Braving the Stormy Seas of 2020 and Beyond…

A Society based on rickety principles is headed for the bottom

Our personal and collective troubles were already weighing too heavily on us when the 2020 Covid-19 storm hit. The instinct of survival, impacted by fear and insecurity of the future is driving out normal instincts of sympathy, and solidarity between people, and replacing them with an ethos that values personal gain at the expense of the weakest among us. We’ve grown complacent in a world that venerates corporate greed and recklessness, panders to an endless war machine, and pillages and wastes the earth. All this while our collective wealth and influence is being transferred to the hands of the few.

Suspicion and hostility have engulfed all departments of life, be they political, economic, social and religious. We’re entering a dangerous moment in our history as governments are increasingly hostage to corporate and military power, unable to respond to their citizenry, carrying out irrational acts of austerity, stripping their constituencies of their civil liberties, and propelling the free world into a perfect storm of authoritarian oligarchy, environmental degradation and perpetual wars.

Between the Devil and the Deep blue sea

Everyone had a new design for the best, fastest and most efficient ‘ship of state’ for the future. That was the promise of the ship building duopoly in Washington in 2008 and 2016. Now, with only weeks before the launch of Biden’s ship and crew, there’s fear and trepidation about its intended course, as well as its endurance against the storms that will lie in its path. We can blame DNC’s short-sightedness for not entrusting the command of its ship to an unassailably more competent captain, but at least we have chartered the right operator for now.

Capitalizing on that Berning Revolutionary spirit that’s still in the air

Mass movements can’t succeed without full-time organizers in the field, and in the corridors of power. Here’s a golden opportunity to reignite and channel the passions of the millions of young people that aspired for change, and who have since disbanded. How did the Tea Party get so powerful in Washington with so little effort and representation? The Tea Party focused its attention on the Congress and state legislature. Why can’t the new progressive movement within the democratic party assemble that kind of power, and garner that indispensable momentum to move forward, to gain influence like the Tea Party?

A new ‘Charter’ for 2020 and beyond.

We also need to level the playing field by allowing new independent non-profit media to cover and transmit progressive information so that everyone’s voice can be heard, not just the powerful parties that have nothing new to say but can afford to be heard, at the expense of those movements that have lots of new ideas but lack funding to get their message across.

The U.S. body politic is not yet smart enough to build a better organized or just society but it can certainly sail in that direction. Until institutions, businesses, governments and the electorate are all sharing democratic control, America will not have a functioning democratic society that reflects the will of all of its people, but one that protects the interests of a only a powerful minority.

The West still has some of the freest societies in the world, where governments have the least capacity for intimidation than anywhere else in the world.  There’s a lot that we can do to support a global, pro-citizen agenda if we organize for our rights, as we’ve done in the past, and we can win many small victories. What really matters is the collective impact of the countless small deeds of the ‘common folk’ like you and me; together we can lay the groundwork for momentous events in history. We the People have done great things in the past, and we’re the ones who’ll keep on doing them in the future.

So here we are at the end of a most turbulent year on record still convincing ourselves that things will get better, that we will finally reach that new shore. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when we get that bigger home, go on that Caribbean cruise, when we retire. Let’s stop waiting and decide that there is no better time than now to get involved in meaningful civic action in order to impact change in our community, our county, our state, and create better tomorrows for our children and fellow humans across the globe.

The message cannot be made any clearer than the title of one of Ralph Nader’s books; “Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think!

Photo Credit: Royal Navy/MOD/OGL, via Wikimedia Commons

 Makaristos, United Nations Flag Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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