How will the deciders decide?
One year from today, on October 16, 2022, members of the American Union will be asked two basic questions. Their collective answers will decide the balance of power in Washington for the following two years.
1) Did you fast — eat no food and drink only water — for 24 consecutive hours for the national fast for peace on October 15, 2022?
The fast — willingly abstaining from food for a period of time — is a fast of moral pressure, seeking to inspire candidates to meet our Constitutional duties to each other. There are many reasons to join the monthly fast for peace, but on October 15, 2022, there is a very specific purpose: it is an opt-in arrangement for Americans to pledge to vote together in the midterm election, demanding a better social contract.
The American Union is a union of swing voters, willing to cast their ballots together for a Republican or Democrat in every federal race. The demand is simple; immediate passage of a crowdsourced legislative package that ends poverty, ends mass incarceration, and ends the endless wars. When 3.5% of Americans unite, the American Union endorsements will control the outcome in key races across the country, and ultimately the final makeup of the 118th Congress.
Candidates for federal office willing to meet our terms can earn our votes by participating in the October 15 fast also, and indicating their acceptance on Twitter with the hashtag #fastforpeace. Incumbents who accept will have 10 days to put our legislation on the President’s desk, at which time they will receive the American Union endorsement. America can avoid an angry, divisive election, and happily reelect a Congress whose approval rating will spike upward when they pass the most transformative piece of legislation in decades.
2) If Congress refuses to end poverty, end mass incarceration, and end the endless wars, how should we make our endorsements?
There are three basic options for the American Union to choose from; (a) the takedown, (b) the coin flip, or (c) the power broker.
The obvious strategy might be (a): take down all incumbents of both parties. While this might leave little net change in party margins, as a national block of swing voters, our target vote share of 3.5% could decide the outcome of 70 or more close races in the 2022 midterms. Anti-incumbent sentiment could easily spiral upward, as a result of the strange paradox where many people hate Congress as a whole, but think their own likable Congressperson has nothing to do with the problem. When these other voters learn that the American Union is voting “the bums” out, they are more likely to join in the fun. The mere possibility of widespread, bipartisan losses should give Congress a strong incentive to cooperate.
The next option, (b), is the coin flip, a technique used to decide an American Union endorsement in the January 2021 Georgia senate runoffs. When neither party was willing to offer any legislative concessions, the endorsement for the Democrats was made by the flip of a coin. Had 29,000 Georgians who voted with the American Union voted the other way, Republicans would have maintained power in the Senate. The random nature of the choice is not an act of spite, but an act of noncooperation with the perennial demand that we choose the lesser of evils.
On a national level, the coin flip would not result in a blanket endorsement of one party’s candidates. Instead, the cumulative result of the endorsements would give a randomly selected party a working majority. By delegitimatizing their gain, this would send a clear message to the new majority that they had no mandate, but were there only on a vote of no confidence. They would have advance warning that failure to meet our terms by 2024 would result in their removal from power.
Option (c) would be to make a more nuanced set of endorsements across the Congressional races, in order to collect political capital and lay the groundwork for another election. If we assist those who helped advance our policy objectives but did not succeed, we must be wary. Our goal is not to seize the reins of power or prefer one party over the other, but to achieve “a radical redistribution of political and economic power” in service of ending poverty, mass incarceration, and the endless wars.
Ideally, none of these options will be needed, and Congress will cooperate to enact our legislative package, and we will decide to reelect all who met our terms. If they refuse, however, on October 16, 2022, the American Union will exercise our power as deciders.
Which option do you think is best and why? Let us know in the comments.