President Donald Trump unfolded his promised massive scale-back of leftist Federalism last week by signing numerous Executive Orders – so many that their volume probably made former President Obama blush with envy.
The Trump Revolution, which can be defined both in conservative ideology and viewed as totally hazardous, shallow and impulsive at the same time, has begun in earnest.
And it’s more than obvious that Trump is using all that (unconstitutional) executive power that has been allowed to build up the last 30 years to begin his revolution.
At the same time, the Executive Orders were rolled out, Trump and his White House staff continued the campaign ShockPolitics methodology of making belligerent statements and discussion points to draw outrage toward Trump, distracting his opponents and Americans alike from the wielding of such power and the true implications of his executive orders.
So while the Trump White House began to gut 30 years of excessive Federal environmental regulation and jump-started the Dakota Access and Keystone pipelines, he continued to complain about the reporting by media outlets of size of the crowd at the Inauguration.
As the president began to frame a revision of our antiquated immigration policies by ordering our borders closed to visitors and refugees from selected Islamic countries, Trumps key adviser Steven Bannon incredulously stated at the same time that “The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while.”
Probably the most outlandish statement, actually two tweets, made by Trump during his few days in office was this:
“I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and … even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time). Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures!” Trump wrote in two consecutive tweets Wednesday morning.
Sure, the president’s assertion is, to put it nicely, questionable at best, particularly in light of allegations of Russian hacking against Democrats.
However, the tweets themselves could be used to demark the beginning of a true discussion of fixing our voting system.
Here’s a suggestion: Instead of an investigation, I would suggest the president form a bipartisan presidential commission comprised of members of Congress, security and computer industry leaders and experts, state officials and common citizens to secure our voting processes and modernize the way we vote to 21st century standards.
I would suggest addressing five major voting issues:
— Voter Registration — Building and implementing a national registry from scratch that would replace antiquated and inaccurate registration rolls in states and counties and safeguarding voters from suppression on a national level; standardizing voter registration in all 50 states; requiring a Social Security card, valid picture identification, and developing a eye-scanning or similar system to prove identity; building technology to allow voters to vote by using their PDAs and home computers; and to make registration for native-born American citizens at birth along with the issuance of a birth certificate or Social Security cards.
— Launching a Voter Technology and Security Initiative — much like President Kennedy launched the Space Program — major national resources would be dedicated toward building a voter registration system that is impenetrable — and spur a much-needed buildup of securing our computers from hacking and identity theft in all aspects of our lives.
— Destroying the Two Party hold on Voting – in all regions across the nation, there are a growing number of voters and office-seekers who are NDAs that do not receive the same influence and protection as Democratic and Republican voters both in election offices and at the polls – there’s a need to modernize this 19th century party system of controlling who votes and how polling places are manned. The Two-Party System is basically dead in 2017 and it’s time to reform voting to reflect its demise.
— Replacing Election Day with an Election Period — where voters could vote within a time period rather than on a certain day. States already allow early voting and mail ballots.
— Replacing voting at polls with voting by PDA or at home on computer or snail mail. The present scanning devices at polls are crap as well as the old methodology of voting itself by having to go to a specific place to vote. Going to the polls should be one of many options, not a mandate.
The creation of such a presidential voting commission would be a positive first step for the president to take not only in terms of really addressing the breakdown of American voting, but to begin a positive dialogue, not confrontational rants by tweeting, to address the many issues facing Americans today.
Such a commission could also serve as a model for Trump to build badly needed consensus and tamper down the vitriol that his election has created as a new norm in American life.
Steven Kurlander blogs at Kurly’s Kommentary and writes for FloridaPolitics.com. He is an attorney and communications specialist living in Monticello, New York.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.