Abolish the concept of “one” central ruler. One of the main worries of George Washington was that the presidency would become too much like a monarchy, and it seems his worries were proved, at least partially, true. With the willful abdication of power by Congress and the Senate, placing a massive weight of influence on the Office of the President and the Supreme Court, the United States is much closer to a monarchy today than it was just after declaring her freedom from one.

There needs to be a balance of power – some of it needs to be in the hands of the people, but there cannot be too much. Just as there has been an abdication of power by congress and the senate, we can see the origination of this relinquishment of control in the voting public. Often by no fault of their own, the common voter has been manipulated, swindled, bribed and beaten into certain voting patterns by wealthy individuals and organizations. In today’s economy and world, these “wealthy individuals and organizations” are mainly comprised of corporations, both domestic and international. This is an indictment on the whole of our Republic, and it encourages us to re-imagine what the ideal form of government should be. It has been proven, from Rome to the U.S.A., that a Republic inevitably crumbles into an oligarchy. Direct democracy is simply mob rule, which is the quickest way to oppress any form of minority, from gender, religion, ethnicity or any other demarcation. A balance must be struck between the rule of the many and the rule of the competent. The Founding Fathers attempted to do this, but they did not foresee the devolution into corporatism, nor can they be blamed for this lack of foresight.

A separation from political parties and blind adherence to a singular economic strategy is a necessity. Neither Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, Feudalism nor any other economic system is capable of adequacy in a world with over 7 billion people and with pervasive globalization. A truly modern state is one that would implement the best of all economic systems, with the only requisite of implementation being that it provides the most benefit to her citizens, with no partiality based on dogma. On top of this, it is blindingly obvious to any modern American that there needs to be a remedy to the two-party system. It would be beneficial to keep in place the idea that all citizens have the right to hold office. At the same time, there needs to be an implementation of a competency check. If a surgeon is required to be licensed in order to have power over an individual’s life within the operating room, should not a politician be credentialed before being to have over the lives of hundreds of millions?

Those who are too poor to take care of themselves need a robust social safety net. Whether this be the infirm, the elderly, children, or those who are mentally and/or physically ill, no one should live in poverty. This will come at the cost of the rich. A progressive income tax needs to be put in place, targeting ultrawealthy individuals, but more importantly, targeting ultra-powerful and wealthy corporations. America has become strangled by corporate power, resulting in myriad injustices. Wealth is not inherently evil, but it becomes so when glorified and placed above the health of those without it. Wealth is a tool to achieve a goal, it is not a goal in and of itself. At least, it should not be.

We must eschew the pursuit of happiness and instead pursue contentment, for our contentment has been stolen from us. The growth and plenty that defined the American Dream has been destroyed by those that were blinded by the benefits of their actions, failing to see the consequences of those same said actions. Happiness is inherently frivolous and fleeting, based on any number of changing desires. Contentment is purchased by the sweat of the brow, while happiness is bought by the desires of the loins, the stomach and a desire to keep apathy at bay.

Our new American Republic must be planted in the soil that our forefathers cultivated, along with the root and trunks they so painstakingly nurtured. We must trim the frivolous, bigoted and antiquated branches from it, and water it with new ideas that have sprung from technological and moral advancement since 1775. This will be a lesson in discovering that which is worth saving, that which is worth pruning and that which is necessary to add. It is a daunting task.

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