But democracy is a participatory sport, not for spectators. Jill, a kind friend.
Many of us try to understand our political system and landscape. Some are better at it than others. With Covid here I have an enormous amount of time to read, to try to understand. I still need a lot of help.
Many friends are wondering how the Democratic Party, the “party of the people” didn’t win overwhelmingly. I have thoughts on this.
“Watch what they do, not what they say.” And when I do this, I find immense amounts of disparities.
Many town and state level Democrats in our state are good people who do amazing work. But when we look up at the national level we see… well let’s just say, a change. Following the choices of the new Biden transition team illustrates this idea. Just one example; Pepsi is on the team. Greenpeace is not. Large corporations are on the team, defenders of life itself are not. Progressives? Not sure I see them anywhere. Yet, we folks who align with progressive policies such as the radical notion that we should stop “burning our house down” not only voted for the Biden/Harris ticket, we participated in phone and text banking, post card writing campaigns, social media posting, and even stood on corners preaching, begging, pleading for others to do so as well. Only to see a hawk chosen for the Pentagon (fuck glass ceilings if they are crashed by women such as this) and a fossil fuel enabler and benefactor on the climate team all the while the DNC vilifies progressive wing of the party. So much for thanks.
But back to why, why a state such as Florida could move solidly red all the while voting for a $15 minimum wage. Something brought forward by a “socialist”, who they are petrified of and claim to hate, Bernie Sanders. All the while voting for the man in the White House who is overseeing the massive deaths of 250,000+ people and not doing a thing to stop it.
I find myself thinking about arrogance. About how I feel when someone tells me, in a condescending tone how I should think and feel. Let’s just say that I stop listening to them. I even begin to dislike them. I certainly don’t trust them. I have to be honest, if I’m really going to expect others to reflect, I must too. I too am guilty of this. Of thinking my view is right and how can others not see it. My tone can then be condescending. Why? Because I’m not listening. I’m “debating”. I’m trying to win. Trying to convince someone that their way is wrong and mine is right. Well, dang, it isn’t working. Not one bit. I find many leaders in the Democratic Party to be condescending. And because of that, I don’t trust them. I don’t like them.
But that’s just one part of it. We must circle back to the ” see what they do and not what they say” part of it. The DNC has yet to advocate for keeping all fossil fuels in the ground. They have yet to support health care for everyone and done in such a way that those at the bottom of the pay scale don’t become broke. 2 things. 2 things that if they endorsed would tell us that yes, they care about us and they are not beholden to the donors who give them millions.
Naive? Some tell me I’m naive. They tell me that’s not how you win in politics. So we must support the same evil in a different dress in order to “win”? That makes no sense to me. None at all. It also underestimates the power of the people. Again, Florida is one example who is showing us this.
So what really is going on at the core of politics in the United States? Wealth. It’s all about wealth. Who has it. Who is believed to deserve it. And how to keep it where it is. There was one guy who spoke the other quiet part out loud. The quiet part that says that it is long past time to redistribute it. And that is where both parties lose their shit because they both benefit from the system the way it is. One party may yell racist tweets to get their racist base going all the while the other party yells the opposite so their supporters can stand behind that. The Democratic Party says that obviously racism in any form is wrong. Oh really? They openly preach it. We of course agree, share the message and close our eyes to the root of racism in our country. Economics. For four years I have tried to understand the economics of racism and slowly I am understanding it’s underlying issue is that of classism. If we as a class, (not the top 1% or even top 10%) locked arms….could you imagine.
Question the party that is now in power. And follow Jill’s advice, “But democracy is a participatory sport, not for spectators,” and stay involved, very involved.
PS – It should be noted that I did not address the GOP because they are so far gone to the right/authoritarianism that they are a hopeless cause. It is clear that they don’t care one bit for any of us.