Make American Bern Again
(Did I do that right?)
“So what are you doing about it?”, is about as direct and, ultimately, fair of a question as one can receive when in the midst of airing their grievances with the “state of things”, or whatever happens to be audibly grinding one’s gears, so-to-speak. Let’s explore, shall we?
Lately, all I’ve been “doing about it” is bitching and/or lamenting on social media. So yah, likely the path of least impact I could possibly choose. After all, blind vitriol is to Twitter and Facebook as unbridled hyperbole is to The Donald (sorry, could’t resist, I’ll try harder now). Here and there a post, an article or a conversation can still result in some small positive change but, social media is still clearly where most reasonable dialogue goes to fasten its noose.
The “it”, in this case, is the seemingly ever-growing divide between “liberals” and “conservatives”, and the name-calling, hate-spewing, perspective-pummeling it continues to heap upon any attempt at common ground.
What I want is for “us” (U.S. citizens, mainly) to realize that, by and large, we have more needs, wants, insecurities, dreams, hopes, frustrations, paths to prosperity or balance or “happiness, and values in common than we’ve thus far been willing to admit (or just see, perhaps).
One thing I have done is join a local and national cause called “Represent.us”. In a Rush Limbaugh-shell (damn, did it again, bad Ryan!), this group’s goal is to reduce corruption in government at large by influencing local (city) anti-corruption policy, directly and indirectly related to the role money plays in actual legislation, and parlaying small victories into larger, state and national victories on what I feel is an issue 99% (ahem) of us can agree upon. I’m excited that the group is quite bi-partisan and has a strong focus on this singular topic, rather than trying to tackle all that ails or divides us at once. (This is not to suggest that issues like abortion or immigration are “less important” by any means. What I like is that, in my opinion at least, the absurdly skewed influence of corporate donors and Super PACs on policy is something we can and will eventually come together on as a majority.) After all, whether you’re “Feeling the Bern” or desperate for a leader to “Make America Great Again”, the one thing you share in common (though you may not be ready to admit it) is a tank of patience that has long since run dry when it comes to fueling the status quo, the “establishment”, “the one percent”, the “elite”, and so on. No matter the odds of Bernie or Trump actually securing their party’s nomination, there is a very real signal being sent by the sheer size and passion of their followings. Though there is danger in the wave of frustration/anger on which they ride, there is also an undeniable power to unite, if only we allow entry in our minds and hearts of the possibility that the flamingly gay, (tax-paying) couple down the street AND the NRA bumper, bible thumper (tax payer) in front of you at the light BOTH deserve a government that makes decisions based upon a balance of the needs & wants of its socioeconomic majority, rather than whoever is going to give them a 7-figure consulting gig and/or help them buy ad-space in the next election.
While racism may never truly “die” and church may forever be sliding into the DMs of state, wouldn’t every single one of you (I doubt anyone pulling in $2MM+ is reading this) benefit, perhaps not “equally”, but still in some tangible way, from the old white males deciding what’s best for you not bearing the burden of forgetting who’s paying for their boat upon retirement as they decide the fate of this bill or that appropriation? The answer seems pretty damn clear to me.
Wrapping up this post, here’s what I ask of you (my, if I’m lucky, 6 readers):
Regardless of your political leaning, take 5 minutes to think about just one thing that might benefit both you and a supporter of the candidate you loathe. Just come up with one. You know the things you’re not going to agree upon. If you’re like me, you’ve already spent way too much time talking about those. So flip your own script for a sec, like I’m trying to here. I have little doubt you’ll be able to find at least one.
Then post it somewhere. Here? Cool. Facebook? Solid. Post-it note on your neighbor’s windshield? Well.. if that’s what blows your hair back, hell why not? Just somewhere. Just share it. Let the universe or maybe one of your followers paying attention know that you know there is a thing we can all agree upon and benefit from.
At the very least, we’ll both be able to say we’re trying to “do something about it”. After all, one step is from you and one step from me is better than anything I woke up expecting to see.
Thanks for reading and be well.