Rotarians for The American Promise
Exploring & Consulting on Reforms to Ensure Free & Fair Elections, While Practicing Civility
We believe that the principles of Rotary, including the 4-Way Test, The 7 Areas of Focus and The 8 Pillars of Positive Peace provide us the with all the tools we need to promote and facilitate Civility and Civic Engagement with our fellow Americans.
How a disturbing trend toward “pay-to-play” politics is undermining the peace and civic engagement in the US
And some solutions that you may want to support
Either through working directly on Peace… or, by working on the Areas of Focus, you are helping to create the conditions for Positive Peace
And, working on the 8 Pillars of Positive Peace, makes it easier to advance in The Six Areas of Focus
In talking about peace, he specifically talked about challenges in the US
The Carter Center has been unable to certify US elections because our election system is not uniform and we do not meet their standard for equal access.
For example, in Montana, several state legislative races were swamped by attack ads funded by out-of-state money that were patently untrue, but neither the candidates nor the voters knew who were attacking them, so there was no way to respond.
We all deserve to know THE TRUTH about who is trying to influence our votes!
Advisers say this contributed to the FDA approving claims that OxyContin was less addictive than other narcotics… without clinical trials… a major factor in the opioid crisis that has taken over 400,000 lives
This is not Fair to All Concerned
As distrust grows, each side points to the other as the reason they cannot get anything done
In addition, those who benefit in this system have an incentive to blame others rather than engaging difficult issues and decisions
This is a major contributor to polarization, outrage, civic disengagement, apathy and the loss of civility
As Rotarians, we see this damage firsthand…in our families, our work & with our neighbors….
And call out how it is at the root of other frustrations
Business leaders are also frustrated, though often privately
Because when companies contribute or spend, it opens them up to a sort of “legalized extortion” by government officials, where they must spend to avoid negative legislation
This is detrimental to the economy and business
Because it pushes companies to compete through government favors rather than innovating or investing for the long-term or delivering for customers in the marketplace
Americans are working on civic reform in droves –
anti-gerrymandering to disclosure laws, to civility training and electing new candidates
Americans agree on the need to set limits on political spending
For example, when presented with an argument for an amendment to address money in politics, here were the responses, grouped by political leaning
The fact is, Americans are divided on many things -- but they are united on the need to restore representative democracy and self-government
It is easy to miss this, especially when we feel discouraged – because it is not what is called out in the media
The process requires us to engage each other as citizens and renew that core American Promise
It gives us something to be FOR, not against.
Might this be the project to revitalize American values, working together to address the pay-to-play system that is undermining our faith in our country and each other?
The truth is, nearly every American generation has passed a constitutional amendment.
Often at a tipping point when practices went too far in violating our ideals
Dred Scott, women voting, 18 year old's voting ….
Rotarians have adopted similarly audacious goals when it was necessary for Positive Peace
Let’s recall the role the Rotary played in the founding of the U.N.
Rotary International was one of 42 organizations the United States invited to serve as consultants to its delegation at the San Francisco conference, with 11 people serving in rotation.
Rotarians from around the world also served as members of their own nations’ delegations, and as consultants to their national delegations.
And, after the signing of the Charter in 1945, Rotary shared a booklet with its members around the world, explaining that the Charter would only be effective if “free citizens” worldwide were determined to give it vitality.