OUR GOVERNMENT WAS FORMED IN A DIFFERENT TIME, by men with a very different understanding of who participated in governance, what our national government should do, and what could be expected from it both domestically and internationally. The Founding fathers put in place a system of checks and balances because they feared an unrestrained democratic system of government: they only knew the monarchical forms of government that existed in seventeenth-century Europe.
In this book, I suggest that our system of checks and balances has resulted in an ineffectual Congress that suffers from almost permanent gridlock. Throughout U.S. history, Congress has functioned well only when the President and his party have a majority, and when the President is a strong leader who asserts his will and his agenda on the country.
Our present circumstances demand a change in the form of the U.S. government. The House of Representatives has been subordinated to the Senate, the legislative body has been subordinated to the President, and the Supreme Court (the least responsive and least democratic part of our system) has arrogated to itself the right to interpret laws passed by the House of Representatives—the most representative and responsive body of the government.
This work proposes a change in the relationships between the bodies of government—a change that would involve the House of Representatives asserting its rightful place in carrying out the agenda of the majority party, writing and interpreting laws, and governing efficiently. It is not necessary to amend the Constitution to bring about this change; rather the rules and practices that developed after the Constitution was written as the government was put into operation would need to change. Our government could be responsive, transparent, decisive, and truly representative of the will of the people. What is needed is not a revolution or complex constitutional amendments, but a new way of understanding and enacting the roles of the executive, legislative, and judicial bodies.