By Bob Passi
This is a call to action for the ordinary citizens of this nation by finding a way to unify all the grassroots citizens’ movements under one flag, the flag of Democracy, while leaving room for the new and creative ideas that will add new movements and will create energy with art and music and celebration.
Last July we celebrated another Independence Day which should serve as a reminder that it is time to reclaim our independence from the domination of an economic elite.
It is a unifying call in support of Democracy, the one thing that ties all citizens together now and over the history of this nation. People have sacrificed and died for that ideal and continue to do so.
During the past several decades not only has the power and control of this nation been usurped by an alien and anti-democratic ideology, but that ideology has confiscated our national wealth, taking control of how it will be distributed and how it will be used.
Instead of an inclusive ideology, it is a top down ideology taking care of those on top first and leaving the scraps for everyone else.
We have watched in shock and awe as the assault not only devastated the social structure of this nation, but has also created a disempowered populace and an incredible income inequality while despoiling the environment.
Now we wake to find ourselves on the verge of a total capitulation to an increasingly authoritarian economic elite.
Enough is enough. To survive and move back to a sustainable democracy again, we must stand up and unify now!
It is not sustainable to continue with our frustration and anger, our resistance and non-cooperation. We need a positive alternative to move us forward, energized by our resources, our energy and our hope.
The first step is to present a face that unifies the 99% of our citizens who are being exploited and left out. That face is Democracy, and it provides a way to unify the many faces of both resistance movements and those working for other changes to humanize the society and make it sustainable.
The issue in the past is not that people are not involved in change, but that those activities have been scattered within the 99% and do not have the power their numbers would indicate because it looks like a 99% going 99 different ways, scattering their power and often competing for the same support economically and from people.
There are many who have been a part of organizations and movements that are moving effectively in a more democratic direction in connection with specific issues.
We now need to present a citizen’s movement that includes all of those discrete groups and heralds their ground-breaking work, in a large enough…a big tent structure…that is inclusive so the established powers see the sheer bulk of our numbers when we come together to support the one ideal that unites us all.
The organizing focus is Democracy.
We need someone to develop a unifying Registry that includes all of the diverse movements under one flag, Democracy, so that the real strength and numbers of the support are tallied in a clear and understandable way. It would also encourage participation and add inspiration and energy to all of the participating organizations.
No one would need to lose the identity of their group or organization. They would simply be willing to agree that they too were working for a turn back to a Democratic society as a way to alleviate the causes of most of the unresolved issues and the difficulty in resolving them.
It will be like adding cars to a train forming to move people in the opposite direction from our present neoliberal economic direction. That new train will be pulled by the engine of democracy, fueled by the will of the ordinary citizens. The only train that exists within the existing establishment is this dystopian express that is taking us to an unsustainable future and fueled by the increasing wealth of an economic elite.
The democratic train is a local and will stop to add cars at any time, whether those cars are small groups or even individuals who are willing to use there gifts and energy to fuel a return to a sustainable democratic future, or existing groups or organizations who already have cars full of people committed to their goals but understanding that those goals will be easier to reach together with others who are going in the same direction.
As that train begins to take form, people will begin to leave the dystopian express for a more viable option and the seemingly immutable establishment will begin to weaken and finally crumble for lack of support.
Besides the already formed and organized groups it will also be a time to begin to form Demonstrations for Democracy in every city, town and rural area of this nation. Anywhere people who are frustrated and angry with the present system are willing to congregate, groups will arise to publicly Demonstrate for Democracy in the streets and in public places. And those groups will grow as others join to also have their voices heard.
The beauty of this idea is that we can start alone or with a few friends.
We do not need permission. We do not need some larger organization to sponsor us.
The heart of the idea is to keep the demonstrations focused, clear and peaceful. We are simply showing our preference for democracy and our unwillingness to quietly go along with the present system anymore.
It is also important for this process to be inclusive, allowing any who agree with the need for a shift from the rule by the economic elite back to a democratic, citizen dominated system, i.e., Democracy.
Our demonstrations will grow in size and number. Members of groups who have demonstrated alone will find inspiration in the sheer number of people who want to move us back to a confident democratic nation again. Unity will grow.
Everyone who wants to become a part of this process can find a way to participate finding a way to share their gifts, strengths and abilities, their energy and passion.
We can create a new emphasis on cooperation, community and citizenship. Human values will replace the market morality of the economic elite with their priority of profits over people.
There will be an outbreak of creative ideas. There will be buttons, such as, “I Stand Up for Democracy”, there will be music and art. We will create celebrations and festivals to serve notice that the citizens of this nation can no longer be taken for granted.
We will show that we are an overwhelming force to be attended to.
There are any number of issues that would be attended to and resolved when we replace the rule by the economic elite with a nation run with citizen participation again…anything from environmental concerns to health care to Income inequality.
There will be various ways to draw attention to officials who are not listening to the concerns of the citizens such as focusing on a Senator a month for citizen attention.
And finally, we will be prepared to Demonstrate Democracy in our daily lives. Nothing works like living examples of democracy being practiced with such things as inclusiveness, cooperation, concern for the fate of others, helpfulness, fairness, etc.
There will be an upwelling of ideas that will show those with decision-making power that the citizens of this nation are watching and that our numbers require respect, once again.
It is time to spread this idea across the nation and begin to act on it to give everyone a place to belong in the process of moving this nation back to a Democracy. This will be a positive change, going back to our democratic roots and replacing a faulty and destructive system. The result of Demonstrate for Democracy will be to save ourselves and to provide a path to a sustainable future for the nation and the world.
All aboard! Get your free tickets today and join the procession.
By Bob Passi
This last year has been dominated by a political earthquake in American Politics that will require us to rethink the direction for this nation and the narrative that will take us into a sustainable future.
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By Bob Passi
Somehow, we remain stuck in the 2016 election, replaying it with “what if” and “it just was not right” and justifying explanations like “it must have been a foreign conspiracy”. Meanwhile, Trump is the president and the nation and the world have to deal with that reality as much as some might be angry about it.
Changes continue in this nation and in the world, many under the influence of his leadership. Many people fume about those changes and
continue with an “it just shouldn’t be happening” mindset, as though that willmake any difference.
It is like picking at a scab. It slows down the healing; it may make the wound bleed again; it will even hurt a bit, but we somehow can’t resist the
temptation. We know we shouldn’t but we find ourselves doing it with some kind of perverse pleasure.
It is like a car accident drawing a crowd, some hoping for the blood, some just curious, some wanting the latest gossip about what happened and speculation about the results of bad choices andthe probable motivations of those involved and who was innocent and whose fault it probably was. All good juicy stufffor the gossip circuit we all seem to love.
Even if we find the Russians totally controlled the outcome of the election or that other corruption or hanky-panky occurred, what difference will it make in the direction of the world. Even if Trump is drummed out of office, he will hardly suffer from the process in the long run, and we will still have a nation controlled by a very conservative form of Republicanism with the economic elite still in firm control of our future.
Can we please just allow that wound to heal and get on with the serious business of democracy.
By Bob Passi
Power is a delicate thing. It can be used for many positive things and it can be devastatingly abused. The problem with power is that it tends to corrupt. The saying is “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Somehow it is far too tempting to begin to feel almost God-like; leading to arrogance, self-indulgence and a sense of entitlement…almost above the rules of ordinary folks.
We see that play out with people with political power, or wealth and economic power, or celebrities, or any kind of public figure. This is not to imply that they are all bad, but the temptation to abuse their power is ever present, whether it is just to get preferred treatment or to ignore the ordinary rules.
We see some of this being exposed currently with many women coming forward who have suffered from sexual abuse over the years from those with power.
There are, of course, many others who have been abused and exploited in a variety of ways by those in power and the current focus on women is helpful to expose the general culture of power and abuse that exists in a society in which all the roles of power are dominated by economic elites.
It is an example of what occurs when democracy is lost and rule from the top down takes its place. People in power expect things to be as they want and are willing to manipulate and even force others to comply with their wishes to create a world according to their vision of what it should be.
The only way to break that culture of power is to move our society back to a democracy once again, returning to a humanized and sustainable society with all segments of the citizenry heard once again.