The James Madison Project is an ambitious, multi year experiment that creates a framework and provides tools for reclaiming the citizen’s role in defining and achieving the vision of the founders of the United States. The project is inspired by the political thinking that is the basis for the “DNA” of our body politic, the US Constitution, and the person who played a central role in the conception and birthing of the United States, James Madison. Grounded in the farsighted vision of the founders and constitutional values, the project is informed by the experience of the past 200 years, by a modern understanding of human nature, and enabled by the assets of modern life including digital technology and social media. The James Madison Project is committed to a strong, healthy political system serving free and enlightened citizens through reclaiming the voice of the citizen within the political ecosystem. The event will include the introduction to The Citizenism Initiative , The Pain Opioid Epidemic Project and the Re launch of Shrink the Government. Additional components are used as catalysts to reframe the current political conversation on our way to “Healing” our current dysfunctional political system.
We envision and are committed to provide a framework and tools to leverage technology and scientific insights, embrace crowd-sourcing in the service of democracy, and pursue other collaborative activities to address challenges in our society and achieve a strong, healthy political system serving free and enlightened citizens. More specifically:
- The information and ability to make informed choices as they engage in the civic life of their nation and their communities.
- The confidence that their voices can be the primary influence shaping the outcomes of policy debates.
- The faith that their government has the ability to solve important problems despite deep differences of opinion.
- The ability to leverage technology and wield other tools to engage with their government in a fair and just way.
- The competence to recognize citizens and organizations that are similarly committed to the ideals of our vision.
- And most importantly, a deep appreciation of the blessings bestowed on us as individuals through the formation of the first government by consent of the governed. This entails a responsibility to protect the constitutional concept for future generations.
The success of the project is measured by achieving predefined goals inspired by the conviction our founders, to create: “a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”.
The Project is inspired by the legacy of James Madison, often referred to as the “father of the constitution”. James Madison’s contribution to our evolving nation and the structure and the nature of the government was unparalleled. His efforts leading up to the constitutional convention, during and the ratification process were crucial for creating the structure that allowed the US to persist for over 200 years.
The James Madison Project Initiatives and Programs
The James Madison Project contains a number of initiatives and programs that will be made public over the next few years. The initial six initiatives include the following:
Citizenism is inspired by the belief that We the People Can do better. Citizenism responds to a troubling array of problems facing our nation’s political system. By focusing on the vision that animated our founders and has energized Americans to achieve greatness. Citizenism is the recognition and the exploration of the role of the citizen within the political ecosystem. It studies the nature of the citizen rights, responsibilities and the influences that make the modern citizen. Additionally, leveraging an understanding the complexity of the body politic, citizenism provides a framework for engagement with relevant stakeholders.
The Pain Opioid Epidemic Project (Opioid Project) is an experiment in citizen engagement (Citizenism)inspired by the belief that we as citizens must engage with our fellow citizens and relevant stakeholders to achieve solutions to the challenges that face our communities and our nation.
Diseases of the US Body Politic: In addition to framing the challenges as symptoms of the disease of the body politic, this initiative utilizes the Medical Case Presentation as a framework for dialogue and action to address challenges and potential solutions for the political ecosystem. Two medical cases are introduced, The Pain Opioid Epidemic Case Presentation and The Cancer of the US Political System Case.
Shrink the Government (Blog): Reflections about the psychological / cognitive aspects of political life. We will explore the psychology of the citizen, political elites, public institutions and related organizations, and other stakeholders in our political ecosystem.
Health of the nation: Providing data to assess the health of various aspects of our body politic. The Heath of the Nation event taken place in conjunction with the State of the Union Address by the president of the US .
My Political Ecosystem: Easy-to-use tools that provide a snapshot of the political system. The citizen can learn about their representatives, organizations and other relevant aspects of their local, state and federal (Global) systems.
My Political Tool Box: Digital tools and strategies to enhance the role of the citizen within their political ecosystem.
The 2020 election: Providing context, information and tools for citizens to actively engage with the 2020 election process. The focus will be on health care topics.
The James Madison Awards: ( 2019) Recognizing individuals and institutions that live up to the Madisonian ideal.
We invite anyone who shares our vision and mission to take part in our work, suggest topics, pose questions, write posts, and most importantly, contribute to the conversation. Stay tuned to learn how you can help.
The James Madison Project is developed by Citizens4Health, an organization motivated by the belief that citizen engagement will contribute to solutions to the big problems that confront our nation.
Our program provides a different approach from the current toxic political debate on how to address the challenges facing our healthcare system (and our nation).
For example, when it comes to healthcare, we focus on one question:
How can we all (patients, doctors and healthcare institutions; citizens, non-for profit organizations and government; consumers and the “private” sector corporations) achieve a sustainable system that provides access to excellent quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans?
Motivated by Madison’s approach to the challenges of his time the Project leverages the Madisonian features ( Associated with the formation of the United States) to address our society’s challenges:
- The central role of the citizen in the political ecosystem
- The love of country and his fellow citizens: Madison committed himself to improving the lives of his fellow Americans.
- Awareness of psychological insights and informed by historic observation : Madison’s political philosophy is informed by psychological understanding of human nature and served as a guide for the structure of the emerging republic.
- The use of the disease metaphor: Madison utilizes the disease metaphor repeatedly to frame the challenges identified in American society of the 18th century. His focus on disease included a description of the symptoms of the Confederacy and offered the framework of an American republic as a treatment.
- The importance of process: Madison believed that the Constitution was a framework to facilitate process rather than a specific outcome. The deliberative process is the way free people govern themselves.
- Willingness to persuade and compromise: Recognizing the importance of achieving the overall objective for the success of the emerging Republic, he was willing to compromise to achieve ratification of the constitution. He was a great communicator and loyal friend.
- Logical thinker: Madison has been described as a rational thinker, utilizing available data to formulate and argue for his positions.
- Complexity: Madison’s established the fundamental American concept of pluralism, his appreciation of complexity and the logic of institutional design as a key to successful democratic reform still influences modern theory and research.*
- Scholarship and scientific curiosity: Madison was a scholarly politician — a politician who thought carefully about institutions in the context of action. He was able to bring together thoughtful responses to a broad cross-section of modern political science. A “modern” political scientist who was able to implement many of his theoretical ideas in a practical forum.
- Change his mind: Madison was able to change his mind about substantive subjects and ideas as he was exposed to more experience in the various roles he held in the pre and post establishment of the United States of America.
Contact us to get access to The James Madison Project (Citizenism) Strategic Plan