I have received a lot of positive feedback on my last essay regarding what our mission, as Americans should be in politics going forward (see Chapter 63). One common question asked in response to that post is how do we go about the task of negotiating with the other side when the other side refuses to talk. The answer to that question is easy, but the task itself is not easy because top-level representatives on either side can’t carry it out. Instead, action must be taken on the lowest grass roots level on both sides.
What you have to understand is that Trump’s real political base is the Koch brothers and the fossil fuel industry. Don’t be mislead by the smokescreen of Trump’s well publicized rejection of financial support from them during his campaign for the White House. The Koch Brothers political machine either directly or indirectly funds the rightwing media, whose rhetoric stokes the antidemocratic fires of Trump’s so-called base. Charles and David Koch is Trump’s real political base. The leadership of the Republican Party (and to a much lesser extent, the leadership of the Democratic Party) is in the Koch brother’s pocket. Just as there was grass roots outrage from Democrats and Republicans when the Republican Party attempted to eliminate healthcare and Social Security for the middle class, so too must we get together and demand immediate action from both the Democratic and Republican leadership on issues that we do agree on. That bipartisan effort occurred spontaneously when healthcare and Social Security were threatened. You probably have noticed that since then, Trump and the Republicans have been very careful when dealing with issues that have the potential to unite the grassroots of both sides. Unfortunately, when it comes to less critical but extremely important issues, the grassroots on both sides will have to make the effort themselves to get together on issues of agreement to pressure the leadership on both sides to make it happen. What that looks like is, you must get together with a group of your friends who are both Trump supporters and anti-Trump activists and compose a joint letter to the leadership of both parties clearly outlining the demand. You can also arrange town hall meetings expressing the same demand. The important thing is you don’t mention or address in any way, the issues that you don’t agree on. This will require a lot of time and work, but that is price of democracy.
The current government shutdown is the perfect opportunity for the public to exercise that power. I’m sure if you took a poll, at least 80% of Americans would agree that the government should not be using the salaries of hard working Americans as a political football. If allowed to continue, it will not be until the public in general begins to personally feel the effects of the shutdown before it rises up in one voice and demands an end to it. What I’m suggesting is that we not wait until that point before we collaborate to put an end to it. It should be enough that none of us feel we should ever be put in a position to be forced to work for no pay in order for someone to make a political point. If we allow that to happen, we are setting ourselves up for more labor abuse going forward. We can’t allow ourselves to be so divided that we allow our leadership to sacrifice our credit scores, our homes and our ability to provide for the basic needs of our family, just to serve the interest of the Koch brothers. In spite of what the demigods would have us believe, we are not at war, nor can we afford to be at war with each other. The American public is falling victim to the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on a free society in human history. We are being convinced that Americans have different needs and aspirations based on our race and ethnicity. In fact, the opposite is true. As Americans, we all have the same aspirations. That’s what makes us Americans. Although we have very real differences with regard to public policy agendas, we must be one party and speak with equal voices when it comes to certain basic American values. We can’t allow politicians to ignore the fundamental obligations inherent in those values we demand of our government as tax paying Americans, like being paid for what you earn, being secure in your own home, having a clean, safe water supply and a safe food supply. We must punish severely any politician who fails to honor those obligations. Those obligations transcend party politics. Our ability to rise up in one voice when any such values are threatened is our only defense against those who would use their money and position to exploit and enslave us.
If all this sounds impossible to do, just remember that, as I stated in my last posting, of the 40% of the electorate that are white republicans, at least 25% of them (10% of the total electorate) can be reasoned with. Some of that 25% call themselves Independents and few call themselves Libertarians, but for all practical purposes, they are all Republicans. If we don’t try to make them wrong because of the things we disagree with them about, and stay focused on the issues we have mutual agreement on, we stand a good chance of reclaiming the government of the United States for the people of the United States. If that small segment of the Republican electorate make it clear to their leadership that they are prepared to do the unthinkable and vote Democratic if they fail to honor those universal American values I spoke of, there’s a chance we can again have honor and integrity in government. That small segment of Republicans has as much power as the other 75%, since the Party cannot win without them. All they have to do is take that power back and in so doing, end Trump’s reign of terror on the American people.