Your Government Hasn’t Failed You; White Males Have.
The Republican majority senate last night passed a tax bill that may have rightly left you feeling like your government has failed you, or has left you feeling betrayed.
The feelings we have today in response to their betrayal are valid.
You are right to be angry.
But before we cast the entire government as unreliable, before we cede ourselves to resignation or cynical and increasingly violent positions of revolution there is something we should consider.
Elected officials, in every stratus of government, are overwhelmingly white males.
White males make up only about 31% of the United States population.
THIS IS NOT FAIR REPRESENTATION.
If you feel that the government has failed to do its job and must be redesigned, toppled or otherwise overthrown consider first that in reality only one group has failed to run a nation.
Consider that in our 241 year history as a nation we have consistently failed to have a truly and fully realized representative democracy.
Consider that despite the long history of overwhelming failures at the hands of a white, male led government, we have other options. We have allowed ourselves to believe that government and white males are so synonymous that it's often difficult to even fathom extracting one from the other.
In part I think this is due to the cultural and social convention of white and male being considered to be not only the norm, the average, or typical but also the best, the smartest, the most able. White males, particularly those in government, have worked impossibly hard and often cruelly to maintain this belief. They have designed entire institutions within our culture to make challenging these notions insurmountable.
White males have a several generations long head start in a competition that they created. They have more money, better educations, more secure housing, more freedoms and even with all of this, even with every possible preparation and precaution and the massive safety net they’ve made for themselves they still opt for selfishness. They still want more. They are still unsatisfied and demand more of your shares.
A government run by people with these ambitions and predilections will fail the nation it has been chosen to serve.
For 241 years white males have stolen, murdered, lied, cheated and committed whatever cruelty at their disposal not as a means to serve us but rather to serve themselves.
They have failed us as a people.
Our government hasn't failed our leaders have failed.
It is reasonably imperative that we offer someone else a chance. If 31% of the population keeps disappointing us and betraying us let's see what the other 59% have to say. It is time to give someone else a chance.
If the only perspective our elected government of white males can give us is an outlook of failure that they in turn design then we need new perspectives!
We, as a nation, need women!
We need people of color!
We need the children of immigrants!
We need the lgbtq community!
We need youth!
I believe that, though our government of white males has failed us, this is an incredible country! It is home to some of the best, kindest, smartest, most creative and ambitious people on the planet!
Before giving up entirely on the great experiment that is our government let's see what it can do when it's run by others.
Let’s see what a nation run by our Shirley Chisolm’s, our Maxine Waters’, or our Tammy Duckworth’s looks like. Before we throw the whole thing out let’s see what the next generation of Danica Roem’s, Kamala Harris’, and Cory Booker’s have to offer. Let’s work to discover what our people, what we have to offer!
In autumn 2018, less than a year away, most Americans will have the chance to replace many of their representatives and elected officials. When we do so we should seek out the "others" running for office. We should actively support, in the interests of us all, a sea change in the demographics of our government. We should urge and vehemently insist that the people of color, the immigrants, the women, the queers and any of the other disenfranchised in our communities seek office.
We have given white males a 241 year long hand at running things. It's time for anyone else to get a chance. It's time for the rest of us to take up the responsibility of governing ourselves.