Save democracy. Restore civility. #freeourvote for a future.

Save democracy. Restore civility. #freeourvote for a future.

November 5, 2019
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Signatures: 47Next Goal: 50
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Why this petition matters

Started by Ryan McMenamin

I was born in Philadelphia on July 4th, 1975. My mother, an immigrant, took me to the bicentennial celebration at Independence Hall when we were invited because of my birth date. I grew up in a tough blue-collar neighborhood without a silver spoon, surrounded by and reminded of the patriots who fought and lost their lives so long ago so that I could have the freedoms we all cherish, the freedoms that have allowed me to have a better life than my mother. Those patriots must be turning in their graves with the current state of their beautiful democratic dream… with the dismantling of our democratic principles.

To be clear, the erosion of democratic norms (mutual toleration and restraint when it comes to using the letter of the Constitution to undermine its spirit) didn’t just happen with the election of President Donald Trump. The two parties, a system put in place to protect our Constitution from an autocrat, are directly responsible for this situation. The “partisan warfare” they have played has created a dysfunctional government and a Constitution on life support, not to mention an electorate so divided the phrase civil war (once unthinkable by many) has been uttered by some.

What these elite, egotistical and power-hungry politicians fail to realize (something not lost on the heroes who lose their lives for our country everyday) is that it is not about their reelection, or their party, or the lobby career that will gain them millions when they leave office, it’s about We The People and the problems We face in this country.

I believe in the inverted pyramid management style which I employed to bring smart people and ideas together over 20 years in the IT industry. Think of our government as a company. Per Dee Ann Turner (former Chick-fil-A VP) the following are elements of an eroded company culture:

1.       People within the organization no longer connect with the reason the company is in business: E Pluribus Unum… out of many one. This is lost on our politicians.

2.       People within the organization forget who they serve: Our politicians serve whoever has the money, not the people.

3.       People within the organization do not feel respected by one another: Our politicians can’t agree on anything.

4.       People within the organization do not pursue a future state: There is no future plan that either party agrees on.

5.       People within the organization relinquish the past: Our parties have forgotten why this country was established.

And here is Ann’s fix:

1.       Reconnect and recommit to the purpose: It will take all of us to force this.

2.       Put the customer first: We must force them to listen using technology. Grassroots local campaigns will no longer work with the current influence of media and the internet.

3.       Value varying strengths and skills: See my idea below.

4.       Respect what made the organization successful in the first place: We the People.


I believe by focusing on the issues we can repair the discord the parties have sown in our society. We need to come together instead of "canceling" each other. While we may be divided in half by our parties, a large majority of us agree on many of the issues… look at the polls. This can be accomplished with our technology, the very medium that has helped to fuel our separation, by creating one place to discuss the issues and pull us out of our individual political silos. We can use technology to make it easier for the silent majority to share their voice and energize the almost 40% of citizens who did not participate in the last Presidential election. Engage the smart people who do not have the time to run for office. I believe the pressure on politicians that can be achieved will remove their personal/lobby agendas.

How do you use technology to accomplish this? By creating one continuous poll on the issues.

Polls influence whether people vote and who they vote for. If a candidate is ahead by a large margin, people may not vote because they feel it is a foregone conclusion. People may vote for a candidate out of sympathy, the underdog strategy, or vice versa to follow the crowd. Polls have even defined whether we go to or stay in wars.

If polls are so important, why are they conducted by random outlets (CNN, Fox News, Quinnipiac University??, etc.), with topics determined by certain individuals? Why can’t polls be ongoing and interactive? We vote everyday by liking (or not) posts. If you were included in the poll, maybe you changed your mind since we now have more information at our fingertips than at any point in history. Since the poll would be ongoing you could change your vote, effectively being a daily barometer of the country.

Given we already paid for this with an influenced election and our personal data, I propose Facebook creates and markets a secure “issues” polling platform for US citizens. We could anonymously rank the issues and up-or down-vote solutions (solutions only, hate would be filtered out) provided by anyone willing to put their name to them, not just a select few elites with ideas backed by lobbies. Facebook can run their political ads there, and have people dispute those that lie. “Fake News” can be posted, debated and debunked by everyone.

I have been told the founding fathers didn’t want the average Joe making decisions and this is a bad idea. I dispute that. They gave us all a vote that was once equal, correct? This can be the start of a technodemocrracy, a government agile enough to deal with the daily changes we face. We as a collective of the United States need to start thinking outside of the box. We are the only thing that will save democracy, or we will watch it fall like it is in many countries across the world. 

According to Douglas Bailey, a Republican who had helped run Gerald Ford's 1976 presidential campaign “It’s no longer necessary for a political candidate to guess what an audience thinks. He can [find out] with a nightly tracking poll. So it's no longer likely that political leaders are going to lead. Instead, they're going to follow."

Please help me bring our democracy into the 21st century before, I fear, we descend into civil war or watch as a new monarchy is born (which could come from either party). Endorse my petition or simply post the hashtag I created, #freeourvote, on any of the platforms you use.  We were promised a better future, and we still have time to ensure this promise for our children.

Support now
Signatures: 47Next Goal: 50
Support now