The Democracy Saga
There are bookshelves full of academic arguments for participatory democracy; recommending a greater role for the citizens in their own governance. None of these has excited the imagination of the people. My approach is to present the arguments in story form, with believable characters and scenarios that will illustrate the feasibility of upgrading our political system in America. I want my fellow Citizens to read these stories, identify with the characters and then indignantly ask why such improvements have yet to be made. Hopefully, an “edutainment” approach will provide the missing spark. The prospective audience for The Democracy Saga is everyone who is disenchanted with America’s present political system. That number grows daily.
The major parties stumble just as a new movement challenges politics as usual. T. J. Carroll is elected President on the promise to take America's democracy to a new level. That was the easy part. Now he has to battle Congress to return to the Citizenry some of the powers they had lost over time. If he can maneuver the professional politicians into passing the proposed amendment, voters will no longer be allowed to only choose between Bad Candidate A and Worse Candidate B. They will directly determine the policies that affect their lives.
The Ninth Caucus
With passage of Amendment XXIX, the Caucus comes into existence. Millions of conscientious Americans volunteer to serve. Christine Whitcomb is amazed when she is randomly selected to sit on the Ninth Caucus. Over a period of weeks, she and six other diverse Citizens struggle to agree on a national policy proposal worthy of a nation-wide referendum. Many of the ideas from previous Caucus groups had failed to gain popular support. Finally, they arrive at a proposal that will truly define the course of the nation for the next century.
The Third Convention
At President Carroll's urging, the Citizenry agrees with the Ninth Caucus that a new constitutional convention must be convened to better define the responsibilities of the four branches of government. Each state is encouraged to select three wise delegates, preferably with no history of party affiliation. Diligent planning by a Presidential Commission, which includes the First Lady, yields an efficient and productive event, conducted with exemplary civility. The nation is gifted a new foundation document, worthy of the twenty-first century.
A Note From the Author
My saga began over thirty years ago when I started writing a movie script titled “Mr. Smith Returns to Washington”. It was meant to be a sequel to the timeless Frank Capra movie which gave us hope that Washington could be fixed if only one brave soul would stand up to it. However, Hollywood failed to recognize the importance of the work (I know – I was shocked too) , so I began converting it to a novel.
The fight that my Mr. Smith waged was to get an amendment passed that would move America to a higher form of democracy. The novel was retitled "Amendment XXIX". It introduced the key innovation (The Caucus) that would allow the Citizenry to play a strong role in their own governance. ( Yes, I am aware that there are only 27 amendments on the books now. I had hoped the Equal Rights Amendment might finally be added by now.)
On completion of the first novel, I realized that I needed to illustrate just how this new component of government would function. A first edition of "The Ninth Caucus" got its cover in 2017. Somewhere along the way, the story began to write itself and the characters came to life in the virtual reality I had built for them. But -- the way The Ninth Caucus ended, it begged for an additional volume to complete the trajectory of the story.
The Third Convention developed fairly quickly and, quite honestly, I felt at times like my hand was being guided. The catch was that now the first two books needed revision to ensure consistency and to fill in some gaps in the story. So, the script grew into a trilogy, a set of three novels that tells the story of everyday heroes as they take their country back from the professional political class and re-establish the USA as the world’s leading Democracy. I pray that this legacy gift helps achieve that purpose.