In Search Of The Missing Political Strategy

I won’t mince words: I think we’re doomed. We are, in effect, on the brink of the next American Civil War…it is eerily similar to the first.

I’ve been trying to answer the question: what do we do?

Sadly, I can’t see anything left in the playbook except long odds.

We’re watching the American experiment die. Granted, shit was always pretty bad. I mean, it is pretty laughable to think of America as “the leader of the free world.” It’s like, whoever said this,” please read a single book about the actual history of America and then sit down.” But, I digress…

Fascism is here folks. It’s not hyperbole. We’re watching it unfold in real-time. All of those thought experiments about “what would I have done in 1930’s Germany?” Well, here's your chance.

I’d like to think that we still have the option to resolve these differences. I’d like to believe that all things can be resolved through conversation because at our core, people are good, right? I’d like the think that our structure of government is strong enough to withstand what we’re currently going through.

But…I don’t think that’s true.

I’ve been running through the options. I’ve been trying to think of our legitimate means of political action…and I am blank.

Protest Doesn’t Work…

When largely peaceful protests see a few protestors cause some property damage…

“These people are antifa fascists” ←they don’t even see the irony there.

They’re terrorists. It’s a shame because these looters and rioters are doing a disservice to George Floyd’s memory.”

But when police killed George Floyd on camera…

“It’s just a few bad apples. Cops have a hard job but we’ll thoroughly investigate it (wink, wink).” And then…nothing inevitably happens (see: Breonna Taylor)

If we respond with violence…

Then we are violent terrorists trying to destroy America.

But if they are violent…

They are Patriotic Americans expressing their 2nd amendment rights and standing up against socialism and anarchy. Besides, they felt threatened.

If we speak up…

They organize to harass and threaten us into silence.

But if we boycott them…

“I’m so sick of cancel culture. The left are fascists who oppose freedom of speech”

Standard Political Action Doesn’t Work

When the middle class and poor raise funds to back causes or politicians that are important to our interests…

They just raise more because they have deeper pockets. They will outlast us. If we win one round, they’ll come back with more money, and they will put more and more pressure on the middle class and poor so we can’t fight with money. We will never win that one.

If we vote…

They will lie, gerrymander, engage in voter suppression, tamper with votes, or even go so far as to destroy the postal service.

If we call their offices…

They unplug the phones and leave the voicemail full.

If we email their offices…

LOL. You know that’s not getting answered.

If we ask them to play by their own rules…
(See RBG and Merrick Garland)

They laugh and then pretend like they didn’t hear us.

The Big Problem: Our Values Are Misaligned

If it’s tax cuts or social programs for the middle class or poor…

“That’s socialism, you communist!”

If it’s tax cuts or bailouts for the rich…

“That’s just smart, supply side economics for job creators.”

If a Democratic President adds to the national debt trying to save an economy sinking from the supply side policies of the prior Republican President…

“The economy is in the toilet thanks to the Democrats. They always run up a deficit and spend your money until the entire economy tanks.”

If a Republican President adds to the national debt after inheriting a booming economy (or a surplus)…

“No big deal. The economy is booming.”

If they want to force women to carry a pregnancy to term thereby removing their bodily autonomy and reproductive rights through government coercion…

“I’m strongly pro-life.”

If we mandate that they wear a tiny piece of cloth over their faces to stop the spread of a pandemic that’s (so far) killed over 200,000 Americans…

“America has become a dictatorship under the Dems. (Unironically) ‘My body, my choice.’ The people who died were weak anyway.”

Also, if we try to pass even the smallest bill to make it more difficult for people to get a gun in the wake of, yet another, deadly school shooting…

“The government shall not infringe up my (ambiguously written) 2nd amendment rights (no matter how many school children die)! Give teachers guns. Thoughts and prayers.”

Or, if we ask that migrant children not be separated from their parents at the border…

“They should’ve followed the rules”

But when unarmed black people are killed on camera, by the police, while following orders…

“Don’t matter…He was no angel. I bet he smoked weed once in his life”

When we object to a bakery not making a cake for a gay couple based on their religious beliefs…

“Religious freedom! It’s their fucking right to discriminate! ‘Murica.”

When we ask them to wear a mask inside this business…

“This business is infringing on my rights! It’s my fucking right as an American to not wear a mask!”

When a Starbucks barista hands them a plain red cup with snowflakes instead of baristas dressed like Santa’s elves firing a Christmas light covered mug that’s stuffed in a miniature stocking out of a cannon…

“It’s a fucking war on Christmas, the Libs are trying to ruin our Christian nation!”

When an athlete praises God or the military…

Hooray! That’s so wholesome and wonderful!

When an athlete silently takes a knee during the anthem to raise awareness about policy brutality…

“You’re paid to throw the ball, not give your opinion.”

When the NFL coordinates with the Air Force to spend $300,000 to have a 8-second flyover…

‘Murica. Fuck yeah!

When people object to how much an Ambulance ride to the hospital can cost…

Do you think an Ambulance is some sort of taxi to the hospital? If you don’t like it, move to socialist Canada and wait to 6 years to get a doctor’s appointment.

When people want to address the existential threat of climate change that we’re seeing clear evidence for and that even Exxon knew about back in the 1970's…

“What exactly is a consensus anyway? I think it’s a Democratic hoax. Besides, we’ll never get China and India to stop.”

OR

If your house along the coast goes underwater, just sell it. — Ben Shapiro

And then there’s the racist, incompetent elephant in the room…

When President Trump’s entire history shows that he’s a pathological liar, an obvious con-man, an undisputed failure in the business world (6 bankruptcies), someone whose religious conviction and adherance to morality and ethics could best be described as “noticeably absent,” and a fragile ego narcissist who praises authoritarian leaders revealing his desire to be a dictator, while also being someone whose multiple charges of rape, sexual assault and harassment along with his close ties to Jeffrey Epstein and friendship with Ghislaine Maxwell, combined with his outspoken creepiness regarding young girls and his daughter naturally lead one to believe that…

“He was sent by God to save America and take down all the pedophiles. Thank God he’s running America like one of his businesses.”

We’re too far apart

When blue states and red states look at each other…

“You people are destroying America”

We have two sides that are too far apart, and there is simply no trust between them. We are a country that fundamentally sees two completely different versions of the world.

I don’t see a way out of this. There does not appear to be any recourse within the system that will result in our country coming back together. Everything that is being done within the system is not working, as the other side is working within that same system and finding every loophole and shortcut they can to stack the deck in their favor. When truth is no longer a fixed point, but malleable to fit the whims of each individual, then we have no central reality to agree upon and hence, we’re playing in different games.

So, I’ve moved onto my next question, that I pose to my wife: “so, if we were going to move out of the U.S. what would be your first choice?”

But, then I remember that there’s no running from this.

So, who’s got a good strategy?

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Jeff Gibbard

Superhero. Professional Speaker & Workshop Trainer. World's Most Handsome Strategist. Author of The Lovable Leader 📚 Host of the Shareable Podcast 🎙