Proposal for a concise preamble

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Should this preamble version be adopted, modified, or rejected?

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Proposal for a concise preamble

Post by oregonstu on Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:38 pm


may I suggest another preamble improvisation based on Mojo's most excellent version?

In the course of time, when it becomes necessary to alter the means by which a people are governed, all citizens reserve the right to participate in the process of changing the shape and nature of their government. No single person, or group of individuals, may reasonably dictate to the general majority the means by which they shall be governed.

The Declaration of Independence affirms that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. We, the people of the United States of America, submit that this contract has been broken, and therefore deny our consent to be ruled by a government made captive to Banking and Corporate interests.



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Good preamble, some modifications?

Post by Deety on Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:22 am

oregonstu wrote:
may I suggest another preamble improvisation based on Mojo's most excellent version?

In the course of time, when it becomes necessary to alter the means by which a people are governed, all citizens reserve the right to participate in the process of changing the shape and nature of their government. No single person, or group of individuals, may reasonably dictate to the general majority the means by which they shall be governed.

The Declaration of Independence affirms that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. We, the people of the United States of America, submit that this contract has been broken, and therefore deny our consent to be ruled by a government made captive to Banking and Corporate interests.



I like the simplicity of this, coupled with the essential message without too much specificity--that's for the list of grievances in detail. One suggestion: Instead of "made captive to Banking and Corporate interests" what about "made captive to special interests including banking, the military-industrial-petroleum complex and other corporations"? Why the suggested change? Simple--to both identify the key 'villans' and to eliminate the opportunity for other industry corporations to later claim that they should be exempt since they weren't specifically mentioned in the preamble. This is a tactic that has been used with the original Constitution and Bill of Rights with occasional success (depending on the court asked to hear the case).

The one bit left out is the religion-based lobby. I'm not sure how to word things to ensure that special interest is included as a problem without alienating people of faith in general. Any suggestions?

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Re: Proposal for a concise preamble

Post by oregonstu on Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:53 pm

Hmmm. I agree that religious based lobbies can be a problem in our political system, but I don't know if I think the preamble is the place to bring that up. I think your point about keeping the preamble simple and concise is probably where the focus should be....

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Re: Proposal for a concise preamble

Post by Guest on Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:24 pm

In general, I believe the Preamble is great.
Only one thing bugs me, and I know it's silly, but I have to say it:
Can we eliminate the very first clause, "In the course of time"?
It's not necessary for meaning or even sentence rhythm and I keep looking at it and seeing a paraphrase of "When in the course of human events," (sorry if that quote is not exact, but that's how I remember it.) Also, it is a phrase that kind of goes without saying, almost like starting a sentence with, "In the space of the universe..." I mean, pretty much everything happens in the course of time and in the space of the universe.
Again, I know it's a very minor stylistic point, but they are the very first words people will read of our preamble and I don't want anything to detract from the power of that statement.
Just my humble opinion!
peace,
Johanna

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Re: Proposal for a concise preamble

Post by oregonstu on Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:29 pm

Hey Johanna - Well, I can't argue with that... it is self evident and superfluous, and some would no doubt find if pretentious as well. I was putting it out as an improvisation on Mojo's version, which already seemed to be well liked, so I tried to retain as much of his version as I could. Personally, even though I agree with your point, I think it lends kind of a lofty, archaic style to the sentence. Yes, it is reminiscent of the phrase from the declaration of independence "in the course of human events", and I think that faint echo is a fine quality to strive for, as long as we don't overdo it. How about "In the course of changing circumstances" instead? I would go with group consensus on that minor issue....

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Re: Proposal for a concise preamble

Post by Guest on Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:12 am

I like that better already!
I'm also thinking, "In the course of national evolution," or "In the course of national maturation," or how about, "In the evolution of a democracy," or "In the evolution(or maturation) of a democratic state?" I don't know, something that refers generally to countries and democracy and yet specifically to the process of progress. That's what I would like to see.
if I come up with any other ideas, I'll post them.
Thanks!
Peace,
Johanna

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Re: Proposal for a concise preamble

Post by PDT on Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:55 am

Prior to Mojo's rewrite, the first sentence was, "In the course of our lives..."

It simply means, during our lifetimes, it may become necessary to alter our government, as it now pertains to us, the living public. Since many laws become irrelevant, or new ones become necessary. Either way, we the living, have the right to change our government as we deem fit, as it pertains to our current lives.

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Re: Proposal for a concise preamble

Post by oregonstu on Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:17 pm

Looks like we might eventually want to do another poll with 2 or 3 or more variants on this to see what people prefer...

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Re: Proposal for a concise preamble

Post by Frank Lee Speaking on Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:38 am

We have already mimicked the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution with the first official declaration of OWS, and the 99% Declaration thereafter. This however, is a new thing (to my knowledge, The People have never put together an official petition like this before), so I think perhaps new language is in order.

This is what the Concerned Citizens Coalition came up with, using some language from the original 99% declaration, and creating some of our own...


WE, THE 99% OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
HEREBY PETITION OUR UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
for a
REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES

We, The 99% of the People of the United States of America, are aware that we are at a critical juncture in human history. We do not believe our current form of government represents the values we want to live by, and question whether our economic system in its current form does as well.

We categorically REJECT the subversion of our democratic and moral principles by special moneyed interests, and REFUSE to live under a Form of Government where our elected officials are often forced to choose between the interests of the people, and the special moneyed interests that largely fund their campaigns.

We, the 99% of the American People, REJECT the concepts that corporations are persons and money is equal to free speech. If that were so, then only the wealthiest people, corporations, and other entities comprised of concentrated wealth would have a meaningful voice in our society, and the result would be a system governed by, of and for the benefit of those who control that wealth, rather than the benefit of THE PEOPLE, as it was designed by our founding fathers.
Therefore:
WE, The 99% of THE PEOPLE of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA DO HEREBY PETITION OUR UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT for a REDRESS of GRIEVANCES, starting with the immediate abrogation of the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission decision, and Comprehensive Campaign Finance Reform.

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Re: Proposal for a concise preamble

Post by Deety on Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:02 am

Frank Lee's idea has real merit. If we are writing a preamble to a list of grievances we may want to use new language. Neither Declaration nor Constitution was just a list of grievances seeking redress. By the time they were written things were far beyond that stage.

I like this as a preamble but we need more detail on the grievances themselves. Not an exhaustive list running to many pages, and not remedies at least initially. Types of problems with an example for clarity as Frank has already done with Citizen's United. The tricky bits are going to be getting the balance between detail and brevity right and getting consensus.

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Re: Proposal for a concise preamble

Post by Frank Lee Speaking on Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:55 pm

Thanks Deety,

I would caution however against trying to stick too much in the preamble...I think perhaps following the preamble with a table of contents would serve the purposes of giving a concise summary of what is in the document.

For the preamble, I think the best course is to stick to the most central grievances...as if to say if there's only one thing we want from this...not that we only want one thing, but to make it clear that this is the most important.

And I think we are pretty much all in agreement that special interest money in politics is the central issue here, and the one least likely to be dealt with by the existing powers without a strong push on our part. Virtually if not every other grievance we have can be traced back to money in politics.

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