A.R.M.

American Reform Movement

 

MISSION STATEMENT:

The purpose of A.R.M. is to provide an alternative way for political action so that we, as taxpaying voters, can combine more effectively together in each Congressional District, to get back some control over the governance of our country from the hands of the two major parties who are now in control of it.

To that end, A.R.M. is focusing on the House of Representatives as the only place where we, the taxpaying voters of this great republic of ours, have a chance of accomplishing that.

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INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS:

As a first step forward for real change to happen in our country, here are two very simple things we, as individual citizens and voters, can do all on our own.

  • If you haven’t done so already, go to your local voter registration office and RE-REGISTER as an UNAFFILIATED or INDEPENDENT voter. This might not seem like a significant thing to do, but, here’s why it’s an important first step, and one which can have a major impact on the political scene. The reason is this – if the volume of independent registered voters starts growing even more than what it is now, it will rattle the political cages of the two major parties which currently monopolize our political process. It will force them to re-think some of their political agendas and positions and the way they do business. Keep in mind, the largest voting demographic today is unaffiliated or independent voters. These currently account for 49% of all registered voters… taking that action adds to the effect…so, if you want CHANGE…do it, and be there.
  • The second thing you can do as an individual voter is to create your own personal voting policy concerning TERM LIMITS. Here’s why. For the past forty years we’ve allowed an elitist caste of career politicians to develop which no longer serves our collective interests. Instead, it’s only focused on ways and means to maintain itself in office so it can continue to feed at the trough of “public service” as long as possible. In the process it has become more and more corrupt and under the influence of major special interests, who contribute massive amounts of money to have them legislate in their favor rather than for what might be for the common good.

And the key factor that allows them to operate this way is LONG TERM INCUMBENCY in office. Being able to stay in office for 20-30- or even 40 consecutive years inevitably leads such office holders to favor their political benefactors over the rest of us, and legislate accordingly. So, if that cycle of long term incumbency in office is short circuited by TERM LIMITS then the baneful influences of such large campaign contributors are reduced, mainly because the cost/benefit returns are no longer attractive to them. It’s that simple.

Since trying to get a constitutional amendment enacted by Congress and ratified by the States to impose term limits is a near impossibility (after all that would be against their career interests), here’s a way for you do so, again, all on your own, and in a way no one can prevent. Simply make a pledge and covenant with YOURSELF to impose your own limits on how many consecutive terms you will allow anyone to serve in the House of Representatives or the Senate, and here’s how you can do it: Download and print out the following pledge for yourself, sign and date it, then keep it in a safe place until an election cycle rolls around. At that time haul it out again to remind yourself of what you consider those term limits to be. That is:

  1. a) Six consecutive terms only for the House of Representatives.
  2. b) Two consecutive terms only for the Senate.

Such limits of 12 years in each should be sufficient.

You can opt for shorter ones, but a total of twelve years in each chamber seems to be the most practical and realistic amount of time for any truly “independent” members to gain sufficient experience and seniority to serve us effectively on various important committees. If you strictly abide by this pledge with yourself each time you vote, all on your own you will be creating CHANGE. In the meantime, try to convince as many others as you can to do the same thing. And any time you hear someone moaning and ranting about how lousy things are with our government, show them a copy of that pledge, and tell them:

QUIT BITCHING…AND START SWITCHING….IT’S REALLY UP TO YOU….IF YOU WANT CHANGE TO FIX WHAT NEEDS FIXING!

(pledge form here below)

A COVENANT AND PLEDGE TO MYSELF:

WHEREAS: The current caste of career politicians no longer serves our common interests, and, WHEREAS: The primary cause of that being long incumbency in office, I____________________________(your name), as an independent and unaffiliated voter, hereby resolve and adopt the following term limit voting policy for myself:

  • I will no longer vote for any incumbent in the House of Representatives seeking re-election beyond six (6) consecutive terms.
  • I will no longer vote for any incumbent in the United States Senate seeking re-election beyond two (2) consecutive terms.
  • I will endeavor to the best of my ability to convince as many others as possible to adopt the same personal term limit policy.

 

SIGNED:————————————           DATE:——————————–

SUMMARY OF INDIVDUAL ACTION:

These are individual personal actions that you as an independent/unaffiliated voter can take all on your own to start creating change. It may not sound like much, but it is small steps like this that can start a second American Revolution…..by the ballot….not the bullet.

 

COLLECTIVE MEANS OF ACTION:

Organizing and setting up an A.R.M. chapter in your congressional district.

The important thing to keep in mind here is that you are not trying to create another political party.

The idea of A.R.M. is to provide you with an alternative means for political action, and in a way that will allow you to get together with like-minded friends, neighbors, work and business associates to activate an effective grass roots and local effort focused entirely on getting one of your own elected as an – Independent – to the House of Representatives. That’s all.

The other important thing to also keep in mind is this….as long as you are not a formal political organization or party….you can pretty much operated however you like. You are truly “independent”. So, for this purpose, think of yourselves as a private “investment club”, one which is aiming to invest more wisely in the governance of this country.

GETTING ORGANIZED:

 Obviously, someone has to take the initiative to get things started. No reason it can’t be you. The worse thing that can happen is….nothing happens.

Inviting some folks you know and believe have similar views to a brunch-type event is probably the simplest and easiest way to gather a core founding group together. It doesn’t have to be a large group, a half-dozen or so will do. In your invitation for such a brunch let them all know you’ve come across an idea that might be of interest to all. You don’t have to go into long explanations.

If you have the facility for it, this first session can be at your home. If not, or if you prefer, pick a decent restaurant or hotel with a small party or meeting room. Keep it simple, and within whatever budget you can afford.*

  • Meanwhile, to prepare for this founding session to set up an A.R.M. Chapter in your District, download and print out the – Blueprint – with enough copies for each of those you’ve invited to the brunch. If you have a laptop, you might also set it up and be ready to click on the intro video clip about A.R.M. The combination of these two things should have a stronger effect than just a printed handout of several pages.
  • Prepare a simple “FOUNDING COMMITTEE RESOLUTION” along the following lines:

FOUNDING COMMITTEE RESOLUTION

We, the undersigned founding committee, to establish a A.R.M. chapter for the Congressional District #—- of the State of —–, hereby agree to the following:

  • The Chapter is a voluntary association of concerned voters of this District who wish to have a non-party, unaffiliated means for effective political action.
  • Active membership and participation in the Chapter’s activities is open to any registered voter of this District who is prepared and willing to re-register as an independent and un-affiliated voter.
  • All members of this Chapter are prepared and willing to donate their time and services to support the Chapter’s activities, and, to share any incidental costs the may be required from time to time. Such costs to be equally shared among all active members.
  • The primary objective of this Chapter’s political action efforts will be to have one of its own elected as an –Independent- Representative to the House of Representatives. The process for that to be as follows:
  1. Five members’ names will be drawn by lot as its “primary slate” of candidates for that office. Any member declining to be replaced by a further draw.

b.) By a series of town hall type meetings, these selected candidates will be examined and questioned by the membership as to their backgrounds, positions on any issues of common concern, and any other qualifications they may have to qualify as their Representative in Congress.

c.) Following these proceedings, the membership will then vote on which of the five candidates they believe will best be able to be the Chapter’s entry for Congress in that election cycle.

d.) Having selected a candidate for Congress, the Chapter will campaign for that person as an independent candidate for Congress, either by gathering sufficient signatures to get its candidate officially placed on the ballot; or, as a write-in choice. The Chapter will concentrate its efforts only on those who are registered voters for their District.

  • Through a variety of means the Chapter will communicate and collaborate with other Chapters throughout its State, and elsewhere from around the country, to help develop and promote broad consensus on issues of concern to all, and for common and coordinated political action, as appropriate.

 

Approved and adopted on ——————— at———————————-

SIGNED: ——————- —————— ———————- ————— ——————

(typed names for each signature)

 

NOTE: This is just a suggested outline for such a resolution. It can be worded any way that is preferred.

  • Once the basic organizing has been accomplished, the next steps should be:
  1. Obtaining a copy of the list of registered voters for your District. That’s a public record, and will provide their names and addresses for contact.
  2. Establish an internet account and name. In that regard it’s recommended that all A.R.M. chapters adopt this standard format for that purpose. That is…. (+state abrev).CD# @gmail.com. This will provide each Chapter with a specific and unique designation that will avoid any confusion with any other Chapter. More importantly it will enable the A.R.M. movement as a whole to see what progress is being made across the nation.
  3. From the voters’ registration list, begin preparing invitations to periodic town hall type meetings a hundred or so at a time. The brunch approach may be the best way for that. The membership dividing the related tasks for that among themselves, based on skills, talents, etc..
  4. The purpose of such meetings will be to promote the A.R.M. idea, to get other voters to register or re-register as Independents, keeping in mind the more of the District’s voters switch that way, and get involved with your A.R.M. Chapter, the better the odds will be for getting your Chapter’s candidate elected to Congress. And the big “carrot” for getting voters involved is the possibility that any one of them could become a candidate and be elected to Congress.
  • At some point your Chapter will probably have to become more formalized in its operations. It’s strongly recommended that it consider the 40+Organization’s model for that purpose. That’s because it operates on the basis of its membership working on a volunteer and rotating schedule basis, to do whatever tasks are needed. That spreads the load of work, and minimizes costs besides. It will also be beneficial to recruit HS and College age students as interns/volunteers, to tap into their generations’ idealism and eagerness to be involved in constructive political action (keep in mind these are all potential voters, so the earlier they are exposed to the A.R.M. idea, the more likely they are to support and become active with it later on).

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CLOSING THOUGHTS:

We’ve spent the last few years moaning and groaning about the way our career politicos are ruining this country, so the intent of all this is to show how we can make things change the way we want them to….change.

Okay, all of us are unhappy with the way things are going. Many are scared to death, because they’re facing uncertainty about their jobs, their home mortgages, taking care of their families, and so on. Our career politicos have let us all down. Some call them traitors, worthy of being burnt at the stake. Others, growl and roar about how they’re driving our great republic over the cliff and into financial ruin….if not oblivion. Still more, keep crying in their beers about how both political parties are losers.

I’ve done my share of taking potshots as well. But, in the final analysis, it comes down to this: Democracy….allows us to vote stupid as well as smart (we prove it every time we vote!), and in recent times all of us have, frankly, been pretty stupid about voting. Too many of us still can’t seem to see beyond voting either for a Democrat or a Republican. It’s time we all took a deep breath, removed the blinders we’ve worn up till now, and acknowledge and face the fact that these two major political parties have simply evolved into a career political class more concerned with their perks and privileges, and feeding at the trough of “public service” for as long as they can con us into keeping them there, rather than looking out for our interests. Simply put…..they live fat while we have to make do with…lean cuisine.

Who’s to blame for this state of affairs? Nope, it’s not them, folks…..it’s us! As a former popular cartoon strip character named Pogo, down there in the Everglades, once put it: “We have met the enemy….and it be….us!” So, do we continue acting like a nation of sheep, or perhaps, as just a bunch of well-fed, but chained up pet dogs….or are we ready to be perhaps slightly hungry but FREE ….wolves?

Think about it….we’re in the same situation as our forefathers were at Valley Forge….so it’s time to get off our buns, wipe the crybaby runny snot from our noses, and start taking action. It’s time for all of us to come to the aid of our country! If we don’t, we’ll deserve everything we won’t get.

It’s up to us!

IT’S TIME TO QUIT BITCHING AND START SWITCHING.