On Power, Community, and the Outcome
Yes. Radical Hope. Millions of people have around the world have done this, and we can learn from them. It’s not easy, but hope and Justice can prevail. We need to look to those who have climbed out of dictatorships, from under the boot of colonialism, and shaken off the bonds of slavery and oligarchy.
It is beyond clear what we do NOT want, what we cannot abide if we are to live on the planet. Our energies must go to defining what it is we DO want, and joining with others to bring that about. Very airy-fairy, I know, in the saying of it, but it's necessary for survival. Yes, work our butts off in the electoral politics, but beyond that--way beyond that--if you have time, volunteer to help in a local classroom, a food kitchen, building houses like Jimmy Carter, or wherever your heart calls you to help. Meet your neighbors, and others of like mind, and make our dreams of community come alive. At ECM's advice, sick of rage and frustration at national politics, I joined with like minded people to oppose an outright attempt to steal our public transportation--our unused railroad--by some millionaires and a few billionaires who had recently begun to take over my beloved town and county with their wealth and hubris. Felling fearful--terrified, in fact--I did what I could to promote what vision I had for public transportation instead of simply rejecting their power grab. Joined with a surprising number of people throughout our county, we defeated their takeover by almost three to one! 74% of us voted to have rail plus trail instead of a trail only for the entitled whities. I want community. I made a LOT of friends and designed and bought and handed out 250 yard signs at six bucks each. Others from all over the county contributed their energies. If we can put our eyes on the goal of what we want, I have the hope that we can prevail.
If democracy is hanging by a thread, how do we respond? To me the response is to end unlimited legal corruption (which is why America is an oligarchy, not a democracy). And the only way to end unlimited institutionalized corruption is to get rid of the laws that permit it....starting with Citizens United. Unless that happens, we are all banging our heads against the wall....more specifically we will continue to watch America tear itself apart. You see, when politician are corrupted they don't care about the health of the nation anymore. They only care about what their donors want...and what donors want often runs counter to the health of the nation. Everyday voters become an inconvenience to lie to every election season....all of this is why we have culture wars....a corrupted politician cannot use the argument "vote for me because I have a record of defending your interests"...instead the corrupted politician has to say "vote for me because there are reason why you should hate my opponent". And culture wars are the beginning of the end of any nation. Up to 1933 Hitler said "if you don't vote for my nazi party the Jews, communists and the treasonous politicians who signed the Versailles Treaty will destroy the country".......and it worked. The GOP is using the Hitler play book, and in Jan 2021 they almost pulled off a nazi-styled coup. Just remember this. Hitler had someone burn down the German Parliament, he then convinced the country is was done by a communists (inferring maybe it was even a jewish communist), and the entire nation fell under the spell of nazi-created fear, so they ultimately gave Hitler unlimited power to get rid of all the bad boogie men out there. People voted for Hitler because they believed his lies...and it was much easier to do this in Germany at that time because millions were out of work and want to blame someone for it. Hitler said "I will fix everything", and the nation said "get on with it"....by 1945 death camps were in operation all over Europe (to "cleanse" the nation) and millions of Germans were dead or homeless. ARE WE GOING TO LEARN ANYTHING FROM THIS?? Trump (I think) failed for only one main reason. Not enough Americans were out of work and facing poverty.
Reading a very good book on rebuilding ...." Teardown, Rebuilding Democracy from the Ground Up" by David Meslin, Canadian author, community organizer. We have our failing democracy here too in Canada where our voting system fails us too. Worth reading