Beyond Trump and Hillary: What it really takes to transform election

The entertainment value of the reality show called “Election 2016” is almost addictive — the personalities, the verbal catfights, the name calling, the inevitable daily train wreck or car crash. It’s The Kardashians meets The Apprentice meets NASCAR.

But beyond the obsession with entertainment and sensationalism is a troubling lack of understanding of basic American Civics.

{mosads}Even if Hillary or Trump win, (or if Bernie had been nominated and won) very little will change in terms of U.S. domestic policy or to improve the lives of the average American unless we also elect a very specific number of other people on November 8.

So, instead of criticizing Congress, criticizing politicians and blasting “The System” because we skipped Civics class that day, or never took it, we need to understand the simple, basic Truth about American Government.

There is a “Magic Number” in America — a “Magic Number” to creating change.

American domestic policy can only be changed if:

1) A majority of 218 of the 435 Members of The House of Representative vote for a specific piece of legislation,

2) A filibuster-proof majority of 60 of the 100 Members of The United States Senate, also vote for that bill and

3) 1 Member of The Executive Branch, The President, signs it into law.

The Magic Number of America is 279.

Not 1 Donald Trump, not 1 Bernie Sanders, not 1 Hillary Clinton or Gary Johnson or Jill Stein.

It takes 279 people to “build a wall”, have “college for all” or “equal pay for women!”

And we have to stop blaming Congress for not getting anything done. It’s our fault, not theirs. We simply haven’t elected 279 people to get those things done.

But we can on November 8.

We can “279” American change by going beyond the personalities and reality show aspects of this bizarre election, as compelling as they are, and onto the real end zone of politics, the identification and passage of those specific pieces of legislation that will truly move our country forward.

We need to “Billify,” not Vilify!

As you read this, 9,840 pieces of legislation sit in the bowels of The United States Congress, dying a slow, lonely death. While some of these bills are nonsense or meaningless and should never pass, amongst these are bills that could help solve some of the major problems in our country.  Amongst these lonely, forgotten pieces of legislation lies the transformation of America.

We don’t need a “revolution” or to create a whole new system.

If you want money out of politics, there’s already a bill for that.

If you want lower taxes, there’s already a bill for that.

If you want to fight climate change, cut back on subsidies, lower interest rates for college tuition, have comprehensive immigration reform, equal pay for women, to roll back parts of Obamacare or destroy it altogether, label all GMOs, have automatic voter registration or even help save rhinos and elephants from extinction, there are bills for all of that. And new bills can be introduced at any time to take on any challenge or make any change we, the people, might want.

Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and the rest of The Founding Fathers created a “revolution” every two years in America. It is called an election.

On November 8 we have the chance to literally throw out every one of the 435 Members of The House of Representatives and replace them with 218 or more who will vote for the things we want, the chance to throw out 34 of the 100 Senators to do the same and a President who will sign those very things that we want.

And, this year, we even get to “elect” the 9th Justice of The United States Supreme Court who will likely be the deciding vote, for decades, on whether these pieces of legislation are Constitutional and on the direction of our nation.

So, let’s evolve our national conversation beyond Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, as fascinating as they are as individuals and as sensational news stories. Let’s move beyond the entertainment and make this election not just about the issues, but also about the specific pieces of legislation that will create change and about the 279 people — not just 1 — who must be elected to truly make change happen now

Richard Greene is a Political Communication Strategist, author of “Words That Shook The World” and Founder of 279 for Change.


The views expressed by Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

Tags 2016 election Bernie Sanders Democratic Party Donald Trump Gary Johnson Hillary Clinton Republican Party United States United States Congress Washington D.C.

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