by Mike Meyer
Does anyone see a process by which we may actually work our way through this political mess to salvage the US of A? I don’t and I’ve been saying that for the last year but I really want to be wrong. I would really appreciate even a short outline of how this country can be saved and a sentence or two on why it should be saved.
To be as clear as I possibly can I think what were once the virtues and positives of the American experiment have turned poisonous. The result of that is the ever more radical polarization we have been dealing with since the 1980s. I’ll try to go through the specific items and what has gone wrong shortly but the large picture is what we have been unable to see.
The world changes. We all have been dealing with that forever and with the ever accelerating nature of change for the last three hundred years. That’s a long time and it require a fair bit of historical knowledge to understand that time frame and how change evolved. But everyone with at least a high school education should have some of that knowledge at least for western history.
The short version is that things change and, with luck, they get better. Usually that causes imitation of the changes and things get better for those people. too. Fairly soon a pattern seems to emerge and certain types of changes appear to generate positive things happening for most people. Unfortunately things get worse for some other people who didn’t change according to the new pattern. That usually causes them to figure out how to catch up.
There is a general rule of thumb that getting better is limited by resources that allow you to get better. That also means that for you to get better some other people may need to get worse. We didn’t use to worry about that because us folks were the chosen people so the other people needed to realize that we had more right to better things than they did. And if they didn’t go along with that we would beat the shit out of them and take whatever they had left.
We’ve come a long way since then. But not long enough because some people want to go back. If you know a little history you know that things change. Yes, back to that again. The chosen folks become the un-chosen folks and someone else eats their lunch, dinner, and breakfast, too. We had a very bad case of that in the first half of the 20th century and realized that things had, yes, changed. We could really blow ourselves away if we got down to it but if we figured out how to work together it might be possible to make things better for everyone. And that became the American way.
But times changed and the hard work of bringing everyone up together meant we had to include people we didn't know and didn’t like because . . . well, just because. And, by the nature of homo sapiens, some people saw an opportunity there and started telling people that if we screwed over those people we didn’t like we could have more and that was ok because those people deserve less.
Everyone knew that before but the people that were talking about bringing everyone up together were using that to take a big extra helping for themselves so the whole thing was a lie anyway.
So can someone please explain how we are going to do just what we have done for fifty plus years but the outcome is going to be different in November 2018?
And the people who were using that message were able to get elected so they could arrange to keep screwing over the people who used to get screwed over for the benefit of the people on the bottom who didn’t have enough. For awhile everything continued to improve and it didn’t much matter.
Things changed and the people in power were taking too much for themselves and were cheating on the deal. It had become ok because the argument was that people wouldn't work for everyone's benefit but only for their own and that was good because you could have a chance to get a lot more rather than just a little more if we all worked together. But actually it became apparent that most everyone was really getting less. Things were in some ways, technically getting better but not to the extent promised.
Normally this would have caused a major election change but things had been the same way for a long time and all the people in charge of both parties wanted to keep things for themselves. And everyone agreed that was the way things should be.
Unfortunately the ones who wanted that most were able to use old tricks to rig the voting districts so they could retain control even if they were a minority. They could even take advantage of new technology to tell their voters that any change would take away everything and not to listen to anyone else.
That worked and bad people got full control of Congress and a complete incompetent was made president even though he had still lost the vote.
So here we are. Now tell me how we are going to fix this.
- The people in power have control of the districts that they rigged to gain power.
- The people in power still have the help of Russian technology and propaganda systems to spread lies and to manage the people they need to vote.
- People in more diverse, urban areas that understand how things need to be have been denied an equal vote forever. And they are often POC who are hated by the ones in charge. How will that change?
- The only opposition party was the original power party that laid all the groundwork for this control and doesn’t really want to change anything.
- The real winners for forty or or more years are the very wealthy who own the people’s representatives and tell them what to do. They are making all the money and don’t want to change.
- The Democratic Party would like to be in power but they don’t really want to change anything since they would then be able to make more again anyway.
So can someone please explain how we are going to do just what we have done for fifty plus years but the outcome is going to be different in November 2018? I just don’t see it.
The things that are broken:
- The mechanisms for defining voting districts can’t be controlled by political parties that are elected in those districts.
- The representatives elected to Congress don’t represent the people in their districts but the billionaires who pay for their election campaigns. This has now been distorted by abuse to include corporations with vast resources to buy politicians. What politician would be stupid enough to vote against this?
- The supreme court has been loaded with corrupt judges who will always support the billionaires who control them. The ones that aren’t controlled are old or faced with no resources on their side.
- The presidency is powerful enough to threaten the entire system of government and may decide to delay or stop the election. Without changes to the problems above he may, though grossly incompetent, be able to win again. Then what?
These are issues with the political structure of the US but may not be relevant as the old nation-state systems of government were not designed to operate in a world with instantaneous virtual societies, direct communication, and planetary problems that cannot be solved on any level other than planetary.
It seems to me that even if we can fix this problems in this country that we need to build a new type of country to handle the real problems that are planetary. And these problems require a completely different economic system based on sustainability and shared access to resources.