"Useless laws weaken the necessary laws " — Charles de Montesquieu, philosopher and writer (1689–1755)

Let’s start a movement. It needs to be organic, but it needs to begin somewhere. It needs to have ground support and people invested in one simple concept — common sense.

The Tea Party and the Libertarians do not provide the foundation I am looking for in my new party. Neither do the Independents. The Republicans and Democrats have already proven to me that they are governed more by politics than by common sense, so we need a change of mind-set.

If you join the Common Sense Party you will make only two pledges. You will promise to lead with common sense maxim as your core. You will promise to vote.

Do you know that in our current system, for a Republican or Democratic candidate to win a primary they get less than 5 percent of the total eligible vote? That is not a typo! It is less than 5 percent because not enough of us vote and the system is not based on common sense!

The weight of your foot will be in looking for common sense approaches and solutions that pass the common sense test.

I have not written the rules for the common sense test yet, it needs to come organically by those who make the pledge. It might include easy stuff like the KISS concept that I so love (Keep It Simple Stupid) and be governed perhaps by what does not make sense, since that is often easier to determine.

If the Common Sense Party can create a coalition of Democrats, Republicans, Independents, liberals, and conservatives that all pledge to insist making all proposals pass the smell test (if it stinks, do not vote for it) and, if an elected official does not, they get rejected with a big fat KISS stamp of disapproval.

I would like to fund this new party in a grassroots manner; no donation over $20 and most of the money raised through T-shirt, hat, and button sales or other really cool items that let’s our local communities know where we stand and asks our elected political officials to stand with us.

It means calling out the politicians when they fail the test of common sense. It means keeping a scorecard so that we, those of us who have signed up and tuned in to the party, know who fails the test. We can disagree about policy. What is right and what is wrong is all fair game, but we must always hold the line when it comes to the common sense principle. That will lead to compromise and end much of the gridlock that exists today.

When injustice appears, it must be righted. When common sense is ignored or thrown out the window, it must be exposed.

Why the rant, you might be asking. Why am I fed up enough to write about it?

Recently, an incident happened that makes no sense and will cost me several thousand dollars in legal fees. If I could explain it to you, I think you would agree. If you do not, you do not belong in the Common Sense Party because one of the principles would be that if 85 percent or more think it is unreasonable, then it passes the stink test.

This new incident is reminiscent of the time, as a landlord, my tenant owed me $27,000 in back rent in a commercial building I owned. I went through the proper authorities and his tenancy ended with the sheriff doing a legal eviction.

However, it did not end there. I had to store all the stuff left in my building until the tenant and I came to an agreement. It was three more months of no rent before the tenant then sued me for $359,000 for loss of business and other nonsense.

During that time I was unable to rent out my building and I spent more than $10,000 to defend myself. I like to tell people that the tenant ended up with a six-figure judgment (all 0s) and I got my $27,000 judgment against him that was not worth the paper it was printed on as I knew I would never receive any of it. He then split town and went on to carry out more mischief at others’ expense.

The incident was over but I had stored his things for months, lost money, and the public that followed this were unable to really know what the real story. When someone sues you, there is some presumption that where there is smoke, perhaps there is fire. The story that was written about me, the landlord, was fair but it did not matter. There was still mystery there, still a little whisper of doubt that would follow.

In general, the reason people sue is because they can. There is nothing to lose for the plaintiff, especially if he has a lawyer, like my tenant, who was willing to work on contingency because he expected I would settle rather than go the distance and spend the enormous amount of money needed to defend myself.

Luckily, my insurance company stepped in and provided me with legal assistance, which pretty much ended it. I had spent about $10,000 on my own by that time and there was a lot more to go. Now I could do battle knowing the insurance company had my back.

However, I later learned that having your insurance company support you can also have a downside. Many insurance companies will settle a bogus lawsuit for $5,000 rather than spend the $10,000 it would take to defend it. Seems like smart business and even common sense I suppose.

But the problem is the laws that allow the suit to happen in the first place. The problem is the person bringing the lawsuit really does not have anything to lose. That is where we need to add the common sense principle into the equation.

In the end, when we settle a bogus lawsuit for $5,000, the bad guy wins and we all pay for it through higher insurance rates and by perpetuating the lack of common sense in our system.

We need to stop this, it is important.

How do we do that? We start by standing up and stepping up when the time comes and putting integrity in front of everything else. When we do the right thing, it defends common sense and it allows us to find a better path.

We start by saying no more and we progress to fixing laws that are broken, taking out stupid laws and using the word “accountability” to guide us at every step of the process.

If we remain accountable, we can solve welfare fraud and all the other common plagues that add nothing and create big take-aways in our society.

Accountability and rewards should go hand-in-hand and guide us down a path of common sense.

So let’s start the movement. Join me and the Party for Common Sense.

Courier Publications Publisher Reade Brower can be reached at: reade@freepressonline.com.