America Has A Problem And It's Americans
"United we stand, divided we fall". This phrase has often been used as a Patriotic trope in America and, to some, accurately describes the philosophy that binds the people of America together in the great American democracy experiment begun by the countries Founders, when The Constitution was ratified and instated on March 4th in the year 1789. Sounds great does it not? You can almost hear The Marine Band playing the Star-Spangled Banner as Americans of all race and gender banded together to help defeat Hitler's Nazis, Mussolini's Fascists and Hirohito's Imperialist armies in World War ll. The phrase is universally thought to describe a group of people working together to achieve a common goal and the belief that if they fail to do so, they are doomed to fail. What a thought! What a motto!
But what if it is used against you?
That is right folks, I said it first. Okay, maybe second or maybe……oh well, I digress. The two-party system in America has done everything it could possibly do (or not do), to separate the people of America into two opposing factions. These two camps are easily defined. Conservative and Liberal. There are no other distinctions. In doing so they have hardened that separation through extreme partisanship that has created two factions that are diametrically opposed to one another. Their thought is, on either side, I am right, and you are wrong. There is no in-between and, therefore, no common ground and therefore no chance of discussion. And that, in a nutshell, is what is wrong with America.
And that is Americans.
While the rise of extreme partisan politics can be dated back to as early as the 1800's and later 1952, the consensus of the current radical division in political stance has been attributed mostly to the rise of the modern Republican Party in the Era of Newt Gingrich. Gingrich's no holds barred style of character assassination, destroying normal operational congressional etiquette and attacking government institutions, according to experts, ruined every chance congress would have at bi-partisanship and birthed The Tea Party in 2009 further leading to the election of a divisive figure like Donald Trump as President of the United States. Some current data indicates that 31% of the voting population leans Democrat while 29% lean Republican with 40% identifying as Independent. If the 40 percent of Independents would split equally you have a 50/50 society that is firmly divided into two camps. I have lived long enough to remember when our politicians would, in many cases, work together to hash out agreements that could be passed into law. It is called bi-partisanship and it worked because our elected officials understood that they worked for the ALL the people of America. Combine the huge amount of money and influence being poured into our system of governance with the hardened separation of Conservative and Liberal views and what do you have left? A two-party system that is so locked into their own ideas that they are incapable of the one thing that it takes to operate a true Democracy.
Whatever happened to compromise? Is it all that hard for all of us to step outside of our box and consider another person's opinion? Are we so adamant that our individual stance is so absolute, so correct, that we cannot give and take? If that is the case, I propose that we have closed our minds and that is exactly what our two-party system wants us to do. Here are our every election choices from either party. A: THE ONE WE DON'T WANT, and B: THE OTHER ONE WE DON’T WANT. That is all folks. We vote for bad or worse and, the proof is, four times in history, by popular vote WE DON'T EVEN GET WHAT WE DON’T WANT! Huh? Oh yeah, we forgot about the totally unnecessary and should-have-been-defunct-a-hundred-years-ago Electoral College. Yup I said it again. The electoral college was invented solely for the purpose of keeping election results in the hands of ELECTORS. Who selects the ELECTORS? Simple, the people in each Party who are placed in charge of SELECTING the ELECTORS. The voting populace have no say over who is elected. Start laughing now. Why not just put the fox in the henhouse and close the door. Are we getting it yet? It is a scam. It has been since the very beginning when, to quote the movie Dazed and Confused : "Okay guys, one more thing, this summer when you're being inundated with all this American Fourth of July brouhaha, don't forget what you're celebrating, and that's the fact that a bunch of slave-owning, aristocratic, white males didn't want to pay their taxes!"
All the two-party efforts in the last 50 years, since Nixon in the 70's, have done nothing but furthered the divide between Americans and it all started in 1976 when NBC Network used the first color-coded map to differentiate between Republican and Democrat. By 2004 the metamorphosis was complete as all Networks began to ascribe Red as Republican and Blue as Democrat cementing all of us into separate States, camps, and voters. Toss in the fact that, now, Republicans are all considered Conservative and all Democrats are considered Liberal and the total separation of Americans was complete. Never mind that, in 2020, more people identify as Independent than either Republican or Democrat so why don't all states start as Purple and gradually change color as the vote is counted? Simple again, the powers that be do not want it that way. Want more proof? Okay, try this on. Public schools versus Charter schools. In most every case Charter schools have been identified as being less diverse than Public Schools while being more expensive through fees and transportation necessity than Public schools. Add to this that there is no proof that children receive any better education in Charter schools than Public schools, so why the great push for Charter schools to receive more funding when Public schools are down as much as 12% in funding. Once again, it does not take a rocket surgeon (not a typo but an inside joke like brain scientist) to figure it out. The system does not want you or your children exposed to any more diversity than necessary. It is a threat to their power. They want to be comfortable in knowing that whatever your race, gender, sexual identification, or religion, that you are firmly in their pocket, and in their base of voters. That way, they must only worry about the free and critical thinkers, the independents.
CONCLUSION. RESTRUCTURING OR REVOLUTION
I am not a liberal/Democrat. Neither am I a conservative/Republican. While Independent might get close, neither does it describe my political stance. I am a Social Revolutionary and I believe the one thing we can all agree on is that the GREAT AMERICAN EXPERIMENT, as written by the Founders of this Country is the best system of governance in equal Democracy ever attempted since the Greeks first experimented with rule by the people. It is unfortunate that the original attempt has now been so watered down by amendments, court decisions and outright fraud through the introduction of Big Money, Corporate Control, and lifetime politicians. We cannot blame the Founders; how could they have possibly foreseen the chaos of the future. It is all our fault. Through largess and inaction, we have allowed the System to so divide us that reconciliation can now only happen through direct action by a UNITED population that is willing to take back their Country. It is a well-known fact that Congress approves more laws in the interest of Big Money and Corporations than it does in consideration of the populace and what we would prefer. THEY DO NOT REPRESENT US ANYMORE. Through the regular channels of the current system it has become evident that only two avenues are left to WE THE PEOPLE AND I MEAN ALL PEOPLE.
A. RESTRUCTURING OF THE CURRENT GOVERNING SYSTEM.
1. Remove and outlaw Big Money in our political system through reversal of Citizens United that gave Corporations the power of unlimited spending on political campaigns. Instead, force the government to provide an equal amount of money in the exact amount of individual contributions not over a set amount.
2. Set term limits. No more lifetime politicians. Example: Six years for Congressmen. Six years for Senators rotating in off years for each. All elections would apply to item 1 above.
3. Make it easier to Vote. I am not saying ignore requirements for identification or citizenship. I am saying, at the least, give the people more time to vote. Why does it have to be a day? And a Tuesday at that? Why not a week. We all know that, especially during a pandemic or due to peoples work schedules, giving all the people in America one day to vote is designed only to keep the voting to a minimum. Or vote by mail. I know many have been convinced that this opens the Vote to fraud but consensus by experts indicate this is extremely rare and if people are worried about it (other than politicians) there should be a system that can be implemented that assures this does not happen. Or Vote online. I know what many are thinking on this one. HACKERS! No offence but I bank online. My Social Security is online. I pay my taxes online. I order dozens of different products online. My accounts have never once been compromised. Are you telling me our Government cannot create a secure online voting apparatus? If you are, you are proving my point that our current government is an abject failure.
Those are just three thoughts. I am more than welcome to entertain other thoughts that would improve our governance.
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" (John F. Kennedy-1962). The absolute end of a massive government failure is Revolution. Understand what I am saying in no uncertain terms. I have no desire for civil war. I got way to close to that in 1968-69. What I am expounding on now is a mass demonstration of all peoples United to make America a better Democracy. It is way past time that we stop letting the government and corporate media instill fear in us and put the fear in them. There are many ways to institute peaceful revolution, but the best way is always a show of massive discontent. Several examples follow.
1. A RETAIL MASS STRIKE. Form a website and get millions of signatures indicating on a given date, for one day people would refuse to spend on anything not necessary. Adult population 2018 in America was right at 254,000,000. If just 20% or 50,000,000 people took this step, it would be devastating to the America's economy. Current figures indicate that the average American spends around $165 per day (per Fox News business). Considering a good majority of that is for housing healthcare, insurance, and groceries, I have calculated the figure of corporate loss at less than 1/3 (or $50 per individual consumer) times 50,000,000 people. That figure is a staggering two billion five hundred million dollars (2,500,000,000). That is ONE DAY folks. On July 8th of 2020, black Americans participated in a similar movement called BLACKOUT DAY. Oddly enough I can find no figures on the exact effect this has had on corporate America. As I am not a conspiracy theorist, I will attribute this to a lack of the government being able to produce the figures yet. Regardless, this type of action would send a big message to the powers that be. Congress often talks about "the power of the purse" and American consumer spending accounts for 70% of the American economy so my question is: Who holds the purse? We do.
2. A THIRD PARTY. America is ready for a third party to challenge the dual authority of the defunct two-party, winner take all system. With 40% of the voting population voting Independent, isn't it about time for another option? I propose that the American People come up with A NEW PARTY. A party of people who are NOT locked in to being labeled as Conservative or Liberal. Imagine, for a moment, people working together to select one candidate for all of us. No RED, No BLUE, just people looking for someone that can represent every American. My personal favorite would be the Bravely Enjoying Every Revolution Party (The BEER Party). Okay, I stole that from the Rock Icon Alice Cooper, so sue me, I can use the publicity. But seriously folks, a viable third party would do two things to the current Two-Party System. First, it would threaten their dominance, and second, even if it does not, it makes them usurp that party's stance. It is an old political ploy. If the public likes it, support it, and change your stance later.
3. MASS PROTEST DEMONSTRATION. Take the same fifty million people and put them in Washington D.C. on any given day/week. Consider the mayhem and reaction by the government if this were to take place. It only took 200,000 protestors to nudge the Secret Service to move President Donald Trump to a secured bunker (DISCLAIMER: I should state here that I am not claiming it was Trump's fear that sent him to a safe space. There is no proof of that, but I will say this; when they tell me a tornado is coming I, personally, do not head for the basement. I go to the porch to look for it). Mass protest has been proven to force concessions by politicians including Congress and the Executive branch. On November 15, 1969, an estimated 500,000 protesters assembled on the Mall in Washington DC to protest the Vietnam War. This act almost certainly sealed Nixon's resignation from the Office of the Presidency. Imagine, if you will, ten times that number and you probably understand the true Power of the People.
4. REVOLUTION. The last act of a desperate populace is total and complete Revolution. As a reference, the last 20th century revolution happened in the former Soviet Union under leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Gorbachev instituted Perestroika (oddly enough RESTRUCTURING) as an initial movement toward a semi-free form of capitalism. Later, he changed that system to Glasnost (Openness) and completed the Soviet Union's transformation to Capitalism in entirety. As we all know at this point this has become a movement straight back to Authoritarianism under Vladimir Putin. We do not need a permanent President in these United States. If the government of this country is unwilling to answer to the demands of the People, then it is time to remove them from office. I propose, at this point that same 50,000,000 protesters surround the White House and the Capitol and demand that the current government officials resign on the spot. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? But it is not. The government has a system for the loss of the entire Executive and Congressional branch. It is called COGCON and, like DEFCON, it has levels of what would happen in a National Emergency (I urge you to Google COGCON for more information). While originally designed for the catastrophe of a total nuclear attack that would devastate all the ruling branch of the current government, this system would be implemented if the three branches of ruling government were to be removed in mass. At this point the governmental line of succession would cease to exist as all those in line of succession would be removed from office. Senatorial replacement would be easy as State government would not be affected. As in the case of the death or retirement of a Senator, each states' elected Governor would replace removed Senators until the next election. House representatives MUST BE ELECTED so a special election period would be assigned immediately for the public to select House Representatives. As for the Executive position of President of the United States, as all officials in line for succession , including the designated survivor, will have been removed, the most likely person to ascend to the Emergency President position until a special emergency election would be the highest ranking member of the Military. At the time of this writing, that would be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark A. Milley (on a personal note, General Milley has shown himself to be independent in that he rebuked President Trump's attempt to use Federal Military Forces to control protestors). Also Milley would be perfect in that he ultimately controls Military disbursement in the event of an emergency. Furthermore, Cogcon indicates that there would be no interruption in major services. Postal, DOT, Social Security and all other Federal Services would remain intact. As states are separate from Federal, all state services would also operate as usual. It would not be the end of Democracy as we know it but rather the beginning of the new Democracy every American deserves.
POSTSCIPT: IN A NUTSHELL.
I realize, at this point most of you are thinking "in a nutshell? This guy couldn't put it in a bucket without a bottom". I also realize many of you will see my ideas and myself as Radical. You would be wrong. I would prefer to be seen as an EXTREME Radical. Radical change is exactly what this country needs. The past 50 years has been nothing more than WASH, RINSE AND REPEAT. It is the same sad story, same sad song again and again. George W. Bush stood on watch as the financial industry was allowed to tank the economy thus giving rise to Barack Obama. Obama then oversaw the bailout of financial giants that, obviously, avoided any personal responsibility by being allowed to be TOO BIG TO FAIL into bankruptcy while millions of middle-class main street homeowners lost their homes. Even Obama's HARP act was a dismal failure. Then WASH, RINSE and REPEAT gave the country Donald Trump. I have many Conservative and Liberal friends. In my own poll of 10 Conservatives, four solid Trump voters have stated they will not vote for Trump in 2020. I should add that three of those Conservatives made it plain they do not disagree with everything Trump has done but just wished he would stop running his mouth. On the Liberal side, two of ten stated they will not vote for Biden because he is a milquetoast, lifetime politician with nothing to promise but a return to the status quo. I dislike predictions, but I am willing to say this election will not be about policy or politics. I believe it will be close and Trump will lose because Independents are fed up with all the drama and just want to return to WASH, RINSE AND REPEAT and that is the whole point of this article. The truth is, if you want years more of McConnell and Schumer and Pelosi and McCarthy, go ahead and buy another bottle of cheap political shampoo and WASH, RINSE and REPEAT. Otherwise, change the narrative to UNITED THEY STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL.