliminate poverty, as we have done in the Re?United States, they would not have become the permanent minority they did. But that’s another story, to which we shall return briefly at the end of this book.
Note that Oakwood doesn’t even mention either Section 6 or Section 7 of the 32nd Amendment, although he must have known how significant they were. He was also probably aware that this time around in the amending process the real goal of Hague and the R-CA was getting those items, not the “balancing” ones, into the Constitution. But the Hagueites didn’t want to publicly acknowledge what was really at stake.
In hindsight, the Hagueites were obviously out to destroy the basis of Constitutional democracy in the old United States, and use the Constitution itself to accomplish that end. But during pre?dictatorship times, when they still had to be concerned with such matters, in public?relations terms it was much better for them to use a “stealth” approach than try to confront the issue directly. And so, as Oakwood and all of his ilk did, so much the better to focus on false “Imperial Congress” and money themes than on what their real agenda was.
A Connie Conroy Note, January 12, 2006
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. I’ve got to say, this President is just brilliant. He knows that as our enemies continue to conspire to pull us down, to pull our nation down, to pull our people down, he is, he’s got to be, the bulwark against this. And as much as we’ve got that Congress in our pocket now, as old George used to say, “who needs Congress?” And so now we’ve finally got a way around them, even when we’ve got them.
But did the President directly go after the power he needs? Nosiree bob (or is it Bob?) He used the old misdirection play he learned so well from Newton. He went right back to the tricks of the 104th and its great, great “Freshman Class” that gave him his start. He actually mentioned just the other day what he called the “tax-cut-to-put-money-back-in-your-pocket” ploy. (2)
He told me that what his guys really wanted was to get that money back into the pockets of the rich. “After all,” he said, “remember Newton’s First Law of Politics: Reward Your Friends.” And it was the rich guys who sent the famous “Freshman Class” there. But under Newton’s leadership the tax cut was made to sound like it was for everyone. And the poor old Dems. They just didn’t know how to handle it. (3)
So with this one J.D. concentrated on selling a “no-loopholes” BBA and the line?item?veto, to “balance things out” between that dirty old Congress (even if it’s our dirty old Congress now) and “the people’s President.” He just kind of slid in the decree power (still “checked and balanced,” naturally), with the “well, if you’re going to balance things out, might as well do this too” argument. And repealing the Fourth? Well, that one was “for balance” also-“balancing things out for the people and against the criminals.”
Naturally, everyone knows that that balanced budget and line item veto shit are nothing more than that, shit. We control the Congress and the White House, and that doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon, particularly given that the Democrats, what’s left of them, look to be on life-support. The Congress does what we tell them to. So who needs a line item veto, anyway?
As for that balanced budget crap. We haven’t had one in years. And we won’t get one any time soon, either. That’s because the “balancing” requirement applies only to the “other” expenditures, not defense or interest payments, the two largest items. But it looks good, right there in the Constitution, with no loopholes, heh, heh. But ruling by decree and the end to that “unreasonable search and seizure” crap. Now we’ve really got something.
Prez sez he’s going to be careful with the decree power. He probably won’t use it just yet. He’ll see how things are going, but he may actually wait until Term II. But no Fourth? Now we’re really going to be able to go after those Connie bastards.
2. Author’s Note: The “tax-cut-for-you” when-it-was-anything-but tactic Conroy refers to itself harked all the way back to the 1978 “Proposition 13” tax cut in California (Brinkley). That one was sold to the voters as a “tax cut for everyone” but in reality provided most of the reductions to business. It saved business money indeed. But it was a major factor in the decline of California that occurred over the succeeding two decades. For example, in 1978, when Proposition 13 had passed, California’s schools were among the nation’s best (Blumenthal, 1995). By 1995, money starved by the property taxation strictures of Prop. 13, they ranked among the worst.
3. Author’s Note: There was ammunition. But the Democrats didn’t use it. Many of their leaders were wedded to a “your taxes are too high” fiction themselves. For example, the 1995 tax cut proposed by the Republicans would have provided the average American taxpayer with -68 cents per day (Rosenbaum). This was at the cost of significant reductions in the two partial national programs for paying for some of the costs of health services, “Medicare” for the elderly and “Medicaid” for the disabled and the poor, environmental protection, public health services, veterans’ benefits, occupational safety and health protection, Federal recreational activities, and virtually every other direct and indirect service provided by the Federal government other than the military and prisons.
An Alex Poughton Letter
October 31, 2006
Halloween is an appropriate day to be writing you about what is going on here now. It’s scary. The basis for dictatorship has been established, right in the Constitution, no less. And no one seems to know it, or least they don’t acknowledge it publicly. “It’s just part of the balancing act” my “White House sources” say as I make the rounds preparing my next puff (or is it Pough) piece on this place. As for repealing the Fourth Amendment, they just mumble something about “maintaining a balance in internal security.” Well, I really don’t think that allowing the police to ride roughshod over one’s persons and property just because they think it’s a good idea is the way to accomplish that.
You can’t tell from government propaganda that there is any unrest or even unhappiness here, because they just tell you all the time how terrific everything is. After all, the major media here have been owned by large manufacturing or entertainment corporations for quite some time, and they just follow the government line (or do they make it?)
I can’t find out anything directly because it’s been a couple of years since even “friendly” foreign journalists like me could freely go anywhere and talk with anyone. And you have a hard time telling anything from economic or social data because there is so little of it available.
You may know that David Stockman, Ronald Reagan’s first Budget Director once said that he would like to vastly reduce government data publishing because that would deprive the liberals of ammunition. Well, they’ve finally done it. There either is no data, or it’s based on “optimistic” projections, like that old “dynamic budgeting” ploy the Republicans used in ’95 to try to sell the country once again on that “supply-side” economics nonsense that cutting taxes for the wealthy would actually increase government revenues.
Well I suppose it’s because, data aside, there may well be something negative going on here. After all, if everything is so terrific, why do they need to possibly destroy basic civil liberties as well as establish the basis for a Presidential dictatorship? On the first of those points, I recently came across a statement that Winston Churchill made when he was Home Secretary way back in 1910 (Lewis):
“The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of the civilization of any country. A calm dispassionate recognition of the rights of the accused, and even of the convicted criminal, against the state-a constant heart-searching by all charged with the duty of punishment. . . . These are the symbols which . . . mark and measure the stored up strength of a nation, and are a sign and proof of the living virtue in it.”
So much for the thought of a true conservative, compared with those of this reactionary rabble.
On the second point, even with access by the domestic media and ourselves both tightly controlled, you do hear stuff, the reasons why a dictatorship might just be in the cards. Like real incomes continuing to fall, as they were 10 years ago, and for 20 years before that (Thurow). With the decline of American manufacturing that began back in the Reagan Presidency likely to be continuing, there’s no reason to believe that that isn’t the case.
Like real unemployment climbing-and even in the 90s when reliable numbers were available, because of the way they counted (Sklar) real unemployment could have been up to three times the reported figure. Like the widening of the long-standing gap between the rich and everyone else (Cassidy), both poor and “middle-class.” An author of the mid-90s called the process “Colombianization” [Author’s Note: see Chapter one]. There is no data, but if what one sees on the street truly represents reality, it’s happening.
You hear stuff like increasing numbers of people going to bed hungry, and perhaps starvation becoming a real factor (with the absolute end of welfare, food purchase assistance, and so on). Certainly despite the best efforts of the police to sweep the streets clean, the number of beggars you see around in the major cities is increasing. And you hear stories about street sweeps being made and beggars and the homeless being sent to those camps that were set up on abandoned army bases under Pres. Pine’s “Real Drug War.” But no one can get close to the camps, so who knows.
Certainly the R-CA and most especially its Oakwood style cohorts try to maintain racial tensions and homophobia and xenophobia in the old Republican style to distract people from what’s really going on. As then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton said when he announced for the Democratic Presidential nomination back in 1991:
“For 12 years, Republicans have tried to divide us-race against race-so we get mad at each other and not at them. They want us to look at each other across a racial divide so we don’t turn and look to the White House and ask, why are all of our incomes going down, why are all of us losing jobs? Why are we losing our future?”
(Too bad he never followed through politically on those thoughts.)
On the other side of the struggle, you do hear stories too of occasional joint black-white-Hispanic labor protests. The private sector trade unions are almost gone, and many states have banned public employee unions entirely. But some workers, I hear, are beginning to realize one way or another what’s really been done to them.
“Labor unrest.” I wonder if that’s the real reason why Hague rammed through the decree power now. Well, only time will tell.
Keep well. Your friend, Alex.
A Parthenon Pomeroy Diary Entry, June 19, 2005
We did it, we did it. We’re finally going to get on the right track in this country. Now our President is going to have real power. That’s what we really need. One man can make a difference. And that meddling Congress can’t stop him unless it really wants to. This is going to fix things up all right. This is what we need to get America to where it ought to be, to what it can be, to what it always was and always will be. Thanks, God, and thanks Pat, too.
The 32nd Amendment was a catch?all along the lines of the “Morality Amendment” (the 31st). Like the latter, the 32nd placed into the Constitution a number of desiderata of Rightwing Reaction harking back to the Transition Era (HRC; RNC) i.e., its sections 1 – 5 and 7. Of course, in historical terms, section 6 was the 32nd’s most significant element for them, and it was new. It ultimately made it possible for Rightwing Reaction to use the Constitution to destroy Constitutional government in the old U.S.
Legislating by Amending
The Hagueites put the most political emphasis upon the provisions of the 32nd designed to force the Congress to balance the Federal budget. In this regard, the 32nd was following the Rightwing penchant for attempting to solve what were essentially legislative problems through the medium of a Constitutional amendment. For example, historians now generally consider that Sections 2, 3, and 4 of the 31st Amendment (respectively prohibiting sex education, constitutionalizing anti-homosexual discrimination, and restricting welfare maintenance solely to persons institutionalized for the purpose) had more of a legislative than constitutional nature.
By doing this kind of detailed work in the Constitution, Rightwing Reaction was following a pattern that it increasingly adhered to beginning with the adoption of the first Balanced Budget Amendment in 1999. Following legislative procedures, the Congress could have adopted a balanced budget any time it wanted to. And any President could have proposed one too. But those who declaimed the loudest about the importance of balancing the budget did nothing but make things worse.
In the 12 years of the Republican Presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George Bush from 1981, neither one ever submitted a balanced budget or anything close to it to the Congress, although both were strong, vocal supporters of the Balanced Budget Amendment. During the Reagan-Bush years the national debt quadrupled, from $1 trillion to $4 trillion (Brinkley). The actions of Reagan and Bush lead directly to this situation. They just talked the talk; they did not walk the walk.
In fact, over those 12 years the Congress, primarily under the control of the then so-called “tax and spend” Democrats, adopted budgets totaling only about $100 billion (in 1992 dollars) more than the proposed budgets submitted by the supposedly “fiscally responsible” reactionary Republicans in the White House-an $8 billion per year drop in the $1 trillion average annual Federal budget buckets of the time.
Rightwing Reaction and the Balanced Budget Amendment
Why then did Rightwing Reaction so vigorously support a Balanced Budget Amendment during the Transition Era-Common at the time was the view that it was just typical Right-Wing simplistic, “sound bite” politics that sounded good while meaning little. One modern view holds that it was part of the pattern of not trusting and wanting to stifle the democratic process that became ever-more part of the Rightwing Reactionary strategy of the time (Hopkins) (see also Appendix III).
Certainly Rightwing Reaction’s other prime Amendment of the 90s, Congressional Terms Limits, was the epitome of anti-democratic thinking (see also Appendix III). The private thinking of the Right-wing Reactionaries on this issue may well have gone: “If legislative matters are put into the Constitution while we control the amendment process, it will be that much tougher for them to change things back if and when we ever lose that control.”
It is known that that kind of thinking lay behind the creation of the huge Federal debt by the Reaganites in the 1980s (Brinkley; Stockman): to tie the hands of any future “social spenders” by increasing the Federal annual deficits and total debt. Ironically, it was a Democratic Congressional leadership in the early 1980s that bought into the “supply-side” fiction that the government could simultaneously cut taxes, sustain services, and reduce the deficit, if not the national debt that allowed the debacle to occur (Blumenthal, 1993; Brinkley).
It didn’t work that way, and the Federal budget would over the years become ever more burdened with ever-increasing interest payments to wealthy bond-holders. As one wag of the time put it, the Republicans cut the taxes of the rich and then paid them to loan the government the money it needed to run its operations, operations the rich should have been paying taxes to support all along (The Nation).
The Balanced Budget Amendment
The theory behind the Balanced Budget Amendment had been that without it an “undisciplined Congress” would never pass a balanced budget, and that “Republican Discipline,” through the Constitution, was required if that laudable goal were to be achieved. (The Reagan-Bush unbalancing act referred to above was seldom mentioned.) In actuality, the original Balanced Budget Amendment had had other goals: political gimmickry; protecting the rich and the large corporations from income tax increases (a threat now of course eliminated by the repeal of the 16th Amendment that was part of the 31st Amendment); and continuing the attack on the Congress as an institutional cause of national problems, even though it was firmly in the hands of the R-CA.
The 28th Amendment, itself intended to force the balancing of the Federal budget, had been passed by the 105th Congress, one in which the old Democratic Party minority still had significant representation in each House of Congress. Whether for that reason or not, the 28th Amendment had had in it what the Right-wing Reactionaries considered to be “significant loopholes.” And in practice, it had proved to have significant loopholes.
Some Outcomes of the 32nd
With the ratification of the 32nd, the Right-wing Reactionaries had what they considered to be an “iron-clad” version, with no loopholes-except for “national defense” and interest payments on the national debt. Once again the exceptions, even if they were Right-wing Reactionary exceptions, formed the kicker. They were put in for both ideological and practical reasons. Since the early 1990s, as Bill Clinton had discovered to his chagrin early on in his Presidency, military spending had been specially protected when it came time for the annual Federal budget slashing exercises that both the Congress and Presidents from Clinton onwards undertook. And the national debt service was untouchable anyway.
Nevertheless, with the 32nd, Right-wing Reaction insisted on ensconcing in the Constitution the special status of military spending, “to show the American people and the world that the United States would never back down from any military threat.” In the context of ensconcing military spending, Right-wing Reaction had to ensconce debt service spending as well, to make sure that both domestic and foreign debt holders would sleep easily at night.
Subsequent events, however, demonstrated that no matter what Constitutional/legislative twists and turns Right-wing Reaction followed, since the “balanced” requirement applied only to the “general operations” part of Federal government activity (see Sect. 3), the actual budgetary outcome changed little. There still was a real annual budget deficit, only it was only for military and debt service spending.
As they had throughout the Transition Era, Right-wing Reaction of course continued to be unwilling to levy the taxes on those who could afford to pay, to meet even the minimal requirements of a government that had very few national domestic programs left. This was the case despite the fact that overall the taxation level in the old U.S. was at the very low end of the range for industrialized nations (Reno). This unwillingness applied especially to those individuals and corporations that could afford pay.
“Slashing the Federal payroll/getting rid of those excess bureaucrats” (at a time when the number of Federal non-military/non-criminal justice employees had reached its lowest level since the days of Calvin Coolidge) became ever more difficult. Favorite Transition Era Federal targets of Right-wing Reaction, like the Departments of Education, Commerce, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, and Energy, and most of their programs had long since been eliminated.
In fact, as noted above, since discretionary non-military spending had already reached such a low level, following the passage of this Amendment, to get the “other operations” section of the Federal budget into actual balance, financial support for the Federal criminal justice system was by legislation moved to the “national defense” budget. The “correctional-Industrial complex” as it had been described in 1995 by Barry Krisberg, President of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (Butterfield), had become the equal of its big brother, the old “military-industrial complex.”
This development would have major socio?political ramifications in subsequent years. In the present time, given the level of expenditure on it, it meant that the real, overall Federal budget would remain in deficit. In practice, then, this Balanced Budget Amendment had as much or little impact as had its predecessor (or had any Federal attempts to force the adoption of a balanced budget, dating from the “Gramm-Rudman-Hollings” Act of the 1980s [Reno].)
The Line Item Veto
The line item veto was an example of the closing-the-barn-door-after-the-horse-had-fled exercise Right-wing Reaction often engaged in during the Transition Era and early Fascist Period. Such a measure had been enacted into law by the 104th Congress. Once the R-CA had taken control of both the White House and the Congress, it had little meaning and had been little used. But by putting the measure into the Constitution, its sponsors were able to show their ideological purity.
For many years, the theory behind the line item veto had been that the “checks and balances” of the Constitution gave the Congress “too much power” and “tied the hands of the President.” In actuality, the measure was simply another step down the road towards the concentration of all governmental power in the hands of the Executive Branch. In fact, if it hadn’t been for Sections 6 and 7 of the 32nd Amendment, the measure could have been seen simply as part of a step-wise progression towards that end. Benjamin Franklin had foreseen the whole thing, many years before. He once said (Lind): “The Executive will always be increasing here, as elsewhere, till it ends in a monarchy.”
The Concentration of Power
Sections 6 and 7 of the 32nd made single steps into huge leaps. The basis for the creation of a dictatorship was now established. And of course, the national government under the R-CA would need it to deal with the increasing level of national unrest alluded to in the Poughton letter, and dealt with in great detail by other modern historians of the Fascist Period (see esp. Gillespie).
With the Balanced Budget Amendment and the line item veto receiving all the play in a media now firmly under the thumb of the R-CA, as Conroy readily admitted into the privacy of her illegal computer’s memory, Section 6 was essentially “snuck in,” as an additional method for “correcting the imbalance between the Branches.”
Except in certain limited circumstances, the decree power was indeed not used by President Hague for another five years. But as noted, this provision of the Constitution itself, legally adopted by Federal and state governments that happened to be put into place by the medium of the “The 15% Solution,” would be used to destroy Constitutional democracy in the old United States. By the time that happened, repeal of the Fourth Amendment and its aftermath had already effectively destroyed the most important off-spring of Constitutional Democracy, civil liberties.
The Outcomes of Repeal of the 4th Amendment
As predicted by Conroy, the power to search and seize without judicial limitation was used right away. But for the most part it was not used against garden variety criminals. As with all other data from the Fascist Period, criminal justice data are very skimpy. But apparently rates for arrests (in about 20% of crimes) and convictions (in about 50% of arrests) had changed little since the mid-90s (Lacayo).
The small proportion of cases getting to court in which a claimed illegal search was even a factor in trial outcomes, in the Transition Era 0.5 – 5% (Seelye), probably hadn’t changed either. But now Right-Wing Reaction could go after its political enemies with a vengeance. And with increasing vigor, they did. The populations of the camps apparently exploded, with the influx of the poor on the one hand, and political prisoners on the other.
In that regard, it is interesting to note Conroy’s early use of the term “Connie.” It was an epithet the Hagueites used to describe their enemies. Sounding like the old 20th century epithet “Commie,” one which by Conroy’s time meant nothing to most people, “Connie” was employed to refer to someone who supported the old Constitution before the R-CA had amended it literally to death. And through the likes of Oakwood, Connie was quickly made into a dirty word, much as Rush Limbaugh and his cohorts had managed to do with the previously quite innocuous term “liberal” back in the 90s.
Eventually, under the New American Republics the forces of Constitutional democracy adopted the term “Connie” for themselves, so that in the Second Civil War in their own vernacular the two sides were the “Connies” (for “Constitutionalists”) and the “Fundys” (for “Fundamentalists”).
Strangely enough, even the Hagueites felt that there were some limits on how far they could go in strangling Constitutional democracy by Constitutional means. Back in 1995, one of the icons of Right-wing Reaction, the political columnist George Will, had actually proposed to abolish the secret ballot for voting (Will). He said:
“What should be the practice for people morally sturdy enough to deserve democracy-oral voting. . . . Abolish secret voting, have every voter call out his or her choice in an unquavering voice and have the choice recorded for public inspection. You probably will have a smaller electorate, but also a hardier, better one.”
When the 32nd came up for consideration, there was some sentiment for sticking this one in too. But the Hagueite inner circle decided that even for them it was a bit too much. It was dropped. In another five years, the whole matter had become moot anyway.
The German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler established his dictatorship by constitutional means through the Enabling Act (Davidowicz). Jefferson Davis Hague established his, eventually, by means of the Balancing Amendment. Interestingly, Hitler had had to decree the end of civil liberties in his country. Hague’s forces achieved that end too through the Constitutional amendment process. “The 15% Solution” had once again struck at the heart of everything that had once made the old U.S. a very unique place in the world.
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The Nation, “Unbalancing the Economy,” March 13, 1995, p. 329.
Will, G., “Let every voter stand up and be counted,” New York Post, October 26, 1995.
The original edition of “The 15% Solution” is available on Amazon.com and on BarnesandNoble.com. The 2004 print-on-demand re-issue from Xlibris is also available on Amazon.com and on BarnesandNoble.com. You will find a “Sub-Home Page” for the serialization at the lower right-hand corner of the Home Page for www.TPJmagazine.us. It contains such items as the Disclaimer, cast of characters, author’s bio., cover copy, and several (favorable) reviews, and will have a full archive of all the chapters as they are published over time. The serialization is also appearing on www.BuzzFlash.com, Dandelion Salad; The Greanville POST; and TheHarderStuff newsletter.
Jonathan Westminster and biography are based on a pseudonym.
Steven Jonas, MD, MPH is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University (NY) and author/co-author/editor of 30 books. In addition to being a Columnist for BuzzFlash, Dr. Jonas is also a Contributing Author for TPJmagazine; a Featured Writer for Dandelion Salad; a Senior Columnist for The Greanville POST; a Contributor to TheHarderStuff newsletter; a Contributor to The Planetary Movement; and a Contributing Columnist for the Project for the Old American Century, POAC.