Gerald Morris

Port Angeles, WA, United States

About Gerald

Bio

I am a seventy year old retired bus driver. I live in Port Angeles Wa. We moved here from the Bay Area thirty years ago (1980). I drove bus at AC Transit for six years before moving to Port Angeles. My family moved to Berkeley when I was about six years old (1946). We lived in (not sure of the spelling) Codornieces Village which was also known as "the projects". I attended Burbank Jr High and graduated from Berkeley High school. In high school I was an industrial arts (print shop) major. A few months after graduation I joined the army for three years and attended the offset printing school at Fort Belvior Virginia. Berkeley High taught us the old printing technology of 'letterpress' but the industry had moved to 'offset'. The army school was fully into the new printing process. I sometimes wonder what Mr Waltz, the print shop instructor, felt about teaching his students an obsolete technology. After being discharged from the army, I worked in the printing industry for about 20 years until 1974 when I started driving bus at AC Transit. Moving to Port Angeles has turned out to be a wonderful thing. I feel very fortunate to be retired and still reasonably healthy. I have spent many years reading about democracy and the media and I worry about my children and grandchildren and the future being created for them. I am very optimistic about the far distant future but the shorter term looks like there will be a lot more hardship then necessary. There are many issues we should be addressing as a nation of free and informed people. From all the reading that I have done I have come to believe that the biggest opportunity for creative change is to redefine democracy in America. Television is dominated by commercial interests. Because of the amazing new and affordable technology this is beginning to change. I am convinced that it is possible to design an organization that will include ordinary people in lengthy conferences devoted to learning about how their nation works. An organization that is directed by the participants themselves. By providing them access to accurate information and by providing the time and a comfortable setting to analyze, ask questions, they will, over time, provide a coherent direction. It is time for the citizens of the 21st century America to have a clear informed voice. The issues are too critical. We should be aware that we are all in this together ... because we are. Democracy is the best tool available for this nation of millions of people from so many different backgrounds. When considering American history and our incredible founding documents, especially the Declaration of Independence, I cannot think of any other nation so ripe for a resurgence of NEW and IMPROVED democracy. Imagine what Jefferson would say of our situation today, especially of how self-governance has evolved. I think he would wonder why, since it is still available to us, we don't simply use democracy to create an authentic voice for American citizens. I know this may sound too simplistic. I wish it did not. I'm honest and sincere in believing in the potential of democracy to transform the future and I understand the huge obstacles that must be overcome. Political scientists have been writing about the need for real democracy for eons. I truly believe that I have an idea for democracy that, if presented to the American public, through the popular culture, using modern marketing techniques (and pointing out to the public that we are using those techniques) stands an excellent chance of grabbing the imagination of enough people to create the resources necessary to implement the idea. Evolution needs our help. This idea could demonstrate that. This has been my humble attempt to articulate the possibilities that seem so obvious to me (and Jefferson). Writing does not come easy to me. I hope this attempt makes sense to you. God bless America ... please.

An idea worth spreading

In my view, this is a desperately needed idea. It is intended to empower ordinary citizens. It is an American citizen's conference center open to all registered voters. Each month fifty citizens will be randomly selected and then offered the opportunity to participate. They would meet for about two weeks. The staff will be supporting the participants in every way. They will be encouraged to challenge all assumptions relating to what self-government means. They will be challenged to dig for the deeper truth and learn how to evaluate different policies. And most important, they would be challenged to dream of what they would like their country to become. The entire process will be documented by the in-house media crew. The resulting documentary will be viewed by the participants and their reactions to the documentary will become part of the documentary itself. Then the documentary will be made available to the general public which includes the traditional news media and the new media.

I'm passionate about

The evolution of humankind. The use of democracy as a tool of evolution. Creating an authentic voice for the citizens of this amazingly free and creative country where anything is possible.

Talk to me about

Corporate law. Can a 'for profit' corporation solicit investments from the general public by selling the investors an intangible such as a possibly better future for their children?

People don't know I'm good at

whistling.

My TED story

I can't remember how I discovered TED but it has become very important to me. I am sometimes dazzled by the creativity of the presenters. The positive tone of the speakers is inspiring and entertaining. I talk to friends about TED and recommend it to them.

Comments & conversations

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Gerald Morris
Posted over 1 year ago
How can I get more people interested in important issues?
It seems to me that public media is too diffused and distracted. It seems ultra-difficult for ordinary folks to focus on the most important issues. If only there was a national discussion featuring ordinary people willing to research and discuss those issues they believe to be MOST important. The fact that we do not have a national consensus on climate change boggles the mind! I believe that if we had a healthier democracy, an issue so important would be the main topic of a national discussion. As for me, the first concern is supporting those who are trying to carve out a place for real democracy to happen.
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Gerald Morris
Posted over 1 year ago
Michael Sandel: What's the right thing to do?
I agree with your idea that a random chance drawing of citizens (different people for each drawing) should meet on a regular basis. It is a beautiful idea consistent with the ideal of democracy. America should start first because we have the machinery to do so. We would be a model for the rest of the world. The first amendment to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are the legal justification. Democracy is a life boat if we wish to use it as such. Room for everybody.
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Gerald Morris
Posted over 1 year ago
Adam Davidson: What we learned from teetering on the fiscal cliff
My own independent study leads me to agree with Mr Davidson's analysis and conclusions. Basically, the national conversation is controlled by partisan interests and the average citizen has no voice. Free speech is way too expensive for the average voter. What good is claiming to have the best democracy in the world when we won't learn how to use it? The present trajectory toward massive environmental disaster has a nightmarish quality. We are so much better than this. Democracy is the 'lifeboat' and it has room for everybody. Everybody.
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Gerald Morris
Posted almost 2 years ago
Why does the Western world think democracy is a magical, catch all solution?
I suspect that many citizens in Arab countries equate democracy with a more prosperous life. They mistake the riches of the west with our democracy. Any discussion about democracy must inextricably include wealth and economics. Where there is wealth, there is power and centuries old Eastern traditions of wealth and power is very poor soil in which to grow a democracy. The greatest contribution American citizens can make to the people of the world who yearn for democracy is to make our own democracy more powerful than any Corporation. Sound like a dare.