Also, here is what not to do and why not.
Act locally. Avoid national electoral politics like the plague. Vote for the least bad candidate, that is all the investment in electoral politics that is called for. Use human rights and social justice as your guide. We are all in this together, if one group is excluded, we are all brought lower. Pocketbook issues? A financial conservative is a social conservative. Revolution? Evolution by intention.
Politics is business is entertainment is a conservative enterprise. Mature democracies have some inherent problems; they tend toward conservatism, they tend towards militarism, they seek to exclude illegal immigrants, they tend toward a two tiered class system, they are warlike in their quest to spread democracy and they are prone to moral and economic corruption. You all knew that, didn’t you?
The bill of rights and a balanced constitution have not been enough to quell the social divides that are stoked by politicians whose only mission is to seek political domination.
This country does not have a stated purpose for its existence. The preamble to the declaration of independence is not sufficiently specific to outline human rights and social justice as being more important than property. Conservatives have used the inherent problems of democracy to advance the theory that these inequalities and injustices are part of a strong democracy, perhaps evil but necessary to a strong democracy, just as they have advanced other baseless theories about market theory and social Darwinism.
Our problems are spiritual; the greatest triumph of conservative ideology is not the Republican Party, the dissolution of the USSR, the near death of our planet but widespread cynicism that replaces enlightenment in human beings. IMHO, politics is not a sport where you are rabidly loyal to the home team, pounding on the gass for a goal or bloody retribution. The rhetorical war that Democratic pols are engaged in with Republican pols is phony, a a confidence game, a self serving war and is not a struggle for human rights and social justice. Democracy without justice is not the democracy that I want.
Democratic voters may like it to be so, that is the impression that I get from reading these boards. Every commenter is either falling all over each other to affirm their political bona fides or falling all over themselves positively cursing their evil enemies i.e, those dirty Republicans, our neighbors.
It begs credibility that a half million political hacks evenly distributed among the political parties, whose sole purpose has morphed into creating a self serving atmosphere of partisan warfare can succeed in capturing the imagination of 100 million voters. Of all the reasons given for low voter registration among the remaining 230 million inhabitants of the US is probably the sense that one has to be stone cold stupid to vote under these circumstances.
Only local community activism that competes with the private sector in creating jobs will have enough credibility to gather support from a population that is otherwise beholden to plutocrats and the power establishment. Electoral politics is a dead end,, destroyed by undeserving political marketers. There is work that has practical concrete and local effects and people are ignoring actual, existing, non partisan community service in favor of supporting a failed political process.
Time and money given to political parties is a waste and a distraction from building communities. A politician that shows up at a local non profit fundraiser is garnering votes, not building community with donations of time and money. That is what makes politicians thieves.
The expression of wrath against conservatives is misplaced, not because they have not earned it but because the era of meaningful protest is over; there is not enough democracy left to protect protest, there are not enough elected officials to respond to it and all of our elected officials are committed a priori to accommodating the non elected power and financial interests. Freedom to protest is meaningless in this set up, there is no room left to compromise among and with elected politicians.
Republicans are vilified by the Left for abandoning their duties on the health care debate. What duties? The terms of the bill were settled when the insurance industry, physicians, hospital, Phrma and equipment manufacturers were given guest accommodations in Washington and a free restructuring of the industry. Republicans got the best bill they could have gotten had they participated, short of killing it. That too, was an accommodation, their profit motive, their cost /benefit analysis and their campaign strategy. Easy and efficient, like typical, mindless conservatives.
The same situation holds for issues of defense, foreign policy, finance and immigration. Obviously, a government ruled by politicians, the plutocrats that own them and the power establishment that does just enough to punch their ticket does not need 100 Senators.
Republican legislators were now free to concentrate on what all politicians spend most of our time on, which is electioneering and election fundraising. The right wingers find it funny that Liberals are so willing to make fools of themselves by nattering on and muddling through a pre-fixed procedure, I do not.
Angry response only nurtures the right wing hate machine; local community efforts that produce social justice will discredit conservatives, not the counter volleys of rhetoric that strengthen conservatives. Get smart, ask yourself what exactly you are accomplishing by getting on the boards and mindlessly piling on and wasting space by not promoting and humbly serving your community.
I repeat; the rhetorical war that Democratic loyalists are engaged in with Republicans is phony, a self serving confidence game and is not a struggle for human rights and social justice. Democratic voters may like to wish it to be so but only local community activism that competes with the private sector in creating jobs will have enough credibility to persuade a population beholden to plutocrats and the power establishment. Elections will not come close to achieving that.
Since the conservative virus of cynicism has so widespread an effect, I anticipate and welcome the indignant howls of burnt investors in Democratic politics protesting my contentions and my presentation.
Sure, be angry but use it to motivate action instead of wasting it on the right wing hate machine. They eat it up. Since we are dealing with chaos, that should be easy but no, name calling and pontificating are the mainstays of Democratic boards. All talk, little or no action.
Some have said that the right has been waging a devastating war on the poor forever. They say that they are angry. Then they say that they are waging a metaphorical war by engaging in the political sphere. Really? Who do they think they are and what are they willing to do to dominate politics?
Confusion reigns because many Democratic partisans will not accept that the 18th century concept of a rational government is a shrunken legacy branch of the present system. Or they refuse to accept that they are not in charge or they refuse to accept that things are not done their way.
Voters see the chaos of this and have simple minded, emotional responses to it, fueled by partisan rallying such ad, “throw the bums out, our freedom is threatened. It is always someone else’s fault, it can never be your own fault that the building crumbles if you never laid a brick.
The current political marketing answer on the Left is to elect ‘progressives’. Whoever advances these campaigns have no more control of a candidate, once elected than you do as an individual. Elected officials are not going to restore eighteenth century Enlightenment values or establish egalitarianism or do the right thing for humanity. Whether someone is a progressive or not is an historical judgement, not political brand marketing. A democratic political system is not going to arise as a result of the present way politics are conducted. It will come from the necessity to govern after people rationally organize themselves.
Oh yes, we have a problem with our beloved selves. “We have met the enemy and they are us.” as Pogo said, lo these many years ago when I was but a sapling youth.
Non-profits themselves do not have to be organized nor should they be otherwise fiddled with. People form non-profits because they know what they are doing, They are more market based than businesses that are anti-competetive, non profits sink or swim according to their performance. They do not need to be told how to manage their organizations, there are non-profits specializing in non-profit management and financing.
Yes, there are a few bad apples in the basket. But since our ‘Liberal media’ finds more job security in reporting and analyzing politics, we are chronically under-served in reporting the creation of civilization. Horrors, we have to trust one another and allow ourselves to be skeptical without being cynical and careful without being timid. What will become of the amateur wise-ass industry?
Non-profits are regulated by the IRS and protected by law. They deliver every kind of social benefit imaginable like food, clothing, shelter, medical service, legal service and counseling for every category of existence in modern mass society.
There are about 1.8 million of them and account for about 8% of wages and salaries in the US. They often administer government programs to insure local needs are met. They often team up with local business in cause advertising, where a business like a car dealership will offer a discount in return for a charitable donation.
Their problem? There aren’t enough of them; doing enough things. They embody the social liberal spirit, they are unifying and non partisan. C’mon folks, I know that you have the tools and the smarts to create a new non profit because you are not shy about saying how smart you are. Progressivism is staring you in the face but I think playing political roulette is more sexy and addicting.
There are no links in this essay, I started to gather them but all I ended up with is a cumbersome collection pages of links and notes. I am assuming that everyone here is familiar with all of these political issues by reading these and other boards regularly. I am not trying to persuade anyone indeed, you have persuaded me after reading your essays for a year and following entire threads of comments to the bitter end. Sometimes, it is an education, sometimes, I am just disgusted. I know many of you know these righteous things and do these things, I also know that some of you only wish to vent and aerate your little patch of wisdom.
You act like you are anonymous but the whole world is watching. *
*I use you to mean all of you; of course, this is presumptuous. If you take this personally, so much the better.