ANNOUNCEMENTS: The CFAR National Electoral Strategy

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John Rachel
 johnRachel7 John John Rachel has a B. A. in Philosophy, has traveled extensively, is a songwriter and music producer, a novelist, a left-of-left liberal, and has spent his life trying to resolve the intrinsic clash between the metaphysical purity of Buddhism and the overwhelming appeal of narcissism. John Rachel has a B.A. in Philosophy, and has written eight novels and three political non-fiction books. His political articles have appeared at OpEdNews, Russia Insider, The Greanville Post, and other alternative media outlets. Since leaving the U.S. in 2006, he has lived in and explored 33 countries. He is now somewhat rooted in a traditional, rural Japanese community about an hour from Osaka, where he lives with his wife of five years. Daily he rides his bicycle through the soybean fields and rice paddies which sprawl across the surrounding landscape. As of the date of the release of his most recent book, “The Peace Dividend: The Most Controversial Proposal in the History of the World”, he has a small but promising organic vegetable garden which begs his attention. You can follow his writing and the evolution of his world view at: http://jdrachel.com “Scribo ergo sum.”

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uza2-zombienationJOHN RACHEL —I produced the above video for Citizens Against Plutocracy, explaining my candidate contract concept, which now has been adopted and integrated by that organization as a featured component of their comprehensive strategy for putting in place a “people’s Congress” via the coming election.  They call it the CFAR National Electoral Strategy.  CFAR stands for Contract For American Renewal.


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16 thoughts on “ANNOUNCEMENTS: The CFAR National Electoral Strategy

  1. This looks like an interesting idea , and in a field of “left” opposition that offers nothing truly tangible or creative, perhaps it is something to explore. Still there are many questions that I suppose can or will be answered as the concept is endorsed more widely. Thank you for posting!

    L Willard
    St Paul

    1. Real life gets pretty basic. Everything comes down to survival. What the masses want is to be able to keep their families together, housed and fed. Many don’t have that today. When you don’t have that, all other issues fade into the background.

  2. The risk expressed by the editor is very real. A successful reformist program puts off the deletion date for capitalism itself. FDR proved that admirably. And now look where we are. Except that FDR was doing his thing in the 1930s/40s when the very concept of a nuclear holocaust AND/OR a complete implosion of the planet’s ecosystems as a result of human industrial activity devoid of real scientific and moral perspective was a mere distant concern…I therefore support this notion with a great of caution. We have no more time to waste on recreating the illusion of a normalcy that capitalism cannot ever deliver.

    J Desalucs
    Paris

  3. I think the CFAR contracts are a POTENTIALLY brilliant idea ruined by outright lying. The contract itself claims to be “legally-binding.” The Revolt Against Plutocracy website walks back that PROVABLY false claim only slightly, saying, ” If a class action lawsuit is ever undertaken by constituents to compel a member of Congress to resign for breach of contract, we believe a CFAR agreement will challenge settled law if need be. ”

    One might wish RAP and John Rachel to explain why a contract that’s described without qualification as “legally-binding” will need to “CHALLENGE settled law if need to be.” To virtually every other literate human being (except for RAP and John Rachel, apparently), “legally-binding” means IN ACCORD with settled law–NOT contradicting it and needing to challenge it. This is obviously a deliberately deceitful case of “hiding the ball,” since most voters supporting a prospective CFAR signer will see ONLY the signed “contract” (really only a PLEDGE) and not the RAP website that (partially) walk the false claim back. If you’re truly working for the people, why hide the ball from them?

    But the claim “walk-back” on the RAP website really only compounds and worsens the lie. Now, the walk-back is strictly NOT a lie, since it includes the weasel words “we believe”; John Rachel and RAP are free to believe anything they want, such as that George Washington is now president or that the moon is made of green cheese. That neither makes the subject matter of their believe true nor falsifies their claim to believe such silliness.

    But there IS evidence that they’re also LYING about their claim that CFAR “contracts” will “challenge”–rather than simply CONTRADICT settled law. Right above their claim of “challenge,” they link to an article by expert legal consultant Ronald B. Standler that provides a MOUNTAIN of evidence–from several different area of long-settled law–refuting the claim that candidate campaign promises are legally binding and be proper subjects for contracts. Assuming John Rachel and RAP’s principals can read, they KNOW CFAR “contracts” will NOT challenge settled law but simply be laughed out of court–assuming any respectable lawyer could even be found to defend them.

    Bottom line–We’ve caught John Rachel and RAP in a TRIPLE lie: 1) the open lie that CFAR “contracts” are legally binding and the more concealed lies that 2) CFAR contracts can mount ANY challenge to settled law and 3) John and the RAP principals actually believe the CFAR “contracts” can challenge settled law. As to 3) they’re not that stupid; Victor Tiffany of RAP admitted on the Progressive or Bust Facebook page that the “legally-binding” claim is a simply a “gimmick”–but he defensible one. It’s strange he DOESN’T feel that way about lies by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party establishment. THOSE liars will have NO trouble calling RAP’s “gimmick” an outright lie–at which point, having signed a CFAR “contract” will blow up in the (possibly naive) signers’ faces.

    1. Patrick, you know full well you’re not a judge nor a legal scholar. You were supposed to lead the Progressive or Bust effort in 2018, but instead you’re striking out in anger and frustration because your pet project, an “Occupy-like movement” never budged.

      You dropped the ball, and now you’re pretending to be a judge in a courtroom passing judgement on a contract that a real judge may not agree with since the contract itself is “legally binding.” The only liar in this case is Patrick acting like he knows how a judge will respond in the future.

      Patrick is a failed “organizer” bleeding with envy over an effort that filled in where he fumbled the ball. Full of empty “criticism,” Patrick the Fail has nothing better to offer.

      1. Clearly not the ONLY liar, especially because I’m NOT one. In an e-mail dated August 28 at 6;31 PM, you lied to me about the wording on the RAP page, claiming that the page said you believed your contracts would UNSUCCESSFULLY challenge case law, when in fact the word “unsuccessfully” does not appear in the relevant passage on the RAP website. Perhaps you rapidly changed it, since the word “unsuccessfully” would CLEARLY prove that the words “legally binding” in the actual contract are a lie. One does not claim a “contract” is legally binding and then state elsewhere that your attempt to defend it in court is likely to fail.

        Besides, based on your own argument, you and John might as well be climate change deniers. Most of us don’t believe in climate change because we have all the required knowledge and can’t refute all skeptical objections; we believe because we we trust science based on a huge consensus of highly credentialed experts who subject their views to peer review. I DON’T base my claim on my own legal expertise, but on trusting the expertise of lawyers like Kevin Zeese and expert legal consultant Ronald B. Standler. Besides, legal arguments are considerably easier for a layperson with verbal aptitude to understand, and I frankly don’t see how you expect to refute the weighty ones–from several different areas of law–that Standler provides. Just as I trust climatologists to tell what the climate is highly likely to do, I trust legal scholars to tell me what the courts are highly likely to do. And especially so when I can grasp their arguments and find them extremely difficult to refute.

        Finally, anyone who knows logic knows that your ad hominems against me carry no evidentiary weight whatsoever. I’d advise you to address the FACTS–which show your “legally binding” claim is a LIE.

  4. We can sum this agenda up as “It’s just a middle class thing.” When you ask the better off what they want, their answers amount to “protecting the advantages of the better off.” Shocking, huh? And indeed, liberals have spent the last quarter-century promoting middle (later adopting “working”) class elitism at the expense of addressing reality. The fact is that our deregulated, you’re-on-your-own capitalist state is a failure leading us to economic collapse. We ended actual welfare aid in the 1990s, and the US lost over 5 million manufacturing jobs alone since 2000, and we pretend there are no consequences. Every economic discussion that ignores our poverty crisis is a fraud.

  5. The US is caught in a weird situation: In poorer nations, where the destitute are a huge segment and know their reality, revolutionaries can find many ears ready to listen, and a significant number ready to revolt. They have literally nothing to lose. Here, the crisis is blowing the middle class apart but many Americans are still working off of the fat accumulated, they still manage to cling to a number of consumerist platforms, even in the face of economic attrition and insecurity. That insulates them emotionally and intellectually from the urgent need to look at more radical solutions. They are still an army of somnambulists out of touch with the forces wrecking their lives. Given this current reality, and the fact we still lack true mass media to reach millions of people with radical analyses and proposals, we remain at the mercy of our enemies.

    In a preceding comment Patrick Walker ferociously rebutted many of John Rachel’s proposals and premises, I think he goes too far in calling Rachel a willful liar, I find that harshness out of place in a dialog among good will comrades, but it is clear there are holes and questions in this plan and the chief proponent needs to address them more fully. As Walker points out, contracts with politicians in America, given this culture and judicial machinery, may remain a pipe dream, unenforceable. The multitude of ways a politician could avoid being found in breach “of contract” could constitute a legal labyrinth impossible to negotiate even for parties with huge funds to throw around, and that’s certainly not our situation.

    Kelly Rogers
    Nashville

  6. All of the comments so far are interesting and thought-provoking.

    LESLIE WILLARD and D.H. FABIAN: Yes, progressives often get high marks in theory but lack serious, workable, on-the-ground activism. This approach is an attempt to fill that need. It focuses on the real, everyday issues which affect the lives of everyday citizens, so in that sense it offers real solutions to real problems. Isn’t that what government is supposed to do?

    VEROLINGUE432: I had a “kick them all out” version of this three years ago, “Throw the bums out!” Thanks for the link. I’ll look into this. Our plan is not meant to supplant the efforts of others. It’s meant to reinforce such efforts and is compatible with just about every set of initiatives which aims at deep systemic progressive reform.

    JEAN DESALUCS: There is always a danger that victory will be declared too early and people will get lazy. CFAR is the very beginning of a campaign that will accelerate and evolve over a long period of time. We must remain prudent and active until reform is achieved at the deepest, most fundamental level. Our nation’s problems will not be solved by just a handful of quick-fixes. They are a disease that is eating at the core of basic human values. TGP has been instrumental in focusing on America’s embrace of capitalism, its addiction to imperialism and aggression, its longstanding hypocrisy in allegedly promoting “people’s values”, as central to the rot in our current environment. CFAR is an attempt to SEIZE POWER and put individuals in positions of legislative decision making, so that we can begin to reconstruct an America which works for everyone, not just the ruling elite. We are pushing for REGIME CHANGE in Washington DC. This means we’re targeting 435 House members and 33 Senate seats in November 2018, the White House and 34 more Senate seats in November 2020, the remaining 33 Senate seats in November 2022. Only by replacing the corrupt pay-for-play corporate stooges can we begin the long road of reconstruction.

    Patrick Walker has been on the forefront of many admirable initiatives. He was co-founder of Revolt Against Plutocracy, which produced the #BernieOrBust movement. Whatever you think of these particular efforts, he is a member in good standing with many progressives. Unfortunately, he has personal issues with me, reflected in dozens of similar caustic and ad hominem commentary wherever my articles appear. I have no need to defend my honesty or integrity. I sincerely believe that the CFAR as currently configured has the potential to produce a paradigm-shift, one that will challenge existing case law. Let me reply to him with the civility that his comment lacks: 1) Regardless of legal opinion and a body of related rulings, no candidate contract — and certainly not the version we have offered as the CFAR — has ever been challenged in a court of law, therefore there is no final, definitive ruling in this regard. This means that whether our CFAR is “legally binding” or not is still an open question. 2) Whether the future offers such an opportunity or not, the functional legality of the CFAR, operating in the real world environment of electoral politics, will be thoroughly explored and defended in an upcoming article.

    D.H. FABIAN: Wealth inequality and the “poverty crisis” are a crisis of major proportions. So is climate change. So is endless war. So is … yes, we can go on and on. But bear in mind, NOTHING WILL GET DONE with the current batch of corrupt elected officials. NOTHING! The CFAR does address “middle class” issues. But it also addresses war, working class issues, etc. Yet, it’s not a political platform. It’s sole and entire aim is to get rid of ruling class puppets and replace them with elected officials who will with integrity, responsibility, honesty, transparency faithfully REPRESENT THE INTERESTS OF THE PEOPLE. The interests of the people will be what the people decide what their interests are. Right now, we can talk about and decide whatever we want but NOTHING WILL GET DONE. Congress is not listening. They are owned lock-stock-and-barrel by the ruling elite, the plutocracy, the corporate plunderers. The only way to have government work for the people is to elect a people’s government. Then we can begin to sort out the mess.

    K.N ROGERS: Maybe the candidate contracts will work. Maybe they won’t. We believe that this approach offers a concrete device around which an assault on the farce that our elections have become can be organized. If there is a better approach, let’s go with that. If the contract strategy needs improving, fine-tuning, whatever, let’s get on with it. I don’t see anything else out there. The ruling elite has a lock on the media, and both major parties. As Ralph Nader once famously said, the choice we get is “Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum”. And all we get is more vaporous rhetoric, meaningless sound bites, idiotic slogans, empty campaign promises forgotten the day after election. So here is a device which exposes the fraud, takes the guesswork out of voting, creates a new standard for integrity and accountability, the Contract For American Renewal. We can brush it off and watch sitcoms on TV … OR … we can work together and KICK OUT THE CROOKS AND LIARS toward the long road of creating an America for all Americans. What do YOU want to do?

  7. If I have any personal animosity toward John Rachel, it’s because he attacked me viciously for simply politely raising this troubling issue of legality about his “contracts” under one of his OpEdNews articles on the subject. He essentially treated me as a benighted fool incapable of understanding his strategy for questioning a claim that LAWYER Kevin Zeese, co-director of Popular Resistance and clearly no tool of the establishment, dismissed as too silly to waste his time arguing over.

    Moreover, John Rachel’s own RAP colleague Victor Tiffany (the co-creator with me of the Bernie or Bust pledge, admitted on being pressed that the “legally binding” claim is “only a gimmick.” He also told me in an e-mail that the language on the RAP page had been changed to read “If a class action lawsuit is ever undertaken by constituents to compel a member of Congress to resign for breach of contract, most of us believe a C-FAR agreement will UNSUCCESSFULLY challenge settled law” (emphasis mine). Victor then wrote, “THAT is clear enough for everyone but Patrick. #sad” Considering the word “unsuccessfully” does NOT appear in the relevant passage on the RAP website, Victor (apparently under John’s deceitful spell) LIED to me about the wording on the website. And of course, whatever walk-back of the “legally binding” claim is used, the key point is that it’s on a website that most voters will NEVER see, having seen only the signed “contract” with the deceitful wording.

    Finally, John has been promising the article supposedly justifying the “legally binding” claim for a long time. Clearly, it has to be based on a distortion of language, for an argument based on one’s wishful thinking about overturning long-settled law–in times, moreover, when the courts are being packed with pro-corporate, conservative judges–is NOT any normal, sane reader’s definition of the words “legally binding.” And rest assured that, should John’s article appear at all, it will not address any of the solid legal grounds against campaign promises (and therefore candidate contracts, which consist ENTIRELY of campaign promises) being legally binding. I’m VERY confident of that, for I’ve constantly asked John to refute Ronald B. Standler’s arguments and precedents and have received nary a word on the subject. Bottom line: If candidate contracts have never been challenged in court, it’s because no one before John has invested so much energy in promoting such a legally preposterous idea without first doing the required homework.

  8. It’s unclear what deceptions Mr. Walker refers to, or what would be achieved by deceiving the public. The CFAR is about introducing honesty and integrity into the national conversation, not their opposites.

    Perhaps it’s easy for someone of Mr. Walker’s noteworthy accomplishments to underestimate the intelligence and reading comprehension of those here at The Greanville Post. I invite all who are confused by his remarks, or simply interested in a radical proposal addressing the electoral process, to read the language of the CFAR — which is why links are provided. If anyone detects any signs of a hidden agenda or hints of what might be interpreted as prevarication, please point them out. I am happy to correct and improve this initiative based on all rational, well-considered suggestions.

    This country deserves deep, dramatic, revolutionary reform. This will require regime change in Washington DC. Hopefully those who have read and thought about what being described here will discover in the CFAR approach, a fresh and promising beginning for this ambitious, daunting, but crucial enterprise. The survival of our democracy depends on it.

  9. I’m hardly underestimating the intelligence and reading comprehension of readers at The Greanville Post; I’m RELYING ON them.

    And otherwise, you’re making my case for me. If we aim to introduce honesty and integrity into the national conversation, the very last thing we wish to do is to start by lying to them. You know, as I do, that long-settled law, on MANY different weighty grounds, stands against treating campaign promises as legally binding. As far as I see, from the legally binding standpoint, you’ve made one small improvement to the legal status of campaign promises: you’ve put them in writing. That DOES address one of the elements of contract law mentioned in the Standler essay: contracts concerning performance that will take over a year to occur MUST be in writing. But that’s the ONLY issue you addressed, and it’s a SMALL one compared to the others.

    Let me check off some CRUCIAL obstacles to campaign promises being legally binding that you’ve failed to address AT ALL. For one thing, there’s the element of “consideration,” the legal term for the thing of monetary value that must be exchanged for the promised performance. Your “contract” clearly requires VOTES to be the needed consideration voters give, and there are immense legal and ethical problems in assigning a monetary value to a vote–which courts would need to do in awarding damages for breach of your “contract.” Then there’s the question of capacity and proper subject matter: to have the capacity to make a contract, the thing of value your exchanging must be your PERSONAL possession, like your property or your time. Political powers are NOBODY’S personal possession; they attach to the office a candidate seeks, so the candidate lacks capacity to contract, based on an unfit subject for contract. Then there’s the constitutional issue of legislative immunity, which forbids the filing of civil suits against members of the legislative branch for what they do in office based on their discretion. And those are just three salient, powerful objections to candidate contracts being legally binding.

    With candidate “contracts” being so far from legally binding that it would require amending the Constitution to make them so, claiming they’re legally binding can clearly “be interpreted as prevarication”–though I prefer not to pussyfoot and use the more forthright term LIE: knowingly saying “the thing that is not.” And for a movement seeking a reputation for honesty and integrity, lying in the very text of its candidate “contract” will be politically suicidal. THAT is what I’ve been trying to pound into your intelligent but willfully thick (in this case) skull.

  10. It’s apparently easy to twist the whole intent and methodology of the CFAR, or make it something far more complicated than it really is.

    My suggestion is just to visualize two candidates. I won’t identify them by party or ideology or political camp. Labels need not come into play here, in fact it’s better to avoid them.

    Candidate A says a lot of wonderful things. He or she voices support for poor people, old people, peace, etc. But checking the voting record raises questions and casts some of what’s said into a gray area of doubt. You really want to believe this person but voters often get burned by high-sounding rhetoric, slick ads and campaign promises.

    Candidate B just holds up a CFAR which he or she has signed. “There it is in writing. I signed this as a legally-binding commitment to you the voters, and intend to honor it as such. On the eleven issues in the CFAR, you know exactly what I’ll be doing when I get to Washington DC, should you elect me.”

    Which one would you choose?

    That’s the whole CFAR strategy in a nutshell.

    It gives voters a solid basis for making a choice.

    It gives a populist-progressive candidate a way of decisively demonstrating his or her commitment to faithfully, honestly, transparently serve future constituents.

    The CFAR is direct democracy, it’s representative democracy. A candidate does not need a bundle of money to prove his loyalty to the voting public. And the voting public doesn’t have to decide which candidate is lying the least or might on some off chance get around to doing what the majority of citizens want done. Every item in the CFAR is supported by majorities of at least 62%, most are in the 75-80% range.

    Whatever else you see by trolls, attack dogs, hired gunslingers, or even just the cranky and confused types who often show up here to grandstand and distract, please just read what I said above to clear your head of the nonsense. Clarity is always a welcome and valuable component of an earnest conversation.

    1. Everyone should notice one thing: how you claim honesty and transparency, while making a dishonest claim and dodging the question when anyone presents compelling evidence of its dishonesty.

      This comment itself shows your profound dishonesty–perhaps not general, but certain where your pet idea of candidate contracts is concerned.

      I’ve raised a simple FACTUAL objection to your claim–right in the text of the CFAR “contract” itself–that the agreement is legally binding. You REFUSE to address that objection–pretty obviously, because you CAN’T–by throwing fairy dust in readers’ eyes concerning the value of your litmus test strategy, which is NOT the point that I’m raising. You then make implied slurs about my motives (“trolls, attack dogs, hired gunslingers, and cranky and confused types who often show up here to grandstand and distract”), which anyone versed in elementary logic knows is an ad hominem fallacy. My motives have no bearing whatsoever on the FACTUAL point I’ve made: that the U.S. Constitution itself says your CFAR “contracts” aren’t legally binding, because federal legislators can’t be sued for what they do using their discretion in office. Unless what they do is illegal under standing law–the ONLY exception, and an exception that doesn’t cover the mere questions of POLICY (NOT legality) addressed in your supposed “contracts.”

      By dodging the ONLY relevant question here by logically invalid ad hominem arguments, you’ve compounded the dishonesty ALREADY shown in the CFAR and RAP website wording. I ask again: how isn’t such dishonesty SUICIDAL to someone claiming to promote honesty and transparency?

    2. A further point: even the dilemma of choosing Candidate A or Candidate B is NOT as clear and simple as you make it. An astute, well-informed voter would see objections to BOTH candidates: to Candidate A based on his/her voting record, and to Candidate B based on the blatant FALSE claim of having signed a legally-binding contract. A well-informed voter would conclude from that false claim that Candidate B is either outright dishonest or woefully ill-informed about the law and the nature of the office he/she is seeking. Any candidate for U.S. Congress should know about such HIGHLY pertinent matters as legislative immunity under the U.S. Constitution. I’d hope any such candidate would do the elementary due diligence of READING the Constitution he/she takes an oath to uphold.

      Thanks for putting the matter so plainly. With the words “legally-binding” buried so deep in the CFAR “contract” text, readers might easily miss them. Here your false claim is made in the open for everyone to see.

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