I received an unexpected text from a stranger the other day. I don’t randomly give out my cell phone number, and I don’t plug it into social media outlets, so anyone who has it came by it through a channel I must have opted into, at some point. As those communications are few and far enough between, I will give them a little leery leeway upfront.
The texter was shilling for a particular presidential candidate — one I don’t actively support, but wouldn’t be in opposition to succeeding. I inquired if she has my contact info because I’ve donated a few times to a leading grassroots progressive campaign; she said she took it off my voter profile record. I guess I’m okay with that. I’m open to human conversations about impacting genuine change for serious issues.
She identified her candidate as an ally to the one I support. I would agree. I’ve been saying for years they should have been on the same ticket all along. The surest way for them to both win is to come together. I don’t even really care who has top billing, though his record on social issues is stronger, and while I believe she is capable of making some positive changes, I only see him as the realistic option for sweeping reform with the potential to transform politics as we know it today.
Sometimes, people on the inside of politics can be too close to the politics of it all to see problems for what they are. Problems require solutions. Solutions require change. Change requires more forward momentum than can be accomplished by simply carrying on with the status quo.
The canvasser wanted to find out what issues are important to me as we get closer to the election. But it’s hard right now to know how to answer that, because what’s beneficial to me and mine personally pales in comparison to what’s best for healing a deeply damaged nation torn asunder. Both candidates, as they have been doing throughout their careers, will continue to fight corruption while looking out for the little guy, though that’s an obvious imperative prerequisite, and should pretty much just go without saying.
We need more than just the basics, though. We are beaten. Battered. Well and truly broken.
We the people need someone leading the charge to crack the whip and upend the money changing tables. (I’m never been much of a bible thumper, but that was one scene I always liked the idea of, and it has stuck with me. I think of that legendary figure as the original folk hero, and the character he represented as an ideal to be aspired to.)
The problem with trying to “MAGA” is the concept suggests we ever got there in the first place. But we didn’t. We still haven’t. And at this rate, we never will.
The best part of us was always the collectively held belief instilled in us by our forebearers that we could do better. We could be better. All of us, together. We, the people.
Somewhere along the way, though, we lost sight of that dream. Probably about the time we began to redirect our individual focus to our tiny microcosms of separateness. All because some slick snake oil salesman with a winning smile and really great hair once convinced us that was what God wanted.
The unholy union of patriotism and christianity pulling the strings of the man behind the curtain lets the puppetmasters’ minions raid the coffers of a sleeping giant, while gleefully ignorant zombified masses are distracted by the dazzling light show.
Are we not entertained???
Money may not be evil, but the love of its power certainly is. And that evil has destroyed all that may ever have been good about who we wanted to be. Because there’s no profit in homogeny.
So we sold our soul to the devil disguised as a new messiah. Collectively. (Well, a 46% minority collective, anyway. The rest of can collectively say, “in our guts, we know he’s nuts.”)
That may have been our undoing to this point, but we can’t let it be the end of us. I don’t want to be on the wrong side of history. I don’t want to be apologizing to my grandchildren someday, trying to help them understand how much this “was a different time,” and “that’s just the way things were back then.”
At every historical point of change towards personal progress for the population of the US within the last 4 decades, though, one man has been in the trenches on the front lines calling us all onto the right path, demanding that we follow. Some of his policies will benefit everyone, but right now what’s most important to me is that something like what we’re experiencing right now can never happen again. I don’t know how much more of this we can take.
We need real forward progress to soothe the wounds that brought us to this point and allow us to learn and grow and be better. I don’t see anyone from the DNC who would do any more than breathe a sigh of relief, put out some decent policies, and try to recover for the next 4-8 years. The blue hats want to be able to get away with just patching up everything busted with rubber bands and bubble gum, and a comforting “there, there,” and call it good enough for now, I suspect because anything more than that would require too much work, and I imagine no one believes we have that much change left in our pockets or our hearts.
Who knows, it might even be good enough for now. Some bellies might get a little fuller for a little while. But a patch “for now” lasts only as long as until the next party comes along and rips it off to drive the knife in deeper, furthering the great divide. If we haven’t been taught at least that much by this experience, then we might as well consider ourselves incapable of learning anything at all.
This country cannot sustain that much more yoyo-ing politics. The impact of what is happening right now, today, has far reaching consequences that will continue to affect our children’s children. That is, if we as a civilization even make it beyond the next generation.
We as a people may destroy ourselves before then, and if there aren’t any changes to middle-of-the-road DNC politics in the immediate future, then we the people of this country certainly will. Right now I’m not even sure my 2-yr-old will grow up in the United States that raised me. I don’t know how much longer that country will survive.
The American Dream is a pipe dream. The promises upon which we forged our independence are only available to some, and come with caveats. For-profit health care, for-profit prisons, and sweeping income inequality and the slave wages of working poverty are all in direct and absolute opposition to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
For better or worse, what we have right now, is a consumer driven economy. There’s a lot to be said about how to boost it, but the best way to fuel it is to ensure consumers have means to consume. FDR’s New Deal did not conceive of our families grinding our own bones to make our bread. The prospect of working yourself into your grave at 2-3 jobs just to scrape by is not anyone’s definition of a dream. Even Republicans at one point knew there should be a chicken in every pot.
But that’s all beside the point. Those are just symptoms. Right now the disease is, “We The People” are merely empty words.
The greatest threat to our democracy is the political system itself as we know it. That’s why I can’t support a toe-the-line party candidate. Right wing and left wing are just two sides of the same bird. That bird is a vulture, and it’s eating us alive. It’s time to let the Prometheus of the people fight back. To do that, we’ll need to ruffle some feathers.
The founding fathers never intended for us to divide ourselves into political parties. Bicameral government DOES NOT WORK. The Electoral College DOES NOT WORK.
I don’t give a damn about states’ rights, and neither should anyone else. Those screaming the loudest about it were wrong when they used it to push slavery, and they are just as wrong now. One single solitary voter in Montana should not have the same power as 8 Californians. And gerrymandering and voter suppression ensure some people’s voices don’t matter at all.
I would be willing to go to war over these issues, if that becomes the only road left to righting these wrongs. To truly fix real problems, you first have to dig down to the source of the issue, root out and neutralize the infection. Only then can you talk about growth. Only then can you begin to heal.
Life is more than mere existence. The pursuit of happiness is about more than survival. Justice for all should include everyone.
Any candidate willing to bite the hand that feeds them, and work towards dismantling the system that put them in place has my attention. Everyone else is just blowing a lot of hot air. And as far as I’m concerned, they can suck it.
In the last election, I voted for the lesser of two evils, and I hated myself for it. There’s not too many left to get the nod to be one of only two choices I would hate voting for as much now. I won’t believe the remaining options are wrong for us the way I know the last lesser evil would have been. (Less wrong than the Gossamer in office now, but by degrees.)
But I will hate the system that backed me into a corner and forced me to make that choice. I will hate that whoever wins will see that as a victory. I will hate that we can expect then to see some changes, but no real growth. I will hate that I will live in fear of it being only a matter of time before we’re right back here where this all started, doing this same dance all over again.
I don’t want a candidate who’s thinking about what’s best for the next 4-8 years. I want a shaman whose entire life’s works exemplifies the principles promoted, whose practices epitomize the proverbs preached. I want a guardian who will build a legacy of leadership in a time to come when a teetering socialist democratic people’s republic collectively moved together as one to pull itself back from the brink of extinction.
We don’t need a bandaid. We need the voice calling in the desert. And we need to answer the call. For all our sakes, I hope we do.
LJ Idol | Season 11 • Week 11A - Topic: WILD GOOSE CHASE
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