“We just have to get the Republicans out of the House in 2014!”
“We just have to keep a Democrat in the White House in 2016!”
“Republicans are screwing up everything — vote Democratic!”
So goes the mantra, day in, day out, post after post on Facebook, letter after letter to the editor.
These are truths and falsehoods — and ultimately misdirection.
It is true that conservative policies are a disaster. However, the opposite of ‘conservative’ is not, unfortunately, ‘Democratic.’
The solutions to the unfolding disasters are entirely progressive in nature. Many of those solutions have broad public support, if put to the people. However, the present system – at a national level – disallows progressive solutions, regardless of whether the people vote for Democrats. This is not a matter of philosophy or determination; it is a matter of mathematics.
One need only look at a national electoral map, even one depicting a full-blown Democratic victory. Count the red states, count the blue states; but take into account which blue states are ‘blue’ only because the Democrats elected are neoconservatives — or, what used to be called, a few years back, Republicans.
Turn the states purple or mauve or magenta; it doesn’t matter. To prevent global catastrophe, and mass extinction, the ceiling for carbon in the atmosphere is 350 ppm. Provided we can get a ‘purple solution’ — say, a cap of 390 ppm — we still end up with global catastrophe and mass extinction.
The math and the outcome work that way on issue after issue.
Call me intransigent, an absolutist, extremist, or whatever you like — science and math could care less. The numbers are numbers.
To be blunt: The existing federal system is a total loss. We’re not getting any progressive legislation through this body. Ever. Everyone from hardcore communists to gun-toting Tea Partiers knows that the present system is completely dysfunctional. So do you. Literally everyone knows it.
The first time I saw this completely and clearly, I very nearly hung my head and wept for the time and energy that I had wasted on the national electoral system.
Why do we do it? Because we had found solutions there before, so we go back to the now-dry well once more. Like lab rats, we continue to return to the same corner of the maze again and again, long after the cheese has been removed.
And the Powers That Be are thrilled with this, because as long as they can keep us running around the maze that they have constructed, they have control of us. They built and rig and rule the corral in which they keep us.
Knowing all this, the next time you start to tell someone, “What we need to do is to pass (X progressive legislation) at a federal level,” you ought to remind yourself: The cheese isn’t in that corner anymore. Why am I doing this?
Vote for Democrats one day 18 months from now if that’s what you wish; that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with hobbling further Republican destruction.
But if we want to progress to solutions, rather than just delay disaster, there are presently two available paths: A) To reinvent the system, or B) To advance a progressive agenda on a state level.
Many are working on both courses. Great ideas abound to reinvigorate national democracy; and on a state level, progress often prevails, and becomes law.
The American republic wasn’t delivered by Moses from on high, carved into stone tablets with lightning from the fingertips of God.
It was created by We The People. And We The People can re-create it, reassert our democracy — and it is well past time we did so.