America’s New Four Party System

Evidently it took a pair of transgender sisters to give us a portent of the future, but perhaps not the one they intended. In their Matrix trilogy the then brothers Wachowski named their main character ‘Neo’. I’m not certain if they were aware of their prescience but it appears they have hit on the latest big thing in American politics.

From observations over the last several years, and clearer observations this election cycle, I am seeing the American two party system, which has dominated our politics for many a year, fracturing into four distinctly different parties. This is happening without some of the participants actively being aware of it. The role The Matrix plays in all of this is perhaps more syntactic than anything but were I to name these four new parties, the prefix “neo’ would be used more than once. More about this later.

Probably the oddest thing about these schisms is that traditional, 20th century, liberals and conservatives have been effectively left behind, scrambling to either align themselves with one of the new factions, aggressively hold on to their obsolete values a while longer, or give up on politics altogether. Perhaps this is because the issues and political philosophies of the last century no longer maintain an agreed upon clarity, or, as in some cases, they may not be relevant at all.

For most of the 20th Century Republicans and Democrats had modestly but obviously different outlooks on how best to service the nation. The operative phrase here is “serve the nation”. In those days both parties cared about serving the nation, and were not only able to work together to do just that but both liked and respected each other, for the most part.

But the politics of the early 21st Century has revealed itself to be dominated by rabid partisanship and a dedication not to serving the nation but to serving special and monied interests. The lust for power has replaced the common good as the prime motivator of the modern politician and their parties.

It isn’t surprising to me that both major parties appear to be splitting in two, with none of the resultant parties truly resembling it’s predecessor. This is because the lines dividing the previous two parties are no longer clearly defined.  Currently we are seeing the development of a somewhat loose coalition of former progressive Democrats, Greens, pure Socialists and Democratic Socialists. This far left coalition has not been heretofore what one would call united, left wing politics normally being more identified with absolute correctness on pet issues than with forging partnerships.

They have been brought together this cycle by the candidacy of Senator Bernie Sanders. Having previously spent most of their time arguing over whose issues were more important they have come only lately to the idea of taking over the Democratic party. This “Neo-Socialist” party is the actual left wing party, right wing propaganda about our President notwithstanding, with social justice and a well regulated economy being their major issues.

Many of the remaining Democrats joined by some moderate Republicans comprise the Neo-Liberal party. Having been around in Europe for some time the Neo-Liberals have a socially liberal platform but their economic ideas run more toward the corporate capitalist model. They claim to be liberal on the flimsy idea that they support benevolent corporations instead of malevolent ones. Flimsy indeed. They are the center left party, or to those with a different vantage point, the center right party.

On the right we find the Neo-Conservatives, basically the mainstream Republicans of the 90’s and early aughts’s. This party’s platform is based in militarism and right wing Christian morality. It’s new role as a separate party came about because of a split in the traditional Republican Party, a result of Republican pandering to the Libertarian minded Tea Party. The Neo-Cons once held great power in the country, but over the years their credentials as true conservatives have been called into question. As of now they neither fully resemble the party of lower taxes or small government.

The Tea party’s premise lies in a basic mistrust of a government they feel has failed them, is incompetent, spends the public’s hard earned tax dollars foolishly, rewards laziness and disrespects hard working Americans. They have no problem with completely discarding traditional means of operating government in order to get their way. To them compromise is betrayal and treasonous. When the Republicans could not make good on their promises to this faction the Tea Party held them hostage through a small but united caucus of congressmen/women, a critical mass of votes in the House of Representatives that could quash any legislation it did not favor.

This Tea Party extended or as I have called it, in moments of weakness, the Neo-Anderthal Party (Shame on you Will Servant) bases its political philosophy on anti politics. They despise politics as usual and politicians in general for being corrupt and feckless and find common ground in wild and free capitalism, xenophobia, poorly disguised racism,  white supremacism and authoritarianism. Or should I just say fascism.

What used to be a substantial independent voting bloc has been reduced to mainly the legitimate personality  voters, the I vote for the person not the party folks, and dazed and confused former traditionalists from both former major parties. These include but are not confined to traditional Republicans who can neither relate to what they perceive as the drunken sailor spending of the neocons nor the thinly veiled hatred of the “Tea Party”. Former Democrats include those who cannot cotton to the corporatism of the neo-liberals or what they see as the excessive permissiveness of the Neo-Socialists.

But this group of “independents” which is really a misnomer, is smaller than before. The electoral focus of new this four party world will not so much be on winning over the smaller group of independents but on convincing people that they know the best way out of the desert and can lead us through the thick forestation of the complex issues we face as we head closer to the quarter pole of the 21st century.

The most these new parties can hope for under this Neo-Parliamentary (See how I threw that Neo thing in there again) system is to gain the largest plurality of the electoral college vote for their presidential candidate and have the most congressional victors, so they will have the most leverage in forming a governing coalition. This will represent a whole new era in American governance.

While I am obviously not right about all of this I feel that an eventual multi party system will breathe life into American politics and lead to more work getting done all around for the largest and most important special interest group, the American people.

The danger in all of this is that, as we are currently getting big hints about, the chaos surrounding the collapse of the two party system could lead America into a totalitarian strongman government, which would plunge the world into conflict that could make WWII look like a paintball match. “We the People” can’t allow that to happen. Lot’s of people have ideas, many of them good, of how to best turn the darkness into light. I have one too.

Perhaps my strongest feeling regarding the presidential race of 2016, with all of it’s fascinating and frightening subplots, is that those who wish to establish separate parties on either side of the increasingly more centrist major parties are concentrating way too much on the election viability of their candidates and not enough on the actual party building that is necessary for them to become viable. There are way more people out there, on both sides of the constitutional divide, than the intellectuals they have a tendency to bubble with. The average guys and gals and others who comprise most of the electorate really don’t have a clue, they son’t get it, and it’s going to take a s..t load of work to get them to understand the dynamic of life in the 21st century. So folks, build your base with knowledge and sincerity and hard work before you can expect electoral success.

On the other hand the traditional parties are scrambling to hold together what base they have left. They are precariously scratching together the traditional coalitions that have, at various times, bought them victory. They have been so busy throwing up bandaids that they have forgotten how to develop good candidates. They have been at each others throats so long that victory has become the ultimate goal instead of public service. They nominate professional election winners instead of stateswomen. And what has it wrought? The two least likable candidates in USA history. So all four of our future major parties have their work cut out for them. The neo-revolution will manifest differently for all of them, but it won’t happen tomorrow.

Our modern power structure has been built to withstand  a traditional revolution. The revolution must be in the education of the public, in changing the paradigm. It must happen from the inside out. It’s like making wine or beer. It’s a process and it can’t be rushed or the final product suffers. Virtually all revolutionaries who went over the top too early, before they had a solid base, a leg to stand on, have failed. Some were successful early and then failed soon thereafter, some just plain failed. Telling someone burning with a passion to make everything right, who can’t stand it anymore, that they have to chill, is at best difficult and at worst impossible. But it is as valid a position as any that says we must tear down the house. Because it’s real.

After years of study, observation and research the oligarchs have perfected their methods of co-opting revolution by protest. They own law enforcement and the media. Never again will protesters in the streets have the influence they had in the 60’s. Violent revolution will be met with overwhelming force, as the oligarchs also own the military. Those means are lost to us. Frankly, in my estimation, the only way to bring about re-evolution in this climate is through the system, through good, old fashioned, American democracy.

The oligarchs have manipulated organizations to oppress the population but they have yet to oppress the people themselves, and will not be able to. That is the beauty of our democracy. The people actually do have the power. We have simply been coerced into not using it properly. We must display patience and restraint as the incremental change that will bring about continued peace can come about. The messiah Sanders has said so himself. He has told the people to get their butts off the floor, dry their tears and do the hard work of teaching, organizing, living and loving until the world they envision comes to pass. This is the true revolution, a revolution of the soul, first of the individual, and then of the nation.

As an aging hippie I have hoped for a real revolution, without guns but with hearts, for many years. I worry that I won’t see it.

But most of you will.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s All Fine and Good…

I’m not fond of Donald Trump and I don’t support his candidacy. I suppose I’d go so far as to say his candidacy scares the living crap out of me. But I’m not about to tell you why. Why? Because everybody else does.

I’m glad that so many people have stepped forward to offer their take on why Mr. Trump should never, ever, be let anywhere near the White House, except for maybe a guided tour. They should. The people need and deserve to be told about how they are being hoodwinked by a snake oil salesman, which is one of the safer things I can say about the man.

But my issue is that among the many diatribes bashing the big basher himself, a large, even vast number of them involve some sort of analysis of why he has risen to the prominence of being the presumptive presidential nominee of a major political party. An even bigger topic for these frightened American souls is who are his followers and why do they follow him.

The speculation runs from the sublime to the ridiculous and it seems lately that virtually every pundit who is worth his ego must needs weigh in. It’s like the Olympics of opine. I may be wrong, after all, but it appears to me that there is an amazing race (homage to the reality TV world of today) to see who can most definitively and correctly determine the correct and definitive reason for the phenomenon that is Trump and his minions.

Enough already. Frankly, we really don’t need to figure out why he is a mere 270 electoral votes from being the most powerful man in the “free” world. At least until after he is given a sound beatdown (although many of us have a pretty good idea why). And this is where the pundit analysts and opinion talkers, in my opinion, are failing.

In reality, these journalists and political analysts and pundits and party personalities are singing loudly, even if mostly on key, to the choir. They are educated intellectuals writing and blogging and making videos for educated intellectuals in places where only educated intellectuals will read, hear and see them. In other words, while often brilliant in their insight, they will have little to no effect on the votes of a sizable (read huge) majority of those whose hearts and minds are what really need to be changed.

Our task is to fight as hard as we can to defeat this charlatan, this wolf in wolf’s clothing. What we really need is for us educated intellectuals (effete intellectual snobs as Spiro Agnew once called us) to get busy, down and dirty, and get everyone possible who knows the real dangers of a Trump presidency to go to the polls and vote against him, better yet for a candidate who is capable of defeating him. And convince those who doubt this is a very real danger, that it is very real and very dangerous, and get them to the polls to vote against Trump also.

Holding ones nose strikes me as a much better option than potentially having no hands to hold it with.

We don’t need to figure Trump and his followers out. We just desperately need to defeat him.

Clinton isn’t a steamboat and Sanders isn’t a Colonel

Something that disturbs me, and more so as time passes, is the breaking out of the baseball bats and socks full of dung, used to bash each other upside the head by supporters of both Sen. Sanders and Secretary Clinton. Recently I read a post in a thread about this topic, a particularly virulent attack on Ms. Clinton that had more in common with a conspiracy post on “Infowars” than a rational discussions about left and centre left politics. I hear more and more rumblings and grumblings from Sanders supporters that if their champion is not nominated they shall take their ball and go home, or, perhaps worse, he will run as a third party candidate.

The result of either of those strategies would be catastrophic. What will such “brave and visionary” behavior bring? Shall we have a theocrat or fascist then as president? Or shall we have a wonderful man with a powerful, positive vision for an American people who are not yet ready to embrace it? Shall we have anarchy? Or an imperfect woman who has the most and best qualifications. The bane of the activist is that they insist on the perfect and reject the less than perfect. This is right action and imperative in fighting for a single, isolated issue. Those fighting this way need the strength that lifts them up, found in purity of mission.

However, In electoral politics we cannot allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. I have grave issues with the corporate dependencies of HRC. I have serious problems with her neoliberal economics. Having spent many years standing in the public spotlight she has made plenty of mistakes and grown plenty of warts. However I have much graver, real fears about either of the GOP frontrunners and especially the well hidden dominionist nature of Kasich, who could be a brokered candidate.

I have admired Sen. Sanders for many years as a truth teller. Truth telling is a necessary and critical quality for any pubic servant to display. Bernie is one of the only, if not the only, truth tellers in Congress. However, truth telling in today’s America is only supported by between 30 and 40 percent of the voters. This is how effective the lies of propaganda have been.

It is not enough at this point in history to have the candidate who is right. To stop the victory of fear we must have the right candidate. Understanding modern American politics we find that the right candidate is often not the best candidate. This must change. The only way to change it is for activists to roll up their sleeves, and, instead of throwing themselves behind a candidate they love, but who they expect will do all the work, must go back to their communities and do the work themselves.

We must educate the public about both the lies and the truth. This will not be easy. The furrows have been burrowed deep in people’s minds. They react instantaneously to what they hear and read based on what frames have been physically established in their brains. They prize what they don’t have to think about.

So our work is cut out for us. It is not simply a matter of telling them the truth and expecting them to accept it merely because it’s true. We have to dig our furrows deeper than the other guy’s. This is an unfortunate reality of cognitive science. It’s not junk science. It’s not conspiracy. It’s reality. And we need to be a team and not a collection of individuals to accomplish the change.

We can gather and commiserate among like minds and we can complain to anyone who will listen, but the sad fact remains if someone like Bernie Sanders is to be elected President and, more importantly, be successful, citizen’s hearts and minds will have to be changed, and that will take a ton of real work. It doesn’t have to be done on a national scale. It can be done by small local, community organizations and even some individual activism. But the work needs to be constant and consistent. This is most difficult given the proclivity for activists to become disillusioned and leave a place for another place they think will be better.

Our work is before us. In essence my message is quit bitching about the way things are and start working on the way things must be. Don’t depend on a political savior to guide us out of Egypt. Although things are really fucked up, and we all know they are, reality dictates that we can’t change things from the top down. The top is too well guarded and insulated to invade without the will of a large majority of the people. Anyone who thinks we have a large majority with us is a fool.

I am so impressed with and proud of the many people who are speaking out and speaking their minds who have previously chosen not to. I have also been inspired to do so. Unfortunately speaking my mind involves surveying my mind, which seems to have always been complex and verbal. So this is just another example of who the fuck I am, with new and improved less fear of revealing such.

I will be happy regardless of whether you choose to read this or not. The clarity it brings me to put my thoughts in some sort of order feeds my joy. Life is meant to enjoy. This is why we fight. When anyone’s joy has been ripped from their soul it pains all of us.

The people who oppose us are not idiots, or fucktards, or repugs, or bat shit crazy, although I must admit some approach that. They are Americans who have bought the snake oil. Your mission Mr Phelps, should you choose to accept it, is to convince them that they have been played, and the snake oil will never heal therm. This tape will self destruct in 5 seconds.

My Take on Gender

Lately there have been several laws both passed and signed, and others proposed by certain states, regarding discrimination against gays and particularly our transgender friends. Transgender people are the T in LGBTQ. The laws, in essence, all address transgender people using the bathroom, as well as other discriminatory provisions, one of our nation’s most existentially critical issues (sarc).

I’ve been more and more incensed about the nature of these real and threatened attacks and feel a need to write about where my anger brings me. I’d like to attempt to clarify understanding of the real issue here, which is evolution. Let’s see if I am able.

After losing in a fairly humiliating way in their futile quest to withhold the joys and pains of  marriage from homosexuals of all sorts the “look here it’s another damned abomination” crowd has gleefully waged it’s attack on number two on their hit list, transgender Americans. As is per usual with this crowd there was considerable forethought put into this strategy, and proposals for laws forcing transgender people to use the bathroom designated for those with the sexual organs they were assigned at birth with were simultaneously issued across the nation. Isn’t it fascinating how all these different people from all corners of the USA all thought of the same vile and restrictive thing at the same time (not). How obviously intentional and strategic.

Once again, the frightened reactionary gang, desperately hanging on to the faux morality of the past, have come up with logical sounding, fear based arguments for preventing transgender women from using the women’s restroom. Safety and privacy. OMG men will fake being transgender just to snap a pic to put on Instagram or maybe use for a puerile and perverse purpose later on in the shower, or wherever they do such things. It is the transgender person who is much more likely to be abused in a restroom than any cisgender person.

A word on the word cisgender. It is a new word for many of us. It is an adjective, not a noun. A person isn’t a cisgender. They are a cisgender person. The word simply means a person who identifies with the same gender as their sexual organs indicate. This separation of sex organs and gender identity is significant and that makes understanding cisgender people important.

A word on the words transgender and transexual. Transexual is an older term that is relatively specific. It normally refers to a person who has or wants to change their sex organs to their identified gender. Transgender is a newer term that is a general term that covers all people whose gender identity does not reflect their sex at birth. Some transgender people still refer to them selves as transexual. One should be aware of and sensitive to how a person refers to them selves. This applies to both nouns and pronouns, Although it can be uncomfortable one should use the pronouns the individual transgender pronoun prefers. Also do not refer to the original gender of the transgender person. A person who transitions from male to female identity is a woman or transgender woman.

The word transition is important as well. It is used to describe the process of transformation from one gender to the other. It is not necessarily a sex change or a switch. Transition can include everything from transitional medical intervention to legal change of name to telling friends and family. Transition can be a different process for each individual. For example, a doctor may prescribe transitional surgery for one transgendered person but not another.

The authors of theses bills and their supporters have picked on this group of citizens, transgender people, because they are the least well known, least talked about, least supported, and least understood of the bearers of that “sexually weird people” acronym, LGBTQA+. They are also at the top of the yucky scale. Men kissing men has nothing on a man desiring to change his sexual organs to match her self identity, her knowledge of self. They are an easy target, low hanging fruit, the fish at the top of the barrel.

These folks have said let’s put a different coat on discrimination, run it out and see if anyone of our bunch feels we have the perfect patsy here, the ideal minority group to frame for the crime of being the other, the weakest and least likely demographic to push back on the bunches self congratulatory need for oppression. It’s the age old scenario of the alpha finding the weakest in the herd to kill, to cull.

But these unfortunate misguided souls are in for a rude awakening. The transgender people among us are not weak, they are not fakes, they are the next wave in the truth of human evolution. They are in the vanguard of understanding the ever expanding universe, the opening up of our hearts and souls to the true nature of our species. Let’s talk a little about this.

In the past the medical and psychological tools to help the transgender soul become more  physically comfortable with their bodies was not yet developed. They had to hide behind wigs and constrictive cloth bands and hats and vests and corsets, makeup and voices. They were usually considered merely transvestites or perverts acting out their gender fantasies. There were only two genders. This conflation of sexual identity and gender identity has been responsible for the utter confusion, misunderstanding and often virulent opposition to the real existence of the other states of gender identity.

Hopefully I can explain my understanding of this reality in an educationally sound way. I make no claims of being correct about this. there are others who can judge my interpretations. But I am being honest in what I say here. The simplest way for me to try to wrap my head around an evolved reality about gender is to separate the sex from the gender. In other words I try not to use sex organs to define gender.

I relate sex organs, hormones etc, to sexual activity, We were all born with sexual organs, male, female, none or both. We use these sexual organs to participate physically in sexual relations. They all are instrumental in determining how we physically appear to the world. Sexual relations have two primary purposes, creation and re-creation. We can either  create new life, recreate those moments of the joy of that creative activity, and/or both.

One of the least understood aspects of sexual behavior is the re-creative element. We were designed to enjoy the sex act as a prime directive for procreating the species. We were programmed to love, enjoy, and desire sex. To deny ourselves the sex act because it doesn’t lead to conception is moronic. Everyone deserves and is intended to know the pleasure of sexual fulfillment regardless of it’s consequence.

What does this have to do with the transgender human issue you say. It has everything to do with it. It means that any combination of sexual partners and coming together of sexual organs among peoples has a divine element. It means that the presence of so called male and or female sex organs has less to do with who a person is and more to do with how they choose to enjoy their God given imperative to engage in sex.

What does this mean? It means that gender identity is unrelated to which sex organs one was born with. Gender identity is who one knows one is. We are only beginning to acknowledge that, yes,  it is a reality that there are two more numerous genders, the yin and yang of humanity, the cisgender people, with sex organs to match their gender identity. But the presence of male or female sex organs and their corresponding physical natures, is not the defining indicator of gender. There are those who exist outside of the prevalent genders, those who have no gender, other genders, or several genders, and they are viable and meaningful humans too.

Knowledge defines gender. Sex organs are for sex. Inner knowledge of gender identity determines how someone presents themselves to the world, regardless of appearance. Sexual preference is how individuals present themselves to each other sexually. There is a huge difference here that has been heretofore nearly invisible. It has been taken for granted that cisgender nature is the only natural state of being. In our society gender and sex have been inexorably conflated. We haven’t had a clue that it could be any different.

So it makes sense that those dragging their feet as time reveals knowledge of self will only see sex as synonymous with gender and force those with the sex organs of their birth to use the bathrooms of that gender, to use their birth name, etc. Little do they know that they are opening the very door they wish to close. To be more precise they are creating a real door they where they had only imagined one.. They are creating a situation where those of all genders will be subject to feeling uncomfortable and unsafe.

It is obvious to me that these bills are not about girl’s safety but rather about certain people’s fears that evolution is passing them by and their need to stop it’s forward motion at all costs. We all know this sets up an immoveable object and irresistible force scenario. And for what, for nothing, to give a bunch of aging white men and their frightened and obedient white women partners a false sense of moral superiority. This is such an excellent use of our legislative time and effort (sarc). Such a noble effort. (not). In reality it is a direct and intentional attempt to make one group of people suffer at the expense of soothing another’s fear.

One final word about the ridiculous argument that cisgender men will fake being transvestites to get into girls bathroom s and do horrible things. You can’t fake being a transgender woman. Let me repeat that, you can’t fake being a transgender woman. These men are fake transvestites. A transvestite is someone who psychologically has a desire and need to dress as a woman. A cisgender man who dresses up as a woman to be predatory is a  fake transvestite. Most importantly he is a predator. But he is not a fake transgender woman.

If a man wants to enter a woman’s bathroom to engage in predatory acts he certainly doesn’t have to go through the hassle of dressing up, with possibly a wig and makeup, and then needing to take all of that off afterwards.. He can just walk in and park in an empty stall. Criminals take the path of least resistance, they don’t make things harder for themselves.

Most transgender and transexual people go through extensive (and expensive) psychological scrutiny, and counseling, over time, before they are allowed  to proceed with becoming physically who they are in their hearts and souls. Many transgender and transexual people need this counseling before they feel comfortable in mainstream society. It takes great courage to be who you really are in the face of intense public judgement.

Caitlyn Jenner did not just throw on a pair of pantyhose one day and declare herself a transgender woman. It can take many months of hard work to be recognized as a transgender  or transexual person. Transgender people know they’re a different gender. than they were born. They are not fakes who claim to be a different gender in order to commit crimes. Someone who is just faking it will be easy to reveal as fake and easy to arrest and jail, If law enforcement chooses to do so.

When men humiliate transgendered females by saying they could claim to be transexuals if they are caught lusting after girls in the women’s  bathroom thats when the steam starts coming out of my ears. There are absolutely no records that indicate this has happened. Such acts of cowardice against innocent people definitively proves to me their malicious intent and pure evil of purpose. This is more than hatred. It is dismissal. I myself can handle being hated and many transgender people can and have handled more hatred than I can fathom. But to be dismissed as a human being, to be considered less than animal, is crueler than hatred.

Painfully, many have not been able to handle the hatred, the feeling that nobody even thinks you are human. They have been beaten down in all ways. Suicide rates among transgender youth are astronomical compared to other minority demographics. It is a public disgrace that government sanction of humiliation of this magnitude even be considered, much less enacted into law. When such laws foment suicide among teens we all become murderers.

I myself am diminished by these inhumane laws; for we are all responsible for society’s evolutionary growth; we are all culpable for the creation of bad law that not only hurts real people but can also kill. When we have conversations about our evolution as a species, especially regarding how evolution is not incompatible with Christianity or any other religion, we will be able to push past the barriers set up to keep us at each others throats. Only through looking into each others eyes and souls with love and empathy can we move forward as one, rather than suffer the pains of natural selection.

If evolution determines that our differences warrant a designation that we are no longer one species, there will be a test, and one of those species will become extinct. This species distinction is not out of the realm of possibility. This isn’t about being on the wrong side of history, it’s about being on the wrong side of existence.

I’m not kidding about this. And if you look inside yourself you know the truth of it lives, if only a faint murmur, a soft breeze. And the winds of time will grow, and engulf you.

While who uses which bathroom is not an existential issue, the evolution described in understanding gender identity most certainly is.

 

 

 

 

Some Thoughts on our Political Process

I received so many calls and emails about caucuses on Super Tuesday that it drove me loopy. I know why I got them and I was still pissed off. I really think the idea of carpet bombing likely attendees with GOTV/ persuasion calls and emails is an outdated strategy that has a reverse effect from what it was designed for. These calls are unsolicited and thus perceived as cold sales calls. People don’t like their lives interrupted.

The problem is the bean counters determined you could reach more voters more cheaply by phone than through the mail. Which is true. And you can’t guarantee people will read the mail whereas you can when you reach them by phone. But psychologically speaking, because of the very fact that the person receiving the mail has the choice to read it, it is a less threatening and irritating means of communicating. Because of this I feel, although the number of folks receiving mail is lower, the numbers that get the message are higher. I also feel that if government is the sender of a caucus notification mailer more people would read it upon reception than if it were sent by the candidates. Along with the information about date, time and place of caucuses, candidates could present introductions and persuasive arguments for government to include in the mailer, so that the voter has additional choice in educating themselves.

We must start treating the voter as an owner of government instead of a customer, a real person of value to society, instead of a number on a tally sheet. Enough of his rant and on to another.

Attending your caucus or voting in your primary is the first step in fulfilling your constitutional DUTY to elect those who represent YOU in determining how YOUR taxes are spent and what YOU can and cannot do as YOU interact with society. There is a direct correlation between your vote and your budget and your liberty.

It seems some of the very same people that insist our government is of the people, by the people, and for the people, don’t quite understand what that really means. So many people, including the mainstream media, use the term “our democracy” as short hand for “our government”. This is only partially true. Our government is a Democratic Republic.

Sometimes people forget that we are a republic. I think it’s assumed we know that, since we elect representatives. Thats what a republic is, government by representation. This is the “of the people” part. Our government its made up OF the people we elect.

And yes, we are a democracy, in the sense that our government is elected “by the people”. That’s what democracy means, a government chosen BY the people, usually through free elections.

And the part that is most under attack is the FOR the people part. Our government is supposed to and was designed to work “for the people” and not for corporations or banks or defense contractors. Their interests don’t always line up with the people’s interests. But it sure seems that government works for them instead of us.

So how have these entities taken over. Even though there aren’t a lot of people that run them they have used the thing they have an abundance of that most of the people don’t have. They have an abundance of money. Their money gives them a huge advantage over us. They corrupt the “of the people” by “buying” their hand picked candidates. Largely through the media they have made it very expensive to run for office. The average citizen, without large amounts of donated money, can’t afford to run for anything but small local offices. The people with the money find someone who is attractive and well known and connected and gives them the money they need to run a winning campaign. We all know that nothing is free. For their money those donors get special favors from their “bought and sold” representative.

Having stolen our “of the people” they next work on the “by the people”. First they get their bought and sold representatives to pass laws making it hard for certain people to vote at all. Of course these voters are on to the moneybags and their plan to take over our government. This is why the would be overlords attempt to get their paid off legislators to take way those smart voter’s vote.

Less obvious but maybe more effective is how they discourage people from voting. First they use their money and the elected officials in their pocket to create fear among the people and encourage greed. Then they use the fear and greed to get folks to accept them as their saviors, as the only ones who can protect them and their money. These people will then walk through walls to vote for them.

Next they use a function of the American way of life to discourage people from voting at all. They know that they have their core group of frightened followers who will do anything they say. The fewer people that vote the more electoral power their core has and the fewer people they need to persuade and the more money per vote they can devote to that persuasion. And getting people to eschew voting is relatively easy.

Americans have a finely tuned, well oiled, throroughly developed propensity to assign both responsibility and blame to others. When the corporations and banks, the army of the plutocracy, can convince people that government is to blame for their miserable lives, that all politicians are lazy and crooked and that there is no difference between the parties, plenty of people will just throw up their hands and say their vote doesn’t count. They feel justified in not voting. Their feelings that they have no say in what happens to them are substantiated.

Our government is, by design, participatory. Only by participating do we TRULY respect, honor, and act in accordance with the constitution. If we don’t attend our party caucuses, or vote in primary elections we are giving away our chance to have a say in what government we have.  Do you really think that under 15% of the people, and often much less than that, should determine who will even vie for public office. It just makes it easier for the dominators to dominate. We aren’t going to ever get out from under the yoke of oppression by rolling up and giving up because we think our constitutional duty is meaningless.

That is a bald faced lie.

 

Open Letter to Democrats

I usually don’t get overly partisan when it comes to politics. But I’ve been upset for a long time about the inability of the left and center left to effectively articulate their message. Pundits, the press and plenty of people accost them for not having a clear message. They actually do have one but always seem to get in the way of making it understandable.

I think Democrats get off track when we start talking about policy. The political  right occupys the high ground, when it comes to how they have used framing to get people to support their policies. Taking back the high ground isn’t easy. Many of the values and concepts they use to make people think their policies are better are contested concepts. The other side has done a better job of selling their definitions of concepts such as liberty and freedom, opportunity and fairness, equality and prosperity. Selling our understanding of these concepts, based on our values, communicates underneath the surface noise of their definitions of words and their policies, where persuasion is possible, nigh probable. But we’ve done a piss poor job of communicating.

By closing the sale we could get voters to accept our definitions, which they already believe in, but have been suppressed. Showing people that they, too, share our values makes it easier for them to want to be in our group. This begs the question, what makes our group worth joining? What are our base values and how do we communicate them in a way that resonates with a person’s intuitive response, which is immediate, and not their measured response, which takes time and thought. In other words we need to make sure in the political Occam’s Razor the simplest answer is our answer.

Voters want to belong. They choose the group they think is best to belong to, who they think are the winners. We have more diversity in our group than in theirs. Our coalition, our group, will be, in time, the true winners, but that is not now readily apparent to the average they. Unfortunately we concentrate more on trying to convince them that our diversity is good. Instead we should show them how and where they can fit in to our diverse universe with their self respect and individuality intact. We need to tell them WHY a rising tide lifts all boats instead of only saying it and assuming people will accept it, just because it makes sense to us.

Progressives have a tendency to look down on people who don’t support their policies, considering them stupid. In our minds anyone who doesn’t accept our policies has to be stupid, because we know our policies are so superior that anyone with half a brain should be able to see that they are superior. The vast majority of these people are not stupid. It is extremely important that we stop this kind of arrogance. These people have been manipulated and are not worthy of scorn. They are sure smart enough to be aware that we ridicule and belittle them. This attitude is obviously is not helpful if we have any hope of persuading people that their vision is really our vision.

Rather, we need to welcome the people we disagree with on some several things. First we need to identify those folks whose views we will never change, about 30 to 35% of all people. Then we need to identify those we can persuade, listen to them, and assure them that we CARE about their families and their concerns. We can’t simply tell them what’s good for them and then assume they will accept our truth and vote for us. We assume that truth is absolute when it is in fact relative. We don’t understand their truth. For one they hate that we tell them what is good for them. It validates their feelings that we don’t care about them. The other side is better at convincing people that they care for them more than we do. That they are able to do this without any concrete evidence is as much about our failure as their competence.

For example the right has made such inroads with white male union members because they have been better at convincing them that they CARE more about them and their families than we do. They have put lots of energy into destroying unions because unions showed workers that Democrats truly cared about their jobs and their lives. We did this by supporting their united solidarity in meeting management from a position of power. But the right has been able to erode this solidarity with appeals to individual greed and fear. I don’t think we have helped much. We have created messaging specifically for unions that contradicts much of what we say to other demographics, which only legitimizes the doubt that is sown among them from being constantly told we lie to them.

This sort of thing makes me think we spend too much time, energy, and resources crafting messaging for each individual demographic. We complain that it’s so hard to keep our coalition united when we ourselves have divided them. Targeting a particular demographic can easily cause us to lose focus and alienate other specific demographics. Instead we should marshall our resources, develop and disseminate a strong, cogent, cohesive and persuasive message that appeals to all Americans. We need to touch a common nerve of the public.

Pretty much everybody know what the common theme is that motivates the modern voter. We virtually all think government is impotent and needs major change. Both Trump and Sanders have tapped in to this angst. Why do they both resonate with people, even though they are very much different? Because they have both said, vociferously, that they will bring about that change. The problem with each is that Sanders immediately goes into policy, which excites the faithful and worries the skeptics. The skeptics know Sanders can’t come through on his promises. And I think there are more skeptics among persuadable voters than there are socialist faithful. Trump on the other hand also makes promises he can’t keep. He is better able to sell his charisma without a shred of policy, but I feel a majority of persuadable voters fear him. And he is terribly dangerous, as is Cruz and the other two remaining Republican contenders. They are good at hiding the danger in their policies. They can make the scary seem logical, even desirable.

We are currently faced with a two pronged challenge. Get out a message that will give a Democratic President a congressional majority, and also put into motion a long term, visionary plan to change the political dialogue, perhaps for a long time. The clash between the authoritarian, fascist leaning right and the progressive, socialist leaning left is reaching an apex. One group will emerge. But the real battle is in preventing the plutocrats from controlling the leaders of either of those eventualities.

This is why it’s important that we activate the only people who can successfully oppose the plutocrats, a united citizenry. To do this the validity of our language must match the validity of our values, and thus our policy, assuming we advocate policy that speaks to the real needs of the people. A government of, by and for the people is better than a de facto dictatorship. That is our goal. This could be risky. It could lead to the plutocrats responding violently, in order to maintain power. That’s a frightening thought.

Now this is where I rub shoulders with the paranoid conspiracy buffs. Now I don’t think I cast irrational blame, or advocate extreme solutions, but I do think a violent result is not out of the question. The United States has been fortunate that we have only experienced one major internal violent clash. We have had peaceful transfer of power since our inception. But we are seeing public behavior previously unheard of. I have been bullish on America for a long time. I have believed in the future. But can the millennials I see as powerful agents of positive change move America into an evolutionary renaissance? I pray they can and will.

Why do I do what I do? I need to tell my story so that even one soul can see the world from a stance next to mine. I have finally discovered what I do well. I can see some things clearly and can communicate that vision. And you are reading what I see. It’s meant to resonate with you.

Please let me know if it doesn’t. It’s that important.

Weekly Reader

Due to the high volume of imaginary requests I have decided to start a weekly event. Evidently doing this will increase the volume of clicks on my blog, which of course we all know is the real reason for blogging. This I have discovered after several years of randomly putting symbols to my thoughts. The true goal of the 21st century, tech savvy blogger is to have their existence justified through the measure of how many people listen to them. I may be jaded but sometimes it seems to me that this is more important than whether or not one writes something meaningful. Naturally, jaded as I am, my definition of meaningful is most likely more narrow than average.

I’m certain this flaw in my modern day bonafides is due to my advancing years and ossifying brain. Anyhow, I am taking the advice of the good people at WordPress, who are professionals and should know best, and creating a weekly event here at TAICBR. After several minutes of deliberation I found what I feel is the obvious choice for a successful foray into the world of consistent blogging (My God, what have I done).

The name of my new venture is to be called “Weekly Reader” and will appear weekly on Saturday. This event will occur once a week on Saturdays, which will be weekly. I feel the best day to write it would be on Saturday because today is Saturday and that way I could consult my blog were I forget to remember which day of the week my Saturday weekly column would be written. I chose to write weekly because if I hadn’t chosen to write weekly I would have had to change the name of the weekly event to something other than “Weekly Reader” which would have been quite a lot more work than I had imagined when I first hatched the idea of a weekly event I could blog every Saturday. So weekly and Saturday it is.

“Weekly Reader” will be centered around the concept that every Saturday, I will write a weekly blog post examining any number of a variety of topics I could potentially write about for my weekly Saturday event. No stone will be left unturned as I scour the universe for titillating and excruciatingly quasi-viral subjects to consider. Every week I will examine a new and more interesting than last week’s list of scintillating issues that I may or may not spend an inordinate amount of time on, determining whether or not I should continue to peruse them for consideration. My eventual goal is to eventually have a list of wonderful things I might eventually try out so that I might eventually hold more and more wonderful events, undoubtedly weekly and on Saturday.

I’m certain I will be able to generate a tremendous amount of traffic for the blog, as I know how much people like to be kept in constant suspense but also be able to be instantly gratified in the same moment. I feel I am up to this arduous task, as I have been known to be fully capable of speaking out of both sides of my mouth, successfully, for many years. Over the last several decades we have become more and more used to people saying more and more while saying less and less. This is not easy. One has to be able to discern what exactly is more and more and then determine just exactly how to turn that over into less and less, seamlessly, like those knit monkeys people make out of work socks.

Well folks, my main goal for 2016 is to make my blog more succinct and shorter to boot, and, not to mention, precise as well, although I did mention it. So I’ll sign off by begging you all to check out my blog right here on this page, except you should come next Saturday because it’s only here weekly on Saturdays, for another edition of “Weekly Reader” which will now appear right here weekly on Saturdays. I would have been sued by the original “Weekly Reader” but I’m not sure they are in business anymore and if they are don’t go telling, okay?

Love you guys!!!