FIND SOMETHING THAT MATTERS, THEN MAKE IT HAPPEN
"Good Morning America how are you?"** Well, I guess it all depends. With the stock market up, a whole lot of people are better off today than they were on Election Day.
If this keeps up and taxes go down and they don't have to support public schools anymore, those same folks will have enough money to pool with their neighbors to get THEIR streets plowed lickety split next time it snows. As for those who don't have any abortions left to have, have health insurance, and can afford their children’s education, all is well. See how easy it is for so many to vote Republican. And you wonder why Trump won.
The harder part to figure out is why those without a stock portfolio, who pay little or no income tax because they have little or no income, whose children’s education will be in public schools or nowhere, and whose streets never get plowed would ever vote Republican. Never mind those whose only access to meaningful heath care is “Obamacare.”
A good part of the reason is simply a failure on the part of the Democratic Party to drive home a message about government and governance that resonates with what should be a huge portion of the electorate, the portion that depends on government for all manner of benefits, programs, and projects that improve their lives. Try driving on an unpaved Interstate or showing up at an unmanned police station for help. Seemingly, it would be a big surprise to many that THEIR government paved the interstate and THEIR police officers are government employees.
I was not surprised by the election outcome, even though I thought that Trump might have done just enough to himself to allow Hillary to crawl across the finish line as a winner. While there is plenty of blame to go around, inbred Democratic Party "leaders" prematurely crowned our "queen" for us. They casually brushed off those early Bernie primary returns, circled the wagons around Hillary, and partied with the wealthy at ostentatious private fundraisers while the opposition rallied with “deplorables” in open arenas in middle America.
As for the FBI, since its inception it has been a flawed organization lead by troglodytes, some of whom happen to be good investigators. They chose their moment well and, at the least, slowed Hillary’s momentum and undermined any positive message she could have delivered. It somehow seems fitting that Anthony Wiener's pecker may be the ultimate symbol of Democratic Party failure.
But there is much more here that needs to be confronted. America simply is not a force for good anywhere anymore, if we ever were. We cannot confront, never mind address, injustice and inequality at home, and we continue to be the deadliest nation on earth by far. There is nothing there to be proud of. Now, much of what could be argued as social progress has been unmasked as a lie and many pages will be turned back.
After decades of failed promise, a nation that has repeatedly allowed the greedy to overwhelm the good and failed to use its vast resources to provide a decent life for every man woman and child in the land, America has chosen to “change” the trajectory to an even darker place. Surely privileged white people will be ok, but the underprivileged will suffer, done in by many of their own who somehow continue to savor the nectar of trickle down “snake oil.”
As for me, I will work for a progressive left-wing takeover of the Democratic Party, because what is left of the party are old tired centrists and neo-cons and think tanks with no soul. I encourage a good measure of non-violent resistance and hope that it can slow our backward pace. Then, we can only hope that young people can put down their cellphones long enough to notice that it is their world that others are fighting for. Maybe if freed of some of the burden of mistaking a virtual world for the real world, they might find time to define the real world they want to live in and begin to fight hard for their vision.
In my last piece before the election, I offered a list of fundamentals for a renewed America. I offer it again as a sort of progressive menu from which each can choose what matters most. The important thing is to choose something. And, as a clarion call, remember that there can never be compromise with racism, bigotry, greed and avarice:
America must stop trying to kill its way to a better world;
protecting our environment must be made a collective and shared responsibility at home and abroad, loudly rejecting those who reject science;
confronting poverty and disease must be defined as moral imperatives at home and abroad;
internal gun violence must be confronted as the epidemic that it is;
universal access to healthcare and a good education must be accepted as rights, not privileges;
good government must be seen as the vehicle for positive change, and limited government must be recognized as the problem not the cure;
taxation must be encouraged as the most basic way that every citizen can participate in the common good;
working people must organize again to demand a living wage for all workers, equal pay for all workers, and safe, healthy, family-friendly working conditions for all workers;
corporations are not and must not be defined as people, and when managed by greedy people, they must be exposed as the enemy of the public good;
religious practice must have no place in public life – it properly belongs in churches, synagogues, and mosques where anyone who wants to can privately seek their god’s blessings for America or themselves or anyone else;
black lives must matter to all of us or the nation’s racial divide will continue to poison our communities;
immigrants and refugees must be welcomed to enrich our culture and strengthen our communities with solid values long ago forgotten in America;
societal diversity must be encouraged as a harbinger of commitment to principled development of community.
It is critical to remember that progress can be slow and that some will only buy into pieces of any agenda, no matter how progressive. Unite with those who share a passion for the pieces that matter most to you and make those pieces happen.
The future for many in America and the world depends on the lessons that all of us learn from the experience of this noxious election and our willingness to try to define a better world. Each of us should be measured by what we do to make that better world a reality.