To end my Coup 2016 series, I offer some recommendations based on the following proposition:
The Democrats lost the propaganda war. The Republicans defined us to America.
Disclaimer: I cannot see the future. I cannot see all of the present nor learn all of the past. I write this as a citizen of the United States of America with no other claim of expertise. For more about me see this essay.
I think we as a nation are in trouble. I see what could possibly be a path out. If my plan works nobody gets shot or put in jail. Or at least not that many. This is all opinion. Thank you.
In simple terms: We have to define ourselves. In every city and town. We have to organize, speak out, and vote.
I hope you’re not disappointed. There is no other fix. And yes, from where we are right now, it can be done that way.
It took the Republican coup ever since 1980 to get where they are today. We’re not getting rid of them by Thursday. We need to be in it for the long haul but never too patient.
The Republican coup took root in one simple slogan: “The government is the problem.” They had a genuine Good Guy TV Star to pound that message home every day for 9 (counting the campaign) years. I have other essays expanding on this. For this essay I am going to pretend we all agree that’s how they did it.
They took that slogan and they sold it in every venue in America, every day, for (so far) 37 years. I’m not going into the history tonight. Ten thousand words wouldn’t scratch the surface. It worked.
Democrats are the party of government. It’s true. We can’t hide from it and stay Democrats. We believe that government can solve problems. That is our central point. All else is details. We cannot do anything in a society, or with an electorate, who believes that the government is the problem. We are beat before we come out of the gate.
They are mistaken. They have been fooled by a superb marketing campaign. There is probably no salesman on earth better than an American Billionaire. That is our competition. We have a better plan. We’ve got to get serious and sell it. Every place, every day. We’ve got to quit going down side avenues about our various races, classes, genders, generations, and sexual preferences. If the Democrats win we can work on the injustices; that’s what Democrats do. There is plenty of work to be done. But first we’ve got to sell the fundamental point:
Real government works.
Only the Federal Government speaks for all Americans. The government is the guy who throws flags on the field when the other team cheats, the government is the groundskeeper who keeps the field playable. The government is Good People doing Good Work to make Your Life Better.
The Government brings the drinking water to Phoenix.
The Government waters the produce growing in the Central Valley.
The Government is the Interstate Highway System and the Air Traffic Controller who kept you alive yesterday.
Real government works. The adjective “Big” is pejorative. We’re talking Government. The only adjective we need is United States. Maybe Federal.
We must take the Big Government attack on face to face: yeah, the government is big. There are 300+ million Americans. There are fifty states, some of which are closer to Russia or China than they are to Washington D.C. We have people under arms and people under fire dotted all around the world. The government is Big. Gotta be. Next question.
Real government Works. Until we sell that, we’re losing. Because Democrats believe, as did the men who wrote the Constitution, that this nation needs a functioning Federal Government. The Republicans disagree.
Here is how you take back the Federal Government: You take back the states. All power resides in the states. Notice the name of the country. The United. States. of America. They almost could have named it the (united) States of America. In fact, right now today that’s what it is, if that.
Every four years Democrats wake up and try to elect a President. Stop that. Congress is the President’s boss, and they are elected every two years. States draw the Congressional districts. States run the elections. States make the laws about how to apportion electors. Did you know that if Democrats had control of a state government they could pass legislation requiring Electors to be apportioned as closely as possible to the popular vote? Sure. State legislative majorities with a supportive executive could fix 90% of what’s wrong with the Electoral College. We’re probably stuck with the other 10%. We can live with that.
Democrats in the states could legislate Ranked Choice elections. Like Jill better than Hillary but Hillary better than Trump? Easy to write election laws that will account for that. Jill gets the honorable mention but Hillary gets the election. Way better than what we have now. If, that is, Democrats controlled state governments.
Right now we have about enough state governments to cover a baloney sandwich if the baloney isn’t too wide. Work in your county. I’m scared to death to stick my head out from under my rock, but I may try something with the county Democrats.
President Obama, in his farewell press conference, told us to work in every county in every state. People bitched. “Why didn’t the President make any suggestions?”
He did. He suggested the only plan with any hope of success. Do what he said or get used to Trumplandia. We have to work in every county in America. We have to work in every election in America. We have to tell the American people that in this great country there are problems that only a Federal government can solve. You know it’s true.
If we turned off the Bureau of Land Management tomorrow, click like a light switch, there would be riots Phoenix and Tucson in five days. Thirst. Dammit, the government WORKS all around us, all the time. Why do two thirds of Americans not know that, in fact rabidly disbelieve it?
Because a few very rich people benefit from that belief. They can afford to buy every TV transmitter and printing press on the planet, and nearly have. They have taken total control of the public conversation.
So far we have Twitter and blogs. We need to follow each other’s essays and ideas. We need shared thinking. And we literally must go to work at the county level. Every county, in every state. Next guy says “Red State” loses ten thousand points. It’s “my state.” And that’s where we work. Carefully at first.
There is more, of course. Americans not only don’t know that their government mostly works, they don’t know what it is supposed to do. Or how it is structured to do it. We have to teach all that, too.
Religion is a major problem. I don’t know what it is about humans and religion, but many humans strongly believe that since they know the One True Way everybody in the country should have to live under it.
Guns are a problem. Religion and guns have become flash points and I have no suggestions about that here, but we’ll have to deal with them some way as the marketing strategy grows.
Lots to do. Probably take 25 years. I’ll be 95, more or less.
Step One: Real Government Works and,
Step Two: Get to Work.
Media Recommendations here.